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Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:15 “But 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.”

Paul ended verse 14 with sort of an afterthought, calling Adam a “type of the one who was to come,” or one who is the forerunner to Jesus.  Just so that we won’t be confused, he spends the next three verses qualifying this statement by pointing out how the type, Adam, doesn’t even compare to the One to come, Jesus.  First in verse 15 he is comparing what we received through Adam’s trespass and what we received through Christ’s sacrifice.  The trespass brought death and the sacrifice brought life.  Even more than this, however, Paul is making the comparison in such a way so that he illustrates the enormity of the gift we’ve been given.  He’s saying that if all of mankind is condemned in payment for the sin begun by Adam, as is deserved, how much more amazing is the gift of grace offered to these same men and women by Jesus Christ, which is undeserved.  This is why we sing with John Newton, “How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.”  It is amazing grace.

Study/Meditation:  Many say that they can’t believe that God would send anyone to hell, but Paul is arguing from the opposite standpoint—everyone deserves hell.  How does Paul’s argument make God’s grace amazing?  How does the world’s argument diminish His grace?

*Father, Your grace is amazing.  I praise You and honor You and give You glory for this love and for Your justice.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:14 “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.”

The second part of Paul’s proof of his statement in verse 12 is here in verse 14—since death existed before the Law was given to Moses and it began with Adam, and death is the direct result of sin entering the world, then our fallen and hopeless states began with Adam.   We are tied together in sin with the first man Adam and there is absolutely nothing we can do to get ourselves out of it.  It’s not about the Law or trying to keep it.  It’s about sin and the fact that we are in it.  What we must understand and accept in Christianity is that God has done the work, unilaterally and entirely of Himself drawing us out of this predicament of sin.  God didn’t give us a new start in life.  He gave us a new life to start with.  This is liberating and peace-bringing news.

Study/Meditation:  How should you incorporate this viewpoint into evangelism?

*Father, thank You for this new life.  Thank You that it is not of me but entirely of You.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:13 “For sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.”

In the next two verses, Paul is simply giving his proof that the statement he just made in verse 12 is true—we sin because we are sinners.  Adam’s sin was imputed to us.  His first point of proof is in regard to the law.  In verse 13 Paul is saying that the law existed before the Law was physically given to Moses at Sinai.  It existed because mankind sinned before the Law at Sinai, so there had to have been a law to sin against.  The presence of sin in world is evidence of the presence of law.  Simply put:  Sin didn’t start with the Law; sin started with Adam.  Once again, Paul is explaining step by step why we need a Savior and what good news it is that we have been justified by ours.

Study/Meditation:  What evidence do you see that man’s nature is sinful, i.e. man sins because he is a sinner?  How does that make Jesus such good news to a dying world?

*Father, thank You for giving me Your Word which explains You and Your love to me.  Thank You for speaking to the biblical writers like Paul so that the pages of the Bible come alive in truth.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:12-21

Romans 5:12 “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.”

For the next few verses Paul is going to back up and tell us why theologically we are in the state we are in as we need the gift of justification.  He begins by speaking of Adam as our “federal head” or “federal representative” in sin.  That is, everything we are in our fallen states started with him.  Now, this is often seen as somehow unfair or unjust that we would have to be related this way to the first man who sinned, but the point is to show us why we simply cannot save ourselves.  We are by nature, from the beginning with the sin committed by our federal representative, children of wrath.  We aren’t sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.  Sin entered the world through the first man and we are both in and partakers of that sin.  We are truly lost without a Savior.  In short, we need Jesus.  How amazing that He was given to us!

Study/Meditation:  What objections might some have to what Paul is writing in verse 12?  How can you see the developing of his point that we cannot save ourselves?

*Father, I confess that I do not understand Your ways, but I acknowledge and exult in knowing that they are both higher and better than my ways.  You are God, and You are perfect.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:11 “More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

It will forever be the lot of fallen mankind to try to earn salvation and reconciliation.  It is in our natures to place ourselves at the center of what God did for us and think we can either be good enough to deserve it or bad enough to lose it.  But Paul reminds us here that we rejoice in God not just because we have been reconciled, but because we “have now received reconciliation.”  It is a gift.  It was given to us “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We will never deserve it, and that’s not the basis upon which we were given it.  We can never lose it because again, our merit or lack thereof are not the basis upon which we received it.  We were given reconciliation with our Father completely and only through the life, death and resurrection of our ever-interceding Lord, Jesus Christ.  Yes, Christian, we can most assuredly rejoice in God.  Yes, we can.

Study/Meditation:  Why is it such an important distinction to see that you weren’t just reconciled but that you received that reconciliation?  How is your assurance in eternity bolstered in this knowledge?

*Father, You are loving and merciful and gracious.  Thank You for giving me the gift of reconciliation with You through Jesus, Your Son.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 5:1-11

Romans 5:10 “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

As Paul hinted in verse 9, he makes abundantly clear in verse 10—God brought us into fellowship with Him as His very own children while we were His enemies.  It wasn’t that we were just rebellious or misbehaving in the objective sense.  We were personally His enemies, and at that time He gave His Son so that we might receive His righteousness.  Paul’s argument makes doubting the assurance of our salvation nothing short of ludicrous.  If we think there is anything that can separate us from God’s love, especially if we make that “thing” something we do, then we have forgotten that He chose us while we were “anti-God.”  If God chose to give us eternal life with Him when we were more than sinning in rebellion, then certainly nothing we do now can negate the assurance of that salvation.  Eternal security for the believer is something we ought never doubt given the conditions of our hearts at the moment of His choosing.  While we did not love Him, He loved us first.

Study/Meditation:  What did Jesus tell His disciples in regards to our assurance in salvation?  (Read John 10:27-30.)

*Father, thank You for choosing me when I did not choose You.  Thank You for loving me first.  Amen.