Christ "Much More" than Adam (Romans Sermon 32 of 120)
June 24, 2001 | Andy Davis
I. A Black Cloth, A Glittering Diamond
Today we are looking at Romans 5:15-17. We're going to read a larger section than that, but our goal is to understand specifically Romans Chapter 5:15-17. A number of years ago, as I was on my way to a mission trip, I was going to Kenya, we had a stop for about eight hours or ten hours in Amsterdam. Now, Amsterdam used to be the center of diamond sales throughout the world. It's no longer that way. Many of them go through Belgium. But I remember some friends of mine and I went to a diamond seller, and we just wanted to look at diamonds. And he sat us down in these plush leather chairs, and he rolled out this black velvet piece of cloth. And then he took out this black velvet bag and just spilled these rocks out onto the cloth. And I remember being taken in by that, because against the backdrop of that black velvet, these diamonds seemed to sparkle with a light that seemed to come from within them. It was amazing.
And so it is, I think, as we look around the world and see all the evil and all the sin, and the death, and the struggle, and the suffering, and then we look in Romans Chapter 5 and see that all of it flowed from our union with Adam. And we have to wonder, "How, God? How could it be that anything good could come out of this union with Adam and all the sin and the struggle?" And every one of us feels that struggling within us, don't we? We feel that sin nature. And so we come to Romans and we find out it's because in Adam we died. In Adam we received the sin nature. And we're struggling with that, and we wonder, "How could anything good come out of that?" This passage today, Romans 5:15-17, shows that very brilliantly, the sin of Adam, and the death that we receive, and all of that struggle, all of it serves as a backdrop against which the light of Jesus Christ shines all the more brightly, so that we might understand the grace that God has given us in Jesus Christ.
II. Paul’s Purpose: “To the praise of His glorious grace!!”
Paul's purpose here is that we might praise His glorious grace, to the praise of His glorious grace. This is exactly what he said in Ephesians. That all of us, when we stand before God and we are acquitted through the blood of Jesus Christ, through a righteousness not our own, through a gift of righteousness, through faith in Jesus Christ, when we are pronounced once and for all, (and it's declared to the universe) 'not guilty' through the blood of Jesus Christ, we will all be there for the praise of His glorious grace. And for the rest of eternity, we will be praising His glorious grace." And so what is Paul saying here in Romans Chapter 5? He's enabling us to understand our union in Jesus Christ and the certainty of our salvation through faith in Him.
Look with me if you would. I'm going to begin reading at verse 12, and I'm going to go through verse 17.
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way, death came to all men, because all sinned. For before the law was given, sin was in the world, but sin is not taken into account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern or a type of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass, for if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many! Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin. The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 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?
Let him who boasts, let him boast in the Lord. Let him who boasts, let him boast in Jesus Christ, for our salvation is found in no one else other than the free gift of righteousness through faith in Christ.
Spurgeon put it this way… If you want to understand the logic of the passage, what is going on here, we've got a comparison between Adam and Christ. They are compared, Adam and Christ. Last week we said that Adam was a type of Christ. We're going to talk about that. But in these verses, verses 15-17, Adam and Christ are contrasted. There's a difference between Adam and Christ, so they're compared and they are contrasted. And here we have highlighted in verses 15-17 the differences between Jesus Christ and Adam. Spurgeon put it this way,
“The sin which destroyed us was the transgression of a finite being, and cannot be compared in power with the grace of the infinite God; it was the sin of a moment, and therefore cannot be compared for force and energy with the everlasting purpose of divine love. If, then, the comparatively feeble fount of Adam’s sin sends forth a flood which drowns the world in sorrow and death, what must be the boundless blessing poured forth from the infinite source of divine grace? The grace of God is like his nature, omnipotent and unlimited. God has not a measure of love, but he is love; love to the uttermost dwells in him. God is not only gracious to this degree or to that, but he is gracious beyond measure; we read of ‘the exceeding riches of his grace.’ He is “the God of all grace,” and his mercy is great above the heavens.”
Thank you, Charles Spurgeon. This is what this is all about. This little fount of Adam has polluted the whole race. How much more will what we get from Jesus bring us to everlasting life? The comparison between Adam and Christ.
Now, let's set our context. We always want to understand where we are. It's easy to lose your way when you're going in detail, trying to understand. So what's the big picture? In the book of Romans, where are we? We're in a book that's given to us that we may understand and that it may be explained to us plainly, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the only message of our salvation. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel," Romans 1:16, "For it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." For in the Gospel the righteousness from God, that is by faith from first to last comes to us. A righteousness that is a gift of God. This is the Gospel. And then in Romans 1, 2 and 3, it explains why we all need this gift of righteousness. The Gentiles, suppressing the truth in unrighteousness, growing in perversion, not understanding the way of God. The Jews having the law but not able to keep it, locked up under the law, unable to fulfill it. And so the summation, Romans 3:23, All have sinned, Jew and Gentile alike. "All have sinned and lack the glory of God and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Him as a sacrifice of atonement through faith in His blood."
That is the Gospel. Well, how shall we tie in? How shall we be united with Christ? By faith alone, apart from works of the law. You can't work your way to heaven. You can't through good work seek to pay for your sin. By faith alone do you receive this righteousness. It's the same faith of Abraham. When God made a promise to Abraham, He said, "Abraham, look at the stars. See if you can count them. So shall your offspring be, Abraham." And Abraham inside his heart heard that promise, believed it and was justified. He was declared not guilty by God. A righteousness was given him that is not his own.
And then in Romans Chapter 5, we've seen this assurance that God wants to give us. Since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wants us to know that there's an absolute unbreakable chain tying us to the grace of God, nothing can break it. And so we have link after link in Romans 5:1-11. The sum of it all is the declaration that if we have been justified through faith, we will most certainly in the end be glorified. We will someday see God face to face and nothing can change that. So right in the middle of this section, we're trying to understand justification by faith alone. We're trying to understand how it is that God declares us not guilty simply by faith. And so he delves into the depths of the relationship between Adam and Christ, and us in Adam, and us in Christ, that is our context.
And Paul's purpose here is answering some very difficult root questions. How did we come to this depravity, this sin nature that's so hard for us to wrestle against? Do you feel it? Do you feel that sin nature inside? It's so hard to do what is right. How did we come to that sin nature? And how did sin come to have an unshakable reign over the earth, and not just sin but death as well? How did we come to it? And more than that, how shall we escape it? How shall we break the bonds of sin? How shall we escape death? Is there any way? These are the answers that Paul is seeking to give us these deep questions, and how are we secure in Christ and how much glory, above all, how much glory should God get for our salvation? These are the issues that he's facing.
III. Adam and Christ: Our Federal Heads Compared and Contrasted
Now, as we look at Adam and Christ, we see the issue of Federal Headship, our Federal Heads compared and contrasted. Now what does that mean, Federal headship? Well, Federal means covenant. There's a covenant, an agreement between God and a representative, that's a covenant. We have a covenant made between God and Adam, it's called the covenant of works. And basically it was this, that if Adam would be righteous in the face of his test, that all of us would be righteous in Him, but Adam failed his test. Adam is our covenant head, he is our representative in that covenant. And so in effect, God saw all of us, the entire human race, every tribe and language and people and nation, all of us represented at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, at Adam, in Adam, all of us represented there. He is our covenant head, our Federal head.
And in the same way, Jesus Christ is the representative to all united in Him. Just as we are represented at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in Adam, so we are represented at the tree on Calvary in Jesus Christ. It's the same. And so these two are being compared, Adam representing us and Christ representing us. And so Adam and Christ are compared. Now, we finished last week in verse 14, in the very last part of the verse it says, "As did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come." Adam was a type or pattern of Jesus Christ.
A short time ago, I took a vacation with my family and we went to Williamsburg. Have you ever been to Williamsburg? You see all those trade shops, you've got the ceramic and the leather worker and all these different ones, jewelry maker? But I love the print shop, I always love going to the print shop because I realize the importance of the printer back then. And these folks always have interesting stories to tell.
And if you go in the print shop, there is a little bin, all these little bins with these little letters inside them. Modern day, we have the word processor and all that. When I was growing up, we had a typewriter. Some of you younger folks might not remember a typewriter. I see the look of confusion on your children's face, "Typewriter? What is that?" But some of you know what I'm talking about. When I went to MIT, that's what I used, was a typewriter, until finally word processors came and freed us from white-out and all those other things we had to deal with. But before the typewriter, there was type itself. There were these little letters, remember? And all of them would be set up in a roll by printers in wooden frames. And they'd press them in and then they'd ink them up and they would print the page. And so in the same way, that's the kind of word that's used, there's a type, a relation between the S or the T or the L that's inked and then the imprint made on the page. So there's a comparison here. Adam is a type of Christ. But Paul is very urgent that we understand that there's a difference as well.
The same thing is said of the relationship between the father and the son. There there's a perfect correspondence between Jesus, between the son and the father. Perfect correspondence, but there is not a perfect correspondence between Adam and Christ. And so in this section, in verses 15-17, he wants us to understand the contrast as well as the comparison. And what is the comparison? Well, it's the idea of the one and the many. Look at verse 15, "For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ overflow to the many!" So we've got the one representing the many. Do you see that in verse 15? One and many.
"Just As" - "So Also"
We also have a "Just as" and a "So also." He begins the whole thing in verse 12, "Therefore, just as sin entered the world... " we're waiting for a so also, we don't get it until verse 18, look down at verse 18. "Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men." So there's a comparison here, just as, so also, and we've got the one and we've got the many. And all of it come together in verse 19. Look down at verse 19. "For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man, the many will be made righteous." So you see the comparison, it's the idea that both Adam and Christ stand at the head of a huge group of people and they represent those people. Adam represents a huge group of people, the many. Christ represents a huge group of people, the many. And God sees us either in Adam or in Christ, there's no other option. You're either seen in Adam or you're seen in Christ. So that's the comparison. What's the contrast?
Well, first of all, we know it's a contrast. As you look at verse 15, what's the first word you see in verse 15? It's "but," isn't it? Now as you're moving along in a sentence, you're flowing along and then you come to the English word, "but." That's a contrasting word. We've been heading in one direction, now we're going to go in a different direction. Adam is a type of Christ, but he's different too. And so we're contrasting, we're trying to understand the difference, and there's basically two ideas that Paul is trying to get across here. Number one, Christ is not like Adam in some significant ways. And number two, even better, Christ is much greater than Adam. Those are the two things he wants to get across here. If you forget anything else of what am saying, 15 through 17, Christ is not like Adam. In fact, Christ is much greater than Adam. The effects of Jesus Christ on those in Him is much greater than the effect of Adam on those in him.
That's a dynamite statement, we're going to unfold it a little bit more. But look at verse 15, it says, "But the free gift is not like the transgression." Do you see the words 'not like' in there? So there's a difference. Verse 16, "And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned." And then Christ is greater than Adam, we get that from the words "much more." Again look at verse 15, "But the gift is not like the trespass, for if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many?" Again, verse 17, "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 the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ."
Now what is Paul trying to work on here? Well, John Piper put it this way, suppose we look at it this way, that Adam has in effect put us at negative 10. Jesus Christ did not come to offset with a positive 10 so we end up back at zero, back at neutrality, back at the Garden of Eden, not at all. If Adam gave us a negative 10, what did Jesus give us? Positive infinity. Positive infinity. You can't compare them. The effect of Christ is so much greater than the effect of Adam. That's what he's getting across here. Verse 20, we have the statement, "Where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more." There's a multiplication of goodness and grace.
IV. Unfolding the Contrast: Christ MUCH MORE Than Adam
Now, as we unfold the contrast, we see that Christ is much more than Adam. The free gift, for example, is much greater than the judgement. Grace to many is much greater than death to many. Many transgressions which Christ followed is much greater than one transgression, the result of Christ much greater than Adam's result, and the reign of the grace receivers much greater than the reign of death.
Let's explain or understand each of these. First, the free gift is much greater than judgement. Several times in this passage he mentions the free gift. Now, the word in Greek actually is redundant. If I were to say free gift, it's redundant. The word for gift is charisma. The word for grace is Charis, they're related together. So all of the gifts that we get come from grace. We don't deserve any of them, but there's an underscoring of the freeness of this gift. What is it you could find in your bag of collections that you could use to pay God the father to have Him send Jesus to die in your place? Is there anything you could find? Any of your gold or silver or your most costly possessions that would persuade the father to send the son in your place? Is there anything you can offer on judgement day for your soul? And therefore it's a free gift, and the free gift is much greater than Adam's trespass, much greater. All of this is for the praise of His glorious grace.
Secondly, it says the grace to many is much greater than the death to many. Look at verse 15, "For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gift that came by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many?" What do you get through your union with Adam? You get death, you get to die. What do you get through your union with Jesus Christ? Eternal life. And which of those two is greater? The eternal life is far greater than what you got in Adam. This is the logic of the passage, much greater. And there's an effusion, there's an abundance of grace flowing to us, somewhat like a river. The gift of grace overflowed, it said, to the many.
The Amazon River, second longest river in the world, actually flows more water than any other river. 4.2 million cubic feet of water per second flow through the Amazon. You wonder what that looks like? 4.2 million cubic feet of water? And that's what I think of when I come to the grace of God, it's a river that flows. It just flows and it overflows all of our sin. It's just like the image I got when I said we're standing in grace of a shower of grace. Now, you think, "If I get 4.2 million cubic feet of water per second flowing on me, it'll kill me." But the grace of God is just sufficient for your sin, it just overflows and cleanses you from all of your sin. John MacArthur put it this way,
"Adam's sinful act, devastating as it was, had but a one dimensional affect. It brought death to everyone. But the effect of Christ's redemption, redemptive act has facets beyond measure. Because he not only restores men to spiritual life, but gives them the very life of God. Death is by nature static and empty, Whereas life by nature is active and full. Only life can abound."
And so what we get from Jesus, we get the Garden of Eden in your life. We get full flowering coming up out of grace in your life, and that for eternity. The two don't even compare. What do you get from Adam? A struggle with sin and death and all this wrestling. What do you get from Christ? A river of grace flowing to eternal life. And so Christ's results are far greater than Adam's results. Now, you can only understand that if you understand how much damage has been done through Adam. It's been terrible, hasn't it? Think of all the damage that sin has done in your life. Think of all the things that sin has done.
What would you give, brother or sister in Christ, to have sin gone forever from your life, right today? What would you give to be free forever from sin? All the damage that comes, and Spurgeon put it this way,
"We came into the world with a bias towards evil. Those of us who have any knowledge of our own nature must confess that there is in us a strong tendency towards sin, which is mixed up with our very being. This is not derived solely from faults of education, or from the imitation of others; but there is a bent within us in the wrong direction, and this has been there from our birth. Alas! that it should be so; but so it is. In addition to having this tendency to sin, we are made liable to death — nay, not liable alone, but we are sure in due time to bow our heads beneath the fatal stroke. Two only of the human race have escaped death, but the rest have left their bodies here to moulder back into mother earth, and unless the Lord comes speedily, we expect that the same thing will happen to these bodies of ours. While we live we know that the sweat of our brow must pay the price of our bread; we know that our children must be born with pangs and travail; we know that we ourselves must return to the dust from whence we are taken; for dust we are, and unto dust must we return. O Adam, you did a sad day’s work for us when you listened to the voice of your wife and ate of the forbidden tree. The world has no more a Paradise anywhere, but everywhere it has the place of wailing and the field of the dead. Where can yon go and not find traces of the first transgression in the sepulcher and its mouldering bones? Every field is fattened with the dust of the departed: every wave of the sea is tainted with atoms of the dead."
That's what we got through Adam. We got sin and we got death. But do you see the logic of the passage? What we get from Christ is abundantly more. I know it's hard to believe, isn't it? Do you feel it now? You feel like, "Boy, what I got from Adam is far more than I'm getting from Jesus. I struggle with Adam every day." The text says what you get from Christ can't even be compared with what you get from Adam. "How much more?" it says. You should marvel at this.
And many transgressions greater than one transgression, verse 16, "Again the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin. The judgement followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification." How can it be that one sin did all this? Do you ever think about that? How could it be that one sin brought all of this suffering into the world? Somehow it doesn't seem right, does it? But this is the nature of God. This is the holiness of God. I was talking to a brother recently who was talking about alabaster lampshades. Can you imagine a big chunk of alabaster, what it would take to work that thing until it was just thin enough around to be translucent, so you could see the veins of the alabaster? What would you pay for an alabaster lampshade? And if you had small children, would you pay it? And he says, the worker says after days and days of labor, it gets to that dangerous place at the end where he's working and polishing it, can you imagine taking it off? And imagine taking a spike, just one, and a hammer and just crack. What's going to happen to that alabaster lampshade? It's gone.
And so it is, one sin before a Holy God. One sin and the whole is ruined. The book of James says that if you keep the whole law and yet falter at just one point, you're guilty of all of it. Have you ever been to an aquarium? Have you ever seen an aquarium? I've seen this aquarium which is six stories high. This big tank that's got sharks swimming around. You know what I'm talking about? And off to the side they have a display of the glass, have you seen that? And the glass is like, this thick. They're basically saying, "Don't worry. It's okay. It's going to hold." Well, suppose we just had one hole in the glass. What then? The whole thing would be destroyed, it'd get bigger and bigger, the pressure, and the whole thing would be destroyed.
This is the holiness of God. But the sad thing is we're not talking... Brothers and sisters, let's be honest. Are we talking in reference to you about one sin? Is that what we're talking about? How long does it take for you to commit one sin on a given Tuesday? I'm not just talking about sins of commission where you break something when you knew you were... I mean just the things that God has commanded you to do and you don't do. We're supposed to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We're supposed to love our neighbor as our self. Are we talking about just one sin on your account?
Are we talking, brothers and sisters, about one sin or many transgressions? We're talking about many, more than can be counted. Jesus said, "I tell you that men will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every careless word they have spoken." That's one scripture, but then there's another scripture. Revelations 7:9-10, "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’"
How did they get there? On what basis are they going to stand there robed in white saying, "Salvation belongs to the Lamb?" Because of this far greater gift we got from Jesus. That's how powerful it is. That's the power of what Jesus Christ did for us.
And then finally, the reign of grace receivers is greater than the reign of death. Now this is a surprise. Look at verse 17. "For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those... " I'm going to put the word people. It's implied. It's not actually in the text, but [those people] "who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ." This is an unexpected break of parallel. I'll explain what I mean. You would expect if you're following along, if you're paying attention, something like this. For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, how much more will life reign through the one man Jesus Christ? Do you see that? Death reigns in Adam. Life reigns in Christ. Is that true?
Yeah it is, but it's not what he says. What does he say reigns in this verse? Death reigned in Adam. We reign in Christ. Those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. You are, as it says in Romans 8, more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. You have become kings and queens through faith in Him. Isn't that incredible? Those who receive God's grace will reign in life forever and ever through Jesus Christ. Now, do you see the how much more? Adam gave you death. Christ gives you an eternal reign of life through His blood. It's incredible. And you reign now, you're going to reign more later. There's coming a new Heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness, and you will reign with Jesus. Revelation 3:21, "To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with Me on My Throne just as I overcame and sat down with My Father on His Throne."
Paul's point is the reign of those people who receive grace, grace receivers, is greater than the reign of death ever was. The reign in Christ is an eternal reign. Death's reign is temporary. It is an unbreakable reign. Death's reign has been conquered. It is an abundantly fruitful reign. Death's reign is fruitless and empty. It's an abundantly great reign that God has given us in Jesus Christ.
There's one final point I want to make. This is a conditional promise. Remember we said that Adam represented the many, and Christ represents the many? Don't be confused about this. Adam represents everyone physically descended from him. Christ represents those who receive God's grace. Do you see the difference? This is not universalism. There is a parallel between Adam and Christ, but it's not true that everyone is saved in Christ. It is not true. Everyone died in Adam, but only those who receive God's gift of grace will reign in life through Christ.
V. Application: Assurance
Do you see the difference? Oh, it's so important to understand that. And so what is the application? Well, to you who have never received it, receive it today. Today is the day of salvation. If you have never come to faith in Christ, God sees you in Adam, and you're under the condemnation of Adam. And you're living out your nature and cranking out sin after sin after sin for what you will be held accountable on judgment day. But through faith in Jesus Christ, you can have all that washed away and be seen in Christ, and receive the abundance, the river of grace, cleansing you forever from sin.
Now, I've printed out some applications on the page. You can read that, but I want to finish again with a quote from Spurgeon. Preaching on this passage, Romans 5:15, he entitled his sermon "Honey from a lion". Any of you know the story of Samson? Remember Samson, how he killed the lion on his way to a meeting, and then he comes back and what does he see in the lion's carcass? He sees honey. And so what is Spurgeon saying? Out of the death of Adam, and out of all of that curse comes honey. And what is it? Eternal life through Jesus Christ. Simply by contrast, take everything you got from Adam and then turn it around and multiply by a billion, by infinity, and that's what you get through Christ. What did you get? You got a sin nature. Turn it around, you're going to be perfect forever in Christ.
What did you get as a result of Adam? You got the ability to wrestle with the ground for thorns and thistles the rest of your life, while you wipe the sweat off your face. And some of you know what I mean, because you're going to have to go to that job again tomorrow morning. Do you know what I'm talking about? That job? I had a 'that job', I've had many 'that jobs.' You feel it most acutely on Monday morning, don't you? At least I did. And you can get in there tomorrow, and if you want to be bitter about it, you can say, "Thanks Adam, I appreciate it. Here I am day after day, having to hold down that job, wrestling with things that don't seem to matter, just so I can provide for my family." Turn it around. God gives you abundant, eternal fruitfulness in Jesus Christ. And what do we get in Adam? We get death. We get death. And we who are alive, we all know somebody who's died. We all know people that have died. We love them and we miss them. Turn it around, what do we get from Jesus? Eternal life in the presence of God. We get honey from the lion.
If you've never received it, will you receive it today? We're going to be singing the invitation hymn. Please come forward and talk to me. If you've never come to faith in Christ, perhaps you need to be baptized. If you have never given yourself to Christ in believer baptism, maybe today is the day. But if you're a Christian, you've already been baptized, you're walking with Jesus, understand that you reign in life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Close with me in prayer, please.
Father, we thank you for this time that we've had to understand this passage. And father, all we can do is just stand amazed at the abundance of your grace. Lord, in your own way, you united us with Adam, and though we don't understand that fully, we also see that it's in the same way that we have eternal life through faith in Christ. You don't see us as sinners, you see us in Christ. And I praise you for that alien righteousness, a righteousness not my own, that covers me now and forever. And father, now I want to direct a specific prayer to those who have never received this abundant provision of God's grace, that today they would receive it. I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.