A couple of days ago I quoted Romans 5:17 here.
If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.Now, one of the questions that I always apply to the Bible text, whenever I read it, is this: What does this passage mean for my life today? I hope this doesn't seem self-centered of me, but I spent many years listening to a teaching that was heavy on the "not yet" and seemed to undermine every Scriptural promise for the "here and now." So perhaps in reaction against that particular kind of narrowness, I am always quick to ask, well, what's in it for me right now?
I take this particular verse to say that though sin once reigned over me, I can now reign over sin, because of the free gift of righteousness through Jesus Christ. Now, that's saying a lot, and the implications can occupy us for some time, but today I just want to quote from The Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, from which I always draw much beneifit. They restate Paul's sentence this way:
If one man's one offense let loose against us the tyrant power of Death, to hold us as its victims in helpless bondage, 'much more,' when we stand forth enriched with God's 'abounding grace' and in the beauty of a complete absolution from countless offenses, shall we expatiate in a life divinely owned and legally secured, 'reigning' in exultant freedom and unchallenged might, through that other matchless 'One,' Jesus Christ!"That's cool (although many people say I already "expatiate" too much). I also know that this reigning does not go "unchallenged" in the here and now. Nevertheless, I like their words, "exultant freedom through the matchless One!" That's good stuff. The freedom here, in context, is a freedom from the reign of sin. Such a life is, I suppose, what the Psalmist calls a broad place. A place of exultant freedom, like the banqueting table in Psalm 23. What abounding grace! Do you not long to expatiate on this all day?