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23rd December 2023

The Greatest Gift

But the free Gift is not like the offence.

Romans 5:15

The Gift is not like the offence,” is one of my favourite phrases in all of Scripture. Let me explain why.

Note what Adam and Jesus share in common: both are men (v15), both are also representatives of humanity.

The fact that both Adam and the Lord Jesus shared humanity is simply the starting point of Paul’s argument. His real concern is a comparison of the ‘lesser’ to the ‘greater’; of how Jesus Christ is a far superior human figure to that of Adam.

Adam’s trespass brings sin, death, judgement and condemnation. God’s Gift of Jesus Christ brings justification, grace, righteousness and life. In other words, what Adam did, Jesus has not only undone, but has undone to excess! Jesus confronts and overcomes the negative results of Adam’s sin in every way due to the surpassing provision of God’s grace. This is why that little phrase ‘the Gift is not like the offence ’ is actually a wonderful way of pointing to the limitless self-giving love of God in Jesus Christ.

As we celebrate this Christmas, we are reminded of the astonishing fact of the incarnation, the Lord Jesus truly is one of us. But even more than this, these verses in Romans link the purpose of the incarnation to the saving and redeeming work of God. This is well captured in v 17. All ‘through Adam’ are under the reign of death. But, because of God’s outpouring of grace, all those ‘through Christ’ are set free to ‘reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ’.

Now that’s a thought worth reflecting on and rejoicing in this Christmas!

Bible Reading

Romans 5:15-17.


Father God, I thank You for the Gift of the Lord Jesus, the Friend of Sinners. Amen.



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