Be His Representative
"For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!" (Romans 5:17, NIV)
Here’s another one of God’s exclamation point shout-outs! Do you need God’s power to reign in life? To dominate? As a student? Athlete? Sales person? Manager? Business owner? Mom? Homeschooler? Entrepreneur? Politician? Preacher? Christian? God wants us to reign in life as His representatives and He tells us how in Romans 5:17. This verse is rich and overflowing in goodness! Let’s look at it.
We will highlight four key phrases in this verse: those who receive, abundant grace, gift of righteousness, and reign in life. Let’s look at two phrases from Romans 5:17. Let's start at the bottom of the verse and work our way up.
Reign In Life: In this verse, the Holy Spirit is letting us know that it’s possible to reign in life. Literally, this means that as we live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, it’s possible to exercise a kingly dominion in our lives, to be the influence of our world and to live a life in control. This is in contrast to being dominated—living lives that are out of control, or living lives that are influenced by others or the circumstances around us. Can you imagine a life where you are in control of your emotions, choices and words, thereby influencing your experiences, success, wealth, lifestyle and witness for Christ? What does your life look like when you are reigning in faith and seeing God do supernatural, miraculous things in your world? The potential to reign in life is good news!
Those Who Receive: How do we reign in life? According to this verse, “reigning in life” is available to those who receive it! The way we receive this type of life is by receiving abundant grace and the gift of righteousness. Notice, the Lord didn't say the ability reign in life was for those who “achieve” it—it’s for those who “receive” grace and God’s gift of right standing. To “receive” is the opposite of striving, working for, earning or deserving. We don’t have to strive; we just need to receive what Jesus has done.
To “receive” is not a passive word. It is from the Greek word, “lambano” and according to numerous experts, it literally means: “to take with the hand, lay hold of, to take in order to carry away; to take what is one's own, to claim; to take to one's self, lay hold upon, take possession of, i.e. to appropriate to one's self; to take a thing due, to collect, gather; to receive what is offered; to receive what is given, to gain, get, obtain.”
To receive from God is very proactive. Notice those descriptive words for “receive” —to take, to claim, to get, obtain, lay hold upon and take possession. These are not kick back words; instead we are to take what God offers, not just wait. When the Lord tells us that those who receive abundant grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life—it gives us the idea that we are to take possession of these things by claiming them and taking them!
So, let’s review—those who receive an abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life. Do you want to reign in life? Get ready to receive, to claim and to take hold of God’s abundant grace and His free gift of right standing and watch your life enter a new orbit!
Say It: “Father, I thank You for the ability to reign in life. As I live under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, I believe You want me to reign in life in these areas: (name them). As Your representative, I want my life to be a testimony and reflection of Your goodness. I understand that as I receive—take, claim and appropriate Your grace and righteousness I can enter a whole new realm of reigning in life. (Also, Lord, I thank You in advance for revealing what it means to receive abundant grace and the gift of righteousness in tomorrow’s devo.) Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
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