May our hearts be transformed. May we let go of our false selves and embrace our true selves, made in the image and likeness of Christ.
18 Therefore just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification* leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1) "...justification and life for all;" "...the many will be made righteous;" "...where sin increased, grace abounded all the more;" "...grace might exercise dominion through justification;" "...eternal life;"
2) It just keeps getting better and better with Paul, at least in this passage. The comparison (weak) between Adam and Christ continues. I'm not sure how I feel about Eve being left out of Paul's argument entirely. I'm not sure if its a good thing that at least Eve isn't being blamed for leading us all to condemnation, or if I should be outraged that she's been entirely cut out of the story! Her absence makes it all the more clear that Paul is building an analogy (a weak analogy) that isn't meant to be taken literally. The point, is that all can be set into right relationship through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. One person can make an absolute difference for all. This bears some contemplation. The world is in pretty bad shape. North Korea wants to drop bombs on the USA and the 45th president of the USA is daring them. Political relations between east and west are not good. Violence is abundant, natural disasters are ravaging the planet and the poor and caught in the chaos in overwhelming numbers. Right now we are experiencing in Vancouver, BC the hottest weather on record and forest fires are so bad down then entire coast we are engulfed in smoke again... again... Can one man make a difference? Can the birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection of one person really make a difference? Paul's cosmos seemed no larger to him, that ours does to us: eternal is still eternal. Paul says, "justification and life for all." I don't go in for Paul's teleology (all those "so that's"). But when sin increases, so does the opportunity for grace to abound. We're ripe for some pretty amazing grace.
3) What is the invitation in all this? Contemplate "all," "many," "grace abounded all the more," and "eternal."
"Holy One, let your grace exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Breathprayer: "Sin increased... grace abounded."