We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. Paul has been explaining to us, the reign of death that has taken the earth because of Adam’s sin.
Now he wants us to understand what Christ has done to overcome this.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
This is an amazing passage of Scripture. However, if we’re going to fully understand it, we need to know a little Greek.
The reason for this, is that there are two different Greek words for gift used in this section. They are charisma and dorema. While they both mean a gift or a present, they have slightly different uses.
The word, dorema, is a gift that I give you with no strings attached. It’s given free and clear. Charisma, on the other hand, is a gift that the giver retains the right to tell you how you’ll use it.
For example, if I give you a fifty dollar bill for your birthday, that’s a dorema. You can do whatever you want with it. If I give you a fifty dollar gift card to Starbucks, that a charisma, because you can only use it where I want you to use it.
Usually in Scripture, when someone gives an offering, it’s dorema because we’re giving with no strings attached. But, when talking about the gifts of God, it’s usually charisma because God is very clear how He wants us to operate in these giftings.
So, this passage is saying that the gift God gives (charisma) is not like what happened because of Adams sin. Now through Christ we can receive God’s grace. It also literally says that the gift (dorema) that overflows to many people is in the grace.
The way the original Greek puts it in the second half is that the one sin gave us the gift (dorema) of judgment. But now, after many sins have been done on the earth, Christ came, and through His obedience, brings us the gift (charisma) of spiritual life.
This is a wonderful truth. Death and judgment was given to the entire world through Adam. But now, as a result of the cross, we can receive everlasting life through the Lord Jesus Christ.
This opens the door to a whole new way for us to live.
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
This is Good News! When I come to Christ I receive God’s grace and the gift (dorema) of righteousness with no strings attached. This gives me a new outlook on life.
Formerly death reigned over everything because of sin. Now, because I’m in Christ, I can reign in life. I don’t have to walk in fear of anything that’s happening around me. I can walk in the authority of Christ as I submit to Him.
Too many believers walk around with bad attitudes. You would think that serving God was the hardest thing they could ever imagine. Their faces usually reflect fear and frustration. That’s not how the Lord wants us to live.
We have to realize that Christ places us over all the situations in our lives. We may not know exactly how things will turn out, but we know that it will be for our best and for God’s glory. What more could we ask for?
Question: How have you experienced the grace of God at work in you?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi