Summary: All of us are viewed by God as either in Adam or in Christ; if we are in Adam, we are doomed to eternal death (separation from God); if we are in Christ, we are destined for eternal life.
1. What do you call a bear with extreme mood swings? – A bi-polar-bear.
2. Polarization is a good description of America’s political climate.
3. Polarization, however, can occur in many areas.
4. For example, some people are law abiding citizens, some hold no respect for the law or authority. Some value education, others hold it in contempt.
5. When it comes to spiritual matters, however, there is a stronger, deeper polarization.
6. And nothing matter more in your life than which side of the pole is yours.
7. At one end of the pole is Adam; at the other is the Second Adam, Jesus Christ.
8. Unlike many polarizing issues, there is no middle ground really in this one.
Main Idea: All of us are viewed by God as either in Adam or in Christ; if we are in Adam, we are doomed to eternal death (separation from God); if we are in Christ, we are destined for eternal life.
I. Adam’s Trespass Brought DEATH to the Entire Human Race (12-14).
A. This is called ORIGINAL sin.
1. In Genesis 3:1-19, we find that Adam’s sin may appear to be eating a forbidden fruit (not an apple), but the essence of the sin was disobeying God, opposing God, trying to be God, rebelling against God, and putting his will above God’s. It was about control, power.
2. Original sin is a very non-Western way to think. There are many interpretations of original sin, and theologians have parsed out the concept to the nth degree and made all sorts of fine distinctions. We don’t want to get into all that.
3. Original sin. John Calvin explains: "Original sin, therefore seems to be a hereditary depravity and corruption of our nature, diffused into all parts of the soul, which first makes us liable to God's wrath, then also brings forth in us those works which Scripture calls 'works of the flesh' [Gal. 5:19].”
B. Adam’s sin is ASSIGNED to us.
• The word “one” is used 11 times in this section.
The words “imputed” or “reckoned” don’t register well with most modern English speakers. Other synonyms include attribute, ascribe, and credit. Transfer is a good one, and so is assign.
1. The sin of Adam is transferred to us.
2. The sins of mankind were transferred to Jesus on the cross.
3. The righteousness of Christ is transferred to us when we believe.
C. This explains how God condemned people, even before He revealed His standards in the TORAH (13-14).
1. This also explains how people who have never heard of Christ are lost.
2. Why were people lost before the Law was given? They had already sinned in Adam.
II. Christ’s Gifting Death Brought LIFE in Contrast to Adam (15-19).
• We were in solidarity with Adam, and now we are in solidarity with Christ.
• My forefathers immigrated here from Slovakia and Poland. My grandparents became naturalized citizens. When my parents were born, they were born in the United States, and thus citizens of this country.
• When Adam sinned, he and Eve moved from the country of innocence to the country of sin, they became naturalized citizens of sin. We are now born as citizens of the country of sin. We need to be “naturalized” into the country of Jesus Christ.
• But this is different. Our children are born citizens of the country of sin. They, too, have to be naturalized into the country of Jesus Christ.
A. Transgression vs. free GIFT (15)
• This is the word carisma, a gratis gift
• The “many” is a reference is Isaiah 53:11, “Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
B. Adam’s single sin brought death; Jesus took many sins upon Himself to bring LIFE (16).
C. Death reigning vs LIFE reigning (17)
The word “reign” is used 5 times; Either Adam’s sin reigns in our lives our Christ’s gracious gift of life “reigns” in us. Whose on your throne?
John Lowe explains:
Death reigned. The word death is used in a threefold way in scripture.
1. Physical death—refers only to the body, and it means a separation of the spirit from the body. This death comes to man because of Adam’s sin.
2. Spiritual death—is separation from and rebellion against God. And we inherit this nature from Adam. We are alienated from God and we are dead in trespasses and sins: And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins" (Eph . 2:1;NKJV). That is the picture that Scripture presents.
3. Eternal death—is eternal separation from God. And, unless man is redeemed, eternal death eventually follows: "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Rev. 21:8; NKJV). [sermoncentral.com]