As we have seen time and time again, man is accounted a sinner because of his connection to his first father Adam.  The law was given by God that man’s sinfulness might become all the more evident.  While sin was certainly in the world from Adam to Moses, and there was a clear distinction between right and wrong, it became that much clearer after the law was issued to Israel.  Now no more excuses could be made by men, for they had God’s own written standard, which told them what He expected them to do, and those sins which He would forbid to us.  Moreover, He also issued the sternest warnings along with that law, that those who did not continue in all things written therein would come under His curse, and that He would avenge Himself on all rebels.  Men could certainly be identified and judged as sinners even before the law came.  But after the law came in, man’s sinfulness became all the more evident, and sin abounded, and was shown even to be even more malignant than it was possible to recognize beforehand.


But once again the apostle relieves us with a blessed contrast.  The offense abounded yet more after the giving of the law, but when Christ came, the grace of God was seen to abound yet more.  What the apostle intends to show here is that the abundance of grace is much greater even than the abundance of sin.  This is why we rejoice to tell sinners that, no matter how greatly they may have sinned, they have not sinned more than God is willing to forgive.  Where sin abounds, God’s grace superabounds.  The murderer, the thief, the adulterer, the sodomite, the blackest criminal out of hell, has not sinned so atrociously that God’s grace is unable to do anything to rescue him.  Even a blasphemer and persecutor of the people of God, as was the very author of this epistle, could obtain mercy, because of the grace of God which abounds through the righteousness, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.