Now the law crept in so that the offence 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?Romans 5:20 – 6:1
Interesting verses. There are two challenges to our understanding of Paul in these words.
What does he mean? We will look at one now and the second one in the next Gem.
The law crept in so that the offence would increase.
What does it mean?
I have clipped some different translations to help you get the sense:
- And the law came in addition, to make wrongdoing worse; (BBE)
- The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. (CEV)
- All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. (MSG)
- God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. (NLT)
Paul will explain this more fully in Chapter 7 but at least we have a foretaste of it. You can see that Paul is building his argument deliberately. It is important to keep following Paul’s thought. He keeps developing it. We need to be vigilant in keeping the threads together.
It is important to note that Paul’s use of “offence” is unique to Romans. The word does not appear anywhere else.
Παράπτωμα paraptōma [par-ap’-to-ma] a side slip (lapse or deviation), (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass.
Paul seems to use it specifically for Adam’s transgression, fall, sin.
As long as you are thinking anyway, THINK BIG!Anon
If you attempt only things you know are possible with the resources you possess … you’ll receive the credit and God will have no part in it.Anon
Have you received a word that awaits your next step of faith?Ian Vail
Proceed, no matter how incredible it seems.Bob Gass