“But where sin increased, grace increased all the more” (Romans 5:20).

My extra-biblical reading does not follow any pattern, but there is a lot of history in it. The history includes ancient and modern, Asian and European, African and South American. Whenever or wherever history occurs, it is a story of increasing sin. This would be depressing if it were not for our assurance that grace increases all the more. A history book can glorify the actions of men so the sin does not sound as bad. That, however, is only sugar-coating the story. The real blessing is that God assures us that grace is more abundant than sin.

In addition to reading history, I find another reminder of the increase of sin. That is my daily contact with people who are in sin or affected by the sin of others. Again, I am grateful for the over-abundance of grace. It is this over-abundance of grace that gives us victory and triumph.

“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumph, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word; but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14-17).

Written in 1982.