Summary: This is the final message from a series over Roman chapters 1-5. This message examines the relationship between guilt and grace.
Guilt is an opponent that each of us struggle against. Nothing can make us view ourselves more negatively than guilt. Even after becoming a Christian and having our sins washed away by the blood of Christ, guilt still surfaces and drives us into the pits of self-pity and shame. What we tend to forget is that God wants to do more than just simply forgive us, He wants to take away our guilt as well. Children’s nursery rhymes have the ability to impart wisdom in a unique way. The words of this particular nursery rhyme fits quite well the theme Paul develops in the last part of chapter 5. “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall; All the King’s horses and all the king’s men could not put Humpty Dumpty back together again.” Paul shares the story of someone who sat on a wall and experienced a great fall. Like Humpty Dumpty, this one could not be put back together again. Well no one could put them back together again but Jesus. The one who experienced the terrible fall was named Adam. Paul is going to contrast the effects that Adam and Christ had on the human race. In making this comparison Paul is going to provide us with some very deep insight into the Biblical teaching on grace. Let’s turn to the last half of Romans 5 and see what lessons we can take from this powerful comparison and discover how superior the Gospel really is.
I. An examination of how we got into this mess.
A. Understanding exactly how sin entered the picture.
1. The father of the entire human race was also the one responsible for introducing sin into the world.
2. God gave Adam a simple instruction, do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
3. God spelled out the consequences of disobedience clearly, if you eat from the tree you will die.
a. Immediately when the disobeyed they died spiritually.
b. There sin would lead to them ultimately experiencing physical death.
4. The intimate relationship that Adam and Eve had experienced with God was destroyed.
5. This is the point in history where man started pursuing different paths.
a. The human race would begin to pursue pride and self-absorption.
b. God would begin pursuing a path that would redeem the human race and bring them back to Him.
B. The massive impact that sin had on all of creation.
1. The sinful condition would extend to the entire human race and the whole creation would feel the sting of the curse.
2. Adam lost his peace with God because of His disobedience and this same tension between God and His creation extended to all of Adam’s descendants.
3. Paul in no way is implying that we inherit sins from our parents and therefore are born sinful.
a. He does imply that everyone faces death because of Adam’s sin.
b. He also implies that we our exposed to the other consequences of sin through Adam.
4. The truth is that the entire human race has lost their peace with God and have become objects of His wrath because of their willful disobedience.
C. Guilt became attached to sin through the Law.
1. Paul answers the obvious question, “Was there sin in the world before God gave the Law?” He contends that the answer is yes.
2. Before the Law man still tried to act independently of God and was in constant rebellion against Him.
a. God destroyed the human race with a flood because of sin before the Law of Moses.
b. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of sin before the Law of Moses.
3. The Law shows us the seriousness of sin and establishes what God expects from each and every one of us and makes us painfully aware of the consequences of sin.
4. The Law erases the claim of ignorance and shows us that we are guilty before God and are subject to His wrath.
II. Examining Paul’s comparison of Adam and Jesus.
A. Paul outlines three distinct differences between Adam and Christ.
1. Through Adam death and the other effects of the curse of sin spread to the entire human race.
2. Through Christ came a way to overcome death and to be freed from the curse of sin.
3. Adam’s disobedience left the human race in conflict with their creator but through Christ’s obedience the peace and harmony between man and God was restored.
4. Paul makes it clear that Adam and Christ represent two different choices.
a. We can stay under Adam and be subject to the consequences of sin for all eternity.
b. We can choose Jesus Christ and be set free from the consequences of sin.
B. Paul also presents two similarities between Adam and Christ.