Only One Man
By Bobby Blakey on January 22, 2023
Only One Man
By Bobby Blakey on January 22, 2023
Yesterday, at 3:27, right down the street from here, so close you could just walk on over there, there was a man named Scott, and he passed away yesterday at 3:27. In one of the homes right over here, this man Scott and his wife, they started watching the services of our church during the COVID time. And they would send me encouraging emails about what they thought about the services. And so, on Friday, I got to go in there and I never really met Scott and never really talked to him. And he's there in hospice in a hospital bed, kind of they're in his living room, and he's on morphine. He's kind of coming in and out and I walk in, he's like, oh, here he is Bobby Blakey. Right? And he welcomes me in. And I got to pray for Scott before his soul left his body, which happened yesterday at 3:27. And so, death is a reality in life. Where did death come from? What are you and I supposed to think about death? Is there any hope when we all face certain death? I want to invite you to open the Bible, and turn with me to Romans chapter 5, verses 12 to 21, so we can really think through death maybe more clearly than you ever have in your life. And the good news is that Jesus has done something about it. And we want to learn about it. And we want to worship Jesus here today. So, Romans 5:12-21 is a very unique text. You'll notice as we read, it feels like a little different style even than the rest of Romans. It's a very unique text, really, not just in the book of Romans, but in all of Scripture. This text is not about you, or it's not about us; it doesn't speak in those kinds of terms. This text works on a macro level, and it is about all; this is the story of all mankind. Romans 5:12-21. So, I want to invite everybody, out of respect for God's Word, to stand up for the public reading of Scripture. In fact, if you're watching this online this morning, will you stand up with us, and let's hear from God. Let's give this our full and undivided attention. As we read through this, you might think you already know some of this. Well, let's see what we can learn together and grow in our understanding today. Romans chapter 5, starting in verse 12, all the way to the end of the chapter. Please follow along as I read.
“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 sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 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. 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. 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. 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. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For 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. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
That's the reading of God's word. Please go ahead and have your seat. Okay, so we want to work through this passage together. This passage is about the union that we all have with Adam, and then the union that we have in Jesus. And so, you'll notice the theme of “the one”; that word “one” goes throughout this entire passage of Scripture. One man referring originally to Adam, and then one man referring to Jesus. And it says, if you just look at verse 14 really quick as we go back and learn about Adam, it makes it clear here at the end of verse 14 that Adam was a type of the One who was to come. So, you might be familiar with this passage. You might have an idea that that there's Adam and Adam is a type of Christ, is what it's saying there. And this idea of “tupos,” he's an example of Christ. So, there's a comparison, there's going to be two contrasts we're going to see between Adam and Jesus. And then three similarities we're going to see between Adam and Jesus. So, we're meant to, as we think about Adam, the one man, and we compare him to the one man Jesus, we’re meant to see some differences and similarities that increase our understanding of what Jesus has done for us. So, when I preach a sermon like this, I do get concerned, because growing up in church all my life, I know how Christians are. We can be talking about the most exciting thing ever, the good news of great joy that Jesus came to save us so that we're not going to die in our sins and be condemned, but we are going to have eternal life and be made righteous forevermore, and I’ll start preaching this good news, and some people will be like, oh yeah, I've heard this one before. I already know all about this. No big deal to me. Like, if the good news becomes old news, I'm concerned for you. All right? It's supposed to keep getting more exciting, not be like I've been there, I've done that. Do not let your knowledge of Christ puff you up. Okay? And also, the fact I spent all week trying to understand what's going on in these verses, trust me, you don't know everything going on in these verses. All right? If you think you do, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of my friends. This is John Murray right here. Okay. Could you ever imagine writing a book this thick? I would need a lot of pictures to get a book this thick, right? So, John Murray. This is a classic commentary on Romans written in 1959 by John Murray, and all the other commentaries, they refer to this commentary. And when we start going through Romans, my dad comes, and he hands me this commentary as a gift, which I'm thinking is like a nice gesture, or it could be a way to say, don't mess Romans up. I don't know exactly what he was saying. But I get this commentary, right? I mean, can you imagine writing something this much on the book of Romans? But then, this is another commentary. I got a bunch of these at home; I just brought two. This is written by Dr. Tom Schreiner, one of the leading New Testament scholars going right now in America. Does everybody see how thick this book is? Can you see that from where you're sitting? This is his second edition of this book. So, he's written this book twice. This, the second edition, came out in 2018. He originally wrote it in 1998. And one of the reasons he wrote a whole another edition is because he wants to tell us that he changed his mind about something he thought about Romans 5:12-21. And then he wants to tell us how John Murray is both right about Romans 5, and how John Murray is also wrong about Romans 5:12-21. And so, he's having a conversation with John Murray through his second edition of this book. Two great guys, very smart believers, debating about what this really says. So, the idea that you and I are going to roll in here today, like we already know about Romans 5…not likely, my friend. All right? So, let's give this text the attention that it deserves. And let's start in verse 12. And let's work our way through it together.
So, we've been talking about justification by faith, we've been looking at the results of knowing that you're righteous before God because of Jesus. Romans 5:1-11 has greatly encouraged us that not only have we been saved, we will be saved. So therefore, let's look at it now from another angle, from the macro angle here. “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—.” Now, when it says this is what the debate these guys are having in the commentaries about, is right there at the end of verse 12. When it says “because all sinned,” what does that mean? Is that talking about every one of us individually sinning, or is it talking about that in Adam, we all sinned with our union with Adam. Like, Adam being our head, our descendant. Now, people debate this kind of endlessly. But go back to Romans 3, because it was already made very clear in a personal way that we have all sinned. Do you remember Romans 3:10, where Paul put together these different Scriptures from the Hebrew Bible and made a very convincing case? “None is righteous, no, not one.” And in fact, it goes on to say, no one does good, not even one, not if you compare yourself to God, not if you think through everything that you say, not if you look back on all that you have done, no one can claim to be hundred percent righteous, completely living up to God's standard. In fact, look at verse 20. It said very clearly, by works of the law, no human being will be justified in God's sight. And God is not going to say anyone is righteous based on themselves and the works that they do. And then Romans 3:23 was that famous summary statement: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Here's God's standard of how he expects us to live. Not one of us has completely perfectly lived up to God's standard; we all fall short of God's glory.
So, the point that we have all individually sinned has already been made in the book of Romans here. Go back to Romans, chapter 5, verse 12. This is saying that something has happened through the one man Adam that affects all of us. And the way that you should be convinced that something happened in Adam and it transferred to everybody else is because all of us die. That's how we know. In fact, look what it says in verse 13. Now, notice in verse 12, we're going to try to pay attention to the language in verse 12. He started out with “just as,” and then he talks about sin coming in through the one man Adam, and death spreading to everybody. But usually when you give a “just as,” you're going to get to a “so also.” Here in verse 12, there is no “so also.” Okay? So, in classic Pauline fashion, he kind of interrupts himself with a different thought. Now we're going to get to some “sos”, and some “as is” later on. So, we'll see how the “as” goes to “so” later on in the text, but here, after he says that in the one man Adam, we're all now going to die, let's get into verse 13. He's expecting some kind of objection, maybe from the Jewish people here in the church in Rome, for sin was in the world before the law was given. He wants to make this point, okay? Because the Jews would think, well, through the law we see what God wants us to do. That's what exposes our sin, the law. If we keep the law, that's what gives us life. Maybe that's the way they would think about it. And so how could there be sin outside of your understanding of the law, which exposes, convicts, and reveals your sin? So, he's anticipating that objection, and he says, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Now, that's not the same word for counted in Romans, for in Romans we learned this idea of being counted, or imputed, that your sin will not be counted against you, but the righteousness of Jesus will be credited to your account. That's not the same word used here. Like, hey, if people don't have the law, how do they know sin? How do they get convicted? How can they even see their sin? Well, here's how verse 14…here's his answer to that objection. Death reigned from Adam to Moses, you want to know how we know that Adam's sin has spread to all people, because everybody's dying? That's how we know. People were dying all the way through Genesis and Exodus. Well, before a God gave Moses the 10 commandments on the two tablets of stone, well, before Moses wrote the five scrolls of the Torah, all these people have been dying. That's how we know that Adam's sin has spread to all people. Death is the proof. That's the idea here, death is reigning even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam. What does that mean? Well, God told Adam, don't eat from the fruit of this particular tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; don't eat from that tree, you will surely die. He got a clear law like, don't do this, and he transgressed the law. Even people who don't maybe have a clear written law, they are still dying. That's how we know it has affected everybody. So I don't know if you've ever thought about like, why do people really die? A lot of people act like death is just a natural part of life. That's not true. Death is the enemy of life. And the reason that we all die goes back to one man’s sin, Adam. That's what our text is saying. In fact, if you want to pull out the handout out of your bulletin, and take some notes with us, we've got a lot to learn in this passage.
Let's get this down for point number one: From one man came death for all. From one man came death for all. And he's a type, see. If you don't like this, if you think well, I don't know, I don't like this, I don't think this is fair that because of one man's disobedience, we therefore all die. Maybe you have an objection to how what happened with Adam has now spread to all human beings. Well, if you don't like having union with Adam, you're really going to like having union with the one man Jesus that we're going to get to later. Okay? If you think hey, it's not fair with Adam, trust me, you don't want it to be fair when it comes to Jesus. All right, and you want to have union with Christ, you want to receive all the life that Jesus is going to give us through union with him. But it starts out with the death that we get through our union with Adam.
Turn over just one book to First Corinthians 15. Look how it says it real simple here. Romans 5 is the extended edition of this thought. But 1 Corinthians 15:21-22, in this epic chapter on the resurrection of Jesus, and how he appeared to many people, and how, if Jesus didn't rise from the dead, we're all wasting our time here on a Sunday morning. Like, the resurrection, that's what it's all about; the victory over death. And it summarizes it like this 1 Corinthians 15:21. “For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” So, there's just a real quick summary of the big idea that we're unpacking here today that through Adam all die, that's where death came from. Death is the curse of Adam’s fall into sin. And since we all come from Adam, now we all die. Then you may be trying to avoid the reality that we are going to die, you might be like one of our young people, like some high school student, trying to think that there's not going to be finals at the end of the semester. But we are all going to die. This has now become a certainty of human existence on planet earth is that death comes, and sometimes it comes unexpectedly, sometimes you can see it coming, and it's a long, slow, painful time to get there. But we understand that death is coming. At least, this is trying to teach us where death comes from. It comes from Adam, and it is a curse. And it is going to happen, if we all live long enough, we are all going to die. And I want to encourage you, don't avoid the reality of death. That's not a wise way to live your life. A lot of times, people have to face death when it suddenly hits them or one of their loved ones when they get a diagnosis. And sometimes, you hear people get bad news about their health or one of their loved ones, and you can tell they've never really thought much about death until they're now in that situation. I actually want to encourage everyone to think about death here today. Because the fact that life is only available for a limited time, when you really understand that there is wisdom in numbering your days, there is wisdom and not fooling yourself into thinking you're somehow going to live forever, because we are all an Adam, and we all now die.
Let's go back to Genesis 3, and let's just remind ourselves here today how this happened. And let's pay close attention to what actually gets said here in Genesis chapter 3, with Adam and Eve and the serpent in Genesis chapter 3:1. If you can turn there with me, Genesis 3:1, it says, “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.” Who is the serpent, everybody? What is his name? Satan, the devil we refer to him as, and he said to the woman, and this is famously quoted here. “Did God actually say, you shall not eat of any tree in the garden?” Here's something we all need to be on alert about: Sometimes when Satan tempts you, he uses the Word of God to do it, and he twists what the Word of God actually says. He even does this when he tempts our Lord Jesus Christ. Satan, he's not against using the Bible. He'll use the Bible all the time, he'll just get you to think about it the wrong way, he'll twist it. Did God really say this? He'll get you to question, to doubt it. Now, the response here is the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said you shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.” So that's the understanding. If you eat of this fruit of this one tree, you will die. Here's the part you need to underline, circle, and really meditate on, and talk about in your fellowship this week. “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die.’” That is what we call a bold-faced lie. And it's not even just a lie, where you're telling someone something for your own advantage. The purpose of this lie is to kill Eve, to kill Adam, and to kill you. That is the purpose of this lie. You're not going to die, that he knows that is exactly what is going to happen. And he came not to give life he came to take your life, he came to steal your life, he came to destroy your life. This is the reason there is death, because Eve was tempted and deceived and believed this lie and Adam disobeyed God's command. And now we all die. And I wonder if we even have people this morning believing the lie, you will surely not die living your life, like you're going to somehow be fine. In a world where it is certain everybody dies, sooner or later, you're somehow trying to cheat death. That is a lie from Satan. We know that because of this disobedience we do all die. Look how God says it in Genesis 3:19 when he’s speaking now to Adam, and it’s starting in verse 17. This is the consequence of Adam's disobedience. And he says, here at the end of it “By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
They didn't die right away on that very day, but they did eventually die as all of us do. Because through Adam, through one man came death for all mankind. And we have to understand that is certain, that is true. That is now the reality of the world that we are living in. Now, what's amazing is how Paul is going to take this truth of where death came from, and that death is coming for us all, and look what he's going to do with it. Go back to Romans chapter 5, that's the foundation. That's the first thought that we have to get in our heads that through one man Adam came death for everybody. But now we want to compare Adam as an example of the one man who was to come, this is the one man Jesus. And it says here in verse 15. So now let's go through Romans 5:15-17. And notice the first sentence here, “But the free gift is not like the trespass.” So, we're going to get two contrasts here in verses 15 to 17. And if you've got your handout, you've got the whole scripture, printed out here on the right hand side of your handout. And so, if you're taking notes, could you even just go circle, “not like” right there in verse 15, just circle how it says “not like,” because we're going to do some comparing between what happened in Adam and what happened in Jesus. And we're going to start with a contrast. In fact, you could also circle the “not like” in verse 16, it's going to say the “free gift is not like the trespass.” The free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. And because what Jesus did is so much greater than what happened in Adam. And so, there are two phrases, and look at the middle of verse 15. Do you see how it says “much more have the grace of God…” Circle that “much more.” There's something that's “not like” what Adam did is not like what Jesus did because what Jesus did is “much more.” And then it says “much more” again in the middle of verse 17. If you can see that and circle that through what one man Adams something happened, but let me tell you how “much more” something happened through the one man, Jesus, and so on.
Let's go through this now. And we're going to see two contrasts. And there's a theme that gets introduced, the theme of this free gift. It says 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 this free gift that's by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for many. Hey, good news, everybody. Death is coming for all, but there is “much more” in the grace of God, in the grace of our Lord Jesus.
Let's get this down for point number two: From one man grace abounded for many.” We got some good news, everybody. Here you're getting a free gift is what the text says. And this is a gift of grace. This is God giving you something that is the opposite of what you deserve. But because of God's favor upon you, because of the goodness of our Lord, he's going to give it to you even though you don't deserve it. You deserve to die, but God wants to give you grace through Jesus, instead. That's what this is. And so, this grace is not like the trespass of Adam. Notice how it says one man's trespass leads to many dying, but through the grace of the one man, Jesus, grace abounds for many. So, it's not like, Oh, and by the way, you have a little bit of grace, it's “grace abounds” three different times in our text, it's going to talk about the abundance of grace. Look at verse 17. It talks about well, those who receive the abundance of grace and even go in verse 20, where it talks about sin increasing, but grace abounded all the more. There is goodness that God has given you in the one man Jesus, and that grace abounds, it overflows, there is free refills of God's grace in your life. It's bottomless, you're not going to get to the end of the goodness of God. When you think God has been as good to you as he possibly can be, there is much more grace in store for you at that point. And people act like I've learned, I already know about grace, I've already heard about grace. Is this another sermon about grace? Yes, it is, my friend. Because there's more grace coming in your face through the one man Jesus Christ. In fact, death is very serious. Death is very sobering. Death is something we should all take to heart here today.
There is so much more in the abundant grace through the one man Jesus, that let's get that down for our first, “Much More,” we've got too much more here. Much more. Number one, the life of grace is much more than death. The life of grace is much more than death. Is it true we're all going to die because of the one man Adam? Yes. But let's start talking about the grace of the one man, Jesus, that is much more than that death, that can give us life and save us out of that debt, that even if we die, we will live in the abundant grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. When was the last time your heart overflowed? When was last time that you just wanted to worship? When was the last time that you had your mind blown by how good God has been to you in Jesus, and all the spiritual riches of the heavenly places that are given to you in Christ, all the hope you have in glory, all the access you have to God's grace, all the peace and joy and love you feel in your heart. And it's all because of the one man Jesus. That's what it's talking about here. I mean, when do you go like, whoa, this is so intense that we're all going to die. And when do you go to the heights of “I can't believe it”? It's still so amazing to me. I'm not going to die. I'm going to live by the grace of Jesus. Like, it's sad. I mean, we should be running up to people telling them the good news we've got, and we're not even excited about it ourselves. We can't even get out of bed ourselves, when we should be rising up out of bed like Jesus rose from the dead because of the grace that we have been given.
Go to Ephesians 2, let's just go to one of our favorite passages Ephesians chapter 2. Oh, it's got the bad news that we were dead in our sins, and the world is so evil, and Satan's doing so much, and wrath is coming. It's got all of that here in Ephesians 2, and then it says this in Ephesians 2:4. It says, Adam sinned, we're all going to die. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us.” Even when we were dead in our trespasses, he made us alive together with Christ. By grace, you have been saved. Hey, can you think about it fresh this morning that God has been good to you? And God sent Jesus, and in Jesus you have the hope of life, and not just the certainty of death. In fact, God has raised us up with Jesus. He's seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages, he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace. Okay. God is immeasurably rich, meaning you will never get to the limit of God's grace in your life. Not today. Not tomorrow, not when you're going to die, not when you're in singing for ten thousand years, “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound.” You're never going to get it is immeasurable. How rich God is in grace! That's what we're supposed to be about. Verse 8, by grace, you have been saved. And it comes to you through the one man Jesus. And the goodness of God is greater than the curse of death in our life.
Now go back to Romans 5, because it wants to, there's a very logical sequence here of how he wants to keep developing and building his thought. So, we get now the contrast between the one man Adam’s death, the one man Jesus’ grace, well, here's now another level to it, verse 16. Another thing, the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin for the judgment following one trespass, it only took one sin, to bring condemnation. Now condemnation is the kind of judgment that is punitive. Condemnation is the kind of judgment that we think of the eternal torment in the lake of fire condemnation is you will be judged according to the sin that you have done. And so, one sin from Adam brings condemnation, it says here. But then look at this, but the free gift, following many trespasses, brought justification. Justification is when God declares you righteous. So one man’s one trespass brought condemnation, and but the free gift, even though now there's been many trespasses, it can make us righteous. Romans 5:17, “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.” So, I mean, think about this: Adam sins once and now we're all going to die. And we're all going to be condemned for our sin. But think about how much sin there has now been. Just think about all the sin represented here in this room, all of us who have sinned, and then think about all of the sins that we have done ourselves. Now there has been not just one sin, but so many sins. And yet this is how awesome the grace of the one man Jesus is, is that even though now there have been many trespasses, grace reigns over all of those trespasses.
So, let's get that down for “Much More,” number two: The gift of grace, it's “much more” than many sins, you can see the contrast here. One sin leads to condemnation. Well, now there's been so many sins, but grace can still lead to justification. The grace is greater than all of our sin, all of us collectively, all of your sin individually, the grace that comes in the one man, God can still declare you as righteous. Even though there have been so many sins in your life. Even though we have so many sinners here this morning, we can all be declared righteous because of the grace, the abundance of grace that we receive through the one man Jesus Christ. I mean, this is this is powerful. When you start adding up how many sinners there have been, and how much sin you've done in your own life, and how the grace of our Lord Jesus covers all of that sin. And grace doesn't just forgive your sin, grace does so “much more” than just forgiving your sin; a grace, it gives you righteousness, it says here. Look back at verse 17. The free gift of righteousness will reign in life. It's not just that you've been forgiven of your sin, and you don't have to fear death because the sting of death has been taken away. No, now grace reigns in your life. See, sin used to reign in your life and leading you to death. Now, Grace reigns, leading you to everlasting life. It's not just hey, I'm glad I won't get punished, it's you now having abundant life by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ. You now have the life of God in your soul. That's what it's saying here. This is good news that we're trying to make here in the contrast. Hey you, what you got, what the one man Adam, that's intense. We're all going to die. What you got in the one man Jesus is so “much more” than what was a curse of Adam. Look at all the abundance of grace. You have a free gift. Jesus paid the price so you could receive his righteousness and his life. Does Grace reign in you? Don't just use grace as a cover-up for sin. Let Grace reign in your life. Live by the grace of the one man Jesus. Live every day like you've got free refills, like the abundance of grace is bottomless, like there is “much more” that I've got through the one man Jesus, but that's not the end of the argument.
Go with me to First Timothy chapter 1. Let's just look at how this played out in Paul's life specifically. Anybody reading First Timothy with us right now here at the church? We just started it. If you want to join us, we'll be reading it this week. First Timothy, chapter 1, starting in verse 12, Paul gives his personal testimony, his response to the amazing grace, like the grace that we have in Jesus is amazing. And the question we’ve got to ask ourselves here this morning is, are we still amazed by what Jesus, the one man Jesus Christ, has done for us? Well, Paul, look how he talked about it here. “I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service.” This is 1 Timothy 1:13, “though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor and insolent opponent,” there are some of his many sins, “but I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me.” Hey, there's a good line for all of us to go into. You have grace of our Lord Jesus, and it overflowed for you. That's good news. Your cup is not half empty, your cup is not half full, your cup is not even full, my friend, you have an overflowing cup of life given to you by the one man, Jesus. And he says, oh, wow, “the grace of our Lord had overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus, and the saying is trustworthy, and it's deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the foremost I am the chief. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ might display His perfect patients, as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life to the king of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God beyond her and glory forever and ever. Amen.” When you’re just so encouraged, and so filled up by the grace that you've received in Jesus, that you're bursting forth in praise to your family at the dinner table, that you're just singing to the Lord in your car, that you're worshiping God in your heart as you pray to him in the secret place. God, I was a sinner, I was going to die. I was against you. And now my heart overflows with the abundance of your grace. You tell me you know all about grace, when do you tell us about it? When do you tell God about it? When do you let him know? See Paul here? Hey, how many times has Paul shared his testimony in Scripture? He's ready to do it one more time. See, because he wants everybody to see this grace. You've got free gift. You've got an abundance of grace through the one man, Jesus Christ. All of us know a lot of people who are just living based on their union with the one man Adam, and all they have to look forward to is, death. You have grace, reigning in life through Jesus, you have good news. And our cups should overflow. We should be an example to those around us of the grace that God gives through the one man, Jesus.
Now go back to Romans chapter 5, because there's a whole another paragraph here and this is the climax. So, I really think, just studying this passage more than I ever have before, like when we say Romans is Paul's masterclass on the gospel, this passage should come to our mind, because this is like even a different tone than how he's been writing. He has been writing about us being saved but now he's writing like the macro history of how it works for all mankind. And he started out, remember in verse 12, when he started out “as” and then we never got to a “so also”; he said “just as,” but then it was interrupted. Well, I think he did that intentionally. I don't think Paul's just getting caught up with himself. I think he doesn't want to give us the punch line yet, because he wants to make sure that we've seen death coming to us through Adam. And then he wants to make sure that we've seen grace coming to us through Jesus. And now that we have those thoughts in our head, now he wants to build. Well, “just as” it was with Adam, “so also” it is with Jesus. So, get your handout back out, if you are taking notes. And let's go through here, look at verse 18. You can circle the “as” right there. It says, “Therefore, as one trespass circle that as and it says as one trespass led to condemnation for all men,” now circle the “so” this is how there's going to be three as it was like this with Adam. So, it is like this with Jesus. There are going to be three similarities here where we're going to use the comparison between Adam and Jesus to teach us something about our salvation. So, you can see one there in verse 18. There's an “as” in verse 19. Do you see the “as” right there “for as,” circle that “as” and then you can see the “so” halfway through verse 19. Then he kind of gives another objection that people might have, the Jewish people might have been thinking through this about the law there in verse 20. But then you can see in verse 21, the “so that” at least here in English, it says, “so that,” and then the “as”; so you can circle both of them right there in verse 21. So, in these four verses, we get three different thoughts, “as” it was with this one man, Adam, “so” it is with this one man Jesus, and by saying, okay, are you convinced that this was certain in Adam? So, this is now certain in Jesus. And see, this is the only point of application I'm going to make, because there's not really anything that this passage tells us to go and do. It's just teaching us how to think on a macro level about humanity. But here's the thing, everybody here, you're either going to end up like only one man, you're either going to end up like the one man, Adam, or you're going to end up like the one man, Jesus Christ.
So, let's get this down for point number three, if you are taking notes: As only one man, so you. As only one man, so you. So, you're either going to die in your sin coming from Adam and your union with him, or you're going to live in righteousness, coming from the grace of Jesus Christ. Every single one of us will experience as it was with only one of these one man's here, so it will be with you. And the real power here is, are you convinced that it's this way in Adam? Well, then you need to be equally convinced that it's this way now in the one man, Jesus.
Let's get into the first one here in verse 18. It says, “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness,”— let's talk about the pure sacrifice of Jesus for us on the cross here. One act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. So, the one trespass leads to condemnation, one act of righteousness leads to justification. So, let's get that down for “As/So” number one, it's either condemnation or justification. Okay, Martyn Lloyd Jones, when he was preaching through Romans, he said, what Adam did lead to certain results for his people, and what Christ has done leads likewise to certain results for his people. Do you believe that there is a Judgement Day coming? Do you believe that, because of the fall into sin, there is now death coming, and after death comes judgment. It's appointed for a man wants to die. After that we will be judged; we will stand before our maker and be judged according to what we have done. And it's if you're in Adam, it's condemnation. It's a punitive response of God, a righteous-measured response based on your sin. Do you believe there is a judgement day coming? Well, just as equally, then, you need to believe that for those of us who are in the one man Jesus, because of his one act of righteousness, because of how he paid for our sin, because of how he took the wrath of God and the judgment of God for our sin on the cross, we will not experience condemnation, we will experience justification. Can I get an Amen from anybody on this? Okay. I know for me, I became convinced by the Holy Spirit that I would be judged for my sin, and it became certain to me, well, now it has become just as certain. So it will be with me that when I stand before God, and this is an amazing thing to even think about this Sunday, you and I are going to meet our maker, we're going to stand before the holy God in heaven on the throne with the rainbows and the thunders, and the lightnings, and the angels and the saints of old. We will be there before God, I guarantee you. When you are there in the holy presence of God, you will have a thought in your head: somebody like me should not be here. My meeting with God should be going differently than this. But because of the one man Jesus Christ, here I stand, I have been declared righteous by the Holy God in heaven through the blood of his Son, Jesus, who already paid for my sins. So just as sure as we can be that people die, and then they experience judgment, we can be just as sure about that, that when we die, we will already be known as righteous through the one man, Jesus Christ, and we will experience the glory of God for evermore. So, the logic here is so powerful. Hey, do you understand? I mean, everybody knows we all die. Okay, well, as certain as you are that people die, are you now just as certain about this in the one man, Jesus Christ? Like the way he's flipped this thought around on us here.
Look at verse 19. Get into the second layer of it here. It says, for “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. Let's get this down for the As/So number two: We were made sinners through Adam, we're made righteous through the one man, Jesus Christ. Now, I'll just give you a little tip right here. If you ever find yourself preaching a sermon, and maybe it's a Sunday nine o'clock crowd and you feel like you're not sure if they're quite awake. If you want to get the easiest Amen of your life, you don't need to preach a sermon like this. You could do it in your fellowship group. You could do it one on one with somebody if you're not sure they're really listening to you. Just say something like, well, we're all sinners, can I get an Amen? You'll always get an Amen on that; one easiest Amen you're ever going to get. Are we all sinners? Oh, yeah, bro, preach, preach, preach. Hey, man. Right? Nobody's arguing with that one. Here's the thing when you go up and you look at the good God's people on a Sunday morning, and you say, but you have been made righteous. Unfortunately, that Amen is never as loud as the made sinners. Amen. That's just the facts. And it's saying here, “as” you were made a sinner in Adam, “so” you have been made righteous through the one man Jesus. Like, have you really embraced that? Like, I understand that we're a sinner, I hope you've embraced the reality that you were a sinner from birth, and that you have done things, that were not good. But do you embrace that through faith in Christ, you have been justified, you have been declared righteous by God, you have been made righteous in your inner man, you are a new creation, the Holy Spirit of the Living God now and dwells in you? So, I'm here to tell you, brothers and sisters, on a Sunday morning at nine o'clock that everybody here who believes in Jesus, you have been made righteous through the one man Christ. Okay? That is how we need to think of ourselves now. See, if you identify, I've been made a sinner, then you don't think sin is that big a deal in your life. You think it's normal in your life, it's standard operating procedure. If you actually come to grips with the reality that in Christ you have been made righteous, see, then you're going to feel like you can put on your new life and put off your old life of sin, then you're going to think more about where you're going, that someday you will be perfect. Someday the work of God will be made complete, someday you, when you're in his presence justified, you will be glorified. You will be made like Jesus. When you see Jesus, you will be made like him, you will be glorified just as Jesus has been glorified, and you will never sin again, from that point on, and you have already been made righteous through the one man Jesus Christ. That's what it's saying. If you believe that sin leads to death, do you believe that faith in Jesus makes you righteous? See, there's this idea, well “as” it was with the one man Adam, “so” it is with Jesus.
We’ve got one more here in verse 20 that brings up the objection. Now the law came to expose sin, right? The law is how we can now see our sin for what it really is. And so, it says it here that like the law came to increase the trespass, and so sin increased, but don't worry, because Grace abounded all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, going back to Adam, so Grace also might reign through righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Can you see how verse 21, was meant to be the climax? Can you see why he didn't want to say that in verse 12, because he wanted to take us through all of this level of understanding, so that now he could say, yeah, you know, people die. And you know, it's because of sin. And so, it's just so it was like with that now Grace reigns in life. Notice how he even personifies sin in our passage, like sin is out there working and reigning, and it's taking everyone to death. Well now, instead of sin, it's grace. Grace is on the move through Jesus, and it's reigning in life, and it's making people righteous, and those people that are going to have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Let's get this down for our last “As/So”. “As” sin reigned in death, “so” grace reigns in eternal life. How could this not cause us to respond in worship here today, to thank Jesus here today? How could we not go into our fellowship groups, excited about what we have, in not an Adam, but what we have now in Christ? How could we not want to explain this amazing grace that now reigns? Look at that verse there again, verse 21, that this grace reigns through righteousness, and it leads to eternal life, like I have received the grace of the one man, I've been made righteous through the one man, and now I have eternal life through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Like how could I not want to go and teach somebody or explain to somebody else how amazing this grace is for me? See, when I tell you that there's a man Scott, right down the street, and he died yesterday, at 3:27, see, we accept that as fact, we understand that's how life works. We have some level of experience, some level of proof that we've seen that people, when they live long enough, they die. And we understand that, well, that's a sobering reality. That's a sad thing to hear that there is going to be death. But what I'm here to tell you is that yesterday at 3:27, because of his faith in the one man, Jesus, Scott did not die. Scott is more alive than he's ever been. And he was swallowed up by life. And he's now experiencing the fullness of his salvation, the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the glory of his grace. He is now experiencing eternal life which we can have now in a relationship with God by faith, but he is experiencing eternal life by sight. I'm here to tell you that through one man, Adam, every single one of us is going to die. But through one man, Jesus, every single one of us can eternally live. And when we die, it will not be a moment of sin and condemnation, it will be a moment of grace and eternal life. This is the contrast between the one man Adam and the one man Jesus, and you only have one man to define your life. Let's pray.
Father, we come to you and we thank you for Paul teaching us here. And Father, we might think we know about this, but there is more for us to know. And so, I pray that you will stir up our hearts afresh here today. Father, I just confess the little bit of knowledge that we have and how much it puffs us up, I just confess that we're tempted to think we've already been there. We've already done that. And I pray that we will think more about the reality of death in Adam, and we'll think more about the reality of the grace we have through the one man, Jesus Christ. And I pray that just as sure as we know, people are going to die, that we would be just as sure in our own souls that we are going to live, that grace now reigns in our life, that we've been made righteous through our faith in the one man, Jesus, and that we will experience the eternal life, the power of the resurrection, the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ. And so, Father, please use this study to increase our faith. Use this study to increase our worship. Let your grace that has overflowed through Jesus to us, let it overflow in our soul here today. And let us cry out thank you, Jesus for your one act of righteousness that took away my many sins. Thank you, Jesus, that even though I was sure to die, I'm now sure to live. I pray that we would worship Jesus more than we ever have before, that we would share this good news with those around us. And now we would just overflow with the abundance of grace that we have. So, Father, let us be now for your worship, for the name of Jesus to be exalted here in our hearts, in our church in our cities, let the name of Jesus Christ, the one man, be praised.
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