21 That [hina] as [hosper] sin [hamartia] hath reigned [basileuo] unto [en] death [thanatos], even [kai] so [houto] might [basileuo] grace [charis] reign [basileuo] through [dia] righteousness [dikaiosune] unto [eis] eternal [aionios] life [zoe] by [dia] Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos] our [hemon] Lord [kurios]. KJV-Interlinear
21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ESV
Death and life stand in stark extreme opposites from each other. Death is a separation from something, and in this case spiritual death is separation from God, just as physical death is a separation from physical life. Both are permanent.
Sin is the cause of death, or the cause of the separation.
Grace is not the cause of life, but it is the mechanism by which life can be obtained, out of death.
Righteousness is the state of perfection, and is the natural state of God.
Justification, is the plan of God, and is the mechanism by which righteousness can be obtained, out of unrighteousness.
Physical death is the best example we have in trying to understand spiritual death. When a person dies physically, their soul and spirit leave the body, and the body remains lifeless.
The dead body is incapable of doing anything. You can’t talk to it, and it can’t talk to you, and the body that is without life, is helpless and useless, not to mention lifeless, and has no good destiny whatsoever.
Spiritual death, using the symbolism of physical death, is a separation from God, wherein the individual is no better off than a dead body.
Without God there is no life. Without life there is no activity. Without life there is no blessing, no good thing to look forward to, and only emptiness and a great void exists in death.
God created a plan. God includes the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All three members of the Godhead are a part of the divine plan, by which salvation has been provided for us, so that we can have eternal life, and be fulfilled within ourselves, by means of Bible doctrine.
Notice, that everything that is good in life, requires God as a necessary ingredient in our life.
Without God, without Christ, without the Spirit, without Bible doctrine, you would be incapable of having any meaning and purpose, or even an existence, in life.
And remarkably, knowing all of this, far too many people simply do not take life seriously. People rely on their own wisdom, and do not even consider the possibility of a higher wisdom, which they could investigate, or discover, or figure out that there is something more.
And if there is anything that is a tragedy or a disaster in life, it is the indifference and unwillingness of the individual to seek divine revelation, and discover the truths of Christ and doctrine, and their spiritual life.
One of the prophecies for the end of our dispensation, is not specifically a prophecy, but it is a description of apostasy, which was described by both Jesus and Paul. They referred to it as a great apostasy, when referring to the revealing of the antichrist.
That description of the great apostasy, was said that it would occur, prior to the revealing of the antichrist.
We know from our study of Revelation, that the rapture will occur, and we as believers in Christ will be removed from this world. When that will happen we do not know, except for the descriptions of various historical trends that will occur near the end of our dispensation.
Trends such as an increase in knowledge, an increase in earthquakes, an increase in population, and such things like that. But there was one other prediction that would occur near the end of our dispensation, and that was the great apostasy.
When the rapture occurs, the great apostasy will already be in place. It won’t occur suddenly and immediately following the rapture. When Jesus and Paul were speaking, they were talking to believers in our dispensation, who could possibly see and recognize the existence or the growth of a great apostasy.
We also know that over the last 2000 years, there have been periods of tremendous apostasy, in a variety of forms. But all of those spiritually low periods, were followed by spiritual recovery.
We also know that there are three great spiritual gaps in history. Within these gaps there is a tremendous disinterest in truth, and doctrine, and even in salvation.
The first gap occurred during the 100+ years of Noah’s construction of the ark. Noah built the ark, and evangelized, and no one listened, consequently only eight individuals boarded the ark.
The second gap occurred during the three or four centuries prior to the birth of Christ.
From the writing of the last book of the Old Testament, almost four centuries passed, without any further revelation from God. Consequently, an entire generation did not see or recognize all of the signs of the birth of Christ, except for the Magi, and perhaps a handful of others.
The third gap, has yet to occur. That will be the gap at the end of our dispensation, prior to the rapture, where the interest in Christ, and the people believing in Christ, will take a nosedive to virtually no activity in that spiritual area, in this world.
God is fair. If people were believing in Christ every day, He simply wouldn’t interrupt history, and arbitrarily leave out someone from the rapture, if they were going to believe in Christ within minutes, hours, or even days following the rapture.
But there will be a time, when the world will be indifferent toward Christianity. And the numbers of people believing in Christ, simply won’t occur. And that will be the gap of the great apostasy.
Whether it lasts for a month, or a year, or a decade, we won’t know. But certainly there will be a generation, worldwide, that will have an indifferent and apathetic attitude toward Christ.
The great apostasy, is not necessarily wars, and crime, and disasters all over the place, although those events accompany apostasy. The great apostasy is an attitude. And more particularly, a negative attitude toward Christ, from which the world will not recover, except for the Rapture and the harsh events that will follow in the Tribulation.
The apostasy will be so great and so deep, that it will take the huge drama of the Rapture and the events of the Tribulation to bring people back to their senses and to Christ.
And so we have in this verse, death reigns, because of sin, and sin is a transgression or a departure from truth.
Life, comes only through the grace of God by way of his plan for justification, in righteousness.
And this plan for salvation is so simple, that it is almost impossible to understand how an entire world will take itself into the greatest set of horrors, even knowing of the may end of days, stories and such prophecies. And yet it will.
These studies, are a part of the massive daily study web site at DailyBibeStudy.Org, that is easily accessible, and are written, so that you can come to Christ if you have not done so already, and therefore not be lost forever.
And if you have already believed in Christ, then these studies are written so you can learn and understand and grow in your spiritual life, so that you can come to the full knowledge of Christ, so that you can fulfill your meaning and purpose in life as God intended for you, and so you can qualify for a phenomenal eternal reward which you will have forever.
To ignore this opportunity to pursue a daily study means you will be incomplete, unfulfilled and you will lose out, big time.
The Daily Bible Study is online, making it possible as never before in all of human history, to advance in ones relationship with God, through Christ, and to complete yourself beyond your imagination.
But you have to decide to make that commitment. No one else can study for you. You have to do that yourself.