Summary: This is a contrast between the gift we received from Adam and the gift we received from Jesus
• It will not be long before we get to Christmas. During the Christmas season, we receive and give gifts.
• I am the type who has always appreciated any gifts I have received from people. I am touched that someone would consider me worthy of their time and efforts.
• Throughout our lives we receive many gifts. Some of the gifts we receive are not always the most desired or the most useful. Maybe you have a closet full of those television commercial gifts that do not do what they were supposed to. Maybe you are one of those people who have received gifts that are beyond description.
• The gifts we receive from people usually come to us because someone wants to give us a gift, we usually do not earn the right to get a gift. People give them because they want to give them to us.
• Today I want to spend some time contrasting two gifts that come to us in life. Neither of these gifts are earned. One of the gifts is one we ALL receive, it is one of those gifts none of us want, kind of like Mike Wallace and the 60 Minutes crew showing up at your door step, but nevertheless, it is one we all receive.
• The other gift is one that the giver desperately wants us to have; all we need to do is to claim the gift to have it. It is a gift that all of us should want, but not everyone will accept. It is a gift that can counteract the unwanted gift we all receive.
• Today I will contrast the two gifts, and I hope you will be convinced to accept the free gift being offered to you. If you have already accepted the free gift, I hope that you will appreciate the gift you have accepted.
• Turn in your bibles to Romans 5:12-21. We will start by looking at the gift we all receive from Adam.
• This is one of the most difficult passages to understand because of the structure, the language and the to phraseology that is used.
I. THE GIFT OF ADAM (12-14)
• Adams gift to us was sin and death! Doesn’t that sound like a great gift to receive! Verse 12 tells us that through one man, sin entered the world and death came as a result of sin and death spread to all men because all have sinned!
• In this section of text we find Paul treating the Genesis account of the fall of mankind as a fact, not some made up story.
• When God created mankind and put him in the Garden of Eden, He told them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He further told him that if he ate of the tree he would surely die! (Genesis 2:16-17)
• Genesis 2:17 says, “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
• It literally reads in the Hebrew, “dying you shall die.” This is why Adam did not drop dead immediately after he sinned. His sins started the death process.
• In Genesis 3 we find Eve being deceived by the serpent. In Genesis 3:6 we have the start of the fall. “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.”
• When Adam made the decision to sin, he let sin and death enter the world.
• The gift of death that Adam passed on to all of us is physical death. We die a physical death because of Adam’s decision to do what God told him not to do.
• Until Adam’s sin, there was no physical death in the world. This kind of puts the idea of dinosaurs living on the planet for millions of years before mankind to rest, unless each one of them lived for millions of years. 1 CORINTHIANS 15:21-22 says, “For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.”
• When the passage says that all have sinned it means that since we all come from Adam, Adams sin represents us all.
• In verses 13-14 we find that between the time of Adam and Moses there was no Law that transgressing it would result in death.
• Even though mankind was sinning against God, sin was not “imputed”. Impute means to credit or debit one’s account, to hold one responsible, to hold one liable to punishment.