"Those who receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life." (Romans 5:17 NASB)
Have you ever questioned why we don’t reign over certain situations, circumstances, the "stuff" of life? It's simple really... The way we reign in life is to receive God's grace. Too simple? That's the point! We complicate things with religious formulas. Here's a couple of thoughts on receiving God's grace.
First… We must receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness. Grace is a gift that is freely given. It cannot be deserved, earned or merited. We qualify for God's favor and blessings not because we work hard to live righteously; but because we are already made righteous by Christ's finished work. The religious mindset that prevails in so many circles is that we must achieve the blessings and favor of God by self-effort or good behavior. However, the favor of God is unmerited. It isn't how we behave but how we believe. The moment we try to balance grace with our own efforts to be righteous we neutralize grace (Galatians 5:4). Reigning in life is not about achieving but receiving the abundance of God's grace! Abundance can be defined as never running out, never sparse, having excess and overflowing. We never teeter on the brink of running out of God’s grace. Whenever we sin God’s grace is greater (1 John 3:20) and where sin abounds grace does much more abound to overflowing and swallows up our sin (Romans 5:20, 6:24).
Secondly… How do we receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness? By simply believing in Christ’s finished work. That’s it! We don’t have to be experts on grace. We just simply have to be recipients. We don’t have to comprehend it; we only need to receive it! We must believe in God’s grace without doubt and go on living life in that belief. We have to consistently believe the truth that we are righteous apart from our own works (Ephesians 2:7-9) and that nothing we do or don’t do will separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:35-39). I have news for you… You will never be able to fully wrap your mind around the awesome Grace of God! God’s grace is too amazing to comprehend. So what do we do when we don’t understand it? We believe it anyway! Leaning on our own understanding of the things of God causes us to question God’s Word and thus prevents us from entering into the benefits of all that His finished work has provided for us. Quit trying to understand it and simply trust it (Proverbs 3:5).
Romans 5:19 goes on to say that we weren't made sinners by anything we did but by what Adam did. The same is also true of our righteousness. We weren't made righteous by anything we did but by what Jesus did. The moment we believe that we are totally acceptable before God based on what Jesus did, not what we did or continue to do. And that same grace will do it's work in our lives to save us and keep on saving us (in every area of our life). The blood of Jesus is not only all sufficient it is all efficient. Once we begin to receive God's grace in our lives we will start experiencing the power to reign in life just like Jesus reigns in life (1 John 4:17).