Now the law crept in so that the offense would increase. But where sin increased, grace increased even more, so that, just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What should we say, then? Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Rom 5:20 - 6:1
Now for the second one as promised.
#2) Where sin increased, grace increased all the more.
WHAT? Did I read that right? Leading Paul to add – What should we say then? Should we go on sinning so that Grace may increase?
But where there was much sin, there was much more grace: (BBE)
Yet where sin was powerful, God's kindness was even more powerful. (CEV)
But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. (MSG)
But as people sinned more and more, God's wonderful grace became more abundant. (NLT)
Wow, stop and think about that for a moment. Where sin increased grace increased even more. It is reminiscent of John: for we have received grace upon grace. We have received Grace instead of grace. We received grace and then to replace it we were given more grace. Wow how like God; as sin gets worse God pours out His grace to lead people to repentance. As we see the goodness of God poured out on the blackness of our sin He longs to woo us back to Him. (See Rom 2:4 again)
We are told that both sin and grace increase but we miss the subtlety and the majesty of the Greek text. Sin is said to increase [πλεονάζω - pleonazō] to increase, abound, be abundant
But we are told that grace increases more. Paul used a different word. Grace is said to abound more [ὑπερπερισσεύω - huperperisseuō] to super abound: - abound much more, exceedingly so.
Περισσεύω to superabound (in quantity or quality), to cause to abound or excel: - (make, more) abound, (have, have more) abundance, (be more) abundant, be the better, enough and to spare, exceed, excel, increase, remain (over and above).
AND MORE with the Greek preposition ὑπερ placed in front of it. ὑπέρ / huper - A primary preposition; “over”, above, beyond, superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications: - (+ exceeding abundantly) above, + very chiefest, concerning, exceeding (above, -ly), for, + very highly, more (than), of, over.
So in effect Paul is saying you think sin increases / abounds – well you ain’t seen nothing yet with grace. It is like the word for grace means it is super-super-abounding.
New English Bible: “Where sin was thus multiplied, grace immeasurably exceeded it.”
J.B Phillips translation: “Though sin is shown to be wide and deep, thank God his grace is wider and deeper still.”
This verse led Charles Wesley to write:
Oh for a thousand tongues to sing My Great Redeemer’s praise
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of his grace.
Yes sin brings death; but grace brings justification which results in eternal life. (5:21)
Then Paul says What should we say, then? Should we go on sinning so that grace may increase? Some would think if grace is so easily poured out then it doesn’t matter if we sin because God’s grace will come in superabundantly. Notice Paul introduces the idea with another rhetorical question.
Think about it. You don’t need me to spell it all out for you. Ponder it.
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
Admiral Hyman Rickover said, 'Learn from the mistakes of others; you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.'