Proverbs from Paul for the Spiritually Depressed – Part 4

“Where sin increased,
grace super-abounded.”

Romans 5:20

A propensity to sin is not a “weakness.”  When Paul said, “When I am weak, then I am strong,” he had in mind the physical limitations of life.  However, the same principle applies even to our sinfulness, but with more caution.  Given the deceitfulness of our heart, it may be tempting to justify our sin by pointing to a positive outcome–to even say with others, “Let us do evil that good may come.”  In response, Paul warned, “Their condemnation is just” (Romans 3:8).  Still, for the genuine believer, who has repented and looked in faith to Christ, past sin does often seem to limit the future.  Where is the hope here?

Consider Israel’s unfaithfulness.  Where their sin increased, God’s grace super-abounded (Romans 5:20).  Samson indeed fell to Delilah, but his humiliation led to a greater victory.  David indeed fell to adultery and murder, yet his next son by this same woman was nicknamed Jedidiah, meaning “Beloved-of-the-Lord.”  Even the murderous envy of the Jews brought about the wondrous redemption on the cross!  Sin cannot limit God.  He gives “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning,…that He may be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).

So who are you?  A blaspheming, persecuting, violent man?  So was Paul, yet Christ made him an example of His patience (1 Timothy 1:13, 16).  Are you a Gentile dog?  Instead of arguing against the point in some plea of self-esteem, admit it to God and glory in the fact that even dogs eat crumbs from the children’s table (Matthew 15:21-28).  Whatever your sin-liability is, do not minimize or deny it.  Turn it on its head and offer it to God as an opportunity for Him to display His great grace.  If you need discipline, let Him decide that.  Do not act as if you were your own father in punishing yourself.  If you are a Christian, God is your Father.  Leave the discipline to Him, and offer yourself up to Him again as a display of His grace.  May His grace super-abound wherever your sin has merely abounded!

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