Summary: There is an answer to our family problems of sin and death. What Adam messed up so badly, Jesus fixed for all who put their trust in Him! We don’t have to stay messed up! God wants to restore us to be the people He created us to be.
Adam’s Family Treasures
Intro: Think for a moment about different people who have influenced your life. You might be thinking of parents or other family members. You might be thinking about a teacher, coach, friend, or someone else who had an impact on who you are today. Well, of all the people who have influenced you, there is one man who has influenced you more than any other. And you are related to Him. He’s your very great Grandpa! You’ve probably already figured out from the title in the bulletin that I’m talking about Adam – the first man who lived. [Play Addam’s Family Theme Song / Explain how we all inherited a sinful nature – a disposition toward sin, and death came along with sin – thanks to Grandpa Adam.]
-Remember Paul is most likely addressing some of the Jews who are being self-righteous and trying to force the Gentile believers to adopt the Jewish customs and way of life. In their minds, Gentiles should live by the law of Moses. It’s almost as if they saw salvation as having double doors labeled Jesus and Judaism. So as Paul writes he is again showing that we are all on the same playing field. We are all related to Adam and are guilty before God, and we are all dead until Jesus gives us His life!
-That’s good news today! There is an answer to our family problems of sin and death. What Adam messed up so badly, Jesus fixed for all who put their trust in Him! Even though we are part of Adam’s Family, we don’t have to stay messed up! God wants to restore us to be the people He created us to be. That’s the power of the gospel!
-So let’s take a few minutes to look at our predicament, and then we’ll look at the good side of being part of Adam’s family.
1. Adam’s Family has inherited sin and death (12-14)
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned-- 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.
-Sin is here! We live in a sinful world where all 7 billion people on the planet have sinned or will sin. It all started with Adam, but we really cannot place all the blame on him because we have all made the same choice not to trust God. Instead we have done what we’ve wanted to do and have ignored God’s righteous standards that are fitting for creatures made in His image.
Isaiah 53:6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way.
-You don’t have to watch or read the news very long to see how messed up our world is. People are murdering people, abusing children, and indulging in every form of sinful behavior.
-But sin is not just “out there” in the headlines but is also present in our own hearts as Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jesus put it this way in Matthew 15:19: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” No one is immune from the virus of sin because it has spread everywhere. No one is exempt from its excruciating grip and no one is innocent.
-Our world doesn’t make sense without the understanding that sin entered this world long ago and has been passed down to every human being on the planet. Something has gone wrong; terribly and wickedly wrong. The Bible is clear that we live in a fallen world and even secular studies show how savage our sinfulness is. Listen to these words from the Minnesota Crime Commission:
“Every baby starts life as a little savage. He is completely selfish and self-centered. He wants what he wants when he wants it—his bottle, his mother’s attention, his playmate’s toy, his uncle’s watch. Deny him these wants, and he seethes with rage and aggressiveness, which would be murderous, were he not so helpless. He is dirty. He has no morals, no knowledge, no skills. This means that all children, not just certain children, are born delinquent. If permitted to continue in the self-centered world of his infancy, given free reign to his impulsive actions to satisfy his wants, every child would grow up a criminal, a thief, a killer, a rapist” (As quoted by Ray Stedman, “From Guilt to Glory,” I, p. 131- Above wording borrowed from Brian Bill, sermoncentral.com).