Expounding the Faith

Expounding the Faith

Scripture: Romans 5:1-19
Date: 08/07/2010  Lesson: 6
Paul refers to Jesus as "the second Adam" to show the universality of His redeeming grace.

The Jesus Difference by Herbert Douglass

The Jesus Difference by Herbert Douglass
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Good morning and welcome to Sacramento central Seventh-day Adventist Church here in sunny California on the west coast of the United States of America. We welcome those of you this morning who are joining us. We have a special surprise for you. We're going to forgo our usual hymn singing, and we will do that next week. But today we have a special guest who's joining us, pastor ron woolsey.

He is from tilly, ArKansas. He pastors the marshall Seventh-day Adventist Church in ArKansas. And this morning he is going to be blessing us with music on his concert grand marimba. Today he's going to be playing for us two pieces. And the first one is "sweet buelah land," and then "cleanse me," and "I will serve thee.

" So this morning we want to welcome pastor ron woolsey as he brings us two beautiful pieces of music. [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] [Music] Thank you, ron, so much for that beautiful music. At this time, let's bow our heads for prayer. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for music, for blessing pastor ron with the talents that you have. And I pray that today you will be with each and every one of us, that we will use our talents for your honor and your glory.

And every day that we will dedicate our lives to you, to be used by you for the furthering of your work. We thank you so much for the opportunity that we have as Christians, to be lights in this dark world. And I pray that you will help each and every one of us to have that love in our hearts and that desire to share your love with others. We thank you so much for the beautiful Sabbath that you have blessed us with and for the opportunity that we have to worship you in this country where we have so many freedoms. And we know that they won't last forever.

And I pray that you will help us to make the most of them while we have them. We pray that you'll be with our speaker this morning as he brings us the lesson study, that you will soften our hearts and open our minds as we open up Your Word and we study together. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study will be brought to us by our senior pastor here at Sacramento central church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Thank you debbie.

And I'd like to thank pastor ron. That's an enchanting sound, isn't it? That--the marimba. And I know that takes a lot of practice and skill. I want to welcome our friends who are studying with us here at Sacramento central for our study hour of Sabbath school. And you may have noticed, we're back down on the ground here.

You know, we were doing some redecorating of the platform and adjusting of the lights. And they fixed things so that we could be--i didn't want to be so far away during our study time. So I'm glad that they worked that out where we could be back a little closer to the class here. We've been dealing with a special lesson for the last few weeks. And it is called, "assurance: justification made simple.

" Ask for offer number 727. And then you call that number that you'll see on your screen, -study-more. That's 866-788-3966. We'd like you to have it. If you don't have it, please request it, and we'll be happy to send it to you.

As I mentioned, we are going through a quarterly dealing principally with the book of Romans. It's called, "redemption in Romans." And today's lesson is dealing with--it's lesson number 6, but it's dealing with chapter 5 of Romans. Matter of fact, when I first looked at the assignment for this week, and it said, "read for this week's study Romans 5." And so that just makes it real simple: chapter 5 of Romans is our assignment. But it's a big chapter. Not big and long, like psalm 119, big in content.

It's one of the weightiest chapters in the Bible, a lot of very important and deep information there. We have a memory verse. And the memory verse is from the first two verses in Romans 5. I'll be thankful if you say that with us. Romans 5:1-2, and I believe this is taken from the new king James version.

You ready? "Therefore, being been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Boy, just even in that there's a whole encyclopedia of profound theology in that verse. Now when a chapter begins, and when a verse begins with the word, "therefore," what is that telling you? I mean you've never read a story where it says, chapter 1, first sentence, "therefore." The only reason you run into the word "therefore" is because it is commenting on relation to what was said previously. And so in order to get into the "therefore" of chapter 5, we've got to back up and read the last two or three verses of chapter 4, 'cause it's saying, "because of this." So in Romans 4, you can read in verse 23, "now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him, but also for us." Abraham, righteousness was imputed to him through faith. "But also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in him.

" That's capital h-i-m, "believe in him," God, "who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification." Now there's no chapters and verses in the Bible. They were added later. So this thought continues on. "Therefore," now we're in chapter 5, "having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." You know I could stop right there and probably spend an hour talking about that one verse. That really summarizes what the Gospel is all about.

We are unjust because of sin. We are--if you are standing before the judge--that's where you get the word judge, justice, justification--he would declare us guilty because we have all sinned. But because of faith in what Jesus has done in taking our place, we are then declared justified. This is justification by faith in what he has done in our behalf. "Therefore having been justified," it's just--he states it so simply, but it's so wonderful when you think about it.

"Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God." You know, the whole world is feeling tension and alienation and separation from God. Adam, after he sinned, and we get in this a little later in the lesson, he ran from God. And then after God found him, and he says, "why did you run from me?" What did adam say? "I was afraid." When did fear enter into the Garden of Eden? Fear is the absence of peace. Terrorism is what we're fighting right now. And, you know, you wonder why do these terrorists just arbitrarily helter skelter just bomb innocent civilians? I mean they just bombed people that were watching a soccer game in uganda.

And there was no particular target in this gathering where they were all just watching a game. They decided to bomb 'em. No strategic target in mind. They didn't take out anybody's military. They just bombed a bunch of civilians.

Why? To use terror as a weapon to rob peace from the country. You know, the devil's a terrorist, isn't he? And what terrorizes us, death? If you're a Christian, are you terrorized by death? No. Because you're not afraid of death anymore. And so the devil can't use death from you. And Jesus said, "fear not him who might torture the body but he can't hurt your soul.

He might take your life, but he can't take your soul. Rather fear him who can destroy soul and body in hell." So if you fear God and you have peace with God, you don't fear anything else. Does that make sense? Adam sinned, he lost his peace. But now through Jesus that peace is restored because we're justified by faith. This is what he's telling us in chapter 5:1.

"Through whom--" through Jesus. It's not a what; it's a who-- "we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Now again, so much there. We're separated from God. God used to talk to man face-to-face. Right now if God was to appear in his glory, it would, you know, terrorize most of us.

And we'd feel condemned in the presence of this judge. We don't feel like we have any right to come into the presence of God. How do you get access to some great political power? A few years ago when we were doing our net program in Washington d.c., We had a friend that was connected with congress. And back before 9/11, anybody could schedule a white house tour. But after 9/11.

You had to get a congressman to sign you off. But we had someone that we knew that knew a congressman that could get us a white house tour. So it wasn't just standing in line and buying a ticket. It was through someone that you had access. By the way, that word in Greek there for "access," really is talking about access to the presence of a monarch.

And so through Jesus, we now have access where we can stand before God. We can come into his presence, and we can stand. Doesn't Paul tell us that through Christ we can now come boldly before the throne? And so it's incredible when you think that we have this privilege. We have this access. Now I've got to get my notes spread out here for me.

I'm sort of all over the place. One of the things when we talk about justification here in the Bible, we need to be careful not to fall for the counterfeit justification, where once you receive this forgiveness from the Lord, then you start to abuse it. Now does the Lord want us to have assurance? Is it okay--i mean, can you have assurance without necessarily believing once you're saved, you can't be lost. I don't believe in "once saved, always saved." I think that's presumption. That's erring on the other side of the equation.

But at the same time, God does not want us to live in constant fear. We're to have peace regarding our salvation. So there's a balance there that we're to understand. You know, the best way that's put is in the book, "steps to Christ." And you find this in page 59-60. "There are two errors against which the children of God particularly those who have just come to trust in his grace especially need to guard.

First, already dwelt upon, is that of looking to their own works, trusting to anything that they can do to bring themselves in harmony with God. He who is trying to become holy by his own works and keeping the law is attempting an impossibility. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with," sinfulness and sin--" or "selfishness and sin. It is the grace of Christ alone through faith that can make us holy." We're made holy through his grace and through faith. "The opposite--" and that was one error is justification by works or believing that you could earn it.

"The opposite and no less dangerous error is that belief in Christ," once we are justified through faith, "that belief in Christ releases men from keeping the law of God, that since by faith alone we've become partakers of the grace of Christ, our works have nothing to do with our redemption." Your works demonstrate your redemption. Your works actually help you know whether or not you stand. "Let every man examine himself." By what? "You'll know them by their fruit." And so if our works are works of lawlessness, then our hearts are not right. Does that make sense? You know, if I see a caterpillar on a cabbage, well that's normal. Caterpillar like cabbage.

But once that caterpillar makes a cocoon and it goes through this metamorphous and it emerges a few months later as a butterfly, it has totally lost its taste for cabbage. When it's a caterpillar, that worm devours copious amounts of cabbage. But once it's turned into a butterfly, and it used to be the same creature, but somehow it goes through this miracle of a metamorphous. It emerges from the cocoon. It's still attached to the cabbage.

The first thing it does is it flies away. It's revolted now by cabbage. And it looks for flowers, because it's been transformed. If it still has an appetite for cabbage, something's wrong with that metamorphous. See what I'm saying? So when we become new creatures, if we are still hungering for and being controlled by the lusts of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, then you wonder if we ever came out of our cocoon, or if we ever went into it.

So there's to be that transformation. At the same time, God does not want us to live in fear. It says, "let every man that has this hope in him purify himself even as he is pure." But then John also says that we might know that we have eternal life. We can know this. I've observed at the airport that you can pretty well pick people out of the crowd there at the gate before a plane takes off who have their boarding passes and who are on standby.

The ones who have their boarding passes look a little more relaxed. They're kind of sitting back and they might be dozing. They might be reading the paper. Or they might be listening to music. The ones who are on standby, they are on hyper-nervous alert, because they are kind of pacing the floor, by the gate, watching the gate to see if any notice comes up that says we have an opening.

And because they don't have a confirmed ticket, they're nervous. Now just because I might be at the gate and I've got a confirmed ticket, does that mean I have to get on the plane? I can walk away any time, can't i? I've got a peace, but it still depends on my getting on the plane. You see what I'm saying? I've got a confirmed boarding pass and occasionally there might be weather that can disrupt that too. But you see a difference between those who are on standby and those who have a confirmed pass. I think when you know that you're justified by faith, and you believe that God is going to finish what he started in your life, the Bible tells us, "he is the author and the finisher of our faith," that it gives you a peace.

And even though you may lose a battle and fall, you don't abandon your hope, and you can still have renewed assurance. You think about Peter-- oh, you know what, maybe I'm taking this too far. Well, I'll say that now since I started it, I probably ought to finish it. You think about the apostle Peter, when in acts 15, he has this experience, you know, in acts 8 where he preaches to the gentiles and they were shocked that they were going to preach to the gentiles. And now they've got this council in acts 15.

He's come, and they're trying to figure out what is it that the gentiles are supposed to observe from the old Jewish law. In acts 15:7, "and after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and he said to them: "brethren, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the gentiles should hear the Gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us." The evidence that they were accepted by God was the gift of the Holy Spirit. Got that? Same way that he gave it to the disciples, same Holy Spirit. "And he made no distinction--" notice there again-- "no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith.

" They are saved by faith as the Jewish converts are saved by faith. "Now therefore, why do you put God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" Now here's what I've underscored. "But we believe that we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ in the same way as they are." That's a very important verse. You may underline that. Everybody in the old testament is saved by the same grace as those in the new testament.

All of the jews and all of the gentiles are saved by the same grace, according to the apostle. They are all justified and saved by the same grace. Now the key is while the gentiles are really grafted into the stock of Israel-- and so we're all saved by that covenant that he made with them, based on the promises in the Bible, which is technically a Jewish book-- we become spiritual jews. When the angel of judgment was going through the land of Egypt during the last of the plagues, what was it that made that angel pass by? He saw something. He saw the blood of the lamb on the door and because of that, he passed by.

They were forgiven. They were given life. By the blood of the lamb, they were declared just and they were given life. Now that wasn't really sanctification; that was justification. Then it was that same blood that was to give them power for sanctification as they went on.

Romans 5:1-2. We're still delving into this. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also you have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." And so I wanted that to be fresh in your mind. Now read acts 13:38-39. "Be it known unto you therefore, brethren and men, that through this man is preached unto the forgiveness of sins; and by him all that believe are justified from all things from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.

" Alright so Peter's preaching--and actually this is Paul preaching in antioch-- I mis-spoke there-- Paul is preaching in antioch and he's telling them, he's speaking principally to jews, "you are all justified by Jesus." The same thing that he's saying in Romans. That they could not be justified by the law of Moses. Is anybody justified by the law? How many are justified by the law? None. Are jews justified by faith? In the blood of the lamb? Are gentiles justified by faith in the blood of the lamb? All of us are. Now go on to Romans 5:3.

"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Who would glory in tribulation? I mean if I said, "okay, we've got a line here. And this is the line to the California state fair and here's the line to tribulation. Everybody line up." Who wants to line up in the tribulation line? But what if I added a little fine print? I said, "by the way, those in the tribulation line will be given a pill. And that pill is going to give them the character of Jesus. Okay, everybody line up.

" Would you scramble for a place in the tribulation line? If you knew that you need to reflect Christ when he comes, would you want to get in that tribulation line? You might even rejoice if you found out that you were at the head of the line, because they weren't going to run out of those special pills that were going to give you the character of Jesus. And that's what he's saying here. He said we even rejoice in tribulation, because we know the tribulations that God sends, he is measuring, he is mixing specifically for us that we might develop the character of Jesus and be prepared for his return, that we might have the character of Jesus and be witnesses for him in this world. Makes it a little easier for us to look upon our trials if we know God is measuring this trial to help us be like him. When a child is being disciplined by their parents, or they're being denied something by their parents, sometimes they don't enjoy it at the moment.

Right? But then they get a little older, and they think, "boy, I'm sure glad that my parents did this or that for me, because it was so important." You know, looking back on my life, when I went to military school--and you've probably heard me say umpteen times, I went to military school the first time here in California, I was 5 years old, black fox military academy. I know it's unbelievable. I turned 6 while I was there, and that was the limit. They actually went from first grade up. And then I went again to New York military academy from 13--from 11 to 13 or 14.

At the time, I did not enjoy it. It was strict, regimented, rules. But I look back now and I thank the Lord that I went to military school, because I came to realize you can't do anything without self-control. And they were teaching self-control. And sometimes they had laws that didn't make any sense at all.

They would have a law that would say, "don't step on this square." And they had a square in the middle of the lobby that was polished. It was just a piece of polished floor, but it was squared off. And you were not to step on that. And if you did step on that, they had a punishment. And I knew within myself there was no good reason for that rule.

And sometimes just to be ornery, I'd walk right towards it and then jump over it. And if I went through the foyer and I knew nobody was watching, I'd step on it. Just because I knew there was no reason for that rule. And you know, as I've gotten older I've learned that in the military, if any of you have been in the military, sometimes they make rules that are absolutely ridiculous. They'll tell you to make something dirty and then tell you to clean it.

And you think, "why are they doing this?" Because they've learned that one of the keys to success is you have to learn to obey even if you don't know why, 'cause if you question every order on a battlefield, what happens then? There's a breakdown. You've got to learn to obey without question. You may have questions, but you obey anyway. And you know, learning some of those things. Sometimes God takes us through things and we don't understand why.

He says, "trust me, obey. Even if you don't understand the reason, obey." And there's still things in the Bible where God commands and I don't always understand why. Should I still obey? Yeah, because I trust him that he's a loving God and he's got good reasons for what he's asking. And you just need to know that. Somebody read for me.

The next verse is Romans 5, and I'll have you read verses-- or verse 5, Romans 5:5. I think I gave that to someone. "And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy ghost which is given unto us." So some of the evidence of this justification, this sanctification and our faith is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that's given to us. When God accepted the gentiles, how did Peter know that he had accepted cornelius and his family? They were baptized by the Holy Spirit. When Paul was preaching to these 12 ephesian men in asia, how did Paul know that they had been accepted by God? They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they prophesied.

Eldad and medad did not come with the other 68 elders to present themselves before the Lord because they just didn't feel worthy. And when God baptized them with the Spirit of Moses, how did eldad and medad know that they'd been accepted by God? They also were baptized with the Spirit. And so the Holy Spirit is an evidence. Not only does God give us faith; he gives us the Spirit. If I read here for instance in Romans 8:14, "for as many--" we're still in Romans obviously-- "for as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are The Sons of God.

For you did not receive the Spirit of bondage--" it's not a spirit of bondage; it's a spirit of peace. "You did not receive the Spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom you cry out, 'abba, father.'" Alright, let's talk about that. When the prodigal son came home--I'm assuming you know the story in Luke 15 of the prodigal son. He comes home. He's got a speech prepared in his mind.

He's gone off. He's squandered his father's inheritance. He ends up in a pig pen. And he thinks to himself, "you know, even my father's slaves--" that's the word that's used-- "eat better than I'm eating. I will arise and go to my father, and say, 'father, I've sinned against heaven and you.

I'm no more worthy to be called your son. Make me one of your slaves, 'cause even your slaves are doing better than I'm doing.'" Son or slave? So he comes home, and he gets the first part of his speech out. And says, "father, I've sinned against heaven in your sight, and I'm no more worthy to be called your son." And what does The Father do? He runs to meet him. He embraces him. He puts his robe on him.

And he puts a ring on his finger indicating that he is now accepted in the family as a son. He says, "this, my son, was lost." Does he accept that he's coming back as a servant? Do some people like the brother of the prodigal son, he worked for The Father, but he thought of himself as a servant. He says, "I've earned it. What's this son of yours gone off, he squandered everything, and now you're bringing him home and you're celebrating and you're giving him the best robe. And what about me?" He said, "well you never asked for it.

You never recognized yourself like this." Paul is saying here in Romans that we are brought in as sons. It says, "it's not the Spirit of bondage," like a slave, "to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption where we cry, 'abba,'" that's like papa, "father. the Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God." He says, "you're fully adopted. When Jesus came out of the water at his baptism, what did the voice say from heaven?" "This is my beloved son." And Jesus was baptized because of his sin? He needed cleansing from sin? Yes, no? No. Why was he baptized? Well, for one thing, as an example for us.

I also have this theory, and I don't push this, but I think Jesus was also the same way that he died on behalf of those. He was baptized on behalf of those who couldn't be baptized. Thief on the cross, could he get baptized? You think he would get maybe credit for Jesus' baptism. Jesus didn't need it. Right? But Jesus was baptized principally as an example.

What happened to Jesus happens to us. The voice of The Father that said, "this is my beloved son," is the same voice that you and I should hear. "This is now my beloved son and daughter." Doesn't the Bible say in John 3, "behold what love The Father's bestowed on us that we should be called sons of God." And in Isaiah it includes daughters, "that we are sons and daughters of God." And so we're adopted in. Corinthians 10:12, "let him who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." So you've got these two extremes. And one extreme is you want to now through the evidence of the Spirit and the transformation in our lives that we have been justified by faith.

But you don't want to be misguided. You know, I heard a story, they've got these battery-powered defibrillators that are stationed everywhere. And they're usually very dependable and very important and a lot of lives have been saved. But I did hear a story about one place that had not had theirs regularly serviced. They had this defibrillator on the wall, and somebody went down with a heart attack.

And they went and got it, and they pulled it out. And they got the paddles, and got ready to zap him. Battery was dead. Wouldn't that be terrible? It's kind of like someone that's got a fire extinguisher, but they haven't had it serviced in 30 years. Fire breaks out and they grab it and they go to spray it and it goes, "ugh.

" Nothing happens. And so you don't want to have a false assurance of salvation. That is more dangerous I think. Having a false assurance is more dangerous than someone who is lost that at least knows it. If you're hot and if you're cold, the Lord can work with you.

If you're cold, you're lost and you're repentant, you can come to the Lord. That's better than having a false assurance. Did some of the religious leaders in Christ's time have a false assurance of justification? You know the story of the publican and the pharisee and the tax collector. Publican doesn't think he's worth it. He stands a far off, would not so much as lift his eyes to heaven.

He beats on his breast, and he says, "Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner." Jesus said, "I tell you this man went down to his house justified." He knew he was lost. He came seeking mercy and grace by faith. He is justified. Jesus said he is justified by faith, 'cause he came to God as he was and he confessed and repented. Alright, read for me please, Luke 16:15.

"And he said to them, 'you are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.'" Whose justification are we looking for? Ours or his? We want to be justified by him. He says some people justify themselves. And you know, they're trusting in their external prayers, their external giving, their external fasting. And it's all an external religion to be justified before men.

And God says, "I know your hearts." So it's really a transformation of the heart. Isaiah 53:11. I think we gave that to somebody as well. Gene? Right here. "He shall see the labor of his soul, and be satisfied.

By his knowledge my righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities." This is a wonderful promise. How many would Christ justify? Many. "By his knowledge," he will, "justify many." And then one more point before we get into the next section of Romans here. In Ezekiel 18:20-32. "When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All of his righteousness that he has done shall not be remembered: because of the unfaithfulness of what he is guilty, and the sin in which he has committed, because of them he shall die.

" So when we are justified by faith, is that a relationship that needs maintenance? Yeah, it's an ongoing experience of sanctification that we have with the Lord. Sanctification is something that continues. It requires a daily walk. Let me see here. I thought I had--you can tell I got more notes than I got--yeah, here it is, "sanctification ongoing.

" Thessalonians 4:3, "this is the will of God, your sanctification." Hebrews 10:14, "for by one offering he has perfected forever those who are being sanctified." Notice that, being. It's ongoing. Peter 3:18, "but grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord." "By his knowledge our Lord will justify many." It's a growing in grace and knowledge. Ephesians 4:15, "but, speaking the truth in love, that we may grow up in all things into him who is the head, even Christ." So we need this ongoing relationship. You know, I heard one time, maybe you've gone for a hike in the afternoon.

If you go hiking by a creek this time of year you want to keep moving, because that's typically when the mosquitoes come out. If you stand still you get bit. A mobile home doesn't get termites, not if it's mobile anyway. And in Christianity, it's like a bicycle, trying to stay up. I know there are these extreme riders who can balance themselves on one wheel, but most of us can't do that.

You've got to keep moving to maintain your balance. You can't steer a sailboat if there's no wind. It's got to be mobile in order for the rudder to work. And the Christian life is a dynamic life. It needs to have forward motion to maintain sanctification.

You need to keep on growing onward. Okay, I've said probably more than enough about that. Alright now I want to go to verse 12. We've talked about receiving this reconciliation through Jesus. I'm jumping over to verse 12.

And here it's talking about adam and Jesus, the first adam and the second adam." Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned." Now between verse, well even between verse 6 and the end of the chapter, you're going to find the word "man" 13 times. In chapter 5, matter of fact the same section, verses 6 through the end, you're going to find the word "one" is mentioned 13 times. You're going to find the word "reign" five times. And you can do a search on the words "Christ" and "adam" in your computer. But this really is telling us how did sin come into our world? Sin entered our world through the sin, or through the failure of one man.

And how many of you believe that because of adam's sin we all became infected? We all believe that? Doesn't seem fair. It doesn't even always make sense how one person could sin and everybody could become contaminated. Paul is saying if you can believe that, then why would you have a problem believing that through the second adam, Jesus, all of us could be made righteous through faith? And so, as truly as we all struggle--how many of you know that you have sin in your nature, that we've got selfishness in our nature. We have to fight it. Paul talks about that.

If you know that, and you believe in that, then can we believe just as well through the second adam's success, we can have righteousness? This is what he's talking about. I wanted to say it in advance before I read it. "Therefore justice through one man, sin entered the world and death through sin. And death spread to all men." Our world is pockmarked with graves because of the sin of adam. "For until the law sin was in the world.

" Even before Moses gave the Ten Commandments, we know sin was in the world. "But sin is not imputed when there is no law." Meaning the law must have existed even before the Ten Commandments were declared and written down. "Nevertheless death reigned from adam to Moses, even over all those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of adam." Adam sinned of course with a specific law, "don't eat the forbidden fruit. "Who is a type of him who is to come." Adam is a type of him who is to come. Who is the one who is to come? Jesus.

Friday afternoon, adam goes to sleep. God opens up his side. From his side, his bride is born. Jesus, the second adam, Friday afternoon, he goes to sleep. A roman spear opens his side.

The blood and the water come out, and his bride is born. You know, when there's a birth, you often have two distinct streams of water and blood. The birth of the church happens. Adam gave birth to his wife. That sounds kind of strange, doesn't it, when you word it that way.

From his rib. You know what comes out of your bones? Your blood. And we are washed from blood. Oh, there is so much in this chapter. Alright, let's read on here.

Verse 15, "but the free gift is not like the offense. For if by one man's offense," adam, "many died, much more the grace of God and the gift of the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that that came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation," through the one sin of adam. By the way, was it adam alone who woke up one morning and said, "you know, I think I'm going to rebel against God.

" Or was it because of the bride of adam that he then sinned? Wasn't it because of the bride of Christ that Jesus took sin? You still with me about the parallels between the first adam--adam, whatever his last name was, adam adam--and the second adam, Jesus Christ. There's a number of parallels there. Adam fell in a garden with a perfect body and no inclination towards sin in his nature, the first adam. And he ate from a forbidden tree. The second adam, who is the second adam? Jesus.

Jesus overcame in a wilderness after 4,000 years of the degeneration of the human body. And he was born with the fallen nature that adam and eve and their children had. What I mean by that is Jesus, the reason it goes through the family tree of Jesus--i know this is greatly contested and debated in the church. But the Bible says Jesus was tempted in all points as we are. Right? So he was tempted like we are.

He overcame like we can overcome. The reason it goes through the genealogy of Jesus in Luke and Matthew, telling about all of the colorful characters and the motley crew and his family tree, is because it's saying that if he could overcome with that inherited line, then we can overcome. See what I'm saying? And so Jesus, the second adam, he overcame with that shadow over his life. Where the first adam, the only shadow he had was the blazing glory of God. He had nothing in his dna that would make him do that, other than his free choice to disobey, because he was willing to share the fate of his bride, eve.

Jesus said, "I am willing to share the fate of my bride, the church. So I'm going to take her punishment." See what's happening here? What would have happened to eve--now I'm speculating here, so bear with me. This is by permission and not by commandment-- what would have happened to eve if eve ate the forbidden fruit, and she went to adam and said, "here," and he said, "no, I'm not going to do that." Have you ever wondered, what would have God have done then? Is it possible that God would have allowed eve to die there and done something else for adam? Is that at least possible? And adam not wanting eve to die said, "I'd rather die than lose you." That's possible. You can't prove it not possible. But I think it's pretty valid.

Didn't Jesus say, "rather than lose you to death, I will die," the second adam? Isn't that what-- that's not a hypothetical. That's real. And so that's what he did for you and me. Alright, we're still back here. Romans 5:16, "and the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned.

For the judgment that came from the one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift that came from many offenses resulted in justification. For by one man's offense," first adam, "death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ." In the same way that death reigned through the first adam's failure, life and justification can reign through Christ. When does the Kingdom of heaven begin? "the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." That means within reach now. It's available, right? When can you become a citizen of God's kingdom? After Jesus comes and you get your new body? Or can you become a citizen now through faith? the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, the Spiritual kingdom. There's later when his physical kingdom comes down to the earth.

We know about that. But that kingdom of life, eternal life, when do we get eternal life? When we're resurrected or now? So the Kingdom of death that came through adam, through condemnation, because of his sin, is very real, just as real is the Kingdom of life that comes through justification, that's Jesus, that's available now through faith. You can have life now through faith. That's wonderful news. This is what he's saying.

And he's laboring with the jews and the gentiles in rome to say, "as real as adam's fall was, as we're all affected--" not just jews are affected by adam's fall. Everybody's related to adam, and everyone's related to Noah. So he's talking to jews and gentiles. He's saying it's not just the promise that's in the seed of Abraham. It's the sin that is in every child of adam that's the problem.

Jesus didn't just give a solution for jews. Jesus gave a solution for every child of adam. See what--he's not the second Abraham; he's the second adam, meaning that everybody jew and gentile can benefit from the sacrifice of Christ. You hear the argument that he's making? 'Cause in the minds of the jews, Jesus came along and he became the second Abraham, which meant that only jews could benefit. And he's saying, "no, Jesus isn't the second Abraham; he's the second adam.

It's for everybody. God is made of one blood, all nations. I'm leaving out some things here, 'cause I'm looking at the clock. But I'm going to try and at least get through the chapter, okay? Verse 18, "therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men," all are under the condemnation of the law, "resulting in condemnation, even so through one man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man's obedience many were made righteous.

" Okay, here's an important question. Was Jesus obedient? We can be declared righteous because of his obedience. And then we no longer need to obey. Is that what Paul's saying? Some interpret it that way. You know that there are some who--there are many who interpret it that way.

Did Jesus obey? He said, "I have kept my father's commandments." And then he says, "if you love me, keep my commandments." And so the idea is not, "oh, he obeyed for me, so I don't need to." I've heard hundreds, thousands of Christians say that. That's what you call a doctrine of devils. That's terrible. Yes, it's through the obedience of Christ that we are declared righteous. And then because we are transformed by that, we then start to live like the second adam in obedience, not like the first adam who disobeyed.

The idea that we get the benefit of the second adam and we continue to act like the first adam, that's not what he's saying here. He's saying the opposite. He said, "we are renewed in the likeness of, the image of the second adam." See man lost the image of God, that adam was made in the image of God, but he lost it through sin. But through accepting Christ, the image of God is restored in us, and now we live lives of surrender and obedience. The way God intended adam to live is how Jesus lived.

And that's real. It becomes available to us. I want to tie off the last verses, 'cause I'm out of time here. "Moreover the law entered that the offense--" I'm in verse 20-- "might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign--" what does reign mean? It sits enthroned.

When you accept Jesus as your Savior and your Lord, he reigns. He's on the throne of your heart. "That he might reign through righteousness." What does--it's talking about just righteousness in theory as a label or righteousness in our lives? He reigns in our lives "through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ." Through the grace of God we live new lives. We are justified and we live righteous lives by his grace. Oh, I did get through the chapter.

I left a lot out, and I apologize if some of you, you didn't get to read the passages that were given to you. For our friends who are watching. Thank you again for joining us. I want to remind you that we do have a free offer. It's called, "assurance: justification made simple.

" We'll send it to you if you simply ask for it. Call the number. And for those who might be listening on the radio, I'll say it. It's 866-788-3966. And please request offer number 727.

And you'll remember that. Thank you again for studying with us. God bless, and we'll study together again next Sabbath.

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