Monday, February 13, 2023

2023.02.13 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 5:15–17

Read Romans 5:15–17

Questions from the Scripture text: What is not like what else (Romans 5:15)? What had one man done? What happened to many? What is the relationship between this event and the one related in the rest of the verse? What two things come to others? Through what Man? How much of these two things come? To how many others? What in Romans 5:16 is not like what? What came from one offense? Resulting in what? But from what did the free gift come? Resulting in what? What had the one man done in Romans 5:17? What reigned through him? How does this compare with what is in the second half of the verse? How much grace do these others receive? Along with what gift? Who reigns now? In what? Through Whom? 

How is the first Adam’s covenantal representation unlike the last Adam’s? Romans 5:15–17 looks forward to the sermon in this week’s midweek meeting. In these three verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that the goodness, righteousness, and life of Jesus are infinitely greater for those Who are in Him than the offense, condemnation, and death that were ours from the first Adam. 

“But.” Not all “buts” in the New Testament are the same, “but” the word that begins Romans 5:15 is one of the stronger adversative conjunctions. We might be thinking, “here’s the catch.” But we’d be mistaken to think that the gospel is somehow less than we had begun to hope. In fact, in the three differences between Adam as type, and Christ as antitype, what we discover is that believers’ gain in Last Adam is infinitely greater than was our loss in the first Adam.

Christ’s goodness infinitely greater than Adam’s offenseRomans 5:15. Adam’s offense was the offense of a man. But “the gift of the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ” is actually “the grace of God.” For, God Himself has become a man. When we receive from Christ, grace upon grace, we receive benefits through a man Who is a divine Person. And thus, it didn’t just come to us; “much more” it “abounded” to us (verse 15, cf. “abundance” in Romans 5:17).

Christ’s justification infinitely greater than Adam’s condemnationRomans 5:16. Just one offense was enough to condemn to Hell the whole multitude of humanity. So, take that guiltiness and multiply it by the number of offenses that Adam committed in his life. And then take that and add to it another multitude of offenses by every single one in Adam who had been chosen in Christ. And then take that and multiply it by the number of that multitude who had been chosen in Christ. What do you get? An unimaginable quantity. One that is always increasing (not unlike the American national debt at the time of writing), but still a quantity. How great, then, is the justification in Christ! Infinitely greater than the condemnation in Adam.

Christ’s life infinitely greater than Adam’s deathRomans 5:17. We saw in Romans 5:14 how death had reigned from Adam to Moses, and even until now. Since we sinned in Adam, when Adam sinned, and died with Adam when we sinned in him, we all come into this world spiritually dead. And we experience continually the reality of that spiritual death and physical death, throughout this life. Even believers, who are alive, fight to kill the spiritual death that remains in them from their former nature. Who shall win this battle? Christ! Since Christ’s goodness is infinitely greater than Adam’s offense, believers “receive abundance of grace.” Since Christ’s justification is infinitely greater than Adam’s condemnation, believers receive “abundance” […] of the gift of righteousness.” Therefore, those who receive this “much more” […] “reign in life” through the One, Jesus Christ, than death had ever reigned through the one Adam.

When/how do you feel guilt or death from Adam? How will you bring Christ’s greater-ness to bear at those times?

Sample prayer:  Father, thank You for giving us Your own beloved Son to be our last Adam. Grant that Your Spirit would constantly give us life from Him, to live and reign over the sin and death in us. And grant that Your Spirit would assure us from Your Word that You are doing so, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP32AB “What Blessedness” or TPH433 “Amazing Grace”

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