Hello everyone. We’re continuing our look through the New Testament to study the doctrine of the Trinity. Right now, we’re in the epistle to the Romans. Tonight’s passage won’t directly deal with the deity of Christ, but will be part of the Christian view of who Jesus is and thus important to our study. Paul will touch on issues later on in his writings that we will get a preview of tonight. Our text will be Romans 5:12-21.
12Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law.14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
20The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is a comparison between Christ and Adam in relation to life and death. It’s noteworthy that Adam is referred to as a pattern of Christ while no one else is. Humanity is divided into two groups. Those who are in Adam and those who are in Christ. What separates them is not their being men. Both of them are. What separates them is what they brought into the world. Adam brought death into the world and all who are in him are in death. Christ brought life into the world and all who are in him are in life. (I also believe that this is talking about spiritual death and not physical death. After all, many are physically alive who are in Adam, but they are spiritually dead.)
What we need to pay attention to is the affect of Christ in that Christ is the bringer of life. To bring death to someone is a simple task. Anyone could do that. To bring life to those who are dead is not such a task. Christ is the one on whom all history turns. The world was in a downward spiral getting worse and worse until Christ came and began the change going upward. As we move away from the teachings of Christ however, evil becomes more prevalent. We see this in the mass murders that took place under the atheistic regimes of people like Stalin and Mao. We in America should be concerned about this and realize that the gospel needs to thrive in America if America is to thrive. It has been a contention of mine for some time that the gospel does not need America. If America falls, Christianity will survive. Amercia needs the gospel however. Our country cannot last without it.
Does Christ bring righteousness to all men? Yes. That is, all men who are in him. We are in Adam by nature for we are descended from him. We are not in Christ by nature. To be in Christ is to realize his truth claims. One can either accept his covenant or reject it. To accept it is to choose life. To reject it is to choose death.
Note how this part closes also. Eternal life is brought through Christ Jesus our Lord. This could be taken as a statement of the identity of Christ in that he is called Lord and that he is the one through whom eternal life comes. We’ll see more on Christ being Lord when we get to Romans 10.
We conclude then by saying that Christ is the focal point of all history and the one on whom it all changes. You may call him simply a man if you wish, but do we really believe that that is the message the New Testament wishes to convey?