by Franklin Kirksey
Much more is the theme of Romans chapter 5. Please note the phrase “much more.” Dr. Woodrow Kroll, Senior Bible Teacher for the international media ministry Back to the Bible, Lincoln, Nebraska, comments, “The comparative of choice for the apostle Paul was the Greek poll? mallon, meaning ‘much more’ or ‘all the more.’ It was a favorite of Paul’s when he wanted to show that one thing was much greater than another. Paul uses this comparative expression not less than five times in Romans 5 (vv. 9, 10, 15, 17, 20). He also used it twice in Romans 11, comparing God’s benefits to the Jews and the Gentile nations (vv. 12, 24). Paul uses it elsewhere frequently in his epistles: see 1 Cor. 6:3; 12:22; 2 Cor. 3:9, 11; 8:22; Phil. 1:14; 2:12; Philem. 1:16.”
From Romans 5:1-21 we read, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We will highlight five instances of “much more”using the acrostic S-A-V-E-D.
I. First, we find the “much more” of Salvation.
From Romans 5:9 we read, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.”
Dr. William Reed Newell (1868-1956) comments, “God has done the harder thing: He will do the easier thing. He has had Christ die for us while we were ‘yet sinners’; ‘much more’ will He see that we, being now believers and accounted righteous in view of Christ’s blood, shall be saved from the coming wrath through Him (Christ). Notice that shed blood is the justifying ground, the procuring cause, of our being accounted righteous; and that instead of our being uncertain of preservation from the wrath which is coming at the Last Judgment, the fact that Christ died for us while were still sinners should give us a constant state of calm security!”
Paul reminds us that we “Were by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3) and Jesus declares in John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” Paul also writes to believers in 1Thessalonians 1:9-10 and 5:8-10, “For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. . . . But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”
May we sing with Augustus M. Toplady, 1740-1778, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, / let me hide myself in thee; / let the water and the blood, / from thy wounded side which flowed, / be of sin the double cure; / save from wrath and make me pure.”
II. Second, we find the “much more” of Assurance.
From Romans 5:10-14 we read, “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”
Dr. Woodrow Kroll comments on Romans 5:10, “He [Jesus Christ] was the epitome of kindness, gentleness, and goodness. He was the most caring person who ever walked on the earth. But none of these fine qualities were required by God for our justification. So the life of Christ by which we are saved (‘we shall be saved by His life’) is not His earthly life but His heavenly life. Today Christ sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf (Heb. 7:25). He is our Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1). He is our Great High Priest, representing our interests before God. Whenever Satan accuses us or falsely represents us to our heavenly Father, Jesus is there to save us (Rev. 12:10). So the gift of atonement keeps on giving. Thus, having been justified by faith, we shall continue to be saved by His life.”
Jesus said in John 5:22-30, “For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”
Dr. John Phillips writes, “Eternal Security of the believer appears to be the topic of Romans 5.” May we truly be able to declare with Fanny Crosby (1820-1950), “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine”!
III. Third, we find the “much more” of Victory.
From Romans 5:15-16 we read, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.”
Peter writes in 1 Peter 3:18, “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” Jesus was a victor not a victim on the cross. When He cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30), it was a declaration of victory. His victory in our behalf is superabundant. This victory only becomes ours by faith. In his book titled Victory in Jesus: The Life You Are Called to Live, Rev. Gary P. Baird, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sayre, Oklahoma, cites Rev. Manley Beasley (1931-1990), who said, "A faith that is living is more than just trusting; it's doing what God says to do." Rev. Baird adds, "In order to live in victory you must not only believe, but act on what God has told you to do." Years ago I heard Rev. Beasley say, “Victory is having it said of you what is written of you in the Word of God.”
With Eugene Monroe Bartlett, Sr. (1885-1941), may we heartily sing, “Victory in Jesus”!
IV. Fourth, we find the “much more” of Ennoblement.
From Romans 5:17-19 we read, “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
While believers will rule and reign with Christ in eternity, we can also reign in life with Christ on earth. This speaks of our nobility bestowed by the King of kings and Lord of lords. The French aphorism, noblesse oblige, means, "Nobility obligates." Noblesse oblige implies those of noble birth should expect to follow certain behavior patterns befitting their position. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1b, “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.” Paul also writes in 2 Timothy 2:12, “This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, / We shall also live with Him. If we endure, / We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, / He also will deny us. If we are faithless, / He remains faithful; / He cannot deny Himself.”
May we sing with Harriet E. Buell (1834-1910), “I’m a child of the King, / A child of the King: / With Jesus my Savior, / I’m a child of the King.”
V. Fifth, we find the “much more” of Dominion.
From Romans 5:20-21 we read, “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Dr. Thomas Constable, Senior Professor Emeritus of Bible Exposition Dallas Theological Seminary, explains, “Verse 21 is the grand conclusion of the argument in this section (5:12-21). It brings together the main concepts of sin and death, and righteousness and life. Effectively Paul played down Adam and exalted Jesus Christ. Here Paul contrasted the dominions of Adam's act and Christ's act: sin reigning in death and grace reigning to eternal life.”
Dr. Douglas J. Moo, Kenneth T. Wessner Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College Graduate School, explains, "Paul often thinks in terms of 'spheres' or 'dominions,' and the language of 'reigning' is particularly well suited to this idea. Death has its own dominion: humanity as determined, and dominated, by Adam. And in this dominion, sin is in control. But those who 'receive the gift' (v. 17) enjoy a transfer from this domain to another, the domain of righteousness, in which grace reigns and where life is the eventual outcome."
From Genesis 1:26-28 we read, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’”
God gave man “dominion over . . . every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). He put man in charge of the animals.
We read in Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17, and 19-20, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. . . . Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’ . . . Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.”
From Genesis 3:17-19, “Then to Adam He said, ‘Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: ‘Cursed is the ground for your sake; / In toil you shall eat of it / All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, / And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread / Till you return to the ground, / For out of it you were taken; / For dust you are, / And to dust you shall return.”
Paul reminds us in Romans 5:12b, “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Dr. Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) used to say, “Sin fascinates, then it assassinates.” We might add that before a person becomes a believer, sin dominates their life. From Romans 6:1-14 we read, ‘What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For he who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.’”
As God gave Adam dominion over the animals, we should have dominion over sin, through the power of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul writes in Romans 8:1-2, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
May we sing in the words of the second stanza of the hymn by Helen H. Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”: “Through death into life everlasting / He passed, and we follow Him there; / O'er us sin no more hath dominion / For more than conqu'rors we are!”
Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) comments, “Mark well the expression ‘much more’, which occurs repeatedly in this great chapter. The work of Christ did more than restore what Adam lost. The fact is illustrated by the trespass offering required under the Mosaic law. It was mandatory that the trespass not only make good the actual loss he had inflicted on his victim but he must add a fifth to it by way of restitution. The injured party thus became a gainer. The work of Christ at Calvary has not only brought infinite glory to God but great gain to the believing sinner. It would have been possible for man to have remained a son of Adam only. Because of Calvary, however, we become the sons of God and enjoy a relationship to God far closer than that enjoyed by Adam.”
Rev. Elias Nason (1811-1887) shares, "The beautiful song 'More to follow,' of which he [Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876)] composed both the words and music, was founded on the following incident related by his friend D. L. Moody [1837-1899] in one of his stirring addresses:--
'A vast fortune was left in the hands of a minister for one of his poor parishioners. Fearing that it might be squandered if suddenly bestowed upon him, the wise minister sent him a little at a time with a note saying, 'This is thine; use it wisely: there is more to follow.’ Brethren, that's just the way the Lord deals with us.'
The idea is beautifully spiritualized in the words of the song: --
'Have you on the Lord believed?
Still there's more to follow.
Of his grace have you received?
Still there's more to follow.'
And the tune in sextuple time finely expresses the hope of the Christian for blessings to come."
When we think we have climbed the heights, plumbed the depths, and spanned the length and width of God’s great salvation, may we remember there is still so much more.
Woodrow Kroll, The Book of Romans: Righteousness in Christ, Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series, gen. eds. Mal Couch and Ed Hindson (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), p. 81
William R. Newell, Romans: Verse-by-Verse: A Classic Evangelical Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 173, Database © 2007 WORDsearch Corp.
Augustus M. Toplady, “Rock of Ages”, 1763
Woodrow Kroll, The Book of Romans: Righteousness in Christ, Twenty-First Century Biblical Commentary Series, gen. eds. Mal Couch and Ed Hindson (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2002), pp. 71-72
John Phillips, Exploring Romans (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969, 1981), p. 87
Gary P. Baird, Victory in Jesus: The Life You Are Called to Live (Bloomington, IN: Crossbooks, 2010), p. 32
Harriett E. Buell, “A Child of the King”, 1877
Dr. Thomas L. Constable, Dr. Constable’s Notes on Romans, 2012 Edition, p. 63, Available from: http://www.soniclight.com/constable/notes/pdf/romans.pdf Accessed: 08/20/12
Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans. New International Commentary on the New Testament series (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996), pp. 349-350
Helen H. Lemmel, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”, 1922, Available from: http://library.timelesstruths.org/music/Turn_Your_Eyes_upon_Jesus/ Accessed: 08/20/12
John Phillips, Exploring Romans (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1969, 1981), p. 93
Elias Nason, The American Evangelists, Dwight L. Moody and Ira D. Sankey: With an Account Their Work in England and America; And a Sketch of the Lives of P. P. Bliss and Dr. Eben Tourjée (Boston, MA: D. Lothrop & Co., 1877), pp. 272-273
By Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527
Author of Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice Available on Amazon.com and WORDsearchbible.com
(251) 626-6210 © May 5, 2013 All Rights Reserved