Summary: From the first Adam to the last Adam [Christ] we see all we lost in sin and all we gained thanks to our Savior! One man makes all the difference. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
From the first Adam to the last Adam [Christ] we see all we lost in sin and all we gained thanks to our Savior! One man makes all the difference.
What do we gain? "Much more" it says, over and again...we gain much more in Christ than we ever lost in Adam. The disobedience of one was erased in the obedience of another.
Can the fallen angels be saved? Why or why not? No! They are not a race. They sinned individually, were judged individually, and have no federal head, so no individual can save them. But you and I were lost in Adam, our representative and federal head, and can be saved in Christ.
From Adam we inherit sin, death, and judgment, so what is this "much more" we gain in Christ?
1. The redemptive act of Christ was much greater than the condemning act of Adam.
v. 15 God's grace is more powerful than man's sin.
Even though man's sin had far reaching effects, what Christ did is much more far reaching.
For instance: When a person gets saved their spirit is quickened. It comes alive. They were dead in trespasses and sins, and their spirit was dead, but being born again, they come spiritually alive. But it goes farther than that, because not only did I receive spiritual life when I got saved, but I also received the life of God, eternal life!
Also, at salvation we are restored to the state of Adam's original innocence. But it goes farther than that, because Christ shares with us the full righteousness of Christ! My sins were traded for His righteousness, so God doesn't just see me as a sinner who has been forgiven, but justified, just as if I'd never done those things!
Additionally, the power of Adam's sin can be broken. Jesus breaks the power of sin and death, but the opposite is not true...sin and death cannot break the power of Jesus! The condemnation of Adam's sin is reversible, but the redemptive act of Christ cannot be undone! The effect of Adam's in is permanent unless it is nullified by Jesus, but the effect of Jesus' act on our behalf is permanent on us who believe and is not subject to reversal.
That's why it bothers me when people talk about eternal security like it is just a peripheral issue. "What's the difference between your beliefs and that church's beliefs?" We answer, they believe you can lose your salvation and we don't...that's the only real difference. We mention it lightly like it is some insignificant peripheral issue, but it is not.
If you say a person can lose their salvation you are saying that Adam's condemning act is more powerful than Christ's redemptive act, and can override it. So much for this 'much more' passage in Romans 5!
God's grace is greater than all our sin!
2. What Christ did is much greater in its extent than what Adam did.
v. 16 God hates sin so much that it only took one sin to condemn the entire human race and separate us from His presence. That's how holy God is. It's not that it was such a heinous sin, he probably went on to do far worse in man's eyes, but in God's eyes, no sin can appear for even a moment without justice having to be done! Let this soak in...that it only took one little sin to plunge the entire human race into darkness.
But this verse reveals that there is only one thing greater than God's hatred for sin...and that is His love for sinners!
Think of how you feel toward a mother like Casey Anthony, or what despicable feelings you have toward a cannibal like Jeffrey Dahlmer, and multiply those feelings times infinity and that's how God feels about sin. Then consider that when Christ saw us in our lost condition he would come and take one of those sins upon His own self...but not just one, but all of yours, and all of mine, and everybody's...He literally became sin, the thing He hated the most.
Christ's redemptive act was far greater in extent than Adam's sin.
3. What Christ did is much greater in efficacy than what Adam did.
v. 17 Efficacy = the capacity to produce a desired result.
When Adam and Eve sinned, what was the desired result? To be like God! They didn't take a bite because they wanted to die, but they wanted to know what they were missing...why can't I have this fruit, what are you keeping from me? Did their sin produce the desired result? No, the opposite. They became less like God.
But when Jesus died on the cross, what was the desired result? That those He died for would receive Him and reign in life by Him...did it work? Yes! It's not just God's job to get us saved, but to keep us saved, and in efficacy it achieves its desired result.