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July 7, 2002
If youíre like me, you read the paper, listen to the news, or go to your favorite news web-site and you just wonder how our world survives the chaos we find ourselves in.
Not a day goes by that people arenít senselessly murdered, kidnapped, blackmailed, or whatever.
And it would be easy to just wallow around in despair, if we would just allow ourselves to do it.
Why bother with trying to have a positive attitude when it wonít affect what goes on in Jerusalem, or Pierre, or Washington?
Iíll just be like the guy in Ecclesiastes who seems resigned to the hassles of life, and just let life take its course.
Well, I agree that it would be easy to just do that, and unfortunately, thatís the attitude of many Christians.
But I want us to walk out of here today encouraged about the fact that we donít have to live in despair. We can live in hope and faith, even if is not always easy in our time.
Our passage is found in Romans 5:15-19. If you are using the Bibles in the seats, you can find this on page 798.
Let me give you some background here.
In this passage, the apostle Paul contrasts two things: the trespass and the gift.
The trespass is the sin of Adam and Eve, and the gift is the redemption we have through Christ.
And Paul tells us that the trespass brings some things, and the gift brings other things. Paulís purpose here is to tell us that we donít have to live in the trespass Ė we can live as those who possess the gift. And thatís what I intend to do as well. Letís get started, shall we?
I. A Study in ContrastsÖ
I need a little audience participation during this first section okay?
Itís real simple: when I point to you like this, you say, real loud, ďBUTÖĒ
Okay, letís practice (point) ďBUTÖĒ
I think youíve got it. Letís get going.
The first contrast is thatÖ
A. The trespass brought death.
The gift brought grace.
Listen and follow along as I read verse 15:
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did Godís grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Weíve all learned that Adam and Eve blew it in the Garden, right? But sometimes we forget just how much of an impact that act of sin had.
You see, their disobedience, their trespass, did more than just get them kicked out of the garden.
Their disobedience introduced sin into Godís creation. And you and I, by virtue of the fact that we are direct descendants of Adam, inherited a sinful nature.
In other words, we are inherently bent toward sinning in our own lives.
Unlike what society would have us believe, people are not inherently good. Just yesterday, Ann Landers, in her column stated that she believed all people are basically good.
But can you look at just the last 100 years of our countryís history and say that? We have just finished what many consider to be the bloodiest century in human history.
But thereís more, and hereís the worst part. Not only did the sin of Adam and Eve bring sin into our lives, it brought about the penalty for that sin Ė death.
You and I face the very real prospect of eternity in hell, because the sin of Adam and Eve brought sin, which brought death.
Are we being punished for their sin?
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