Angelic Conflict part 273: Defeater of death – Rom 5:12-21; 8:18, 32.

Title: Angelic Conflict part 273: Defeater of death – Rom 5:12-21; 8:18, 32.  



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.


Mankind can do nothing to pull himself out of this position nor to even improve it.


We are fallen, depraved, born spiritually dead, and in the genius of God and the grace of God that is, at least for us, the best place to start from.


God uses our puniness to call us away from ourselves. We live by one nose full of breath at a time.


Isa 2:22

Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils;

For why should he be esteemed?


Adam was not deceived and so sin came to the human race through him and not Eve. It wasn't a sin against another person. It was a sin directly against God. There is now one sin against God and that is the rejection of His Son.


We may be inclined to blame Adam, but we should look rather kindly upon Adam.


If death passed to the entire human race through one man's disobedience, cannot life pass to the entire human race through one Man's righteousness?


Adam had the pressure of standing for many and he completely failed. Christ had the pressure of standing for many and He completely succeeded.


This is why what is restored to us is not the life of Adam, even the unfallen Adam, but the life of the one from heaven, which is a resurrection life.


Death is abolished in Him.


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 — 


Rom 5:13 for until the Law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.


"imputed" - evlloge,w[ellogeo] = (only here and in Philemon) to charge to one's account.


Philem 18

But if he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account;


Before the Mosaic Law it is said that sin was not charged to their account. Since this is a reference to the Law this is a reference to personal sin. Yet, they still died; physical death being a result of spiritual death. They still died because they were all sinners in Adam. They still suffered the consequences of sin (Cain and his progeny, flood, tower of Babel, destruction of Sodom etc.) but not the curses in the Law since these were not yet given.


Between Adam and Moses all died physically because they were all born dead spiritually. They reaped what they sowed but the sins against the Law were not reckoned to their account.


The truth therefore arises, that whether many personal sins are credited to you or few, the number of them is not the issue in salvation and not the issue between mankind and God. Men suffer the consequences of sin in the law of reaping what you sow, but one sin condemned us and so all are condemned with no way out.


Those who were saved were saved in the same way as any man, faith. In their case the blood animal sacrifice spoke to a promise from God that their sins would be covered at some time in the future, and if they put faith in that they were saved by the grace of God.


Rom 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.


Type - An interpretive concept in which a biblical place (Jerusalem, Zion), person (Adam, Melchizedek), event (flood, brazen serpent), institution (feasts, covenant), office (prophet, priest, king), or object (tabernacle, altar, incense) becomes a pattern by which later persons or places are interpreted due to the unity of events within salvation-history. [International Standard Bible Encyclopedia -RV]


Most OT types pertain to Christ. What the type represents is termed the anti-type.


Looking at Christ in the OT is like looking at old photos of someone you dearly love. Christ is all throughout the OT and it is a great blessing to find Him in its various places. On the road to Emmaus the resurrected Lord spoke of Himself in the OT to two disciples as they walked and thus opened the Scriptures to them and when they finally recognized Him for who He was they commented that when He spoke to them of all these OT things that their hearts burned within them.


/Adam and Christ stood for the human race.

A bride was made for Adam and Christ from a wound.

In Adam all die; in Christ shall all be made alive.


The Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and took from his side a rib, out of which He formed the woman to be his companion. The Lord Jesus Christ was put to death on the cross, and in that sleep of death one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear. Out of the wound came blood and water representing atonement and washing or cleansing and so in type, from the wounded side of Christ came the bride of Christ - the Church.


Every man knows instinctively that he is "in Adam," whether he uses the term or not or whether he believes the Gen 1 account or not. All humans will state that they are human and therefore make errors, mistakes, and do things they are not proud of. Some do this so much that they lose sensitivity to their errors and so commit graver and graver errors than most. But the great question is not if you are in Adam, but can you honestly look at Cavalry through the thought content of your mind and conclude with certainty that you are forever in Christ and therefore forever alive? Can you look objectively at the poison that flows from Adam to you and find the cleansing that flows from the water and the blood and breathe life and power and not condemnation?


Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.


"For there is no comparison between that offense and the free gift of God. For if through the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God, and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abound for many." [Barnhouse]


Let's get one thing out of the way. The many is a term used for the multitude meaning the entire progeny of Adam, the entire human race. This word, polus, occurs 359 times in the NT and has a numerical sense as in much or many. Therefore, in the context of our passage it refers to the many or much humans that would come from one man, Adam. Every member of the human race received the penalty of death when Adam sinned.


The real thrust of verse 15 is the comparison which is no comparison. It is a comparison in a manner like a spit ball is compared to an ICBM with nuclear warheads. Both are projectiles and both can impact another surface and both contain potential and kinetic energies, but beyond the simplest of comparisons the comparisons are beyond comparison.


In comparing Adam and Christ, each is first in a series; first Adam - soulish men born in sin and death at enmity with God; last Adam - sons of God born of the HS.


The first Adam is first of a series of soulish men born in sin and death whose carnal minds are enmity against God.


Psa 51:5

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

And in sin my mother conceived me.


Rom 8:7

the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so


Christ, the Lord from heaven, is first of a series of sons of God born of the Holy Spirit and destined to be raised to the throne of God and associated with Him forever in the government and administration of the universe.


Yet Paul through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit brings out a contrast - the first Adam is not worthy to be compared with the last Adam.


Rom 5:15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.


He (Paul) wrote something similar:


Rom 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.


We could say that the evil and death brought into the world through Adam is not worthy to be compared with the righteousness and life brought into the world by Christ.


A spit ball of death is not worthy to be compared with a ballistic missile of life.


Adam's disobedience is temporary for it will not last forever, but the free gift of life is eternal. Adam's disobedience brought a certain power of darkness, but Christ brought a light that the gates of Hades cannot come against. No one can snatch the redeemed out of God's hand, not even themselves. Adam's disobedience cursed the earth but Christ victory brings redemption to a brand new earth and universe where both He and God the Father will be all and in all. The source of Adam was the earth, but the source of Christ was heaven. These two are not worthy to be compared beyond the basest of types.


A gift by grace = freely giving what another does not deserve nor has earned.


Rom 8:32

 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?


Viewed in this light, the various accounts of the Lord's raising people from the dead come to mean a lot more than simply nice miracles that Jesus did for people. Like His exorcisms, healings and other miracles over nature, they reveal yet another dimension of His war on satan. As when He saw the sick and hungry, Jesus was moved by compassion toward those who had died and those who mourned, for He knew that these things were never intended to be part of God's creation.


Hence the God-man warrior and bearer of the kingdom demonstrated kingdom power in overturning this enemy and anticipated His own consummate victory over satan when He raised Jairus' daughter, the widow's son, and Lazarus. All such resuscitations must be viewed as acts of war against a cosmic foe who had been mastering mortality for far too long.


Yet death still reigns over humanity. All whom the Lord resuscitated eventually died again, but if believers, their physical death only manifested itself in an express ticket to heaven and their Lord.


The kingdom has already come, but it has not yet been fully manifested in world history. There are a few more skirmishes left to fight.


Our Lord's miracles over nature, as well as His healings, exorcisms, resuscitations, and especially His resurrection, were definite acts of war that accomplished and demonstrated His victory over satan. These acts routed demonic forces and thereby established the kingdom of God in people's lives and in nature. But their primary significance was eschatological. People are still obviously being demonized [at least demon influenced]; all people still get sick and die; storms still rage and destroy lives; famines are yet prevalent and starve thousands daily. But Jesus' ministry, and especially His death and resurrection, in principle tied up the strong man and established the kingdom of God and the restoration of a new humanity in the midst of this war zone. In doing this, He set in motion forces that will eventually overthrow the whole of this already fatally damaged satanic assault upon God's earth and upon humanity.


Gustaf Wingren expresses this "already/not yet" dynamic well when he argues that with Christ's resurrection:


"The war of the Lord is finished and the great  blow is struck. Never again can satan tempt Christ, as in the desert. Jesus is now Lord, Conqueror. But a war is not finished, a conflict does not cease with the striking of the decisive blow. The enemy remains with the scattered remnants of his army, and in pockets here and there a strong resistance may continue. That is the position of the church. "


Jesus' miraculous ministry, therefore, was not simply symbolic of the final judgment of all God's opponents - in principle it achieved that judgment. He in principle won the war, struck the decisive deathblow, vanquished satan, restored humanity, established the kingdom; yet some battles must still be fought before this ultimate victory is fully manifested. Hence Jesus did not just carry out His warfare ministry; he commissioned, equipped and empowered His disciples, and the whole of the later church, to do the same. He set in motion the creation of a new humanity, one that again exercises dominion over the earth, by giving us His power and authority to proclaim and demonstrate the kingdom just as He did.


Rom 5:16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.


© Grace and Truth Ministries / Pastor Joseph Sugrue • • All rights reserved.