Adam and Jesus

Adam and Jesus

Scripture: Romans 5:1-2
Date: 11/11/2017  Lesson: 6
"Paul contrasts Adam and Jesus, showing how Christ came to undo what Adam did, and showing that by faith the victims of Adam’s sin could be rescued by Jesus, the Savior."

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White

The Desire of Ages: Gethsemane to Glory by Ellen White
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Good morning, friends, and welcome to Sabbath school study hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church near Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome our online members and those who are watching on the various television networks across the country and, literally, around the world. Thank you for tuning in to study the lesson with us today. I'd also like to welcome our members and our visitors right here at the Granite Bay church - always good to see you week after week, coming to church early to study the lesson together. We've been studying through the book of Romans and today we find ourselves on lesson #6 and it's entitled adam and Jesus - lesson #6.

If you don't have a copy of today's lesson, you can download a copy at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org - and you can study along with us. That's lesson #6 today entitled adam and Jesus. We also have a free offer for those who are watching in north America. If you'd like to receive this book entitled Christ's human nature - the phone number to call is 866-788-3966 and you can ask for offer #703. We'll be happy to send it to anybody in North America.

If you're outside of north America, you can still read the free offer. Just go to the Amazing Facts website - it's amazingfacts.org. You can read it for free online. Well, before we get to our lesson, we always like to begin our Sabbath school time by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come lead us in our music this morning.

Thank you, Pastor Ross. We are going to sing about how joyful it is to live in the shadow of the Lord. And so, today, we're going to begin with hymn #12 - joyful, joyful we adore thee. We're going to sing all three verses and let's sing loud. Pull out your hymnals at home and let's sing together.

You know, as we were singing that very last verse at the very end, it says "teach us how to love each other" - we do need that. We need Jesus' love in our hearts to love our fellow man around us and to help us to help them to the Kingdom. He is coming soon - praise the Lord, his glory show - hymn #25 - we're going to sing all three verses of this hymn and part of this hymn is alleluia, alleluia - and that happens to be one of my favorite little things in any hymn so, thank you, debbie, for picking this one. Alleluia, praise the Lord. At this time Pastor Ross will lead us in opening prayer.

Let's bow our heads for a word of prayer. Dear Father in Heaven, what a privilege to be able to gather in your presence on this Sabbath to open up Your Word and study this very important message that we find in the book of Romans. How - that Jesus is the second adam and that he has come to restore all things that the first adam lost. So we pray your special blessing on our time together. Be with our teacher.

In Jesus' Name, amen. We're very happy to have pastor shawn brummond, our family life pastor here at the Granite Bay church, lead out in our lesson. And he and his family are fairly new to the Granite Bay church. What, has it been about two months now - almost two and a half months? They're imports from our neighbors to the north - they're from Canada - and we're just delighted that they're here. You're probably happy to be in California this time of year, right? Where it's not too cold - at least not as cold as some parts of Canada.

Welcome, and we'll turn the time over to you. Well, thank you for that introduction, pastor jëan. It is always good to be able to get together with my new church family here in Granite Bay. Today we're looking at lesson #6 and, in lesson #6, we have a lot of good stuff to be able to look at. And one of my prayers, in anticipating our class here, today, is that we have enough time.

And so we'll see how that goes. But, as we open our lesson studies and our quarterlies to lesson #6 - page 46 - we see here that the title is entitled adam and Jesus and, as pastor jëan pointed out, we're looking at Jesus as the second adam. Now, some people that have studied this particular subject with have never heard that, and they say, 'I've never heard of Jesus being a second adam. What does that mean?' Well, today we're going to find out as we look at this very important chapter. And so, our main passage for today is the fifth chapter of the book of Romans.

I see some of you saying, 'okay, good.' At least most of us, if not all of us, know what book we're in and now we know what chapter that we're going to be studying here as well. You know, as I was studying - as I was looking at the lesson study, I was noticing the artwork at the very top, just under the title, on page 46 and, as I was looking at that, it really caught my attention and I thought, 'wow, that is just a really deep summary of the - the really - the whole Bible story. And, as I looked at it further, I realized, you know what? That's a great summary in regards to what we could call - if we were to boil down all of the Bible message - the entire Bible story - in it's general sense, it's really the story of two men and two trees. Two men and two trees - and that's what we find in the artwork, don't we? Who was the first man? Adam. Okay, all of us would agree that the first man is adam.

The first man that was created - that walked and lived on the earth - is adam, himself. So he is the representative and The Father of humanity as he began the human race. And then we have the first tree. Now, the first tree is not all that positive, is it? The first tree is the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I hear some of you saying, okay? So we have the first tree, which is the knowledge of good and evil. Did God say to adam and to his wife eve to stay away from the tree? Yes.

Alright, he said, 'do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because I've only given you good.' And so, when adam and eve got up in the morning, that's all they knew was good. They knew life. They knew love. They knew harmony. They lived in perfect harmony.

All they knew in their hearts and in their minds and in their words and in their thoughts was good. And so, God said, 'listen, if you eat of this particular tree, if you choose not to trust and obey me, then lo and behold, you will find that there are going to be some very serious consequences. And the ultimate worse consequence will be that of' - death. 'Death. You will surely die.

' And then we come to the second man of the Bible story - the story of two men and two trees - and that is none other than? Jesus. Jesus. And so, here we have Jesus as the second man. Now he's instrumental because he came to undo everything that adam and the tree of knowledge of good and evil had messed things up with. And we're going to study that in the book of Romans as it kind of summarizes the Bible story for us there.

The second tree is the tree that Jesus died on. Now some of you may say, 'well, wait a minute. That's a cross, it's not a tree.' Well, you know, I have Bible - Bible verification on that. If you look at the writings of Peter in 1 and 2 Peter, Peter, at least once, and maybe even more than once, had referred to the cross that Jesus died on as a tree. And, simply put, the cross was made out of a - out of a tree.

In fact, it was just two crude pieces of lumber that the Romans would take from a tree - a trunk or a thick branch - and just nailed two of those pieces together to make a cross. And so Jesus died on the second tree. And so, I thought, what a profound summary of the Bible - of the Bible story - two men and two trees. Well, before we look at adam and Jesus being the second adam, we want to look at some powerful verses that we find at the very beginning of Romans, and so let's go to the book of Romans chapter 5, here today, Romans chapter 5, and we're going to start by reading the first couple of verses - Romans chapter 5 - and we'll start by looking at verses 1 through 2. Romans chapter 5, verse 1 says, "therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

" Now those are two powerful verses, are they not? Alright, these are very, very powerful verses. Now, you know, there's something that occurred as Pastor Doug was leading out in our study of Romans chapter 4 in lesson study #5, and I think there's some very real wisdom in what he did and I feel compelled to do the same thing as we start by looking at these two very important verses. You know, sadly, because, not only do we have sin in this world because adam and eve had eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and that opened the floodgates, not only to making our nature change and us now having knowledge and even a bent towards evil and towards sin, but it also opened up the floodgates for the devil - for satan - and for his army of fallen angels or, as the Bible also calls them, demons. That also gave them access, now, to be able to access the entire planet. Before that, they only had access to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

And so, from that point on, we have entered into a very real spiritual warfare, have we not? And the Bible opens that up for us in the very first two chapters - Genesis chapter 2, God says, 'listen, there's an enemy and there is a warfare that began in heaven and has come down to the earth and do not eat of that tree, okay? You shall surely die.' And then, of course, chapter 3 talks about the serpent representing that serpent of old, satan - and the devil. And so, because of that very sad reality, we have an enemy that's very real - that's very true - and he's an enemy of all that is good. He's an enemy of all that is true. He's an enemy of all that is righteous. And, because satan is very highly intelligent and he's also a very active force in distorting God's revealed truth, it's very rare - in fact, I don't think it ever exists that wherever people are starting to study the Word of God, the devil and his demons become very, very active and are doing everything they can to counteract the powerful truths of the Bible and they try to distort it and take it out of context and misuse it and so on, and make it say something that it is not saying.

And so, today, I would like to start by looking at these two powerful verses by examining and talking a little bit about what it is not saying. And, again, because Pastor Doug and many of us were together last week in our study, did such a great job of answering that question in concern to Romans chapter 4, I only need to - just to touch on it briefly here today and review one of the places that he brought us and we'll look at one additional one, as well, here today. Now, last week, we peeked ahead a little bit, didn't we? Do you remember that? We peeked ahead to Romans chapter 6 and we read verses 1 and 2. And so, here we have a biblical example of what Pastor Doug did last week and what I'm doing right now, and that is - sometimes it's important, not only to know what a passage is saying, but also to know what a passage is not saying. And so, here we have Paul doing that exact thing.

And he does it a number of times throughout this book called Romans. And so he says, "what shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" - And then verse 2 he gives the answer. What's the answer? Certainly not! "Certainly not!" - He tells us, doesn't he? What's synonymous with 'certainly'? Absolutely. Absolutely. That's what I was thinking of.

Yes, 'absolutely not!' What about 'definitely not!' Okay, so very, very clearly Paul is wanting and needing to be able to avoid any misunderstandings or distortions of our understanding of the Word of God. And so it says, "certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" - He's saying, 'listen, it doesn't even make sense, you know, because to become a Christian means to die to yourself and die to - sins. Die to sin. And so, does it make sense to get up and say, 'oh boy, I better go ahead and sin a little more so that grace can abound that much more.' Well, no. Well, let's look at one other passage - Matthew chapter - now keep your thumb in Romans 5 because that's where we're going to stay for most of our study here today, but let's go to Matthew chapter 7 and verse 21 - Matthew chapter 7 and verse 21.

I want to invite you to come to the book of Matthew now, chapter 7 and verse 21. Now, I have to warn you ahead of time, even as we look at this, you know, I share this during different prophecy seminars and such, and I will be surprised if David steward doesn't share that here, locally, with our own prophecy seminar that he's sharing, night by night, throughout the four nights of the weekend and Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Matthew chapter 7 and verse - we find, here, a very sad prophecy. It's a future prediction that Jesus says is going to take place. It's one that I wish didn't exist.

I can certainly speak for our Lord and tell you that I know, for certain, he wishes it didn't exist, but Jesus knows the beginning from the end, doesn't he? And Jesus knows that there's going to be some sad endings when Jesus comes back again, not only for those outside the church, but also for some of us inside the church, Jesus says in this prophecy as well. So let's read it. It's very important. Jesus is giving it to us, not to be a downer, but to be able to protect us from the deceptions of the devil - to protect us from different lies that he tries to give us. So let's read verse 21.

It says, "not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my father in heaven." - Verse 22 - he goes on - he says, "many will say to me in that day," - by the way, is many a small group or a large group? Large. It's a large group, isn't it? Yeah. "Many will say to me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice'" - what? Iniquity. 'You who practice iniquity' or you who practice "lawlessness!" Iniquity and lawlessness is to break God's law. And so, here, very sadly, Jesus is predicting - he says, 'you know what? One of the saddest realities in concern to the second coming of Jesus is that some who are active church-going, religious Christians that use the name of Jesus - 'Lord, Lord' - will find themselves outside of salvation.

Jesus says, 'listen, you have bought into a lie that really has - has disqualified you for heaven, and that is the lie that you can willfully break God's law and still go to heaven. And the Bible teaches the exact opposite, doesn't it? Okay, how can you who die to sin live any longer in it? And so this brings out a very vital point that I think that we need to talk about on a regular basis, because this is a very real and very common lie that is propagated under the banner of religion and has been propagated for a long, long time. God loves every one of us unconditionally. Do you agree with that? Amen. Okay, God loves every single person equally.

He is no respecter of persons when it comes to love. In other words, he loves me, okay? And he loves you just as much as he loves the person down the street right now, that is injecting drugs into his system and is involved in all kinds of thievery and - and wickedness and is using God's name a hundred times a day and dragging God's reputation and his name through the mud. God loves that person as much as he loves you. God's love for every single human being is unconditional, and I hope that if you never understood that today, that you might be able to comprehend that important truth, today. Now, that being said, the devil comes along and he - he kind of - he does this so masterfully - he comes along and he twists that and he says, 'not only does God love you unconditionally, but he accepts you unconditionally,' okay? And I've heard that over and over again.

And that's just not true. God loves us all unconditionally. His love knows no bias. But acceptance is salvation, okay? Acceptance means that he brings you into his eternal family for all of eternity and God does not accept us unconditionally. There is a very real condition and we read it in the first verse of Romans chapter 5 and verse 1.

So let's return back to that - Romans chapter 5 and verse 1, it says, "therefore, having been justified by" - what? Faith. "By faith," - there's the condition, isn't it. Alright, so God says, 'listen, I love you with an unending love and I will do everything, even when you're using my name in vain and turning your back on me, I will still shine my sun upon you.' Didn't Jesus say that? 'I will still rain my rain upon you.' We just got rain the other day, wasn't that nice? You know, so Jesus rains his rain and he shines his sun upon the righteous and the unrighteous. Why? Because he loves all people, doesn't he? And he's trying to draw us, with that love, into a saving faith that we might be able to meet that condition that we can accept the free gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ. And so, therefore, we have been justified by faith - therefore, we have met that condition.

Now, the condition of faith is something that it's important for us to understand. And we'll talk about, just briefly, right now, and if we have time at the end, by some miracle, we'll be able to talk about that just a little bit further. But a true saving faith is one that surrenders to God. A true saving faith is one that begins with a full trust in God that trusts him and surrenders enough to obey him in all things. That faith is one that is a natural and reasonable condition to receiving the greatest gift of all time, which is justification by faith alone.

And we're going to talk more about that a little bit later in our lesson study. Alright, so now that we looked at it and made sure that we're clear on what verses 1 and 2 are not saying to us, we come back to the more important question and that is, what is God saying to us in the first two verses of Romans chapter 5? Well, what I like about this particular verse, and the reason that I have it highlighted with my favorite color in this particular study Bible of mine is because it is a conclusion and a summary of what Paul has been working - and God with him - has been working so hard to make his case. You see, really, the first four chapters of Romans is building up to the punch line which is verses 1 and 2 of Romans chapter 5. And that's one of the reasons I was so excited when I was invited to be able to teach on this particular lesson study, because these are two of my favorite verses in all of the Bible, let alone the book of Romans. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," - 'therefore' is a key word there, isn't it? Therefore, in other words, is pointing to what is being spoken of beforehand.

In this case, I believe, all the way back to the beginning of Romans. "Therefore," - because of the case that I've been making, we have been justified by faith and therefore we have peace with who? We have peace with God. Romans chapter 4, we find that three times the word 'imputed' is used. Christ's imputed righteousness is given to us in place of our unrighteousness, that we might have hope in salvation through Christ. And so the word 'imputed' - that which is credited to us - is used three times.

So that's the only chapter that uses the word 'imputed', by the way. I want to read page 47, if you have your quarterly studies there, I just want to quote just one or two sentences there on Sunday's lesson study. It's the first paragraph - last sentence - the first paragraph, last sentence. It says, "the perfect life that Jesus lived on this earth, his perfect law keeping has been credited to us". - That's another way of saying 'imputed' - "at the same time all of our sins have been laid on Jesus.

Do you believe that, friends? Jesus died for the entire guilt and sin for all the world, including our guilt that is represented by our presence here today. Now, the interesting thing is that when I started to study Romans chapter 5 in depth, like I never have before, in getting ready for our lesson study today, I discovered that God switches gears and he moves from the word 'imputed' to that of gift. Did you pick that up? Now the word 'gift' is so important to God that he repeats it six different times in this one chapter alone - six times God uses the word 'gift'. And, not only that, but three of those times - let me make sure I get all three fingers up - three of those times we find that he uses the word 'free', okay? So he uses 'gift' six times and three of those times he uses the word 'free'. Now, is a gift ever not free? Yeah.

Don't say it too fast. By definition, can a gift ever not be free? No, by definition, a gift always has to be free, otherwise it's not a gift, is it? It might be a deal, if you pay just a little bit for it, but it's all - it's not a gift, is it? Okay? But God wants us to - it's almost like God is wanting us to be able to understand that, 'listen, just in case you forget what 'gift' is defined as, I'm going to put the word 'free' in front of it just three times. And so, we have some very powerful good news that God has a gift - God has a present that he earned at a very great price on a cross - on a tree on a hill called calvary. Well, the second half of verse 1 in Romans chapter 5 tells us the results of this powerful Gospel truth in your life and mine - in our hearts - he says, "therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ," - do you have that peace, friends? Have you found that peace that is found in justification by faith because what Jesus has done in your place - because he has credited his perfect life in place of your imperfect life? That God has given us this beautiful gift that we might have peace with a holy God? Now, you've heard more than once during our Sabbath school lessons and during worship service and such that this month is not a small month because it is the 500th anniversary of the reformation. Years ago, to this month, is the date in which that roman catholic priest, by the name of martin luther, had nailed his 95 theses against the sale of indulgences within his church, and that began what we now call the protestant reformation.

And martin luther, by far, is one of my heroes. You know, before knowing the truth that we've been studying so far in the first four, and now the fifth book of Romans, martin luther faced some very painful years. All the years that he was a monk and then, later, when he was ordained as a priest, all through those years he had some very painful years. Why? Because he was trying to find peace with a perfectly holy God and it wasn't working out very well. Now, when one studies this story, and I have at different times - in college and then in the years since - it becomes very obvious that martin luther was a very honest man.

And, not only was he honest with others, but he was also very honest with God and he was honest with himself. And so, every time he tried to approach this perfectly holy God, his response was repeatedly the same, of what Peter responded when he was in the boat one day with Jesus. Some of you are nodding - you remember the story. Luke chapter 5 and verse 8 - in Luke chapter 5 and verse 8 we find there that Jesus had just, before that verse, had performed a very powerful fishing miracle. And Jesus, I mean, Peter, being a long-time fisherman - a veteran fisherman - he knew that there's no way that what just happened could happen without Jesus doing some kind of very powerful, divine miracle.

And all of a sudden he had this Revelation in his heart like he had never had until that time. He knew Jesus was a very powerful rabbi - very effective teacher - and he knew that he was a very good carpenter, but all of a sudden he realized he was sitting in the very same boat as God himself. And Peter knew how holy God was. And suddenly, he says, as he falls on his knees before Jesus, he says, 'depart from me for I am a' - sinner. 'A sinful man, o Lord.

' And that's what, you know, martin luther - poor martin luther, he went through that experience for years - 'depart from me for I am a sinful man.' Martin luther was very honest. Martin luther was not in the business of pretending. He was not in the business of pretending everything was okay between himself and a holy God. Now, martin luther was more righteous than most, to be sure. When you read his life, before he even discovered the great truth of justification by faith, his faith was very sincere.

His motivations were pure. He had already committed to the law of God. He had no problem with the law of God, unlike some of us, as protestants, you know, we're still fighting the law as hard as we can. But not martin luther, he accepted the law. He was okay with the Ten Commandments.

He was okay with all the revealed will of God in his life. That wasn't the problem - that wasn't the problem at all. The problem was that martin luther was honest with himself. And when martin luther looked as himself and then he looked at the holy Jesus, he saw some very real shortcomings in his character that still existed. He understood that his thought life was still not exactly where it should be.

Sometimes the words that he said weren't exactly that Christ-like. Sometimes his actions were out of place. Now, sadly, at the time, the reason that he went through this pain for so long was, well, the only thing that his church had to offer him was his own works. And so they just got him working really hard - and he worked harder than any other monk, probably - maybe in history. He used to flog himself and he would flog himself until he would pass out on the floor in his monastery.

And the poor monk master - or what they called the leader of the monks in that particular - they would find martin - he would find martin luther there, you know, all bruised and bleeding and passed out, trying as hard as he possibly could work to do everything the church told him, all to the -nth degree, to be able to find that peace before a holy God. Now, again, martin luther was very honest. Martin luther was honest and that honesty told him things weren't going very well. That which his church taught him and led him was not doing very well. And so, again, his faith and his motivation was sincere, but what he desperately needed was that which his church had already replaced, long ago, with something else.

It had long ago buried this truth and it replaced it with a system of works. And so, here we find that martin luther finds what he desperately needs and that is the great truth of justification by faith alone. And then, when he came to verses like Romans chapter 5 and verses and 2, he realized, 'that's me! I have found the peace that comes with the gift of justification - what Christ has done in my place.' I want to ask a question, and I'm hesitant to ask if you should - you know, I'm going to go like this and say, 'how many people find - believe that they have arrived at perfect holiness? Alright, now I'm just putting my hand up as an example, not because I count myself as somebody that has arrived. I stand with the apostle Paul; I have not yet apprehended - I have not yet arrived. That's right.

Okay? I'm glad nobody put their hand up and that you're as honest with yourself as I am and as martin luther is, and was, with himself. You see, the largest challenge that we all face, is the challenge of being in the face of a perfectly holy God in our own unholiness. And the only solution that the Bible gives to us is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ - is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When we come to a true saving faith in Christ, which always includes a complete and full repentance of all known sin - when we meet that condition, God makes sweeping and dramatic changes in our lifestyle - he cleans up our language - our foul language. He gives us victory over various addictions.

He helps us to be able to shed many bad behaviors in general. He helps us to experience what Jesus had taught nicodemus in the night. One day, long before martin luther came along, before you and I came along, that you must be born again to be able to not only see the Kingdom of God, but also to enter the Kingdom of God. When you are not a Christian, for whatever years that lead up to the time when you make that decision for Christ, and you open your heart to him and you surrender all to him, and you confess all your known sins and you repent from all your known sins, then Jesus floods in with the Holy Spirit and he does something magical - he does something supernatural - that only he can do. He begins to change us from the inside out, and he begins to make these sweeping changes and the more sinful we were and the more wrapped up in the world that we were, the more dramatic that exchange is.

Now that's not to be able to downplay those who have been fortunate enough to have been raised in the faith. You know, so often we talk about that and those who are raised in the faith sometimes are tempted and the devil comes along and says, 'yeah, that's what you need.' No, friends, you are more fortunate that I am. I would do anything to be able to replay those first twenty years of my life when I didn't have Christ. Anything to get rid of all those memories of the different sinful and shameful things that I was wrapped up in. The greatest advantage that you have, if you were born in a Christian home, is to have Godly parents that raised you in the faith and the hope of Jesus Christ.

So we become Markedly different people when we have Christ in our life, when compared to our life before Christ. But does that mean that we arrive at perfect holiness during those first dramatic weeks or months and then remain that way 24/7 for the rest of our life until Jesus comes? In other words, do we arrive at perfect holiness and there's no more growth yet to become? Well, you know, I have to confess that I love God with all my heart, my soul, and my strength. And I also have to confess that I love his law and I delight in his law night and day, but I'm the first to say that I wish that was true. How I wish God was already finished with me - how I wish I'd never stumbled ever again - how I wish I always talked lovingly to my wife every moment of every day - and to my children. I wish that was true, but God is still working on me.

God is still working on me. You know, baptism is rightly compared to a birth and it's spoken about that way many times. Why? Because it is that. When we are fresh out of the water, we're babies in the faith. You see, baptism is the Mark of a birth in your walk with Christ, it's not the Mark of a graduation, okay? The graduation comes as we continue to grow in him.

Now, when we reach that perfect reflection of Christ, I'm not sure. And I'm not here to be able to debate that between you and me. But one thing I do know is the Bible talks a lot about growing in the grace of Jesus Christ. That's the growth process and it's the work of a lifetime, as one of my favorite authors had written in some of her works. The second key to the Gospel - the second half of the Gospel - is called, not justification, but sanctification.

Alright? That's the second half of the good news of Jesus Christ - those sweeping changes that come in as the Holy Spirit starts to do that rooting out of sin in our life and in our thoughts and in our motivations and changes those with that of what is good and righteous and pure and holy. And what I'm excited about is that, starting next week, we're going to dive into Romans chapter 6 and Romans chapter 6, , and 8 are the three chapters that God devotes simply to that second half of the Gospel - sanctification in Jesus Christ - sanctification according to the Spirit. You know, it's interesting, knowing that a Christian would be growing into Christ's holiness over the years after they give their hearts to Jesus, Jesus counseled something very important for all of us when he counseled us on our prayer life. Everybody knows the Lord's prayer, right? 'Our father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name' - the Lord Jesus said - 'thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our' - trespasses.

Sins - our trespasses - our debts - even 'as we forgive those who sin against us. You see, Jesus looked into the future, after you accepted Jesus in your heart, and he knew that there were times that, not only would you have to confess to your wife or to your husband, to your children, to your neighbor, but you would also have to confess that before The Father. Jesus knew that when you come into Christ, there is a growth experience that you begin to experience. I appreciate something, and I was very encouraged - it was just over the last few recent months, when our lead pastor, Doug Batchelor, had confirmed to this church when he said, 'you understand, 'that I'm still in progress.'' - Okay? 'I'm still in progress.' What was he saying? Well, he was saying that 'God is still working on me' - God is still working on me. Now that's an important that I'd like to bring out here.

Even those like Pastor Doug and myself and the other pastors here, we all need God to continue to root out that selfishness - those remnant pieces of selfishness that still come and try to surface. Or perhaps we're becoming self-aware of we continued to grow. You know, one of the things about Jesus is he says, 'many things I have to say to you but now you are not able to bear.' Now some of those were concerning prophecies of the future and so on but, you know, I think that principle also applies to us as we continue to grow and, as I have grown as a Christian over the years, one of the things I've discovered is that God is very gentle and careful in exposing my shortcomings. Have you ever noticed that people notice your shortcomings a lot clearer than you do? That's the truth, isn't it? Now, not only do other people notice your shortcomings better than you do, but God even notices them more than those who are watching you. And God, slowly, step by step, reveals some of those things and he says, 'shawn, there's something that we need to work on.

' Shawn, there's something that we need to work on. Peter chapter 3 - leave your thumb, again, in Romans chapter - let's go to 2 Peter chapter and verse 18 - 2 Peter chapter and we're going to read the very last verse. It's the last verse of Peter's book and, not only is it the last verse of Peter's book, but it's the very last words that he's inspired to leave with the church with you and me. And so, we're going to the second book of Peter - 2 letter of Peter - chapter 3 and verse - it says, "but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever.

Amen." Can you say 'amen', friends? Amen. And so Peter, of all people, knew what it was like to grow in the grace of God. Had Peter arrived at perfect holiness when he was baptized? Had Peter arrived at a faultless life after he had reconciled himself to God after Christ's resurrection - that beautiful scene where Christ commissioned him as one of the shepherds of the sheep of his church? Was he leading a faultless life after that? No. No. Paul had to call him on it one day.

He said, 'hey, Peter, you're being a hypocrite today.' And Peter's looking back and forth, just like 'a hypocrite?' 'Yes, you're being a hypocrite today. You need to be able to shed that hypocrisy out of your life.' And so, Peter knew what it was like to grow in the grace of God. And so, when we look at the overall evidence in the light of the gift of justification by faith that we bring, as we bring our sincere faith before him, he surely changes us from the inside out in a very powerful way, and he continues to do that more and more as the days and the months and the years go by. In other words, the great truth of justification by faith gives us time to be able to grow into the great holiness that God has called us to grow. As Paul has said, 'I forget those things which are behind and I reach forward to those things which are ahead in the upward calling and the high calling of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

' Yes. We need to be able to look in the right direction and continue to grow. In fact, we find it in the very same passage - Romans chapter 5, verses 3 through 5. We find, here, some talk about that growth experience. In verse 3 - let's pick it up again in Romans chapter 5 - it says, "and not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance," - what? Character.

"Character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." And there's that key factor that comes with sincere faith - the Holy Spirit - the power of Christ's presence in the heart to be able to change us from the inside out - to write his law upon our heart. Not so that we can go out and wilfully sin or choose or justify sin in our life. No, of course not. Not by any means.

In fact, as Paul had said several times in Romans, 'certainly not!' Does it not say in acts chapter and verse 32 that the Holy Spirit is only give to those who obey him? Okay? So the Holy Spirit is only given to those who give their willing obedience to Christ. But we have that growth experience. He's talking about tribulations that God brings in to us through the years of our growth experience as Christians, that he might be able to build a better character so that we could be more holy even as Jesus is holy - be more loving and truthful even as God is loving and truthful. Well, let's move on now. Let's move on to verses 6 through 11 - verses 6 through 11.

Now, these are some of my favorite verses as well. This is a powerful chapter, isn't it? Chapter - verse 6 it says, "for when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now that can't get more powerful than that, can it? Wow, I love those verses.

Here we have Paul talking about the ins and outs of justification by faith and the Gospel of Jesus Christ - the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, bearing the sins of the world. And as he's coming he's overwhelmed with the love of Christ that is poured out upon himself and upon mankind - upon Peter - I mean, Paul, who counted himself the chief of sinners and as he's demonstrating - as he's ruminating and as he's meditating on these truths and he's inspired by the Spirit of prophecy and writing the Scriptures, we find here that Paul says, 'scarcely for a righteous man will someone die.' Maybe for a good man someone might even dare to die - and that has happened at times, hasn't it? We have some very righteous causes in which people have risked their lives and even lost their lives for that cause and for the leader of that cause. Some of the key figures that I can think of is gandhi or martin luther king, in history. And people have risked or even lost their lives for these righteous causes. Now that's human love.

And so, here's Paul and he says, 'human love, there's the bar right there. There's the standard.' He said, 'you think that's good? Now let's look at God's love.' He says, 'now we're going to look at God's love. God demonstrates his love in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.' In other words, not when we were already devoted to him and surrendered to him and living for him and praying before him - no, while we were still turning our back on him, while we were mocking him and spitting on him and beating him and driving him to a cross with nails, while we were engaging in all kinds of wickedness, when we called God an enemy and we counted ourselves his enemy, that's when Christ died for - have you ever died for someone that hates you? Have you ever considered dying for someone that hates you and has done all kinds of horrible things to you - spit on you, beat you, and did horrible things to your children. And now, the only way that person's going to survive is if you give your life in their place. Who's going to line up? I don't see a lot of hands.

That's the love of Christ, is it not? That's what the Bible is telling us here, is that the love of Christ is up in the stratos - human love goes to about here, God's love - we can't even contain it, you know, I'm not tall enough. I'd have to be taller than the atmosphere. He's way up in the stratosphere somewhere, when it comes to the bar of God's love, and that's the bar that God calls us to. In verse 10 he says - well, verse 9, let's read on, it says, "much more then, having now been justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if when we were enemies" - so now he goes synonymous with sinners in verse 8, you know he calls us enemies - "for.

..when we were enemies we were reconciled" - to God. Not when we were attractive, but when we were his enemies did Jesus die for us - "...we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." In other words, Christ did everything he needed to do on his part. He's saying, 'listen, you can swear on my name, you can abuse me, you can spit on me, you can mock me, you can do all kinds of wickedness and I'm still going to reconcile you to my father. I'm still going to die on that cross and bear all of that horrible sin and much of it, which is being thrown at me. And then I'm going to offer you a gift.

And if you receive that gift, according to the condition of a full surrendered heart, and you give me your full obedience and trust, I will save you for all of eternity.' You see, Jesus did everything he needed to do on his part and he's just waiting for us to do our part to be able to give our full surrender to him. And then, as Paul said every day after that, 'I die daily' he wrote in one of his letters. Christ has been calling you to die for Christ - to give your life for him, even as he has already given his life for you. 'He who follows after me' - Jesus says - 'must pick up his cross daily and follow after me.' You must die to yourself and live for Jesus, and then you're saved for all of eternity. Well, we've only got a few minutes left and we have that last powerful chapter - the last half of the powerful chapter - Romans chapter 5 - and that is the chapter of two adams.

Now, of course, we don't have nearly enough time to read through it all, but guess what? There's something very interesting I discovered about the last half is that there's a whole lot of repetition and, apparently, this truth is so important that Jesus made sure that he repeated it six different times - well, five different times, I should say - , 16, 17, 18, and 19, Jesus repeats the same thing through his prophet Paul. He repeats the same thing five different times. And we find that from verses 15 through 19, but let's read verse as the introduction first - verse 12, it says, "therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world," - who's that one man? That's adam - ate from that first tree - the adam - the tree of good and evil - "therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because" - how many have sinned? All. All have sinned - "because all have sinned." And so here we have the introduction of the first adam of two adams. Now let's just confirm that Jesus is the second adam and then we'll read verses 15 and - let's go quickly to 1 Corinthians chapter 15 - it's the very next book, so just go one book ahead to Romans - or from Romans - and go to chapter 15, quickly and we'll read verse 45.

Corinthians 15 and verse 45. In verse 45 it says, "and so it is written, 'the first man (adam) became a living being.' The last adam became a life-giving spirit." In verse 47 - we don't have time, but it basically says the same thing. And so, we have the first man and the second man in the great Bible story. The first one messed things up for us; the second one came and cleaned up the mess. Do you see what I mean? And that's what Romans chapter , the last half, is really telling us.

And so, Jesus came to be - to do the job that adam should have done. Adam should have lived a perfectly obedient surrendered life for all of eternity. Amen? But did he do that? No. So Jesus came and he said, 'I'll be your substitute and I'll be the adam that adam should have been.' And so, he repeats the same thing, in different ways, five times in 15 to 19. Let's read verse 15.

It says, "but the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many." And then, again, it repeats itself in different ways and we'll pick it up for the last one in 19, it says, "for as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience many will be made righteous." And so here we have this great and powerful truth that summarizes and boils the entire Bible story down to two men and, in extension of that, two trees. Powerful, powerful, truth that is repeated. In fact, it's so important that it's repeated over and over and over again - six times, by the way, it's repeated that adam's original sin brought to all of us sin, judgment, and, in extension of judgment, condemnation, and, in extension of condemnation, death. I can picture adam standing up before us here right now and saying, 'how do you like me now?' It's not exactly the best legacy to leave behind, is it? You know, some of us have some very righteous and noble grandfathers that are a great example to us, but adam is not one of those grandfathers, is he? Now, I do have to defend adam, on the other hand, because he also does leave us the legacy, now that we are in the same boat as him, in the fact that - that adam showed the legacy - left the legacy that even though we blew it, we can come to God with full repentance.

And the Bible evidence shows us and tells us that, indeed, adam did repent and he did reconcile himself before God and accepted and sacrificed, for the rest of his life, the animals that pointed forward to the Savior, Jesus Christ, who would one day die for adam's sins. That adam, too, might have hope for eternal life, even as God had originally given it to him. Well, how do I wrap things up? Because I've got a lot more to say than I have time for. As I look at the clock, I realize that there's no way I'm going to be able to cover all the good things that this particular chapter brings out, but we certainly want to be able to know that God is something - somebody that has died for us, has given us a very powerful gift and that he wants us to be able to live within that gift and to be able to know that peace that comes from a sincere faith and surrender to Jesus Christ. Jesus is the second adam that lived that sinless life that adam should have lived.

He died a death that we deserve and, therefore, he is now adam's substitute and he's also our substitute. When we come to God through faith in Christ, we become perfect in God's eyes. Do you believe that, friends? When Jesus looks at you it's as if you had never sinned. As if you had never sinned. Now, when God looks at you, he sees you through Jesus.

When we come to God in faith, we leave the doomed family of adam and we enter into the eternal victorious family of Jesus Christ. Is that good news, friends? Amen. It's the best news that we can find in all of the Scripture. May we continue to give him true, sincere repentance and faith, continue to die daily and ask for his Holy Spirit. Friends, we want to thank you for studying with us here, today, and it's just been so encouraging for myself and, I trust, it has been for you as well.

Now, we have a free offer that we offered at the beginning of the study, in case you missed that, and you turned in after we started our study here, today, we just want to offer you a free offer. You can call the number -866-788-3966 - that's -866-788-3966 - and ask for offer #703. If you're in North America or any of America's territories, we'll be happy to send that to you. If you're not in North America or in American territory, you can download that and read it for yourself, digitally, from amazingfacts.org. Thank you for studying with us and God bless you.

We'll see you next week. Hello friends, we're here in the Philippines overlooking the taal volcano and lake, which is one of the most interesting pieces of geography in the whole world. For one thing, this great caldara was once the biggest volcano in the world, and now it holds a lake that holds another volcano that has another little lake in it that has another little island in it. This volcano has erupted six times, in a major way, since the 1500s and, even in 1911, there was an eruption where over 1300 people died - killed by the smoke and the ash that covered the community. There were tsunamis that came from the lake and destroyed the villages that surrounded the borders of the lake.

In fact, this is one of the most carefully monitored seismic places in the Philippines. This volcano is being watched all the time and they've noticed, as of 2006, that it appears that the water temperatures are going up. There's increased seismic activity. In other words, they know that this volcano is a ticking timebomb prepared to blow. And it's very interesting, because this place is a place of great seismic activity, but in spite of the fact that vulcanologists know this is going to blow again someday, it is a popular tourist destination.

They're fighting for the real estate, they're building like mad, and sit on the edge of disaster. It makes us think about how God has given us so many warnings in His Word that the world is going to end, that Jesus is going to come, that the heavens will dissolve with a great noise and the elements will melt with fervent heat, seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what kind of people should we be in all holy conversation and Godliness. Friends, are you becoming distracted with the tranquil views of the world or are you preparing for the next world? Are you getting ready for the big bang?

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