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Thursday, June 11 2020

Contributor: Martins Olubiyi

INTRODUCTION
The ‘team factor’ elucidates today’s subject of discussion- The inter-relationship between participating members, non-participating members of a squad and fans in sports such as athletes, soccer, and racing, etc in terms of sharing success and defeat as a team. The Objective of today’s study is to show that in the same way Adam’s sin brings death, Christ’s accomplishment at the cross brings justification and life.

• VERSE 12: Adam- Effects and Consequences of Adam’s Sinful Act
"Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—"

Vs 12. Is not a complete sentence. It sounds as though Paul wanted to finish it by saying, “even so …” but he got side-tracked. The King James Version help us understand that by putting the next five verses in parenthesis. Paul doesn’t actually finish his thought until the middle of verse 18. The first of the verse actually repeats exactly what he said in verse 12, and then you will see the words, “even so”. It shows the completion of Paul’s thought in verse 12. Everything between is a digression- a very important digression. But even without the conclusion in verse 18, Romans 5: 12 contains some crucial truth that we need to understand- particularly about a vital doctrine that has usually been called the doctrine of original sin. The one man is obviously Adam; he is mentioned by name in verse 14. And is one act of sin had two disastrous consequences according to Romans 5: 12

1. Sin entered the world as a direct result of Adam’s one sinful act
Sin was unknown in God’s world before Adam disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, but became very much a part of the human scene afterward. Adam is mentioned as the guilty one rather than Eve because he was in charge and he was ultimately responsible. And eventually he would have sinned whether Eve had tempted him or not. When Adam sinned, he suffered a constitutional change. He became a sinner, with a sin nature and a disposition towards sin. And he passed that nature to his descendants just as surely as he passed on the tendency to have two eyes, two ears and one mouth. Everyone born of Adam from that day onward has been born in sin. That’s what it means when we say, “original sin”. All of us were born in sin. Psalm 51:5 (Behold I was brought forth in iniquity. And in sin my mother conceived me)

2. Death spread to all mankind as a direct result of Adam’s one sinful act.
Physical death was unknown in Eden before Adam sinned. Thereafter it became a part of the human scene. In fact, nobody has been able to escape it from that day (except a few others whom God took miraculously into heaven). One may ask; why should I have to suffer for what Adam did?
Hence the reason for the team concept. that is when Adam sinned you were there and participated in it. just as Levi was there in the loins of Abraham and paid tithes to Melchizedek though yet unborn (Hebrews 7:9 -10).

• VERSES 13-14: The Evidence
"13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come."

The question is this: If all mankind was not present in Adam and did not sin in Adam, then why did people die from Adam to Moses before the law was given?
If all mankind was not present in Adam and did not sin in Adam, then why did people die from Adam to Moses, before the law was given? You see, people die because of sin. Sin does not become a legal transgression with a penalty attached to it until there is a law to transgress.
Death is the penalty for sin. But if there was no law given as yet for people to break, why then did they die? And they did die. In fact, they couldn’t escape it. Death “reigned” over them, like a tyrannical dictator. They didn’t disobey a direct command of God as Adam did, yet they died. Why? The only logical answer is that they sinned in Adam, the head of their race. They were on Adam’s team. And so they suffer the agony of Adam’s defeat. They are one with Adam. They inherited his sinful nature. That’s why they died.
Adam is a type of Christ. Paul meant just as Adam is the head of a race of fallen people, Christ is the head of a race of redeemed people. Just as Adam’s one sin brought death to all his descendants so Christ’s one act of obedience- going to the cross. brings righteousness and life to all who are in Him. And in that sense, Adam is a type of Christ.
But that takes some clarification lest we think Adam is a picture of Christ in every way... and he certainly he is not.

• VERSES 15-17: The Clarification
"15 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. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense 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.)"

There are three major difference between Adam and what he did, and Christ and what He did:

1. In Adam many died; in Christ grace abounded to many.
The effect of Adam’s sin was inevitable disaster for everybody: death. The effect of Christ’s sacrificial death at Calvary was a gracious and abundant gift for many. Paul call it “the free gift.” He’s referring to our right standing before God (“the gift of righteousness”, verse 17), and our sure possession of eternal life (refer to Romans 6: 23). That’s what Christ gave us. Adam gave us death. Christ gave us the gift of eternal life.

2. In Adam there is condemnation; in Christ, justification.
Just one sin, yet by it the whole human race was condemned. Yet even though we human have committed countless numbers of sins, they became the occasion for God’s gracious provision of justification for all who would believe. That’s different.

3. In Adam death reigns; in Christ we reign in life.
This is an interesting verse. After saying “death reigned,” we would expect Paul to say “life reigns.” Instead, he says we shall “reign in life” We who have trusted Christ as Saviour and been graciously granted a right standing before God have become spiritual kings and queens. We reign in life. Either in this life or in the millennial kingdom on earth. This is because we know Christ. (2Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:10).

• VERSES 18-19 - The Effect of Christ’s Righteous Act - Justification and Life
"18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous."

We have seen the effect of Adam’s sinful act. Now the effects of Christ’s righteous act. And there are two. The first half of verse 18 is essentially a summary of what we ‘ve just studied in Romans 5:12 and the verses that follow. Romans 5: 18a. “Therefore as through one man’s offense judgement came to all men, resulting in condemnation”- that’s a repeat of that whole passage, particularly verse 12.
Adam’s sin resulted in condemnation for the whole human race. Now the inter-link with vs 12 is confirmed with the words - “even so.” Here it is in Romans 5: 18b; “… even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.”
That one righteous act is none other than Calvary- the act of becoming “… obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). And that one righteous act provided justification (a right standing before God), that issues in life (eternal life) for all mankind.

All of us can be on the winning team. We don’t have to be losers. We can all be on Christ’s team. He provided that for all mankind. Don’t miss that in verse 18. You see, “the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.” It’s certainly not unfair for all to suffer for Adam’s sin since all can benefit from Christ’s sacrificial death.
But does that mean that everybody will be saved? Look at the “all men” in that verse. “Through one man’s offense judgement came to all men, so the free gift came to all through one Man’s righteous act.” Salvation has been provided for all, but it is only experienced by those who put their trust in Christ as Saviour from sin, and those alone.
The truth of verse 18 is driven home in Romans 5:19; “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience, many will be made righteous.”

• VERSES 20 – 21 - Superabundant Grace
"20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

That’s the first effect of Christ’s righteous act; Justification and life. But there is a second effect in verse 20 and 21, and that is super-abundant grace. Another question that can be asked is “what about the law? What role does it play in all of this? Did Paul not talk about righteousness and life?
Verse 20a. “Moreover, the law entered, that offense might abound.”
We should realise that the ten commandments were never intended to give people a right standing before God. That was always by faith. They were added in order to show sin for what it is: willful disobedience to God’s will, a transgression of God’s righteous standard. The law was brought in alongside so that the offense might abound. The purpose of law was not to make people sin more, but to act as a kind of divine magnifying glass on our sin. However, God’s grace is sufficient.
Grace reigns supreme when we put our faith in Christ as Saviour from sin and God credits to our account His own perfect righteousness. That assures us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

CONCLUSION
So, can faith in Christ’s one great act Calvary really see us through to glory? It certainly can. Just as surely as Adam’s sin brings death, Christ’s finished work on the cross brings a right standing before God and eternal life. That’s something to thank Him for in joyful praise and worship.

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 02:55 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, June 03 2020

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola

Introduction

Have you ever thought of what life would be like without God’s immeasurable and unquantifiable grace? His salvation? Thank God for Jesus Christ, who provided the platform through which we can access this grace and gain access to the Father through faith in the finished work of Christ on the Cross. Ephesians 2: 14 says “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”. We will be continuing in our study on Justification by faith and its implications and eternal benefits for us as believers in Jesus Christ. Today’s study is a follow up on last week’s focus on Abraham, justified by faith.

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (5:1)
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" NLT

On the basis of justification through faith Paul makes the statement that we have peace with God. 'We' includes all who believe in Jesus Christ; 'have' indicates that right now, at this present moment of existence, and at every moment of existence, we possess peace with God. Because it is through faith and through Jesus Christ this present peace is not conditional on our goodness, not conditional on our degree of sanctification, not conditional on our present sinlessness. It is grounded in Christ. And what is this 'peace’? This peace with God is the removal of the enmity, alienation and hostility between us and God. It is the freedom from the necessity to strive to gain or maintain our acceptance with God. It is being able to live in his presence without fear of rejection, condemnation and punishment today or in the future. This is the subjective peace with God that issues from a firm grasp of the gospel.

Through Whom We Have Gained Access by Faith into This Grace in Which We Now Stand and We Rejoice in The Hope of the Glory of God' (5:2)
"through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." NLT 

The words 'through whom' indicate that Jesus Christ is always the mediator; that our relationship with God is always and only through Jesus Christ. This 'grace' this 'peace with God is never, even for a fleeting moment, gained through our own goodness and/or endeavors. 'We have gained access' that is, into the presence of God; this was previously barred to us because of our sin. Right now, at this existential moment, we have this access. 'By faith' - faith is always the present operating principle in our relationship with God. It is the only valid and effective operating principle by which we relate to God at any and every moment right through our lives. 'Into this grace' for a sinner to enter the presence of God, and live, is sheer grace. The complete salvation which was gained for us by the death of Jesus Christ is here compacted in this one word 'grace'. It is totally incongruous (out of place) with this definitive one-word summary of the Gospel to assume that we have to maintain our salvation by our own efforts. 'In which we now stand' Grace is also now, not only a description of the way God relates to the believer, but indicative of the sphere in which the believer now exists; the believer is in the arena, or the kingdom, of grace, not the arena or kingdom where law and performance rules.

Not only is there now peace with God, there is also confident joy. The word translated 'rejoice' is the same word translated with 'boast' or 'glory', depending on which translation you read, in 3:27 and 4:2. The salvation we have in Jesus Christ outlaws boasting or glorying or rejoicing in our own actions. Not only is there now peace, there is also certain hope. This 'hope' is not the uncertain, wishful thinking such as we express in 'I hope it doesn't rain' or 'I hope I get this position'. Biblical hope is a certain and fixed confidence and assurance.

So Paul is saying 'we rejoice in our certain expectation', 'we rejoice in our calm and confident assurance. Here is something to boast and glory about, here is something to be confidently, exuberantly happy about, here, if you wish, is something to brag about, to talk about all the time, because it is so sure, so certain, so guaranteed.

What is this 'glory of God' in which the Christian believer rejoices with strong and certain confidence? What is this 'glory of God' which apart from the Gospel of Jesus Christ we would not and could not attain. It is that pure, untarnished knowledge of God in which there is no darkness and no doubt, where the fullness of his holiness and majesty are uncorrupted by our human misconceptions of his being.

Not Only So, But We Also Rejoice in Our Sufferings ... (5:3-5)
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." NLT

The unexpectedness of this statement surprises us. Why should Paul, in the middle of his lengthy explanation of the gospel truth of justification by faith, abruptly refer to suffering? It is a common human perception that suffering is a punishment for sin, that if something bad happens to me, then I must have done something bad to deserve it. We can see this quite easily in the frequently asked questions 'What have I done to deserve this?’ and 'Why do innocent children suffer?’ Suffering is clearly viewed as punishment, as an expression of the 'justice' that 'god', whoever or whatever 'god' is, is meting out on the inhabitants of earth. But Paul says that not only do we rejoice in our hope, but we also 'rejoice in our sufferings'.

This is because our suffering is:

  • part and parcel of being a disciple of Jesus Christ: Mark 8:31-37,
  • an indication of our identification with Christ: John 15:18,
  • a means by which the genuineness of faith is proved: Luke 8:1-15,
  • a means by which God is glorified: 2 Corinthians 6:3-10; 11:16-12:10,
  • a means by which God refines us: Hebrews 12:1-11.

We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that;

  • 'suffering produces perseverance' that is, patience, endurance, fortitude, steadfastness.
  • 'perseverance produces character ... ' The Greek is 'dokime': the process of proving, the effect of proving, approval, tested character. The imagery is that of proving gold by testing it with fire. See James 1:3; 1 Peter 1:7; and Job 23:10.
  • character produces hope ... ' Confident certainty and expectation.
  • And hope does not disappoint us ... '

Hope does not make us ashamed, or put us to shame because God has poured out his love into our hearts ... ''This is the ground or foundation of our confidence, our hope. The verb is perfect tense: it happened in the past and the effects of that are continuing in the present. Note that this is not speaking of our love for God but of God's love poured into our hearts, so that we have experienced and still experience His love. By the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us ... 'It is God's Spirit within us, who testifies to the love of God for us, who assures us that we are now children of God - see Romans 8 and Galatians 4. God himself, by his Spirit, assures and comforts us (John 14:15).

When did God's justifying act in Christ occur (Romans 5:6-11)
"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." NLT

'You see, at just the right time'. Paul's point here is that God saved us when we were totally unable to save ourselves, totally disqualified, totally cut off from him by our sin. He stresses this very strongly, because of our ever-present inclination to relate to God on the basis of our own merit and ability, and to assume that God relates to us on that same basis.

  • Christ died for us 'when we were still powerless ... ' God didn't wait for us to improve our behaviour and increase our merit before he took steps to save us. When Jesus died for us we were 'powerless'. This tells us of our utter inability to save ourselves
  • Christ died for those whom Paul calls 'the ungodly’. As Jesus said: 'I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners' (Matthew 9:13), and 'the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost' (Luke 19:10). At the bottom line no, one is 'godly', but it is only those who recognize that who know their need to reach out and take salvation as a free gift from the hand of Jesus.
  • Christ died for us 'while we were still sinners ... ' Not content with stating that Christ 'died for the ungodly' Paul says it again in different words, and again he emphasizes that it was 'while we were still' sinners ' not after we had achieved some degree of self-improvement, not after we had turned over a new leaf, not after we could show some evidence that we were serious about God and religion - no. While we were still sinners.
  • Christ died for us 'when we were God's enemies ... ' Not only were we powerless, ungodly and sinners, we were also God's enemies when he did this amazing thing for us. 'When we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son' (5:10). This is sheer, absolute love. Sheer, absolute grace. God planned it. God initiated it. God did it. For us. When we were his enemies. Let’s all take a cue from this and extend same grace to our “enemies”.

Conclusion 

How does Paul describe God's justifying act in Christ (Romans 5:6,8,9,10,11)
Paul describes God’s justifying acts by stating that Christ died for the ungodly and sinners... ' (5:6,8); 'We have been justified by his blood' (5:9) and ‘We were reconciled to him through the death of Christ ... ' (5:10).
As we have seen in Romans 3, and as we will see again powerfully taught and explained in chapter 6, the death of Christ is means by which salvation is obtained and provided. Again we see Paul using the word 'justified’ that is, legally acquitted; we see also the concept of reconciliation, which is very similar to the 'atonement' we found in 3:25. Paul's purpose here in 5:1-11 is to make sure we understand what the effective cause of our salvation is: it is nothing in us, for we were powerless, ungodly, sinners and enemies of God. The effective cause of our salvation is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, an action, an event, embedded in the will of God, that cannot be undone by any lack of merit or deserving on our part. It is this death, this shed blood, by which we are justified, by which we are reconciled to God. Hallelujah!

This study is culled from https://godswordforyou.com/bible-studies/romans/174-study-ten-justification-by-faith-its-radical-and-liberating-implications-romans-51-11.html

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 03:36 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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