Monday, March 06, 2023

2023.03.06 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 5:18–19

Read Romans 5:18–19

Questions from the Scripture text: What had one done (Romans 5:18)? What resulted to all men? What had another one done? What resulted to all men? What had one man done (Romans 5:19)? By this, what were many made into? And what did the other man do? By this, what were many made into?

In what ways are the federal headship of Adam and of Christ similar?  Romans 5:18–19 looks forward to the sermon in this week’s midweek meeting. In these two verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that both in Adam and in Christ, all who were in them came into their standing before God and had their character come into them.

What came to men by the actions of their federal head was a standing before God. Through one transgression, to all came condemnation. Through one righteousness, to all came justification of life. This is an overly literal translation of Romans 5:18. The words “offense” and “righteous act” in verse 18 refer to a single action. But as we saw in Romans 5:12-14, each of these was the single act of a federal head, a representative person. As he acted, all those who were federally within him acted with him. Death came to all men, because all sinned. 

But the last Adam, Jesus, did not sin. In fact, in addition to His perfect righteousness throughout His life, there was one action of His that even canceled the guilt of our sin. In the first Adam, we became guilty. His disobedience resulted in condemnation. In the last Adam, we not only had all of the obedient and righteous actions, but in the action of the cross, where the wrath of God was poured out upon Christ—and upon all who were in Him, that standing of condemnation was eliminated. 

What this means for every human being is that we come into this world already condemned, and justly so, for the sin that we committed in the first Adam. But what this means for every believer into Jesus Christ is that when we are born again, we are born again unto a living hope. Through the faith that it always produces, our new birth brings us into a living hope. It is birth into a new humanity, in a new Adam, to Whom belongs a new creation. And just as there was nothing that we ourselves could do to undo the condemnation of the first Adam, so also there is nothing that we can do to undo the justification of life of the last Adam. In Jesus Christ, we are “stuck” righteous. Nothing can undo our righteous standing before God or the life that comes with it. Hallelujah!

What men came into by the federal head in whom they acted was a condition. Through disobedience of the one man, into sinners were made the many; through the obedience of the one, into righteousness were made the many.  This is an overly literal translation of Romans 5:19

Our federal head has not only brought us into a particular standing; he has brought a particular condition into us. We became sinners in the first Adam. Not just guilty of record but wicked of nature. This is why we continuously sin. We come into this world not only dead in guilt but dead in trespasses and sins. We are not only counted righteous in Jesus, but we have a new nature, a righteous nature, from which now proceed love and obedience and service unto God! 

And just as with our standing in Christ in Romans 5:18, the good news of our condition in Christ in Romans 5:19 is even better than the bad news had been bad. The “not like” and “much more” from Romans 5:15-17 continue to hold true. So, in Romans 5:12-14 we saw the reality of federal headship and union with our head. And now in Romans 5:18-19, we see the function of that headship and union in both our standing and our condition. But these will combine with the imbalance described in Romans 5:15-17 to conclude with how grace super-abounds and reigns forever!

Where in your life do you see sinfulness from the first Adam? How should you respond to the guilt? How should you respond to the sinning? Where in your life do you see righteousness from the last Adam? How should you respond to the forgiveness? How should you respond to the loving and obeying? Which does this encourage you to see/do more of?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we praise You for Your gospel, which is Your power unto salvation, in which You give us Your righteousness—both counted for us as our standing and worked out in us as our standing—through faith in Christ Jesus. Grant that, by Your Spirit, we would grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, we ask in His Name, AMEN!

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

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