Romans 5:20
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

King James Bible
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Darby Bible Translation
But law came in, in order that the offence might abound; but where sin abounded grace has overabounded,

World English Bible
The law came in besides, that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly;

Young's Literal Translation
And law came in, that the offence might abound, and where the sin did abound, the grace did overabound,

Romans 5:20 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The law entered that (ἱνα) the offense might abound - After considering various opinions concerning the true meaning of this verse, (see under Romans 5:12 (note)), I am induced to prefer my own, as being the most simple. By law I understand the Mosaic law. By entering in, παρεισηλθεν, or, rather, coming in privily, see Galatians 2:4, (the only place where it occurs besides), I understand the temporary or limited use of that law, which was, as far as its rites and ceremonies are considered, confined to the Jewish people, and to them only till the Messiah should come; but considered as the moral law, or rule of conscience and life, it has in its spirit and power been slipped in - introduced into every conscience, that sin might abound - that the true nature, deformity, and extent of sin might appear; for by the law is the knowledge of sin: for how can the finer deviations from a straight line be ascertained, without the application of a known straight edge? Without this rule of right, sin can only be known in a sort of general way; the innumerable deviations from positive rectitude can only be known by the application of the righteous statutes of which the law is composed. And it was necessary that this law should be given, that the true nature of sin might be seen, and that men might be the better prepared to receive the Gospel; finding that this law worketh only wrath, i.e. denounces punishment, forasmuch as all have sinned. Now, it is wisely ordered of God, that wherever the Gospel goes there the law goes also; entering every where, that sin may be seen to abound, and that men may be led to despair of salvation in any other way or on any terms but those proposed in the Gospel of Christ. Thus the sinner becomes a true penitent, and is glad, seeing the curse of the law hanging over his soul, to flee for refuge to the hope set before him in the Gospel. On the meaning of ἱνα, in various places, see Chrysost. vol. iii. p. 241. See also Hammond on the word in his notes on the New Testament.

But where sin abounded - Whether in the world, or in the heart of the individual, being discovered by this most pure and righteous law, grace did much more abound: not only pardon for all that is past is offered by the Gospel, so that all the transgressions for which the soul is condemned to death by the law, are freely and fully forgiven; but also the Holy Spirit, in the abundance of his gifts and graces, is communicated, so as to prepare the receiver for an exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Thus the grace of the Gospel not only redeems from death, and restores to life, but brings the soul into such a relationship with God, and into such a participation of eternal glory, as we have no authority to believe ever would have been the portion even of Adam himself, had he even eternally retained his innocence. Thus, where sin abounded, grace doth much more abound.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the law.

Romans 3:19,20 Now we know that what things soever the law said, it said to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped...

Romans 4:15 Because the law works wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for you are not under the law, but under grace.

Romans 7:5-13 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit to death...

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

2 Corinthians 3:7-9 But if the ministration of death, written and engraved in stones, was glorious...

Galatians 3:19-25 Why then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made...

But.

Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 Chronicles 33:9-13 So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen...

Psalm 25:11 For your name's sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity; for it is great.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, said the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow...

Isaiah 43:24,25 You have bought me no sweet cane with money, neither have you filled me with the fat of your sacrifices...

Jeremiah 3:8-14 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce...

Ezekiel 16:52,60-63 You also, which have judged your sisters, bear your own shame for your sins that you have committed more abominable than they...

Ezekiel 36:25-32 Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you...

Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like to you, that pardons iniquity, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage...

Matthew 9:13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous...

Luke 7:47 Why I say to you, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.

Luke 23:39-43 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If you be Christ, save yourself and us...

John 10:10 The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life...

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 Know you not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters...

Ephesians 1:6-8 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he has made us accepted in the beloved...

Ephesians 2:1-5 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins...

1 Timothy 1:13-16 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief...

Titus 3:3-7 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy...

Library
March 20. "They which Receive Abundance of Grace and the Gift of Righteousness Shall Reign in Life" (Rom. v. 17).
"They which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life" (Rom. v. 17). Precious souls sometimes fight tremendous battles in order to attain to righteousness in trying places. Perhaps the heart has become wrong in some matter where temptation has been allowed to overcome, or at least to turn it aside from its singleness unto God; and the conflict is a terrible one as it seeks to adjust itself and be right with God, and finds itself baffled by its own spiritual foes,
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

Access into Grace
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand.'--ROMANS v. 2. I may be allowed to begin with a word or two of explanation of the terms of this passage. Note then, especially, that also which sends us back to the previous clause, and tells us that our text adds something to what was spoken of there. What was spoken of there? 'The peace of God' which comes to a man by Jesus Christ through faith, the removal of enmity, and the declaration of righteousness. But that peace
Alexander Maclaren—Romans, Corinthians (To II Corinthians, Chap. V)

For whom did Christ Die?
While man is in this condition Jesus interposes for his salvation. "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly"; "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," according to "his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses and sins." The pith of my sermon will be an endeavour to declare that the reason of Christ's dying for us did not lie in our excellence; but where sin abounded grace did much more abound, for the persons for whom Jesus
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 20: 1874

Sin and Grace
"Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound."--Romans 5:20. THERE are two very powerful forces in the world, which have been here ever since the time when Eve partook of the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. Those two forces are sin and grace. A very great power is sin, a power dark, mysterious, baleful, but full of force. The sorrows of mankind, whence came they but from sin? We should have known no war, nor pestilence, nor famine, nor would aught of sickness or sorrow ever have smitten
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 54: 1908

Cross References
Romans 3:20
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Romans 6:1
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

Romans 7:7
What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "You shall not covet."

2 Corinthians 3:7
Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was,

Galatians 3:19
Why, then, was the law given at all? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was given through angels and entrusted to a mediator.

1 Timothy 1:14
The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.

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