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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

2019.10.15 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 5:6-21

Questions from the Scripture text: What condition were we in, when Christ died for us (Romans 5:6)? For whom does verse 6 specifically say that Christ died? For what kind of man would people ordinarily still be unwilling to die (Romans 5:7)? Who is giving the demonstration in Romans 5:8? What is He demonstrating? For Whom? In what condition were we when Christ died? For whom did Christ die? Is Romans 5:9 presenting something that is more certain, or less certain, than sinners such as we are being justified (declared righteous) through Christ’s blood? What is more certain—from what will we be saved? Through Whom? What were we, when we were reconciled to God (Romans 5:10)? Through what were we reconciled? What condition are we now in? By what shall we be saved (end of verse 10)? In addition to this certainty, what are we already doing (Romans 5:11)? In Whom are we rejoicing? Through Whom are we rejoicing? Why—what have we received through Him? How did sin enter the world (Romans 5:12)? What entered through sin? What had all men done (verse 12)? What was already in the world before it was given on Sinai (Romans 5:13)? What happened to men from Adam to Moses, to show that the law was already in effect (Romans 5:14)? When Adam’s offense and Jesus’ grace are in competition, which does Romans 5:15 say “abounded”? How many offenses of Adam did it take to condemn us (Romans 5:17a)? From how many of our offenses did Jesus justify us (verse 17b)? What kind of gift did Romans 5:16 call this? How were many made sinners (Romans 5:19a)? How were many made righteous (verse 19b)? When the law came to be written on stone and scroll, instead of only on hearts, what abounded (Romans 5:20)? 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 Romans 5:21? What do each of these produce? Whom does verse 21 identify as having made this glorious difference?
This week’s Call to Worship, Prayer for Help, Song of Adoration, and Confession of Sin all came from Romans 5:6-21. This is a passage about those whom God has declared righteous through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1). But there are two transitions that have taken place. Legally, they have gone from “sinners” (Romans 5:8) to “justified” (Romans 5:9). Relationally, they have gone from “enemies” (Romans 5:10) to “reconciled” (Romans 5:10-11). Is this you, dear reader? Have you recognized the debt of sin, and come to the cross and had it canceled in the permanent ink of the blood of Jesus Christ? If so, then you are reconciled with God!

And the point that our passage is making is that if God’s particular interest in you was such that while you were still ungodly and a sinner and an enemy, Christ died for you… how can it even be possible that God’s interest in you has become any less now? Less interest in one who is declared righteous by the throne of heaven? Less interest in one whose righteousness and reconciliation are the result of being IN CHRIST? Less interest now that you have gone from His enemy to His friend? Of course not! God’s redeeming love and saving interest in you cannot be lost by anything in time, because it is from eternity. It can have no end, because it had no beginning!

Further, Romans 5:11 considers the new reflex of our hearts toward God—to be exulting in Him, to be full of His praise—and says that this new life of rejoicing is an evidence and seal of our reconciliation. So, may I ask you, dear reader—do you rejoice over God’s great redeeming love and saving acts?

Here, also, 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!
Why are your offenses great? How is God’s grace greater? How are you responding to this great grace?
Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH431 “And Can It Be”

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