ROMANS 5:17: “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.)” NKJV
OBSERVATION: Am I reigning in life? Let me ask this another way. Am I winning in life or is life kicking my butt? Is my life marked by victory after victory, or by defeat after defeat? As a believer, do I win only in the end, or do I daily walk in victory?
As I ponder these questions I am challenged in my spirit. The verse is very clear. Something or someone will reign over my life. It will either be sin, self, and the devil, or it will be my Lord Jesus Christ. The wonderful truth of God’s Word is this – I have a choice!
The Greek word translated “reign” literally means – “to be king, to exercise kingly power, to reign,” (Thayer). The reality of life is we will all serve a king. If we walk after our father Adam, we will serve sin, brokenness, and defeat. If we walk after our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, we will walk in righteousness, wholeness, and victory.
Yet, this statement does not always match the reality of my life. I am a believer and yet my life is marked by trials and my own shortcomings. What is the disconnect?
It is my perspective!
If I focus on the immediate I will not walk in the truth and the assurance of my promised destination. The pioneers who settled the West in America, travelled months on the open prairies, in the hope of a better life. Some of them died during their journey, but others persevered. What kept them going? It was the promise of their final destination.
Paul begins this section of his epistle to Romans with these words.
- “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.” Romans 5:1-2 NKJV
Note the progression of Paul’s thought. Through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have been justified before God, and we now have peace with God and access into His grace. It is by grace through faith that we are saved and it is by grace through faith that we live each day. As we abide in His grace, we look forward to the hope of His calling – the glory of God!
It is our destination that defines us!
- “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV
Our destination is not simply heaven. It is the glory of God. It is being restored into the full image of God that He gave us when we were created. This image was tarnished and damaged by sin. However, it is being restored by His grace through the life of Jesus Christ reigning in us. This is the work of the Spirit of God. It takes place day by day, moment by moment, from one degree of glory to the next.
Like the great pioneers, who traveled in covered wagons to meet their new future in the West, so we travel in life to meet our glorious destination in Jesus Christ. It is this perspective that allows us to reign in life. We reign because He Reigns. There is nothing in life that can defeat us, that can keep us from 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.” Romans 5:3-5 NKJV
Every difficulty that we face in life produces patient endurance, as we hold onto the hope of His glory. This patient endurance produces a growing and deepening of godly character in our life. As we grow in godly character we also grow in hope. And, this hope is not an empty hope. Our hope is anchored in the abundant love of God, that is continually being poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who lives within us.
This is why the believer is called – more than a conqueror. The believer reigns in life through Jesus Christ, in the good times and the bad. In the good times he reigns through the abundance of God’s love and faithfulness. In the bad times he reigns through the power of God’s grace and promise. In both the believer is victorious because he is brought ever closer to his final destination – the glory of God!
- “So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:21 NKJV
- “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39 NKJV
Lord, this morning, I choose to reign in life through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I choose to glory in tribulation. I choose to stand in Your grace through faith. I choose to persevere toward Your high upward calling through Jesus Christ my Lord. I choose to be more than a conqueror through Him who loved me! I choose the hope of Your glory!
In Jesus Name!