WANTED: DEAD? OR ALIVE?
Lord, on this Ash Wednesday I remember that You are my maker and my God. You have given me life and You sustain me. I bless Your name.
Read Romans 5:12–21
Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, 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 is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But 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! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For 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!
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For 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.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectMost of us don’t like to face up to the reality of sin in our lives. Spend a few moments asking God to show you how sin affects you.
These verses raise deep questions about original sin (Are we born condemned?), evolution (Was there death before the Fall?), Adam and Eve (Did they really exist?), and universalism (Will everyone be saved?). If you feel confused or overwhelmed by what you’ve read, you are not alone.
Let’s ask some questions. How many people sin (v 12)? How do ‘the many’ die (v 15)? What brought judgment and condemnation on humanity (v 16)? Whose sin ushered in the reign of death (v 17)? Paul states simply: human beings are spiritually dead on arrival (v 12). We all belong to Adam’s fallen race, broken and condemned by his sin – and unable to avoid compounding his sin even further with our own.
Now look at the contrast between Adam and Jesus. Look for the ‘how much more’s; look for the ‘overflow’ and ‘abundant’. The original sin is awful – it has condemned billions to death. Yet the free gift is so ‘much more’ powerful, undoing the effect of the sin, removing its condemnation, and bringing a life even Adam did not know!
Because of what Christ has done, we’re given the gift of abundant life and declared righteous. Let’s give thanks and praise to our God!
Merciful Father, I confess I have dishonored You by my sin. I thank and praise You for Your forgiveness.
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