The Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the most visited homes in the United States. It was built in the 1930s and named after the original owner’s great aunt, Grace. It later became famous as the home of singer Elvis Presley, who purchased the property in 1957. Today the Graceland mansion serves as a museum, hosting thousands of visitors every year.
Our author today is Pastor Joe Stowell*, who gives us an excellent perspective on Graceland. Pastor Joe speaks for all of us when he says he loves the name Graceland because it describes the amazing territory into which God placed us when He forgave us of our sin and made us His own. He took us out of the darkness and brought us into His own “grace land.”
Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
The apostle Paul says that “the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many” (Rom. 5:15). We are forever thankful that the “many” mentioned here includes each one of us and that God’s love has transferred us Christians into the territory of His marvelous, infinite, matchless grace!
Think of the blessing of being in God’s grace land. It is a realm where He has given us entrance into His presence and where that same grace continues to overflow into our lives on a daily basis. Paul tells us that even in times of despair God showers us with sufficient grace to see us through (see 2 Cor. 12:9).
Paul’s comparison here of Adam and Jesus can be boiled down to a few words. Adam’s life resulted in an “offense” that brought “judgment” and “death,” but Jesus’ life brought a “free gift” of “grace” that brought “righteousness.” In grace (v.15), God took away the consequences of Adam’s sin—spiritual death and condemnation—and gave to all who believe in Jesus the gift of eternal life through His sacrificial death (vv.18-19).
Yes, thank God today for grace, grace, that marvelous grace!
*Devotional message prepared by Jim Huber, with commentary from “Graceland” by Pastor Joe Stowell, in Our Daily Bread, www.odb.org, August 2, 2014.