April 18, 2018

Abounding Grace

Romans 5:20–21

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20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Abounding Grace

Bio | Robin Bruster

Hi, everyone! My name is Robin Bruster, and I am currently in the Fellowship program at Watermark. My amazing husband Travis and I moved to Dallas from Lubbock in the summer of 2017. Before beginning in the Fellowship, I worked as a licensed counselor. I love to travel and have been on 11 international mission trips to various parts of the world. My favorite place to vacation is to the great state of Alaska. I am always captivated by its beauty! Drop me a comment on today's devo letting me know your favorite place to travel.

Central Truth

God knew that broken people could never uphold His perfect commands. That's why He has poured out His grace. 

Devotional | Romans 5:20–21

The laws given to Moses in the Old Testament may seem foreign to us, but they served an essential purpose in helping the people of Israel be different from the nations around them. Today, we are free from the...

The laws given to Moses in the Old Testament may seem foreign to us, but they served an essential purpose in helping the people of Israel be different from the nations around them. Today, we are free from the laws of the Old Testament because of Jesus' sacrifice, but we are still called to love God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and to love others. However, just like the Israelites, our pride and self-serving nature keep us from pursuing the Lord. The two verses we are studying today teach us that God's laws reflect His holiness and our sinfulness, but God's grace redeems our offenses.

A couple of years ago, I was in the process of pursuing a PhD and was in the middle of writing my dissertation. I became consumed with pursuing this degree and was doing so at the expense of my health and my relationships. One night, I was telling my husband's family about my struggles in this area, and my father-in-law lovingly pointed out to me that this degree had become an idol. There was something about him pointing out my sin that was both painful but also very freeing. For the first time, I could see the situation clearly. I recognized that I was finding my worth in my accomplishments, and I was worshiping all the things I thought this degree would bring to me. After much prayer, I decided to leave the program and take a master's degree. God revealing my sin to me was the thing that allowed me to be free.

It is painful for us to see our own sin, but once we recognize it, we can start getting free from it. God does not intend to put commands on us to burden or shame us; quite the opposite is true. He has given us His commands so that we can experience His grace and live free of the things that actually keep us in bondage. Where sin shackles us, God's abounding grace gives us freedom!

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Discussion Questions

1. Some people believe that Christianity is about following a bunch of rules. How do today's verses challenge that?

2. Do you struggle with accepting God's grace? What keeps you from believing that His grace abounds in the middle of your failures?

3. What is something in your life that has become an idol? What steps do you need to take to get free from this idol?     

11 Comments available

greg jones 11 months ago

Great devotional today with a great example. Sometimes we become aware of a need to be saved from what we believe is saving us. Great wisdom in that example. Favorite places-usually the last one I returned from.

Jennifer Borgne 11 months ago

“When God provided Christ, He provided grace that far exceeded the sin that He exposed when He provided the law. The law showed the significance of Adam’s sin more clearly, and God’s provision of Christ showed the significance of His grace more clearly.”

How beautiful!

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

“…the sprinkled blood of Jesus speaks better than the blood of Able” Hebrews 12:24 That suggests the mercies in Jesus carry more weight than things that condemn us. Grace abounding.

It’s not that there are no rules as there is the spirit of the law and the royal commandment. It’s not that there is no place for discipline. One large difference is a change of heart desires. Another is a knowledge that ultimately you are walking in grace - a light yoke not a hard one. (but people walked in grace in the Old Testament as well, it just might have been less clear). Another difference is God is in no way passive and disciplines those who are His and empowers them to live.

Bud Griffith 11 months ago

Thank you for today’s devotional, Robin! Those verses and your story are exactly where I am and precisely what Jesus needed me to hear from Him today. I hope you are encouraged knowing God used you this AM in the life of a guy far from TX. Greetings from Philly and thank you! -Bud

Rachel Carmichael 11 months ago

Robin, can’t tell you how encouraging this was to read! Such an incredible reminder and truth I can so easily forget and have a hard time grasping. I so desire to trust God’s grace and sufficiency, that He has set me free. There are times this is difficult to remember and I want to do things myself. His grace covers even that! So thankful for such a loving Father who love unconditionally and has set us free for those who believe!

Michael Scaman 11 months ago

“law came in to increase the trespass” trespass is singular I think in the sense of mode clearly seen… there was no explicit law like Adam had a direct command for many people… not until Moses. The explicit command makes the trespass more serious and magnified in that sense.

Time for a song… heard this the first time yesterday Is He Worthy? Do you feel the world is broken? “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIahc83Kvp4

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago

P.S. My favorite place to travel is the Caribbean because of gorgeous blue water and WARMTH! (I hate the cold.) JTJ Sisters, join me on a women’s retreat at sea, a 4-day “Girls Just Wanna Have (Jesus) Fun” cruise from Galveston, July 19-23!

Suebohlin.com/cruise for more information!

Sue Bohlin 11 months ago
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Hi Robin, thank you for your honest transparency and instruction about dealing with idols.

When I read in today’s passage, “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” I was reminded of the marvelous word picture in Psalm 23:6, which basically says, “Your goodness and faithfulness [hesed] will chase after me to overtake me all the days of my life.” If that isn’t a vibrant picture of grace, I don’t know what is!

Hope Harris 11 months ago

GM friends, I like to travel to the Oregon Coast, Caribbean, anywhere near the ocean.

I came across this from David Guzik to shed some light on these verses: “The flaws in a precious stone abound when contrasted with a perfect stone, or when put against a contrasting backdrop. God’s perfect law exposes our flaws. The law makes sin abound because it draws many clear lines between right and wrong that my sinful heart.”

going on nine and half years into my faith I can say God’s word and the Holy Spirit have helped me understand that nature is sinful and my deep need for salvation.

Lindsey Driscoll 11 months ago

Robin, great words you share here “where sin shackles us, God’s grace brings freedom.” Q1- I met someone this weekend who wears a tzitzit, or a tasseld garment as directed in Numbers 15:37-40. The direction on Numbers says that you will be consecrated to God while wearing this garment. We see all through Romans how we are consecrated to God through the grace of Christ’s death. What a blessing that we are freed from the rules of the law, yet we can see all through scripture how we are to live in a way that brings abundant life.

Hugh Stephenson 11 months ago

What is sin? If you had asked me in 2012 I would have a very different answer than today. I knew the big ones but fudged on the “lesser” ones.

Porn? No then, yes now. Matthew 5:28, Epheisans 5:25 White lies? Sorry, there are only lies. Leviticus 19:11 Exaggeration? See white lies. Proverbs 12:22 Gluttony? is Blue Bell excluded? Phillipians 3:19 Anger and rage? Can we change the subject? Proverbs 29:11 Self righteousness? Matthew 7:1 Criticism and gossip? Ephesians 4:29

One of the first verses I was asked to memorize when I came to Watermark was 2 Tim 3:16. I resisted. I did not want that kind of authority to speak in my life so specifically. Providentially, God brought people into my life that helped me see how His Word was true and would be life giving to me. Now, God repeats verses in my head all day, (Psalm 119:105)

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