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Thursday, November 23, 2017

2017.11.23 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 5:12-21

Questions for Littles: How did sin enter the world (v12)? What entered through sin? What had all men done (v12)? What was already in the world before it was given on Sinai (v13)? What happened to men from Adam to Moses, to show that the law was already in effect (v14)? When Adam’s offense and Jesus’ grace are in competition, which does v15 say “abounded”? How many offenses of Adam did it take to condemn us (17a)? From how many of our offenses did Jesus justify us (17b)? What kind of gift did v16 call this? How were many made sinners (19a)? How were many made righteous (19b)? When the law came to be written on stone and scroll, instead of only on hearts, what abounded (20)? But when Jesus came and was obedient in our place, what abounded even more than the offense of those sins? Whose kingly reigns are in competition in v21? What do each of these produce? Whom does v21 identify as having made this glorious difference?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we have one of Scripture’s great comparisons between the first Adam and the last Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some dislike the idea of Adam’s sin being counted against us. But the fact of the matter is that if we cannot be considered in our federal head, then this takes Jesus away from us. We are sinning and dying plenty for ourselves. How we ought to rejoice that there is a free gift of righteousness and eternal life for us in the obedience of Jesus Christ!

Some dislike the idea of Jesus being punished for the sins of others. But let them see that He willingly went. It is grace! It is a free gift! It is not some horror of injustice, but a mind-boggling quest of love and power!

And let all remember that apart from Jesus and His grace we are perishing. God’s law has always been on our hearts. There is no escape. One great purpose of His proceeding to give that law also in plain words was to intensify this urgency. How great is our offense against God!

And yet, it is precisely the gospel that enables us to say, “How great is my offense!” As we go through life, realizing this over and over again, we are not terrified to death, but rather more and more amazed at our eternal life.

Every time we say, “How great is my offense!” The Lord Jesus comes along in the gospel and says, “How greater is my grace!” There is no extent of the believer’s realization of his sin and death that Christ has not already answered with forgiveness and eternal life. For the believer, wherever sin abounds, grace has already abounded all the more!
How often are you amazed at your sin? Is it possible that not being amazed enough at it is keeping you from being as amazed at Jesus as you might otherwise have been?
Suggested songs: ARP51B “From My Sins, O Hide Your Face,” or HB276 “There Is a Fountain”

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