Friday, January 21, 2011

Now God’s Wonderful Grace Rules

Rom. 5:12-21 NLT

   When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 17 For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. 
   18  Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. 
   20  God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The doctrine of sin and the fallen nature is debated by people who want to deny God and their own personal responsibility for it. But it is a reality nevertheless. Paul laid it out clearly in this passage for the new Christian believers at Rome. These were not university educated people but were plain ordinary folk who worked hard for a living seven days a week. He wrote to parents and the young to whom the passages would be read. He wrote it to church groups and individuals alike. His points are obvious:
  1. Sin is every one's real inherited condition  caused since the first human failed (vs 12-15)
  2. Christ overcame sin and yet was offered as the sacrifice for our sin (vs 15-20)
  3. The opportunity for grace is available to everyone who believes  (vs 21)
It is hard for us to realize that we can't earn God's love.  We all think we should deserve it. That alone is a sign of our fallen nature. But we cannot earn it, we would never deserve it no matter how 'good' we might make ourselves be. We will always fail, Paul will make this truth clear later in the book. For now, no matter what the intellectuals and liberal thinkers tell you, realize that sin is real and it affected you. Yet realize that you can not only be forgiven for past and present sins, but you can be delivered from the hold that the sin-nature has over you if you will just yield to Christ and allow Him to fill you daily and hourly.

Your servant in Christ's love

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