3115. Sin And Grace

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No. 3115-54:505. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, November 1, 1874, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Published On Thursday, October 22, 1908.

Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more. {Ro 5:20}

For other sermons on this text:

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 37, “Law and Grace” 37}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2012, “Grace Abounding Over Abounding Sin” 2013}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3115, “Sin and Grace” 3116}

   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3304, “Grace Abounding” 3306}

   Exposition on Jon 3:1-4:2 Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2544, “One and the Many, The” 2545 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ps 116:1-6 Ro 5:10-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3413, “God’s Mercy Going Before” 3415 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ro 5:6-21 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2744, “Lost Through One; Saved Through One” 2745 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2341, “Undying Gospel for the Dying Year, The” 2342 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2587, “Much More” 2588 @@ "Exposition"}

   Exposition on Ro 5 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3115, “Sin and Grace” 3116 @@ "Exposition"}

1. There are two very powerful forces in the world, which have been here ever since the time when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Those two forces are sin and grace. A very great power is sin, a dark power, mysterious, baleful, but full of force. The sorrows of mankind, where did they come from except from sin? We should have known no war, nor pestilence, nor famine, nor would anything of sickness or sorrow ever have struck the human race had not sin sown its evil seed in this earth. Sin is the Pandora’s box from which all evil has come to mankind. See what ravages death has made; its graves are everywhere. Its mighty scythe mows men down as the mower cuts down the grass of the field; but death came by sin and after death comes judgment, and, for the ungodly, the doom that never can be desired, the eternal wrath whose blackness the wildest tempest cannot imitate. Who dug this pit? It was the justice of God on account of sin, and sin must therefore be charged with the authorship of sorrow, disease, death, and hell. This is great power with which we have come into conflict; it is a veritable Goliath, stalking along and defying the whole race of mankind.

2. The power that is to fight and overcome sin is never described in the Word of God, as the natural goodness of human nature. Nonsense! That is just like wax before the fire, or like the fat of rams on the altar; it is consumed in a moment in the fierce heat of sin. The force to combat sin is never described, in the truthful pages of God’s Word, as the power of human endeavour to keep the law. Indeed, this has been tried, and it has utterly failed. The way to heaven is not up the steep sides of Sinai; that granite mountain is too rugged and too high for unaided human feet to climb. Nowhere can be found the weapons with which a man may slay his sins, and fight his way to everlasting bliss.

3. The only counter force against sin is grace; so my text tells us, and we may learn the same truth from a hundred texts besides. And what is grace? Grace is the free favour of God, the undeserved bounty of the ever-gracious Creator against whom we have offended, the generous pardon, the infinite, spontaneous lovingkindness of the God who has been provoked and angered by our sin, but who, delighting in mercy, and grieving to strike the creatures whom he has made, is always ready to pass by transgression, iniquity, and sin, and to save his people from all the evil consequences of their guilt. Here, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is a force that is fully equal to the requirements of the duel with sin; for this grace, of which I am going to speak, is divine grace, and hence it is omnipotent, immortal, and immutable. This favour of God never changes; and when once it purposes to bless anyone, bless him it will, and no one can revoke the blessing. The gracious purpose of God’s free favour to an undeserving man is more than a match for that man’s sin, for it brings to bear, on his sin, the blood of the incarnate Son of God, and the majestic and mysterious fire of the eternal Spirit, who burns up evil and utterly consumes it. With God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit united against sin, the everlasting purposes of grace are bound to be accomplished, sin must be overcome and my text proved to be true, “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

4. I. To illustrate the great principle of my text, I ask you to notice, first, that the context refers us to THE ENTRANCE OF THE LAW. “The law entered, so that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

5. Instead of giving any historical statement concerning the introduction of the law in the days of Moses, I am going to speak about the practical matter of the introduction of the law of God into our hearts. Those of you who have been converted remember the time when the law of the Lord first entered your heart. The law inscribed on the two tables of stone, the law recorded in the Bible, only does very little for us; but when the law really enters our heart, is does much for us. What does it do?

6. The first thing the law does to most men is to develop the sin that is in them. Paul writes, “I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, unless the law had said, ‘You shall not covet.’” But, as soon as he found that there was a law against a certain sin, by some unhallowed instinct of his unrenewed nature, he wanted to do the very thing that he was forbidden to do. It was like that with us, the first effect of the entrance of the law of God into our hearts was to develop the sin that was already within us. “That is a dreadful thing,” one says. Yes, it is; but look at the matter from another aspect. Here is a man who has within him a dire disease which will be fatal if it is allowed to remain, so the physician gives him some medicine which throws the disease out. The man used to have a beautiful complexion, but after he has taken that medicine, his face is covered with blotches. Is that a bad thing? Yes, the blotches are bad, but the hidden disease was worse. While that disease was concealed within his system, and was killing him, he probably did not even know that is was there. He knew that he was not well, and perhaps thought that he was dying as the result of some other complaint; but now he sees what the disease is, and everyone sees it, and now what looked like an evil thing may turn out to be for real good for the man. So it often happens mentally, morally, and spiritually. A man’s wicked heart is full of enmity against God, yet he thinks—and perhaps he is right in thinking—that he is outwardly a strictly moral man; but, lo! the law of God, with its requirements of perfect purity and absolute obedience, enters his heart, and he rebels against it, and now the sin is apparent, even to himself. It is likely now that this man will repent of sin, it is highly probable that this development of his latent sin will lead him to form a different opinion of himself from any that he ever had before; and therefore, though the sin is evil, and the development of it is evil, yet, where sin abounded, grace shall much more abound, and so good shall come out of the evil after all.

7. When the law enters a man’s heart, it also brings his sin out in very strong relief. He never saw his sin to be so black as he now sees it to be. A stick is crooked, but you do not notice how crooked it is until you place a straight ruler beside it. You have a handkerchief, and it seems to be quite white; you could hardly wish it to be whiter; but you lay it down on the newly-fallen snow, and you wonder how you could ever have thought it to be white at all. So the pure and holy law of God, when our eyes are opened to see its purity, shows up our sin in its true blackness, and in that way it makes sin to abound; but this is for our good, for that sight of our sin awakens us to a sense of our true condition, leads us to repentance, drives us by faith to the precious blood of Jesus, and no longer permits us to rest in our self-righteousness; and so it can be said of us that, though the entrance of the law has made our sin to abound, “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.”

8. The entrance of the law of God into the heart very generally causes great anguish. Well do I remember that experience, and so do some of you. When the law entered our hearts, it did not come merely with a straight ruler, and with a perfect pattern of whiteness, to show us our deformity and our blackness, but it also came with a heavy whip; and it laid that whip on our shoulders, and every time it fell it stung us to the quick. A little while ago, I met a brother, who said to me, “You cannot describe too forcibly the anguish of a convicted conscience; for,” he said, “I remember when I thought how long it would be before I must, in the ordinary course of nature, be in hell. I said to myself, ‘Suppose I live to be eighty years of age, yet how short a time it will be before I must be enduring the infinite wrath of God.’” Yes, that is the effect that the law of the Lord often produces on a man when it enters his heart. It brings a mirror before him, and says to him “Look in there, and see not only what you have done, but also what is the just consequence of your evil deeds.” A man no longer criticizes God’s justice when the law once gets inside his heart; it shuts his mouth except for groans and sighs, and he has plenty of them.

9. It may be thought, by some people, to be a very sad thing that the law should come into a man’s heart to break it, and to cause him such sorrow and anguish as I am trying to describe. Ah, but it is not so; it is a very blessed thing. You cannot expect God to clothe you until he has stripped you, nor to heal you until he has cut the proud flesh out of your wounds. When a woman is sowing with a fine white silken thread, she must have a sharp needle to go first, to make a way for the thread to go through after it; and the anguish of spirit, which the law creates in the soul, is just the sharp needle which makes a way for the fine silken thread of the gospel to enter our heart, and so to bless us. Let us thank God if we have ever experienced the entrance of his law into our hearts: for, although it makes sin to abound, is makes grace to abound much more.

10. When the law gets thoroughly into a man’s heart, it drives him to despair of himself. “Oh!” he says, “I cannot keep that law.” Once, he thought that he was as good as other people, and a little better than most; and he did not know that if, with a little polishing, and a little help, he might be good enough, to win the favour of God and go to heaven; but when the law entered his heart, it soon smashed his idol to pieces. The Dagon of self-righteousness speedily falls before the ten commandments of God, and is so broken that it can never be mended. Men try to set its stump up on its pedestal again; but as long as the law of the Lord is in the same temple with self-righteousness, self-righteousness can never be exalted again. To some people, it seems to be a dreadful thing to give a man such a bad opinion of himself; but, indeed, it is the greatest blessing that could come to him, for when he despairs of himself, he will flee to Christ to save him. When the last crust is gone from his cupboard, he will cry to the great Giver of the bread of life, from which, if a man eats, he shall live for ever. You must starve the sinner’s self-righteousness to make him willing to feed on Christ; and so the very depths of his despair, when he thinks that he must be lost for ever, will only lead him, by God’s abundant love, to a fuller appreciation of the heights of God’s grace.

11. Once more, when the law of God enters a man’s heart, it pronounces a curse on him. That was an exceptional scene which was beheld at Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, where one company read the curses, and another company read the blessings out of the book of the law. Now the law can do nothing for a sinner but say to him, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them”; but the gospel comes in, and it replies to the curse of the law with such words as these, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.” Let the law curse as it may, the gospel’s blessing is richer and stronger, for the gospel says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”; and “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk after the flesh, but after to the Spirit.”

12. II. Now I change our line of thought, and come closer home to Christians, by noticing that the great principle of our text is also illustrated in THE SUBSEQUENT EXPERIENCE OF THE BELIEVER.

13. Some young converts imagine that, as soon as they believe in Christ, and find peace with God, they will be perfect; and have no more sin within them. Such an erroneous idea will only prepare them for a great disappointment, for conversion is not the end of the battle with sin, it is only the beginning of that battle. From the moment that a man believes in Jesus, and is saved by it, he begins his lifelong struggle against his inbred sins. I hear that there are some brothers and sisters who have become perfect, and I am pleased to hear it if it is true: but I am glad they are not members of my family, I do not think I could live with them very peaceably, since I have generally found that the so-called “perfect” people are usually not at all pleasant people to be associated with those of us who do not profess to be perfect. We wish we were perfect, and we wish that other people were perfect; but, so far, our investigations have led us to believe that the perfection which is claimed by certain people is in every case a mistake, and in many cases is a delusion and a sham.

14. Our opinion is that men, after they are converted, and begin to examine themselves in the light of God’s Word, if they are at all like us, find sin everywhere within them;—sin in the affections, so that the heart lusts after evil things;—sin in the judgment, so that it often makes most serious mistakes, and honestly puts bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter;—sin in the desires, so that though we try to curb them, they wander here and there, where we do not want them to;—sin in the will, so that Lord Will-Be-Will proves that he is still very proud, and wants to have his own way,—and is not willing to bow submissively to the will of God;—sin in the memory, so that the most godly people can often remember a snatch of a bad old song which they used to hear or to sing, far more readily than they can remember a text of Scripture which they wish to treasure up in their memories, for memory has become unhinged, like all the rest of our faculties, and is quick to retain evil, and slow to retain what is good. Brothers and sisters in Christ, in what part of our body does sin not dwell? Is there any single faculty, or power, or propensity that we have which will not lead us astray if we will let it do so? Are we not obliged to be always on our guard against ourselves, and to watch ourselves as a garrison of soldiers would have to watch the natives of a country whom they had subdued, but who were anxious to throw off the yoke of the foreigners who had overcome them. In a similar way, grace is a foreigner in possession of our nature, and it holds by its own superior force what it has won; and only by its supernatural strength are we kept from regaining our former position.

15. Sos you see how sin abounds, even in the heart of a believer; but, blessed be God, grace abounded there much more; for, although the will is still strong, there is a higher power that subdues and controls it, so that our will is being gradually conformed to the will of God. Our affections, though they are apt to grovel here below, soar towards Christ, for he really has won our hearts. Our desires do go astray, yet their main tendency is towards holiness. Blessed be the name of the Lord, unless we are awfully deceived, we do desire to do what is well pleasing in his sight. Our memory, too, though I have already confessed its faultiness, often enables us to remember Jesus Christ, and it never will forget him whoever else it may forget. Indeed, and our whole nature, though I have truly spoken of its faults, is a new nature, which God has created within us,—a nature that is like the divine, and in this nature grace triumphs over sin, so that where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.

16. The same truth may be learned in another way. Sin abounds in the believer, not merely in the form of the original sin in which he was born, and in the tendency to sin which is always present with him, but sin mars the best thing he ever does. Did you ever examine one of your own prayers, did you ever look at it critically after it was finished? Shall I tell you what it was like? It was like something that man had manufactured, and which, when observed by the naked eye, looked very beautiful. Put a microscope over it, and look at it. Take a needle if you like, for that seems to be one of the most polished pieces of metal conceivable; and as soon as you place it under the microscope, you say, “Why, what a rough bar of iron I have here! Surely it cannot be a needle.” Yes it is, but you are looking at it now with a power far beyond your ordinary sight; and, in the same way, when the grace of God opens a man’s eyes to see his best actions as they appear in God’s sight, he sees that those actions are marred by sin. There is not anything that he has done which appears to him to be what it ought to be when he looks at it properly in the light of God’s Word. The most consecrated action of his life, the most devout communion with Christ, the most intense ardour after God, falls far short of what it ought to be, and has something in it which ought not to be there. When the grace of God is strong within us, it makes sin appear to abound even to our own vision; we see it in every hymn we sing, in every prayer we pray, in every sermon we preach.

17. Not only do we see sin in our best things, but we also discover sin in our omissions. We were never troubled about that matter before, but now we remember that what we do not do is often sinful;—not merely the wrong that we commit, but the good that we omit, the good that we neglect or forget to do. There is much sin there. Then we begin to examine our thoughts, and our trivial utterances, and we see them all encrusted over with sin. Tested under the light of God’s Word, everything seems to be laced through and through with sin, so that sin indeed abounds. Well, what then? Why, then, this blessed text comes sweetly home to our hearts. “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.” And now, how gloriously grace abounds! Now we prove the power of that precious blood which can wash us whiter than snow, so that God himself shall say to each one of us, “There is no spot in you.” Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, I firmly believe that a deep and clear sense of sin is necessary for a proper estimation of the power of pardoning love. I am sure that it is a great blessing to us when we have a deep sense of our sinnership. God forbid that we should ever pray as the Pharisee did, “God, I thank you, that I am not as other men are.” It would be far better for us to imitate the tax collector, and cry, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” None but those who are lost prize the Saviour who came to seek and to save those who were lost; none but those who feel that they are foul and vile properly value his cleansing blood. Oh beloved, when your sin abounds, then is the time to remember that grace much more abounds. Sinner as you are, you are forgiven, you are “accepted in the Beloved,” you are saved, you are a child of God, you shall be in heaven before long, to praise for ever the grace that shall be crowned with glory.

18. Once more on this point, I believe that many of you have had an experience similar to mine, and that there have been times when you have been living especially near to God, and walking in the light of his countenance, when, suddenly, the sin that dwells in you has seemed to attack you just when you least expected it. I know that my fiercest temptations often come to me immediately after my highest enjoyments of communion with God. They seem to come like a sharp draft of cold air the moment you step out of a warm room, and you hardly know what to do for the best, you are scarcely prepared for it. It will sometimes happen that a temper, which you thought you had quite overcome, will rush upon you like a lion out of a thicket; or a passion, which you thought had been most effectively conquered, will come sweeping down on you like a storm from the hills, and your poor little skiff on the lake seems almost overwhelmed with its furious onslaught. Then, as you look at yourselves, and are surprised to find so much sin in yourselves, you know that sin abounds; what do you do then? Well, I believe that, at such times, Christians try to nestle closer than ever under the wings of God, and they feel humbler, and they go to the precious blood of Jesus with a more intense desire to prove again its cleansing power; and they cry to the Strong for strength, and they feel more than ever they did before their need of the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying power. Ralph Erskine said that he was more afraid of a sleeping devil than of a roaring devil, and there was good reason for his fear, for when the devil was roaring, the saints would be more on the watch than when he was quiet. The worst temptation in the world is not to be tempted at all; but when there is a strong temptation, and your soul is fully aware of it, you are on your guard against it. The wave of temptation may even wash you higher up on the Rock of ages, so that you cling to it with a firmer grip than you have ever done before, and so again where sin abounds, grace will much more abound.

19. III. Now I must close with a few general observations on another matter. The great truth revealed in our text is not only illustrated by the entrance of the law into the hearts of believers, and in the subsequent life of Christians, but also IN ALL THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION.

20. It is very wonderful, but it is certainly true, that there are many people in heaven in whom sin once abounded. In the judgment of their fellow men, some of them were worse sinners than others. There was Saul of Tarsus, there was the dying thief, there was the woman in the city who was a sinner,—a sinner in a very public and terrible sense. These, and many more of whom we read in the Scriptures, were all great sinners, and it was a great wonder of grace, in every case, that they should be forgiven; but did they make poor Christians when they were converted? Quite the opposite; they loved much because they had been forgiven much. Among the best servants of God are many of those who were once the best servants of the devil. Sin abounded in them, but grace abounded much more when it took possession of their hearts and lives. They were long led captive by the devil at his will, but they never were such servants to Satan as they afterwards became to the living and true God. They threw all the fervour of their intense natures into the service of their Saviour, and so rose superior to some of their fellow disciples, who did not so fully realize how much they owed to their Lord. I trust that any present here, who have gone far into sin, may be saved by the immeasurable grace of God before they leave this building, and that, through the rest of their lives, they may love Jesus Christ better, and serve him more than others who have not sinned as deeply as they have.

21. The sane truth comes out if we think of what sin has done for us. Oh brethren, sin has infected the nature of man with a foul leprosy, a deadly disease, but Jesus has cured the disease, and given us a life of a holier kind than we ever knew before. Sin has robbed us; but Christ has restored to us more than sin ever took away from us. Sin has stripped us; but Christ has clothed us in a better robe than our natural righteousness could ever have been. Well do we sing of Jesus,—

   In him the tribes of Adam boast

   More blessings than their father lost.

Sin has brought us very low, but Christ has lifted us higher than we stood before sin cast us down. Sin took away from man his love for God, but Christ has given us a more intense love for God than Adam ever had, for we love God because he has first loved us, and given his Son to die for us, and we have, in his greater grace, a good reason for yielding to him a greater love. Sin took away obedience from man, but now that saints obey to an even higher degree than they could have done before; for I suppose it would not have been possible for unfallen man to suffer, but now we are capable of suffering for Christ; and many martyrs have gone singing to death for the truth, because, while sin made them capable of suffering, Christ’s grace has made them capable of obedience to him in the suffering, and so of doing more to prove their allegiance to God than would have been possible if they had never fallen. Sin, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, has shut us out of Eden; yet let us not weep, for Christ has prepared a better paradise for us in heaven. Sin has deprived us of the river that rippled over sands of gold, and of the green glades of that blessed garden into which suffering could never have come unless sin had first entered; but God has provided for us “a pure river of water of life,” and a lovelier garden than Eden ever was; and there we shall dwell for ever through the abounding grace of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which has abounded even over our abounding sin.

22. Sin has separated us from God, but grace has brought us nearer to God than we ever were before sin separated us from him. Until Christ became man, there was no man on the earth, and there would have been no man, who was more to God than man could be to his Maker; but now there lives a Man who is more to God than any created being ever could be, for that Man is also God, and he sits at the right hand of his Father, and shares with him the control of the universe. That Man has brought the human race nearer to the Deity than the mere act of creation could possibly have done. Glory be to God for Jesus Christ, the Man from heaven, the Son of Mary, and the Son of the Highest. Sin worked in us untold mischief, but grace has made even that mischief to be a gain for us, for now we are bought with blood as, otherwise, we never could have been. Now we know both sin and righteousness as we could not otherwise have done; and now the whispering of the old serpent, which was a lie, has proved to have a truth concealed in it, for we are indeed as gods, since we have become partakers of the divine nature by virtue of our union with the Christ of God. Oh wondrous Fall, which would have broken us hopelessly had it not been for even more marvellous grace! Oh wondrous restoration which has lifted us up, and made us more perfect than we were before we were broken, and elevated us to a glory of which we could never have dreamed, had we lived with Adam and Eve in paradise, and remained in innocence for ever!

23. I want to make one practical remark before I close; it is this, if you have received this grace, which has abounded over your sin, take care that you do more for grace than you ever did for sin. It is amazing how much people will do for sin, what they will give, what they will spend, and what they will endure to gratify their passions and serve their cruel taskmaster, Satan. I should not like to guess what some men waste on their lusts; I should not like to make a calculation concerning what some people spend in a year on what they call their pleasures. Well, whatever the amount is, shall they give more, shall they do more for their god than we give and do for ours? Shall they be more intense in their adoration of Satan than we are in our obedience to God? That must never be, nor must we ever permit them to outdo us in the praises of their treasure. They make night hideous with their praises of their god, Bacchus; {a} but we do not often annoy them with the songs of Zion; it would be as well, perhaps, if we did; but we are often cowards in not rendering due praises to our God. They are not ashamed to make the heavens ring with their lascivious notes; then let us pluck up courage, and boldly assert the glories of our God and the wonders of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Especially, let us never be ashamed to say, “He loved me, and gave himself for me, and blessed be his holy name for ever and ever. Amen.”

{a} Bacchus: The god of wine. OED.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ro 5}

1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1456, “Peace: a Fact and a Feeling” 1450}

This verse deserves to be printed in letters of gold. If you can truthfully say this, if it is indeed true of you, you are the happiest people under heaven. Let us read the verse again: “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”:

2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace by which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We are not only at peace with God, but we are permitted to draw near to him; we have access to him, we have access to his favour, to his grace. We may come to God whenever we wish; for he is reconciled to us, and we are reconciled to him, so we may now think of him with joy and gladness.

3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:—

Someone seemed to say to the apostle, “You talk about peace with God, and access to God; but you are troubled in mind, you are sickly in body, you are poor in estate, just as other people are”; so Paul replies, “Yes, we know that it is so, ‘but we glory in tribulations also’”:—

3. Knowing that tribulation works patience;—

It is sent for our good; we accept our trials as a part of our estate, and in some respects, the very richest part of our estate. We get more good out of our adversity than out of our prosperity. Our troubles have made men of us, whereas our joys might have unmanned us. Trials have braced us up, and we glory in them, “knowing that tribulation works patience”;—

4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

The longer we wait, the brighter our eyes get. Our very trials when they have happened to us, leave us stronger and happier than we were before. Our experience works in us hope.

5. And hope does not make ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given to us. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 829, “The Perfuming of the Heart” 820}

What a blessed thing it is that, when troubles are shed abroad outside us, the love of God is shed abroad inside us; when we are tried without, we are comforted within; and so we are made strong, and we have no reason to fear.

6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1191, “For Whom Did Christ Die?” 1182} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1345, “For Whom is the Gospel Meant?” 1336} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2341, “The Undying Gospel for the Dying Year” 2342}

And since he died for us when we were ungodly, what will he not do for us now that he has sought us as his own? He gave the highest proof of his love to us when we were most unworthy of it, so will he leave us now? God forbid!

7. For scarcely—

Now the apostle goes away from his theme, carried away by the even greater subject of the love of God in Christ Jesus, and the way of reconciliation by Christ, he goes off to that theme: “For scarcely”—

7. For a righteous man will one die:—

However “just” Aristides {b} might be, no one would die for him. However “righteous” a man might be, he would not, by his justice or righteousness, win enough affection to induce anyone to die for him.

7. Yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die.

There might possibly be some who would die for a John Howard, or a man of that character.

8. But God commends his love towards us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 104, “Love’s Commendation” 99}

When we were not even just, much less good, “Christ died for us.”

9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Since he died for us, he will certainly save us. He who died for the ungodly will never cast away those whom he has justified. The death of Christ for his own people is the guarantee that he will love them even to the end.

10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, how much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Did he love us when we were his enemies? Then most assuredly he will love us now that we are his friends. Did his death save us? Then, will his life not also save us? Since he took such pains to reconcile us to his Father, will he not take equal pains—indeed, “how much more” to preserve us safe to the end? {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2587, “Much More” 2588}

11. And not only so,—

Paul seems to go up a ladder, and when he gets to the top of it, he sets up another on the top of that one, and proceeds to mount that. This is the second time that we have read, “And not only so,”—

11. But we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Christ has made atonement for us, and God has accepted that atonement on our behalf. We also have received it ourselves, and now we are glad in God,—glad that there is a God, glad that there is such a God, and glad that he is our God and Father in Christ Jesus. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 1045, “Joy in a Reconciled God” 1036} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2550, “Joy in God” 2551}

12. Therefore, just as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, because all have sinned:

It was by one man’s sin that we all fell through the first Adam. Does anyone object to the justice of that? Please, do not object to what is your only hope. If you and I had each one sinned for himself or herself, apart from Adam, our case would probably have been hopeless, like the case of the fallen angels, who sinned individually, and fell never to be set up again; but inasmuch as we fell representatively in Adam, it prepared the way for us to rise representatively in the second Adam, Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. Since I fell by another, I can rise by another; since my ruin was caused by the first man, Adam, my restoration can be brought about by the second Man, the Lord from heaven.

13, 14. For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the same way as Adam’s transgression, who is the type of him who was to come.

Infants die, although they have never sinned; they die, because death is the penalty for sin; and just as they die for faults not their own, so they are saved by righteousness not their own. They die, for Adam sinned; they live, for Jesus died.

15-17. But the free gift is not like the offence. For if by the one man’s offence many died, how much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like what came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offence resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offences resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offence death reigned through the one, how much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2544, “The One and the Many” 2545} {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2744, “Lost Through One; Saved Through One” 2745}

Adam’s fall was terribly effective; it has brought death upon the human race age after age; and Christ’s death is amazingly effective, for on behalf of all those for whom he died his atonement so prevails as to put their sins away for ever.

19. For just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

That is the wonderful doctrine of “the gospel of Christ.” It is rejected in these evil days; they call it simple, and I do not know what else besides; but here it is put as plainly as words can put it, “Just as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

20. Moreover the law entered, so that the offence might abound.

The law was not given to Moses to stop sin, or to forgive sin, but to make men see how evil sin is, and to make it evident to them how evil they are.

20. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more:

There was more grace than terror even in the law. It has served a gracious purpose, for it was given to make us realize our guilt, and so might drive us to seek the grace of God for its forgiveness. Salvation is all of grace. Sin cannot conquer grace; it has had a hard struggle for it, but grace will ultimately win the victory in all who believe in Jesus.

21. That just as sin has reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The intent of the whole chapter is to comfort believers in the time of trouble by the fact of the great love of God for them in the person of Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour.

{b} Aristides: (530 BC-468 BC) was an ancient Athenian statesman. Nicknamed “the Just,” he flourished in the early quarter of Athens’ Classical period and is remembered for his generalship in the Persian War. The ancient historian Herodotus cited him as “the best and most honourable man in Athens,” and he received similarly reverent treatment in Plato’s Socratic dialogues. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristides"

{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Dedication To God—‘My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His’” 660}

{See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Work of Grace as a Whole—‘Grace Reigns’” 233}

The Christian, Dedication To God

660—“My Beloved Is Mine And I Am His”

1 When I had wander’d from his fold,

      His love the wanderer sought;

   When slave like into bondage sold,

      His blood my freedom bought.

2 Therefore that life, by him redeem’d,

      Is his through all its days;

   And as with blessings it hath teem’d,

      So let it teem with praise.

3 For I am his, and he is mine,

      The God whom I adore!

   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,

      Now and for evermore.

4 When sunk in sorrow, I despair’d,

      And changed my hopes for fears,

   He bore my griefs, my burden shared,

      And wiped away my tears.

5 Therefore the joy by him restored,

      To him by right belongs:

   And to my gracious loving Lord,

      I’ll sing through life my songs:

6 For I am his, and his is mine,

      The God whom I adore!

   My Father, Saviour, Comforter,

      Now and for evermore!

                     John S. B. Monsell, 1863.

The Work of Grace as a Whole

233—“Grace Reigns”

1 Grace! ‘tis a charming sound!

      Harmonious to the ear!

   Heaven with the echo shall resound,

      And all the earth shall hear.

2 Grace first contrived the way

      To save rebellious man;

   And all the steps that grace display

      Which drew the wondrous plan.

3 Grace first inscribed my name

      In God’s eternal book:

   ‘Twas grace that gave me to the Lamb,

      Who all my sorrows took.

4 Grace led my roving feet

      To tread the heavenly road;

   And new supplies each hour I meet

      While pressing on to God.

5 Grace taught my soul to pray,

      And made my eyes o’erflow;

   ‘Twas grace that kept me to this day,

      And will not let me go.

6 Grace all the work shall crown,

      Through everlasting days;

   It lays in heaven the topmost stone,

      And well deserves the praise.

                  Philip Doddridge, 1755;

                  Augustus M. Toplady, 1776.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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