Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more (Romans 5:20 ESV)
Although there is nothing new under the sun, the world today has never seen the degree of sin we see right now. The weight of temptation an average person bears today in one day might be compared to what Abraham dealt with in a decade!
But what does God do today when sin increases? We see two options in the scripture. First, He could increase judgment against sin. The Old Testament and the story of Israel are a testament to God’s response to increased sinfulness by judging the people. I often hear people say God is judging America, for example, when disasters such as hurricanes occur. Hear this clearly—when God judges sin, no one will have any doubts that sin has been judged. God’s judgment against sin is coming, and heaven and earth will tremble when it does come. He is not judging sin now.
Besides judging sin, God does something remarkably different today. When sin increases, He increases grace. While judgment against sin “corrects” the sin problem by eradicating the in and the sinner, grace “corrects” the sin problem by rescuing the sinner while overcoming the sin. Grace is God’s desired response against sin; judgment is His secondary response when grace is rejected. We are in a unique phase of the salvation story, a period that the Lord calls the “acceptable time” or “the year of the Lord’s favor.” During the acceptable time, God responds to human sin by increasing grace. However, this acceptable time will not last forever. When Jesus comes and takes His Church away, the world will fully experience unrestrained divine judgment against sin.
So what does increasing grace mean in this context? What does it mean that God increases grace? What does Paul refer to as “grace” in this context? The first step in answering this question is recognizing that the scriptures use the word “grace” to refer to slightly different things. When God gives more grace in response to sin, He is giving us the power to resist, withstand and overcome increasing degrees of perversion around us. For instance, despite the rising sexual impurity around us, grace gives us a greater ability to stay clean in our hearts, words, and actions. Grace is indeed the divine antidote to sin. And if God does not increase grace, we will not survive the increasing moral decadence and darkness seeking to quench our light.
However, we should distinguish God’s judgment against sin from His fatherly discipline and corrections. The Lord can discipline us when we misbehave to get us back on track. That is not wise His judgment against our sins. For example, if we continue in a sinful behavior despite God’s repeated warnings, He will discipline us in one way or the other. If His Church takes a trend against His will, He will discipline us to get us back on track. For instance, as I wrote before, the Lord will discipline the Church to remove the unimaginable financial greed that has infiltrated the Body of Christ and restore financial sanity in many parts of His House, especially amongst His ministers(sadly).
Therefore there is no room for despair or hopelessness. God’s Church will not only survive but will thrive and shine brighter and brighter. Yes, darkness is increasing, but the light is shining brighter and brighter. Many of you will be so full of the Holy Ghost and experience dimensions of the presence and power of God that sin will be no match. God knows that sin will overwhelm us if He does not increase this grace upon us. Our only hope is His grace.
What does it mean for God to increase grace? Can grace lead to more sinfulness?
Apply the Word
Be encouraged. The future of the Church and your future in Christ is bright. Yes, the world is getting worse, but grace is increasing, and no darkness in the world can comprehend our light!
According to His Word, ask the Father to increase grace to overcome sin and destroy addictions or bondages of any kind.