A Gift You'll Actually Want!

Romans: Unashamed - Building the Church through the Gospel   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Me - I love to give gifts! I also love to receive gifts! On occasion I have received a gift that I really didn’t want! When I graduated from High School, my dad asked me what I wanted for a gift.
Computers were out of the question, in part because they were large and expensive...
So I asked him for a Brother Word Processor. I was really excited to get one of these babies!!
Instead, he got me an IBM cast iron electric typewriter. I’m pretty sure it weighed 500 lbs. - on top of that, it was used because he found a great deal.
I love my dad, but I didn’t love that gift!
I know, I know! I’m shallow!
We - But if we’re going to be honest, we have all received gifts that we didn’t want or even need.
Find unwanted gift picture/examples...
God - God, however, is an amazing gift giver...
James 1:17 ESV
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
Bottom Line - God Has A Gift for You that is Perfectly Fitted for Your Greatest Need!
Okay, so what is it? Well, Paul gives us a clear description of this gift in Romans 5:15-17. He does this by making some interesting contrasts...
The Message of Romans b. Adam and Christ Are Contrasted (15–17)

The differences concern the nature of the two actions (15), their immediate results (16), and their ultimate effects (17).

1. It’s a Gift that is Overflowing with Grace (vs. 15)
Romans 5:15 ESV
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
The free gift that God offers stands in start contrast to the “trespass” that we are all guilty of.
Before we go any further, let’s figure something out. What is a “Trespass?”
Trespass = to fall by the wayside. Fault, lapse, error, mistake, wrongdoing. Implies culpability.
Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).
This “Trespass” is so bad it causes death. Physical death, spiritual death, and eternal death.
This started with the “one man,” Adam and has passed from generation to generation to you.
The text says “For if many died through one man’s trespass...”
Many = all physically died except for Enoch and Elijah.
“one man” = Adam
All three verses are comparative verses. In other words, they compare two truths.
Verses 15 and 17 are conditional clauses - If / then statements. If this is true, then this is true as well.
And the beauty of this clause is to show something greater. “much more...”
What is greater?
The grace of God is greater, of course! Grace, greater than all my sin! We just sang that a while ago!
Christ’s one act of redemption was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation. The MacArthur Study Bible (Chapter 5)
God is a God of grace. It it his character! He is a gracious God! And out of His graciousness comes something very special - a free gift!
What is this free gift? Well, verse 17 tells us. It is the “free gift of righteousness.”
The point Paul is making in this verse, however is that God’s free gift, based on His gracious character gave a free gift of righteousness by the grace of Jesus Christ.
And this gracious gift has abounded for many! - those who have placed their faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His death, burial and resurrection!
Abound = To be in excess, exceed in number or measure. In the NT, to be or have more than enough.
Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).
His grace abounds more and more!
Elsa Prince’s gift to her employees
That was an incredibly generous and gracious thing that Mrs. Prince did for us! And the truth is, she didn’t have to do it. She could have kept it for herself or given that money somewhere else. But instead she lavished it on us.
Now, think about this, she did this for the people that helped make her and her husbands company successful...
We, on the other hand are not in such a good standing with God.
Remember what Paul calls us in verse 10?
Romans 5:10 ESV
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
We were not faithful employees that got a reward from our boss, we were enemies of the most High God and yet, because He is GRACE, gave us a free gift.
There is no better example of abounding, overflowing grace than this!!
Apply -
Worship this God who is so gracious with you.
Be gracious with others.
Review - God Has A Gift for You that is Perfectly Fitted for Your Greatest Need!
It’s a Gift that is Overflowing with Grace
2. It’s a Gift that Makes You Right with God (vs. 16)
Romans 5:16 ESV
And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Paul gives another contrast between the FREE GIFT and ADAM’S SIN. And this time Paul gets more specific.
“The free gift IS NOT LIKE the result of that one man’s sin.”
What is the result of that one man’s sin?
Paul speaks of JUDGMENT and the result of JUDGMENT, CONDEMNATION. Explain...
Revelation 20:11–15 ESV
Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
What you see in this passage is the result of judgment - condemnation!
But (I love this conjunction!) the free gift, which came after many (our) trespasses brought justification!
Think about this - Eve sinned. Adam sinned. every human on this planet who has ever lived, sinned. Hence the phrase “following many trespasses.”
We CANNOT minimize the “many” in this passage.
And according to Paul, God still gave the free gift of righteousness through justification.
When is the last time you gifted someone that has hurt you?
If you had one wish and it could only be used on you (you can’t wish for world peace). What would you wish for? You would wish for your greatest need!
We don’t need to make this wish because it has already come true! Your greatest need has been taken care of - God, by his abundant grace, has made you right with him! This is what the act of Justification does for us. It is a legal decree! It something God declares about you! You are now right with God if you have trusted Christ as the only possible solution to your problem with God.
Have you accepted this amazing gift. The reality is you need to. Why?
John 3:16–17 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
John 3:36 ESV
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
If you are not a christian, you are not right with God.
You must be right with Him, but you cannot make yourself right with him.
But He can and will make you right with him!
How? If you BELIEVE not just in anything, but in Christ and Christ alone!
Repent of your sins - explain
Choose by faith to follow Christ!
Review - God Has A Gift for You that is Perfectly Fitted for Your Greatest Need!
It’s a Gift that is Overflowing with Grace
It’s a Gift that Makes You Right with God
3. It’s a Gift that Empowers You to Reign Though Christ (vs. 17)
Romans 5:17 ESV
For 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.
Here is the other “If/Then” clause, again, showing something greater.
Again, Paul starts with Adam’s trespass, but this time he uses and interesting word. And that word is Reign!
Reign - a king. To reign, rule, be king
Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).
After Adam sinned, DEATH became KING!
Hebrews 2:14–15 ESV
Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
All hail King Death because all will bow down to this king one day!
But, you know, there is one that did bow down to death. In fact this One died, was buried, and then beat King Death by rising from the dead.
This ONE MAN ended death’s reign of tyranny!
How? The rest of this verse tells us...
Romans 5:17 ESV
For 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.
There is something more powerful than King Death!
This is why Paul says, “much more”.
There is someONE who is greater than King Death - JESUS CHRIST!
Death reigned THROUGH (conduit) Adam...
Life is THROUGH (conduit) Jesus!
How is this possible? Paul makes it very clear...
One must receive Jesus
Through the abundance of Grace and
The free gift of righteousness
What is the result? (This is the cool part!)
They will reign in LIFE!
1 Peter 2:9 ESV
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Revelation 1:6 ESV
and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
John 1:12 ESV
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
Listen to John Stott...
The Message of Romans b. Adam and Christ Are Contrasted (15–17)

Formerly death was our king, and we were slaves under its totalitarian tyranny. What Christ has done for us is not just to exchange death’s kingdom for the much more gentle kingdom of life, while leaving us in the position of subjects. Instead, he delivers us from the rule of death so radically as to enable us to change places with it and rule over it, or reign in life. We become kings, sharing the kingship of Christ, with even death under our feet now, and one day to be destroyed.

Now, let’s think about this for a minute. It makes sense for Paul to say that Jesus reigns. But that is not what he says here - you, christian, need to let this one sink in!
Paul says that YOU will REIGN in LIFE!
What does this mean?
It means that though sin once was king in your life, but having turned from death unto life, God made all things new for you.
You were once lost, but now you are found.
2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
All things are new because you have new life in Christ. You have been born again!!
And a result of this beautiful new life is that you will forever reign with Christ!!
Revelation 5:10 ESV
and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”
Revelation 20:4–6 ESV
Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.
You will rule and reign with Jesus if you are in Christ.
Yes, this promise is for all who believe.

In the one case people are dying victims under a ruthless ruler; in the other they themselves become the rulers (cf. Rev. 1:6) whose kingdom is one of life!

God doesn’t just save us from eternal hell, but He adopts us into His family and He calls us to REIGN with HIM!
Paul says that believers WILL REIGN (future tense) in LIFE.
Imagine in your mind that person in your life that is mousy, dull, boring, not very sharp and sophisticated. Got them pictured in your mind? First of all, shame on you for being so judgmental (haha)
That person, as unimpressive as they are now will be royalty in Heaven!
C.S. Lewis understood this. In his book, The weight of Glory, he says...
There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. - C.S. Lewis
I was thinking about this point a lot as I prepared and I wondered, how can we apply this amazing truth to our lives today. I mean, we are not in heaven ruling yet.
Here are some thoughts for application.
Be confident in who you are and will be in Christ!
In light of this confidence, be bold in proclaiming the gospel to others
When fear begins to well up in your heart, remember this promise - You WILL RIEGN in LIFE through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Review - God Has A Gift for You that is Perfectly Fitted for Your Greatest Need!
It’s a Gift that is Overflowing with Grace
It’s a Gift that Makes You Right with God
It’s a Gift that Empowers You to Reign Though Christ
You - Okay, why do you think Paul takes the time to describe this free gift and its benefits? He does this for you for two distinct reasons.
If you are not a Christian, you need this free gift! Why?
Because you are lost and are facing the wrath of God.
Because without this free gift of righteousness, you will be cast into the Lake that burns with fire.
Because with this gift, your name will be written in the Lamb’s (aka Jesus’) Book of Life with indelible ink!
Won’t you repent and choose Christ today?
“We first have to acknowledge that there’s something to admit—that you and I have sinned against God and could never make up for our wrongdoing.
Second, we must believe that Jesus has taken on the penalty for our sins and conquered death once and for all.
Finally, we must consider the implications of placing our faith in God.
Admitting and believing has to be followed by obedience and repentance.
The rest of our days will be spent turning away from sin and towards God, by the help of His Spirit (John 14:15–17). This is a transformation that touches every facet of life.” TFL
If you are a Christian, you need this free gift! Why?
Because it reminds you of the amazing Grace of God and what He did to purchase your salvation!
Because it reminds you that you have a right standing before God so you ought to act accordingly.
Because it emboldens you to face trials and persecution because your future royal position.
We - Why do you think Paul is sharing this information with the CHURCH at Rome - The group of believing Christ followers?
Because it is fuel for worship!
Because the mission of the church is to reach out into our circles of influence with this amazing message!
We have the privilege of offering this beautiful gift that is perfectly sized for all who choose to put it on.
Church - we must reach out into our individual circles. Are you? I will tell you this, we as a church are going to chase after this goal!!
God is the perfect gift giver. He knew just what you needed and he had His Son deliver it to you personally.
It’s shocking and profoundly sad to me to think that so many continue to refuse to accept this beautiful free gift given by a God we offended over and over again.
This gift was not free!
Yet he, even now is offering this gift to whosoever will receive it.
If you haven’t received God precision gift, will you today?
What I found our years ago is this gift from God is a gift I not only want, but desperately need.
Connection Group Reflection Questions
1. What do these verses teach me about our character?
2. What do these verses teach me about God and his character?
3. Because these words are from God, they are TRUTH! What truth is he asking me to believe?
4. What do I need to do to obey him?
5. With whom can I share these truths?
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