Summary: The cure for those who are in Jesus by faith is much more powerful than the curse for those who are in Adam by nature
It seems that almost every time I turn on my TV lately there is a commercial for some new prescription drug. And I’ve got to tell you that when I watch most of those commercials, the required disclaimers make it seem to me like the cure is often worse than the disease. These two clips from a couple of commercials for sleeping pills that describe the side effects of those drugs are a great example of that:
What a surprise that a sleeping pill would make you drowsy, right? I could probably live with that. But walking, eating or driving in my sleep and not remembering it or having my tongue or throat swell up so much that I might die aren’t risks I’m willing to take. I think I’ll just be tired once in a while instead.
But when it comes to the cure that Jesus offers for our spiritual sickness, the cure is not just adequate to cure the disease, it is actually much better. That is why last week we concluded that…
The cure for those who are in Jesus by faith
is much more powerful than
the curse for those who are in Adam by nature
This morning we’ll look at Romans 5:12-21 again, so if you have your Bibles go ahead and take them out and open them up to that passage. Once again, before I read that passage, let me briefly remind you of the structure of the passage. Paul begins his train of thought in verse 12 and then he does as he often does and takes a moment to explain something in that verse before he picks up with his main train of thought again in verse 18. With that structure in mind, please follow along as I read beginning in verse 12:
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—
[Verses 13 –17 that we’ll read now are Paul’s explanation of what he just wrote in verse 12]
for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
[Now in verse 18, we’ll pick up with Paul’s main teaching again.]
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 5:12-21 ESV)
Last week, we primarily focused on the part of this passage that deals with the curse that we are all under due to the sin nature that we all have because we are “in Adam.” As I was evaluating that message some more, it occurred to me that perhaps I had gotten suckered into Paul’s somewhat confusing circular reasoning to the point where I made the ideas he was expressing more difficult to understand than they needed to be. So before we move on this morning, let me see if I can’t simplify what we learned last week, since we need that background for this morning’s message anyway.
Review of last week:
1. Every human being ever born has Adam’s sin nature imputed or counted to us not because of anything we do, but simply because we are “in Adam.” That sin nature results in us being under the reign of death.
2. That means that we sin because we are sinners rather than being sinners because we sin.
3. However, that truth in no way excuses our own individual sin or lessens its seriousness in God’s eyes.
4. Adam is a “type” of Jesus in the sense that with both of them the action of one man is imputed to all who are “in him.”