“Today most people have very little awareness of their sin, which shows how desperate their condition has become. But perhaps you are one who, like John Bunyan, is very conscious of your sinfulness. You may consider yourself to have forfeited all hope of salvation by some sinful action that rises up before you like a great concrete dam against grace. I do not know what that transgression is. It may be some gross sexual sin or adultery. Or it may be a perversion.
Perhaps you have stolen from your employer or your parents or someone else who is close to you.
Have you destroyed somebody’s life work or reputation?
Perhaps you remember a time in your life when you were so tyrannized by sin that you lashed out against God with blasphemies. Perhaps you cursed God. Perhaps you called down damnation on yourself. When you think back on those days—and they may not be long in the past—you shudder and tremble. You are sure you have passed beyond all bounds of hope, that you are destined to be lost eternally.
If you are such a person—fortunate at least in your knowledge of your sinfulness—then this text is a great cry of hope for you: “Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” Where sin multiplied, grace overflowed! No dam erected by sin can hold back the abundant flow of God’s grace. Grace is never withheld because of sin—not Adam’s sin, not the sin of the people at Sinai, not Peter’s sin, not Paul’s sin, not John Bunyan’s sin—not your sin. Therefore, you may come to God through Jesus Christ. Right now. Regardless of what you have done, you can repent and find full forgiveness in Jesus.
Have you done that? If not, will you do it now? Paul said that even “God’s kindness leads you toward repentance” (Rom. 2:4).
Boice, J. M. (1991-). Romans, Volume 2: The Reign of Grace (621). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.