“Moreover the Law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” Romans 5:20
The first sentence will serve as a preface. The second sentence will be the actual text. “Moreover the Law entered, that the offense might abound.” Man was a sinner before the Law of Ten Commandments had been given. He was a sinner through the offense of his first father, Adam. And he was, also, practically a sinner by his own personal offenses. For he rebelled against the light of nature and the inner light of conscience. Men, from Adam downward, transgressed against that memory of better days which had been handed down from father to son and had never been quite forgotten.
Man everywhere, whether he knew anything about the Law of Moses or not, was alienated from his God. The Word of God contains this truthful estimate of our race — “They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable. There is none that does good, no, not one.” The Law was given, however, according to the text, “that the offense might abound.” Such was the effect of the Law. It did not hinder sin, nor provide a remedy for it. But its actual effect was that the offense abounded. How so?
It was so, first, because it revealed the offense. Men did not in every instance clearly discern what was sin. But when the Law came, it pointed out to man that this evil, which he thought little of, was an abomination in the sight of God. Man’s nature and character was like a dark dungeon which knew no ray of light. Yonder prisoner does not perceive the horrible filthiness and corruption of the place wherein he is immured, so long as he is in darkness. When a lamp is brought, or a window is opened and the light of day comes in, he finds out to his dismay the hideous condition of his den.