More and Bigger.
This morning we are moving into verse 12 of chapter 5 in the Book of Romans, we have been studying for some time. I want to be slow and methodical about this book, because there is so much in it.
One of the beautiful things about the book of Romans is that Paul had never been there. He didn’t establish the church there. He didn’t send or train up a pastor there. The church started without him.
Because of that, it is kind of like the first time you have someone watch your kid or your house or even your dog - you leave that person with a very detailed list of the things that need to be done so that even though you aren’t there, the chaos is limited.
Paul takes time to go through and address the nuances of our faith in such a detailed way.
Because of this, there are many passages in the book of Romans where there is no “to do list” there is no exhortation, there are no instructions. There is writing for understanding. Today we are looking at a passage like that - so I begin with my own exhortation. My own instructions for you.
Learn this stuff. Try hard to understand it. I will try to weave in situations to bring understanding and application, but the doing - is between you and the Lord. And there is always doing to be done. As we develop understanding - we build our trust in the lord, in what he is doing and has done.
As the enemy comes against us - guard yourself with this.
When the world fills your head with nonsense, renew yourself with this. This understanding of the word of God.
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned. In fact, sin was in the world before the law, but sin is not charged to a person’s account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a type of the Coming One. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man’s trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes through the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflowed to the many. And the gift is not like the one man’s sin, because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification. If by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone.
Here we are, at the beginning of another beautiful passage of scripture, with one of my favorite words. Therefore - whenever you see the word therefore, you have to see what its there for. Which here means I need to back up a little bit to give context. Reading scripture without context can be dangerous. Picking one verse out of a passage is one of the easiest ways to get something wrong about God or about ourselves. So in this instance, the context is the previous paragraph.
This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. How much more then, since we have now been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from wrath. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. And not only that, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.
Well that context paints us a picture of who Jesus is.
While we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly.
Christ died for you and for me - while we were yet sinners.
And Paul wants you to understand how crazy that is.
He tells us to stop and think about it.
Christ died for you - while you were still a sinner.
Are you willing to go out and die for evil people? Mean people?
Would you die for the benefit of a drug dealer?
Would you die for the benefit of a rapist?
Would you die for a bank robber?
Jesus died for you. Even though you are a liar, a murder and adulterer at heart. Jesus Died for you. At the right time.
Him dying for us reconciled us to God, and provided peace.
Why didn’t I devote a whole sermon to this? We talked about it in chapter 4. Remember, Paul deals with our faith in all of its nuance here. Some of the concepts and ideas are repeated for understanding.
So now we are in verse 12, and Paul - inspired by the holy spirit writes,
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.
I could summarize that this way. Its Adams fault, first. But your fault, too.
Sin entered the world through one man.
The thought in this verse is broken up. Lets read vs 12, and then verse 18.
So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is justification leading to life for everyone.
That is the complete thought, but in the middle Paul takes a detour to explain himself.
Remember that Paul is an apostle by appointment, but is a teacher by nature. He’s a pastor. And just like a pastor - has some trailing thoughts that have to be explained to make everything make sense. So in verse 12 he introduces Adam - the doctrine we call original sin, and then takes 5 more verses to explain himself, and then comes back to the original thought.
Verse 12 - goes to verse 18.
We know that because of the language he uses.
Just as - has to be followed by something - or have something come before it to make sense logically.
But in between that, Paul says so much that we have to have. It was important.
Paul introduces Adam as the man who sinned first
God gives special attention and responsibility to man. Eve ate the fruit, but it is Adam who is called out here by the holy spirit as the one who brought sin into the world.
And because of him - sin entered the world and death followed it.
Because of Adam - death was our inheritance. In this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.
And then verse 18 - so then also through one righteous act, there is justification leading to life for everyone.
One of Pauls primary responsibilities is to teach us about Jesus, and he does that in this situation by creating a compare and contrast situation. We learned how to do this in elementary school. If you were to try to describe me, you might say
Pastor Adam has a long beard, wearing a short sleeved shirt, at calvary foursquare right now in the sanctuary, and could probably use a hair cut.
Bruce stand up for a moment.
If you only use the things that I just said to describe me - someone might get confused, because that describes both of us.
If we are trying to understand Jesus – and we just look at Jesus, we might see a limited view of him. You might only see a good teacher.
You might only see a martyr.
You might see a puny god like Marvel’s Loki.
If we look at Jesus next to Adam – we can see different and bigger things.
Adam is a type of Christ….
But Christ is better.
It isn’t just negating sin, it brings us to a place so much higher, so much
The free gift of righteousness is not the same as the gift of sin.
The much more
For the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of him who subjected it—in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
Global. Adam was the father of All.
Jesus is the savior of ALL.
Historical – Real – people.
Christ is a universal savior not a tribal deity
This is an evangelical text.
As we wrestle with life. As we deal with the problems in our lives of sin, our own screw ups, we have to remember that it isn’t righteousness.
Trust in him.
We have to know who we are.
He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.