Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 67
BUT GOD! (Where Sin Abounded) – Part 2
Rom. 5:20, Rom. 6:22, I Cor. 1:23, I Cor. 1:27
It’s good to see you all back, and I see you’ve got your coffee cups. We’ll get right back into where we left off in the last program, which is in Romans chapter 5. But first, we want to thank our television audience for all your cards and letters as well as your contributions. My, it just thrills our hearts. As I’ve said over and over through the years, our mail time is the best time of the day. So again, from the depths of our heart we thank you for everything.
We’re going to pick right up where we left off. What we are coming to is “But where sin abounds.” We’re laying the ground work for that – this whole subject of sin that Paul is dealing with in these early chapters of Romans, and what a cancer it has been on the whole human race. Sin, of course, is at the heart of all of humanities’ problems. And in our last program, we saw that sin wasn’t really delineated until God gave it by virtue of the Ten Commandments. That’s where we left off. So, verse 14 is where we ended up.
“Nevertheless death reigned (like a king) from Adam to Moses, (Absolutely, even though there was no specific written law, they had it in their conscience, remember.) even over them who had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” Now, all that says is the whole human race didn’t eat of the forbidden tree. That’s obvious. That was merely the step of disobedience that Adam took that plunged the whole human race into sin and every form of sin followed. All right, but Adam’s transgression was “the figure (or an example) of him that was to come.” Now, Paul is introducing us to the whole biblical concept, which is especially in Paul’s epistles, that sin came from one man, and the remedy from sin comes from another man, the man Christ Jesus. All right, now that’s what we’re going to see in the succeeding verses. But, here’s another but. This isn’t the one I started with, but they’re always the flipside.
“But not as the offence, (not like eating of the forbidden tree) so also is the free gift….” Now, in a way, they’re identical, and in a way they’re as separate as daylight and dark. The way that they are identical is that one man plunged the human race into sin and death, and one Man did something to overcome it. But on the other hand, we have to realize that even though Adam sent every human being into condemnation, Christ has accomplished everything that needs to be done to give salvation, but only those who come in by faith will benefit from it. So, it’s not an automatic universalism – I guess is the word – that the whole human race has been saved through the work of the cross. It is only when they believe it. All right, now let’s just read on, verse 15.
“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one (Adam) many be dead, much more the Grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, (the God man) Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.” So, there is no excuse for a single human being to miss salvation. There is not any lack in what God has done to bring the whole human race to salvation.
In fact, let’s just look at what it says in other portions. II Corinthians chapter 5, because there are those who speak that the work of the cross was only for the believer. Well, that’s not what my Bible says. I don’t like to pick an argument with people, but I do have to point out where I disagree. No, the work of the cross wasn’t limited to the believer. It accomplished everything that needed to be done for every last human being. All right, II Corinthians chapter 5, jump in at verse 14.
II Corinthians 5:14-15
“For the love of Christ constraineth us; (drives us) because we thus judge, (or conclude) that if one died for (How many?) all (not just a few) then were all dead: (Dead spiritually. Well, that’s obvious. But, He did die for every last human being.) 15. And that he died for all, that they which live (as a result of their faith) should not henceforth live unto themselves, (Because they’re no longer under the old sin nature.) but unto him who died for them, and rose again.” So, here’s the whole biblical concept that the work of the cross was sufficient for every human being that ever lived – none excepted. So many come back and water it down and say it was only for those who became believers.
All right, back to Romans chapter 5, remember where we’re heading. We’re heading to that place where we get that profound statement that “where sin abounds, God’s Grace does more abound.” But we’re not there yet. We’re still building up to it, now verse 16.
“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift:…” Now, that sounds like doubletalk, but what Paul is saying is that as one plunged the human race into death, One gave the offer of salvation as a free gift. Like I said a moment ago, in one respect they are alike, and on the other respect they’re as different as daylight and dark. All right, now read on.
“…for the judgment was by one to condemnation, (Adam, when he sinned, the whole human race went down the tube with him.) but (Here’s a flipside.) the free gift is of many offences (or many sins, but it’s going to lead) to (What?) justification.” Totally acquitted. Made as if we had never sinned. That’s what God does.
“For if by one man’s offence (The act of disobedience when he ate the fruit.) death reigned (And again I’m going to put it in – like a king.) by one;…” Who’s the one? Adam. Because of Adam’s fall, the whole human race came under the subjection and the rule of sin and death. All right, reading on.
“…much more they who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign (Again like a king, but not in death, now what?) in life (Now the believer can have life ruling and reigning like a king, and it was all brought about how?) by one, Jesus Christ.) (Now, here we come – verse 18.) Therefore as by the offence of one (the fall of Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation;…” Every human being is going to an eternal doom unless they accept God’s Plan of Salvation.
“…even so by the righteousness of one (Now we’re talking about Christ.) the free gift (without merit – without cost) came upon (How many?) all men (None excepted.) unto justification of life.” Now, I wasn’t going to do this, but it was just coming to mind and you know by now, that when I feel the Spirit leads, we’ve got to go chase it down. Go back with me to John’s Gospel chapter 1, and drop in at verse 9 where we’re talking about John the Baptist, first, but that he was merely the forerunner of Jesus the Christ, who we’re talking about in verse 9. Not John the Baptist, but Christ.
“That (Christ) was the true Light, which lighteth (Some of the people? No. How many?) every man that cometh into the world. (Beginning with Cain and Abel and all the way down through human history) 10. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, (He’s the Creator of it.) and the world knew him not.” They rejected him.
All right, now let’s go to another verse that Paul uses. Go all the way back to Titus. We’ve done this before, but I think it’s quite a while ago. Titus chapter 2 verse 11, now this, of course, is Paul writing from his period of time, after 60 AD.
“For the grace of God, (This message that Christ had now paid the sin debt for every human being.) that bringeth salvation hath appeared to (How many?) all men.” Now, I can’t tell you how that happened. I cannot even begin, no more than I can John 1:9.
How can I explain that Christ as the Light of the world appeared to every human being someway or another? I can’t explain it. But that’s what the Book says. And Paul comes back now and says basically the same thing that, “this saving grace has already appeared unto all men.” Well, if it had appeared in Paul’s day, then I have to sit here and say, it includes us today. There is not a human being slipping out into eternity, even today, who will have an excuse, which brings up the next verse, doesn’t it?
Romans chapter 1, now, these are thought provoking concepts. I know they are. And I certainly do not have all the answers. All I can show is what the Book says. Romans chapter 1, verse 20 and this, again, goes back to what we saw in Romans 5, that from Adam to Moses, even though they didn’t have the Mosaic Law, they were responsible. God had given them conscience. Now look what Romans 1:20 says.
“For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world (That is from Adam.) are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, (or the things of creation) even his eternal power and Godhead; (Who He is) so that (What?) they are without excuse:”
In other words, lost people are going to come up before the Great White Throne and they will not have one word of excuse. They’re going to stand there condemned and guilty and with a closed mouth, because they know they’re guilty. Well, I guess the Lord did say, “And they’ll say in that day, but didn’t we do this and didn’t we do that,” but basically, they won’t have a word to say, because God has offered salvation as a free gift to the whole human race, none excepted.
Now, I wish I could explain how that all comes about, but I can’t. But God is Sovereign. He’s in total control, and we have to take it on the basis of His Word. All right, back again to Romans chapter 5, if you will. Verse 18 again, I don’t think we can repeat this too much, because even the Scripture itself keeps repeating and repeating. Well, there’s a purpose.
“Therefore as by the offence of one (Adam’s fall) judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (the work of the cross, the power of His resurrection) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (In other words, like I’ve already said, it is total acquittal.) 19. For as by one man’s disobedience many (or all) were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Don’t miss the language. The disobedience of Adam is more than compensated for by the obedience of Christ. Not all. But many. Now verse 20. We’re getting close to my beginning.
“Moreover the law entered,…” Now, like we said in the first half hour today. 2,500 years after Adam the Law comes in, the Ten Commandments written on tables of stone.
“Moreover the law entered, that the offence (or that sin) might abound.” Not that the Law made people sin more, but the Law made the human race aware of what’s right and wrong. Now, I think I made the comment in our last taping several weeks ago, when I didn’t have a voice. You remember that, don’t you? And how did I put it? Our kids today do not know the difference between right and wrong.
I had a letter from some teenagers, clear up in Washington State. And it was a dilemma. Their friends did not see anything wrong with things that are biblically wrong. And they were church people. So, what’s the problem? They’re ignorant of the Word of God. They are ignorant of what’s right and wrong. It is all the way to the top of our corporations. Why all the corruption in high places? They don’t really see that there’s that much wrong with it any more. If you can get away with it, power to you. Buy another yacht, that’s all. But listen, the Law entered to show the human race what is right and what’s wrong. I think I made the comment on a program years ago, that if the human race could keep the Ten Commandments, we could send all our lawyers home. We could close the courtrooms. There would be no lawbreaking whatsoever.
Why? Because the Ten Commandments so completely covered every facet of the human experience. You know that. There is nothing in the human experience that the Ten Commandments don’t deal with. But see, we’ve shut them out, and, consequently, there is no conscience of right and wrong. But that was the purpose of them. All right, so that’s why the Law came, to show men what’s right and wrong. Now then, reading on, here we come.
“But (In spite of the horrific slide of the human race into gross sin, immorality, corruption, theft, and murder, and while the Law condemns every bit of it, it’s not hopeless. Why?) where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Now, do you know what that means? There is not a sinner on this world so vile but that if he will come in simple faith, believing, God’s grace is sufficient to save him.
I debated, as I lay awake a little bit last night, whether I should use this or not, but I think I’m safe, because I think all of us are aware. There is one name in human history that stands above every other name as the epitome of evil and wickedness. Who is it? Hitler. He was the epitome of wickedness and of sinfulness. But, now here’s my point. Had that man, in his bunker, as everything was falling in around him, had that man in contrite faith, come to accept God’s offer of salvation, would God have saved him? Absolutely! And that’s what this verse is showing, that “where sin abounded,” even in the life of a man like Adolf Hitler, God’s grace would have been sufficient to save him. Now, that should stick with you for a while, shouldn’t it? We look at humanity today and we think, oh, there’s no hope. Yes, there is. There’s hope for the vilest sinner.
We’ve had some in our ministry. I don’t even like to share them on the program, but, oh, how they’ll come out of the dregs of sin and become a useful citizen. That’s what God’s saving grace can do. All right, “Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Why? Because Christ’s work of the cross is so much more powerful than the condemnation laid on Adam. No matter how far someone goes into the Adamic curse, or into the Adamic life of sin, God’s work of redemption is still greater.
Now then, for you and I who have not gone to the depths of that and we have been saved by God’s grace, is there any reason for us to doubt. Absolutely none. Because if God can save the worst of sinners, then it’s a settled fact He’s saved us who didn’t go that deep. So, always remember that where sin abounds, the grace of God is always greater. All right, now verse 21.
“That as sin (that old Adamic force to go disobedient to the things of God) hath reigned (like a king) unto death, (physical, as well as spiritual) even so might grace reign (as king) through righteousness unto eternal life (But, there’s only one way.) by Jesus Christ our Lord.” And that’s the only answer to mankind’s dilemma. It is to put faith in that finished work of the cross.
I can’t comprehend why people oppose my line of teaching. I can’t understand it. I suppose the next guy thinks the same thing of what he’s teaching. But I make it so simple that when Christ finished the work of the cross, everything that God could demand of a human being was consummated there, and all we have to do is take it as a free gift. Why do people rebel at that? And they do. Oh, they don’t like it. And I can’t comprehend it. Now, if I was way out there with some kooky – now, you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that, then I could say, well, they can’t comprehend it. But I’m just laying it out here so simple that Christ offered salvation as a free gift because of that death, burial, and resurrection. Why do they hate it so? I can’t comprehend it. I just can’t help saying it over and over.
All right, but now we’ve got to go a little further on this. When the grace of God is abounding on the human race, in spite of their sin, Paul asks a logical question in chapter 6 verse 1.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in (Or, shall we continue to practice) sin, that grace may abound? (And what’s his answer?) 2. God forbid.” Banish the thought! Don’t even think such a thing that the grace of God is license. You’ve heard me say it on the program over all the years, grace is not license! Grace is not license. Grace doesn’t say, well, don’t worry about it, go ahead and do what you want to do, because God’s grace is going to be greater.
No, that’s not what we mean. We mean that when it comes to that point of salvation, yes, God’s grace is greater than anyone’s sin. But when we’re brought up out of that cesspool of sin, God does not expect us to continue a life of sin with the excuse that His grace will bring us out of it again and again and again. No, that’s not the teaching of Scripture.
All right, so when we come out of that cesspool–verse 2 reading on.
“How shall we that are dead to (that life of) sin, (that old Adamic nature) live any longer therein?” Well, that’s a logical question, isn’t it? If you’ve once come out of a horrendous background, should there be any desire to go back to it periodically? Heavens, no! That should be something totally behind us.
I think we can almost – well, I’m not going to. We’re too close to the end of this lesson, so we won’t cover verse 3 right now. All right, jump on over to, still in chapter 6, let’s go to verse 5, because my next one is going to be down in verse 17 for the next program. But for now, to finish this minute that’s left, let’s continue on as the person who has been saved out of a cesspool of sin, where God’s grace abounded. Now then, Paul is explaining how it all took place.
“For if we have been planted (In other words, in the likeness of His death and His burial and His resurrection) together in the likeness of his death, we (as believers) shall also be in the likeness of his resurrection:”
Okay, now I’ve got time, I think, for one more verse. Find it quickly, Philippians chapter 3. Drop down quickly to verses 20 and 21. This all becomes a reality, now, because of our believing the Gospel of salvation.
“For our citizenship is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: (Now, here it comes.) 21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things unto himself.”