Let us begin this morning with our January Memory Verse, Romans 5:8, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
This morning, we are will be continuing to examine Romans 5:12-21. Last week I spent a significant amount of time talking about one side of the equation found in Romans 5, and very little time on the other side of the equation. This morning I would like to flip that balance. So let us begin by reading our text again. Please stand with me in the reading of God’s Word.
- Romans 5:12-21 “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned--13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. 15But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. 18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
The Supremacy in Christ
I am concerned that many of us do not embrace the supremacy of Jesus Christ in the world and in our lives. As I look at my own life and at your lives, I see a disconnect in how we live and what the Bible says. Let me read a few verses to expand upon this:
- Colossians 1:15-20 – “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
So the question is, when people look at your life, can they see the supremacy of Jesus Christ? Do people see that you value Jesus more than you value everything that this world has to offer? Do you display the ultimate treasure that is your King? Why not? Why is there a disconnect between Colossians 1 and your life? The answer I believe is found in Romans 5.
Origin of Sin
Last week I spent a significant time unpacking what is called Hamartiology, which is the theology of sin, where it came from and how it spread, and what are the consequences. And as we saw, sin did not originate in God, for Jesus tells us that Satan is the Father of lies. Unrighteousness was first found in Satan, when he was a guardian Cherub upon the Mountain of God. Satan, desiring to be like God, was the first rebel.
Even though sin first originated in Satan, it does not mean that God was not sovereign over that event. God is all knowing and all powerful, therefore, when God created Satan through Jesus Christ and for Jesus, God knew that Satan would manifest passions and desires in his angelic soul that would be against the will of God. Sin began in Satan, and Satan is accountable for that sin, however, God in ways that are perhaps beyond understanding, ordained it.
However, we must tread lightly and not credit God with sin, for God is without sin. As it says in Isaiah 6:3, God is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” As it says in 1 John 1:5, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.” As Jesus says in Matthew 5:48, “your Heavenly Father is perfect.”
So God is sovereign over all things, including evil, but he did not create it, however, he did ordain it. This is how Pastor John MacArthur states it, “God was not caught off guard. In fact, God decreed that evil would be part of His plan. He is not the creator of evil and He is not the cause of evil. He did not bring evil into existence in a cosmic sense, and He did not and does not bring evil into existence in a personal sense. He is not the cause of sin, nor is He the cause of sins in the lives of people. But He does use it for His purposes.”
As we stated, this sin did not remain in the Angelic realm. Through Satan’s deception and lies, Adam and Eve also succumbed to the desires witch gave birth to sin. And at that moment, when the broke God's law, Adam and Eve became sinners by nature. Sin was not just something they did, it was something they became. And because Adam is the Father of all living, the sin nature that was in him was passed on to his children, and his children’s children, and so on and so forth. Therefore, every person who has ever existed is a natural born sinner. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians says that we are “by nature children of wrath.”
Now, just as God was not caught off guard by Satan’s sin, God was also not caught off guard by Adam’s sin. Just as Satan’s sin was a part of God’s eternal purposes, so was Adam’s. How do we know this? Two places in Scripture make this very clear.
- Ephesians 1:3-5 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,”
Now the second verse that shows that God was not caught off guard by Adam's sin is Revelation 13:8. In this verse, the Apostle John is talking about those who worship the antichrist, which I believe to be the things of this world.
- Revelation 13:8 – “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.”
Therefore we can clearly see that God was not surprised by sin entering into the world through Adam. It was always a part of the purpose of God's will. And what is the preeminent, or supreme, purpose of God’s will? That in everything, His Son would be glorified.
Adam, a Type of Christ
With all of this being said look at verse 14. It says, “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.” What does Paul mean when he says that Adam was a type of the one who was to come? Who is the one who was to come? The One? It is Jesus, of course. Jesus is the one who the sin saturated world had been waiting for. Jesus is the one who was the Lamb who was slain. Jesus is the one who is the Christ who would provide a path for us to be made holy and blameless before God.
So what does Paul mean when he says that Adam was a type of Christ? The Greek word is typos (tü'-pos), but is spelled t-y-p-o-s. And this word means a die as struck, or a stamp, or a model, or impression. Therefore to say that Adam was a type is to say that Adam was a model of Jesus. I think the best way is to think about this modeling is in regards to the singularity of Adam and the singularity of Jesus.
Remember Adam is the first of the human race, and therefore in the Garden of Eden he represented all of mankind. All of humanity was in his loins, so to speak, when he sinned. And because Adam sinned, we all sinned. Likewise, Jesus is the first born of creation, the head of the Church. Jesus is the representative of God’s elect, those who were chosen by God to be holy and blameless. So just as sin came into the world through one man, Adam. Salvation came into the world through one man, Jesus. This is how Adam is a type of Christ. Adam model's or is a pattern pointing to Jesus.
The purpose of Romans 5 is to show the singularity of salvation through Jesus Christ. Sin came in through the single doorway of Adam, and salvation comes through the single doorway of Jesus. There was a single way you become a sinner, through being a descendant of Adam, and there is a single way that you become saved, through faith in Jesus Christ.
- John 10:6, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved. “
- John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
- 1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all people.”
The Gift is not Like the Trespass
Therefore Adam is a type of Christ as a God ordained covenant head of the human race, but as it says in verse 15, “But the free gift is not like the trespass.” Jesus stands in stark contrast to Adam.
First of all, Adam transgressed the law of God. Christ did not. Look at verses 18 and 19 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” Adam rebelled against God, Christ submitted to God. His one act of righteousness, was the one act of his entire life. Where Adam failed, Christ overcame. Philippians 2:8 says, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Jesus did all that the Father commanded, including dieing in our place upon the cross.
And through His life of obedience, including the cross, we who are unrighteous are made righteous. Our righteousness is not through our own works, but through the work of Jesus. Look at verse 19 again, “by the one man's obedience” Who is that one man? Jesus. “the many will be made righteous.” Who are the many? Those who are descendants of Adam and receive the gift of Christ. It does not say, buy our obedience we will be made righteous, it says by Jesus's obedience will will be made righteous. Righteousness is not something we earn, it is only something we can receive. If you notice, in our text for today it says the phrase “free gift” five separate times. The free gift is Jesus, the Son of God, and all that flows from faith in him.
And it says in verse 16 says, “And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.” In the Jones County Courthouse in the District Courtroom, high above the judge's bench there is a plaster molding that says, “Justice for all man.” This is exactly what is happening in verse 16. God as a righteous judge must bring justice to all man, and because all man have sinned, the judgment of God is that we are all guilty. Everyone stands condemned, or guilty, under the law of a Holy God,in the Courtroom of His Universe, and this condemnation is brought upon us by Adam, the original sin.
Jesus, who is the free gift of God, does not bring judgment, he does not bring condemnation. Jesus brings justification, this is the exact opposite of condemnation. Christ stands in the Courtroom of God and takes upon himself the judgment that we deserve, and he does this on the cross of Calvary. Isaiah 53:5, “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” Our healing is our justification. Through Christ we who are sinners have become holy and blameless before our Maker. God, through Christ, sees those who receive the gift of Jesus by faith, are perfect in God's eyes. The blood of Jesus has washed us as white as snow.
And this is true for all men who chose to receive the gift of Christ. No matter how wretched you have been in your life. No matter what sins you have committed. The free gift of Jesus Christ has more power than the curse of Adam. Look at verse 20, “Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,” If anyone tells you that they have done too many bad things to be forgiven, you set them straight. For the blood of Jesus Christ can pay any man's debt. In the Kingdom of God, grace reigns. As we have said, to reign means to have ultimate authority. The grace of God in Christ is greater than the sins of man. By the blood of the lam we have overcome.
And all of this leads us to the final reality and that is life. Though the sin of Adam, came death to all, for all sinned, but through Christ everything is reversed. No longer is death our master, Christ is, and in Christ there is life.
Verse 17, “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” Jesus reversed the curse. Only though faith in Jesus Christ can we overcome our two greatest enemies, sin and death. John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Jesus is not just some teacher. He is not just some prophet. He is not just a revolutionary. He is not just an example for social change. Jesus is the Son of God, everything was created through him and for him. He is the center of all reality, and He is this world's only hope.