Amazing Grace: Where Sin Abounds, Grace Superabounds – Paul Says So!

The following is a transcript of a sermon given by  my uncle Santo Calarco at his church yesterday, who has been a minister of religion since 1981.  I feel privelidged that he has given me permission  to publish his article as it is his desire to share  his knowledge  with the  hope those who read it will receive some blessing from it. 

Where sin abounds grace superabounds: Paul says so!

 In Romans 5:20 Paul makes a radical statement that has been the thorn in the side for many believers throughout the centuries.  It basically sounds like Paul is creating a license for sin.  He says, “The law was added so that trespass might increase.  But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” 

 Although Paul has made it clear that grace is no license for sin (Romans 3:8) Paul is still maintaining that man’s sin cannot outstrip the grace of God.  Paul uses two important words in this verse that makes Paul’s intent clear.  He uses the word “increased” in reference to both sin and grace: where sin “increased” graced “increased” also.

 However the difference between the “increase” is not proportionate: where sin increased grace increased all the more!  How much more is the question: a little more, a lot more?  

 The Greek word for “increased” with reference to sin is not the same Greek word in regards to grace.  When Paul refers to sin increasing he uses the Greek word pleonazo and when referring to grace he uses huperperisseuo.

 According to Strongs Concordance the former means “abound” but the latter means “to abound beyond measure, to abound exceedingly, to exceed a fixed number of measure.”   In other words Paul is telling us that as sin increases grace increases disproportionately to cover that sin.  What amazing grace. Look at the way the Amplified Bible has dealt with the original language:

20But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]. But where sin increased and abounded, grace (God’s unmerited favor) has surpassed it and increased the more and superabounded.

This is the gospel of God’s amazing grace according to Paul and admittedly it can seem to sound like license for sin.  Let me say this categorically and in no uncertain terms: unless the gospel we hear doesn’t “sound” like a license for sin then we have not heard the gospel of Paul.

 How do I know that?  In the very next verses Paul says, “shall we go on sinning that grace may increase”?  Although he is quick to qualify what he is saying Paul knows for certain that his message seems to sound like that very thing!

 As we read this verse we need to remember that Romans 5:20 is the climax of the message of the entire fifth chapter and needs to be understood within that setting.  Paul commences in verse 1 by telling us that since we are justified by faith we have peace with God. This is a summary statement of everything he just said in the book as a whole.  This verse also sets the scene for what follows in the chapter which climaxes in radical statement in verse 20.  In Romans 1-4 Paul has carefully set out to define what Justification by faith is.

 He tells us that to be justified means to be “declared righteous” not made righteous – in spite of all our failed attempts to keep God’s law. The word translated “declared righteous” in the NIV of Romans 3:20 is the exact same word as “justified” in Romans 5:1.

 To be justified by faith is not an ethical quality but a legal, relational standing one has with God through faith in the blood of Jesus. It has nothing to do with how righteous I become in regards my behaviour here on earth. To be justified means that God freely declares us righteous by faith in Jesus and then credits to our account all the good works of Jesus and credits all our sin to Jesus himself.

  See Romans 4:1-6.  It not only means “just-as-if-I-never-sinned” but it also means “just-as-if-I-had-only-ever-been-righteous”.  Although forgiveness of sins is included in justification (Rom 4:7) it goes beyond it: it also means acquittal which means we never committed any sins that need forgiveness. 

 The Revised Standard Version of Romans 5:18 translates the same root word as “acquittal” compared with “justification” in the NIV.   Forgiveness means we have committed wrongs but acquittal means we never have! 

 Because of all this Paul concludes that the believer has peace with God. Rom 5:1.  And just in case we still don’t get it, Paul continues to labour the point in chapter 5 by listing even more results that accompany this blessing. 

 Through a series of contrasts he speaks of the peace that comes through justification.  The key phrase in this chapter is “how much more” and climaxes with his radical statement in verse 20. 

 Paul tells us that we not only have peace with God as a result of justification but we also have a number of other things: continuing standing in the grace of God (v.2), hope for the future coming of Jesus (v.2) and meaning and purpose in trials (vv.3-4). 

 This hope that grows out of justification is grounded in the very love of God which has already been poured out into our hearts. Romans 5:5.   It is at this point that Paul commences his series of comparisons; his “how much more” statements. 

 He reasons that if God has already poured this love into our hearts through the experience of justification by faith (which has resulted in peace) and since God demonstrated this love to us through the death of Jesus whilst we were still lost sinners, then how much more certain can we be now in our standing with God: if he loved us and Jesus died for us when we were lost sinners then how much more now can we have peace knowing that we will escape his wrath? 

 Read verses 5-9 in one sitting carefully to notice the contrast.   He continues with the next contrast and says that if God made peace and reconciled the lost world to himself through the death of his Son then how much more should we rest peacefully secure since we will [not “may”] be saved through faith in Jesus life? Romans 5:10. 

 He goes onto say that if through Adam’s one sin we were all wrecked then how much more peacefully safe are we now in God’s grace that overflows to undo and compensate? Romans 5:15.  Then Paul finally arrives at his radical statement on the grace of God.  He says that if the introduction of the law worsened our situation by increasing sin then how much more at peace can we be, knowing that our standing with God is never jeopardized since God’s grace superabounds our sin? 

 What amazing grace! We cannot out-sin the grace of God:  this is the essence of the good news of the Gospel.  We can rest assured of the peace we have for it is grounded in the marvellous and boundless grace of God demonstrated through the doing and dying of Jesus.

————————————————————————————————————————————————Author Bio:

 Santo Calarco has been a Minister of Religion since 1981. He has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts, receiving awards for academic excellence and is currently completing his Masters Degree.

 Santo has written articles which have been published in “Ministry Magazine-International Journal for Clergy” and “South Pacific Record”. During the course of his ministry Santo has received professional training in Management by Objectives, Conflict Resolution, Group Facilitating, Communication Skills and Pastoral Counselling.

Santo has completed post-graduate professional training as a Therapist and is registered with the REBT Institute in New York and Australia. Santo is currently a Life Coach and Strategist, Lecturer, Motivational Speaker and businessman. He has spoken to crowds of up to 5000 all around the globe.

Santo’s greatest qualification he says is his life experience.

“My life was a shambles. It was riddled with anger, hostility and depression for 20 years! I tried so many forms of therapy and self-help for so long with little or no success. I had nearly given up hope until I began to study various forms of Cognitive-behavioural Psychology. This was the catalyst that began my journey and transformation. From my research I developed a specialised approach to self-empowerment. I am a strong believer in helping people help themselves and others. As a result, not only have I radically and rapidly changed, but I have also witnessed the transformation of many lives. The greatest thrill I get is when people contact me and say thanks for the massive, enduring transformation they received at my workshops.”

Through Focus For Life Seminars and Workshops you will learn how to use the simple, proven strategies of “CET” to develop long-term control, empowerment and transformation of your life.

For more information or to contact Santo please go to: www.focusforlife.com

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Attracting Mr Right

One of the most frequent questions I get asked a great deal by women is ” why do I seem to attract the wrong kind of guy? And why can’t I attract Mr Right?”.

The Law of Attraction is always at work in our lives and when you have just come out of a bad or unhealthy relationship, you will need to ask yourself ” How have I attracted this into my life”?

For the person you are with at this moment, YOU have attracted into your life – be it Mr Wonderful or Loser!
Be certain that The Law Of Attraction is a Law that is impartial and it works whether or not you believe it is there. Belief has nothing to do with it.

One of the common denominators that the women who seem to keep attracting the wrong guy is that they all have a lack of self respect, self-confidence and poor self-esteem.

When a woman does not see her self as worthy, beautiful, attractive, confident, then she begins to ‘take what she can get’ so to speak. And I’ve seen this a lot. Some women will say quite often that “he made me feel this way, he made me feel ugly, he made me feel stupid, worthless, unattractive and so on”.
However, when someone makes you feel less than you are it is YOU who is giving your personal power away. No one can make you feel anything that you do not want them to. It is a choice. You can ALLOW someone to make you feel inadequate. You ALLOW someone to make you feel less than beautiful, intelligent and worthy.

The Law of Attraction is responding to your thoughts- what you think. This doesn’t mean that you are deliberately sending out messages that you deserve to be treated unfairly or poorly in your realtionship, however somewhere on a deeper level, you do not feel you worthy and hence you just get whatever lands in your lap.
The Law of Attraction will send you whatever you feel you are worthy of. Change the way you see yourself, respect who you are, nurture and take care of you body for YOU. Value the beautiful person that you are and most importantly LOVE yourself first.

Then notice that when you have made those inner changes within your own thinking the universe will send you the perfect match!

How To Consciously Choose The Life Of Your Dreams

Everything in life is a choice and your spiritual growth depends entirely on the choices you make and the spirituality information that you immerse yourself in. The key to creating the life of your dreams is to begin the process of understanding how important it is to be conscious and aware of the choices you are making and whether those choices are serving you or not.

Relativity tells us that you can’t know something as an experience until you first come to know its opposite. That is the purpose of the theory of relativity and all physical life.

That is why we have this other beautiful, magnificent and glorious ability in our lives called choice. We get to choose whatever it is that we desire. We can say “the devil made me do it” all we want, but the ultimate reality is that we make a choice about every decision we make in our lives.

Now comes the important question. Are you making your choices consciously or unconsciously? Really think about that one. Remember we are thinking up the life of your dreams here.

Are you thinking consciously or unconsciously? Think about that, consciously.

Right now you are reading this article. You are fully in the present moment. Your mind is engaged. Your brain is processing the data. You are in a conscious endeavor to improve your life. Right now you are thinking consciously, but what happens when you stop reading this article? Are you going to go over and turn on the idiot box and watch the next generation of a “reality show?” Are you going to mindlessly subject yourself to the commercials that tell you to go out and buy the next best version of the useless material possessions that already fill your cupboards and closets and your life?

Is that what you call conscious living? Does that serve you? I’m not making judgments here; I am just making observations. It is entirely your choice as to what you fill your days and nights with. I just want you think about what you are thinking about because that is the only way that you can begin to think consciously.

If we are saying that life is a process, and we are, then we want to be awake and aware of that process. You can only do that if you are conscious that life is a process and then consciously aware about how the process works.

That’s why you are reading this article. To understand the true nature of how things work. This is a conscious endeavor, which takes some concerted effort, but the rewards and riches that await you are worth the undertaking.

We are not thinking about short-term gratification. We are going for the long haul, the big picture, the effortless life that awaits us when we wake up to this clarion call to consciously view life as a process.

Telling ourselves that “the devil made me do it” isn’t going to cut it anymore. You can only use that excuse when you are living unconsciously. Remember we are changing the way we are thinking and thinking different thoughts. Thank you Albert Einstein for telling us that you can’t change your current situation by thinking the same thoughts that got you there. You must change the way you are thinking and think different thoughts.

Start the process of consciously being aware of your current situation and the begin to consciously make choices that open up different avenues of thought that have the potential to create the life of your grandest dreams and aspirations.

About The Author

Richard Blackstone is an award winning author and international speaker on Love, Oneness & Creation. Journey into discovery of Self by reading this FREE report; “The 3 Simple Immutable Laws of the Universe” at: http://www.NutsandBoltsSpirituality.com

11 Useful Tips For How To Use The Secret!

In a nutshell the 11 Useful Tips are quite simply:

1.  Don’t Worry

2.  Be Yourself

3.  Be Grateful

4.  Be Creative

5.  Visualize

6.  Remember

7.  Use Your Love

8.  Give

9.  Smile

10.  Look into people’s eyes

11.  Touch

Most of all the best message I think this video offers is to ” remember that everything in the Universe is energy – we are all connected.  Don’t let any negative thought get into your mind and replace it with the most positive thought you can think of”

As you will notice in this video- it’s the simplest things in life that brings us the most happiness.