3-Week Series: Double Blessing

Sermons

Summary: There are some who will object by saying, “Why should I suffer, why should I burn in hell for Adam’s disobedience to God’s command?” You will not! If you burn in hell it will not be because of Adam’s transgression.

Headship of Christ

Romans 5:15-21

15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.

17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,

21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

When we belonged to the old creation under Adam, death and sin reigned; now that we are in Christ in the new creation—“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Cor. 5:17), grace is reigning, and we are reigning in life—“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ” (v. 17). You can live like a king by the grace of God!

15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.

But the free gift is not like the offense. Here, Paul continues the contrast between Adam and Christ, but what is the contrast between the two men? God created Adam a free moral agent, with the right to choose. God placed him in a garden of perfection, and instructed him what to do and what not to do. Adam willfully sinned; his sin was the result of willful disobedience on his part. Through the offense of Adam the many (i.e., all of Adam’s descendants) incurred the penalty of death. Similarly, the many (i.e., all the redeemed) have incurred the free gift of eternal life through the Last Adam, Jesus Christ. The free gift is the marvelous expression of the grace of God abounding to a race of sinners. Death here may include spiritual as well as physical death.

There are some who will read these lines that will object by saying, “Why should I suffer, why should I burn in hell for Adam’s mistake and his disobedience to God’s command?” You will not! If you burn in hell it will be your own choice; it will not be because of Adam’s transgression.

For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God. The grace of God, which is the ground of our justification, is contrasted with the sin of Adam, because it is greater in quality and greater in degree than Adam’s sin. Paul has already established that all people, without exception, bear the guilt of sin and are therefore subject to death. In Adam we got what we deserved, condemnation and guilt. In Christ we have received much more of what we do not deserve, mercy and grace. Today, we are looking forward to something more wonderful than the Garden of Eden. Paul tells us,“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Heb. 11:13).

In these verses, Paul has put forth a reality which the modern world must be aware of. It is that the life of one person affects many others—“no man is an island.” No man lives to himself, and this truth can be amplified to prove that no one is so obscure that his actions do not reach out in ever-widening circles to effect men whose name he doesn’t know and of whose very existence he has been completely unaware. What Christ has done for us can alter the character of every single person and can transform the nature of the common life which all men share together.

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