Angelic Conflict part 271: Defeater of death – Rom 5:12-21; 2Ti 1:7-11; 6:1-11; 11:32-33: 3:10-18.
length: 61:12 - taught on Mar, 7 2014
Death reigns as a foreign invader, given access to God's children by their fall in sin and it became the last enemy to be destroyed.
When two people enter into an relationship, both are changed. When Adam changed we changed and when Adam had his first children, fallen as he was, he was changed. He had to watch them struggle and work and fail and sometimes succeed. He had to live through one killing the other. When two people enter into a relationship they at some level belong to each other and both are changed. Another person entered into a relationship with mankind and that was Christ. Through Him we have had the greatest change that could ever occur and on some level, speaking of His humanity of course, He has been changed or rather affected by the gift of relationship to the royal family of God, His wife. This is certainly not at all in the way that fallen mankind affects one another, but in only a righteous and good way. As a man, how could He be entered into union with a body of regenerated believers who possess His righteousness and not on some level, however small, been affected in a positive way. We sit with Him on His throne, rule with Him, eat and drink with Him, rejoice with Him. I know that Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and as God He is immutable, but I also know that He grew in wisdom and stature as a young man and that He learned obedience by the things that He suffered, both of which imply change in some way, and I cannot help but imagine that the humanity of our Lord has been wonderfully affected by His relationship with you. I want you to keep that in mind as we go through this most important paragraph in the word of God, knowing that the old things have passed away and behold new things have come. Remember that the new things all revolve around our new intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and that new relationship goes both ways. For sure we are changed dramatically and He not remotely as much, but for Him to be wonderfully and positively affected in even the smallest way by every member of the body of Christ is to understand your unseen and unfelt relationship with Him in more reality, reward, and joy.
Those who reject Christ choose to remain in relationship to Adam and work to improve their relationship in fallen human ways. The relationship is cursed and the ways are cursed and no real reward or joy comes from it.
ROM 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned —
Adam was constituted in such sense the head and representative of his race that his sin and fall were held as theirs, and visited penalty accordingly - death.
As the federal head of the human race, when Adam sinned we all sinned and his sin was passed on to all of us judicially and genetically. Therefore we are all born dead in our trespasses and sins, not because of our own personal sins, but before we committed one personal sin. We were born spiritually dead, depraved, condemned, and enemies of God.
The manifold sufferings, moral impotence, and death of all mankind, will be found in a moral connection between Adam and his race.
But before anyone can scream "unfair" or anyone can ask for their own chance under temptation in the Garden of Eden, the corresponding arrangement for the redemption of man through the Last Adam is given.
But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
All being shut up in sin means that all can only have deliverance through faith in Christ and can do nothing of themselves. Condemnation precedes salvation by mercy and grace.
It is said that the Scripture is not a sun but a lamp. The words may be grievously misused, by undue emphasis on the negative, and in this next passage (Rom 5), the negative clauses about the mysteries surrounding Adam's fall. Nowhere does the Bible undertake to tell us all about everything it contains. It undertakes to tell us truth [but not its entirety], and to tell it from God. It undertakes to give us pure light, to bring life and immortality our into the light.
2TI 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
2TI 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, or of me His prisoner; but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,
2TI 1:9 who has saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity,
2TI 1:10 but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel,
2TI 1:11 for which I was appointed a preacher [herald] and an apostle and a teacher.
As Paul stated, we know in part.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully just as I also have been fully known.
ROM 5:12-21 is about Christ, with Adam as an illustration. This paragraph deals incidentally with Adam; its main theme is Christ. Adam is the illustration; Christ is the subject.
Without the fall of Adam and with him the entire human race there are aspects of God, especially of His love, that would never have been seen, since there would have been no need for them - grace and mercy.
Mercy is a withholding of just judgment. If there was no fall there would be no need for judgment and so the mercy of God would not have been needed. The fall doesn't create God's mercy or originate it, mercy was always there because God is love, but the fall opened a need for mercy. God's grace has always been because God is love, but until the fall man did not require unmerited favor in the form of a Savior. Adam and the woman were perfect and they were given what they required in their perfection and God loved them, but at the fall that same love was now manifested in mercy, withholding judgment, and grace, offering a blood sacrifice for the covering of their sins and subsequently their bodies. [prism]
It is similar to something we looked at recently. The tests that come upon the believer reveal a power, or lack of, that was already within him. The test does not create or originate that power. God sees our power as He had seen His own mercy and grace. The test or pressure that comes upon an advancing believer reveals what God knows to already be true. For this I used a battery analogy. In like manner, God didn't need the fall, nor is anything improved by sin. Sin opened a requirement for grace and mercy which were already an intrinsic part of God's divine virtue love.
Personal sin in our own lives require that same mercy and grace after salvation. Yet more sin does not increase grace. Unlimited grace is a permanent fixture of God's infinite love.
The reality that the fall required God to show His grace makes for a false conclusion for those who desire to live in sin - that if I sin more, then grace will increase. This is a false conclusion. Grace gives us the ability to execute the plan of God without fear of judgment for our failures. This doesn't condone or justify any of them, simply put, God's grace has given us an open highway of a predetermined plan on which to walk and run and when we fall or get off course, grace means that we can get right back on that divine highway without fear of wrath and therefore without condemnation. That open highway is the resurrection life and all else is reverting back to our curse of death in Adam.
ROM 6:2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
ROM 6:3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?
ROM 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
ROM 6:5 For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection,
ROM 6:6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, that our body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin;
ROM 6:7 for he who has died is freed from sin.
ROM 6:8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
ROM 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him.
ROM 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin, once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
ROM 6:11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
In ROM 5:12-21, we are to be shown in Adam, by contrast, some of the unsearchable riches of Christ.
How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways, Paul declared.
ROM 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience that He might show mercy to all.
ROM 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!
Our main attention is not to be drawn to the brief outline of the mystery of the fall, but to the assertions of the related splendor of Redemption.
The purpose of this great passage in Romans is to explain to all believers that salvation in Christ provides life and power now. Our faith does not promise some future pie in the sky life merely, but life in Christ today.
If death is abolished and Christ is living in us and through us then we are not weaklings, but living in His dominion; a righteous, dynamic, effective life, and irresistible, invincible dominion.
Through oneness with Adam we are partakers of sin, death, and judgment. By the work of the Lord Jesus Christ we become partakers of His life, endowed with His righteousness and dominion.
In this passage, God is not discussing personal sin but the poison of original sin which poisoned every man when Adam sinned.
Our oneness with Adam explains the universality of sin and its fatal hold on humanity. On the contrary, our oneness with Christ is the basis for the life of triumph expounded in succeeding chapters of Romans.
Failure to live victoriously in Christ is a failure to understand this passage.
Whoever understands it will gravitate towards its truth just as those who see Christ for who He is will follow Him at all costs.
J.B. Phillips, an Anglican clergyman during WWII began translating the NT books into modern English for his church's youth group which met in bomb shelters in London. He worked from the original Greek language and his easier to understand translations were extremely popular with the youth of the time. Because of this he decided to publish his work, with the youth in mind, after the war but was unable to find a publisher. Help came from C.S. Lewis and a publisher was found and eventually J.B. Phillips published the entire NT in 1958 with revisions in 1961 and 1972. It is called The New Testament in Modern English. The translation is described as up to date and forceful.
ROM 5:12-19 [The New Testament in Modern English; JB Phillips]
12 This, then, is what happened. Sin made its entry into the world through one man, and through sin, death. The entail of sin and death passed on to the whole human race, and no one could break it for no one was himself free from sin.
13-14 Sin, you see, was in the world long before the Law, though I suppose, technically speaking, it was not “sin” where there was no law to define it. Nevertheless death, the complement of sin, held sway over mankind from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was quite unlike Adam’s. Adam, the first man, corresponds in some degree to the man who has to come.
15 But the gift of God through Christ is a very different matter from the “account rendered” through the sin of Adam. For while as a result of one man’s sin death by natural consequence became the common lot of men, it was by the generosity of God, the free giving of the grace of one man Jesus Christ, that the love of God overflowed for the benefit of all men.
6 Nor is the effect of God’s gift the same as the effect of that one man’s sin. For in the one case one man’s sin brought its inevitable judgment, and the result was condemnation. But, in the other, countless men’s sins are met with the free gift of grace, and the result is justification before God.
17 For if one man’s offence meant that men should be slaves to death all their lives, it is a far greater thing that through another man, Jesus Christ, men by their acceptance of his more than sufficient grace and righteousness, should live all their lives like kings!
18-19 We see, then, that as one act of sin exposed the whole race of men to God’s judgment and condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God. One man’s disobedience placed all men under the threat of condemnation, but one man’s obedience has the power to present all men righteous before God.
What a passage. Sin, death, and judgment flowed from the act of Adam. Righteousness, life and kingship flow from the cross of Christ. The sin of Adam was a stone cast into a pool which sent ripples to every inlet; every human being. The cross of Christ was the rock of ages cast into the ocean of the love of God, and it is the destiny of all who are in Christ to be carried on the swell of His majestic love and life and power both now and forever. [Barnhouse]