Summary: The Best and the Worst of times - this is message looks at the First Adam and the Last Adam.
A TALE OF TWO MEN
Romans 5: 12-21
* “It was the best of times, It was the worst of times,” and with those two phrases, Charles Dickens begins his classic book entitled, “A Tale of Two Cities.” London and Paris are those two cities. Conflict is always required for drama & both of these cities possessed the potential for conflict. The American Revolution was looming large over London, while the nasty French Revolution was taking its toll on Paris. This long, classic work has become “required reading” for many students. This is a story which includes love, hate, sacrifice, and death and serves as a reminder that what happened in the French Revolution could also happen in England.
* When one follows the trail of 2 different groups, people, cities, countries, or clans, there is always much to learn. Such is the case in God’s word.
* Turn with me to Romans 5:12-21 and let’s take a look at the TWO most important men to ever walk on Planet Earth. Be reminded that our look at these two men is guided by Paul’s letter to the Roman church. Romans as we have named it, is the most complete treatise that we have on the good news of Jesus. It tells us about sin, death, depravity, God’s wrath, God’s grace, God’s gift, and eternal life. All of these subjects are connected to these two men. Let’s Read.
* Many people believe that ONE PERSON cannot truly make a different. Yet, history teaches us better. The story is told that in days past the state of Rhode Island was electing a state legislature. There was a thrifty Federalist farmer who started for the polls late in the afternoon and on the way, heard the squealing of a pig. He looked around to see the pig with its head caught in the mesh of an old wire fence. The farmer knew that Hogs would often kill and eat a trapped pig. So the farmer stopped, rescued the pig, and was too late to cast his vote. Now the story gets interesting. The Federalist farmer was too late to vote and the election was decided by one vote in favor of the democrats. “IF” the farmer had voted, the Democrat would not have been elected. But the irony does not stop here. In those days, the legislature selected the person who would be the US Senator for the state. By a one vote margin, a democrat was sent to the Senate from Rhoda Island. When arriving at the US Senate, the motion was placed forth about going to war with England which passed by one democratic vote. You still with me?
* Following this train of thought, the Revolutionary war was fought because in Rhode Island a pig got caught in a fence. Whether all of this story is true or not is certainly debatable but parts of it are entirely accurate. In American history, more than that you care to count, ONE VOTE-one person made a tremendous difference.
* Today we have read in God’s word about 2 men who teach us that one man CAN INDEED and DOES INDEED make a huge difference in life. These two men exert a great influence on you and me today. They both are Symbols, Patriarchs, and even Fathers. Scripture calls them the “First Adam” (Adam of the Garden) and the “Last Adam” (Jesus of Gethsemane); we know them as the Man of Sin and the Man of Salvation.
1) THE IMPACT OF THE FIRST ADAM – If there ever was an individual with a silver spoon, it had to be Adam in the Garden of Eden. Created by God’s own hand, given life by mouth to mouth from God himself, given a cushy job to tend the garden, and then married to a woman designed exactly to meet his needs. Perfect world, perfect man, perfect woman, & perfect situation, what could go wrong? He had no family baggage or in laws to contend with. For all that He enjoyed, God gave Adam only ONE RULE, “Don’t eat from the tree.” Adam possessed the ability to be the real patriarch of all creation and give to us many good and great things. But what did he give us? He gave us – SIN. Follow with me;
a) Sin’s Invasion– Verse 12 says, “Sin entered the world through one man.” Adam was sitting on the wall of innocence, perfection, bliss, and supposedly happiness and what legacy did he leave? He left sin which made every one of us sinner. When Adam fell off of that wall of innocence, it was like that old nursery rhyme, “humpty-dumpty”. All the king’s horses, all the kings’ men could not make right what Adam began. Sin invaded. Satan was an uninvited guest in paradise, disguised as a resident, deceived the woman, and began the rampage of sin. Make no mistake; sin came into this world because the first Adam, the man, became a passive, irresponsible, uncourageous, submissive individual as opposed to the keeper, the watchman, and the guardian. The results of His actions are “disobedience” called sin. Sin has been on the offensive ever since and has no intent of letting up. Everything good and godly has a target on it.