Faithlife Sermons

Jesus and Adam

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Introduction

Introduction:
Earlier this month Vicky Momberg became the first person in SA to be jailed for racism. She was sentenced to 3 years in jail. It has highlighted that the politics of Race is a huge raging subject in our country today. The Sunday Times website this morning carried 2 or 3 stories dealing with race.
It’s an important subject, and the gospel won’t allow us to be racist. It is the gospel that gives us verses like
Galatians 3:28 NIV84
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Sunday times website this morning Identity: two races: Adam and Christ.
shows us that what race you are matters so much that your eternity depends on it.
For some today is not about well meant platitudes, but about an all important question: when death and tragedy seem to reign, is there hope? Is there another way?
This passage starts with Adam in v12 and ends with the second coming in v21. the great sweep of all of history, with an Adam-Christ contrast. The whole world can be divided into two races: the race of Adam and the race of Christ.
He changes his language from 1-11 where he was speaking about believers - to now speak about humanity as a whole. He shows that there are 2 races in the world: the race of Adam and the race of Christ.
It’s a relief to know that God does have something to say that is not a mere platitude, however well-meant. It is the truth about our situation, and a word about the future.  It is a word of hope, that there was a day when death was defeated, and there will be a day when death will be eradicated from our experience of life.
This passage starts with Adam in v12 and ends with the second coming in v21. the great sweep of all of history, with an Adam-Christ contrast.
When death and tragedy seem to reign, is there hope? Is there another way?
just as, so also -
The passage is bracketed by v12 and v21. READ. They introduce to us the two great villains in life - sin and death. Sin gained entry through one man as a hostile power, closely followed by death.
Today we are reminded of the reality of the world in which we live, where death seems to have the last word.
Verse 12 shows us the reason for death – READ.
Verse 12 shows us the reason for death. 4 clauses: sin came, and death came, death spreads, because all sinned: sin death death sin. Sin is a power which rules and dominates.
Sin is a power which rules and dominates.
And so the apostle makes the point that the world in which we live, is one that is reigned over by sin and death – READ v21.
He almost certainly has in mind.
People die – young and old – not primarily because of disease, or old age, or sickness. People die primarily because of sin.
The consequence of our humanity – with all of it’s rebellion against God, is death.
(ESV): 21 so that, as sin reigned in death. . .

They enter upon the world stage from “off-stage”; where they actually come from Paul does not stop to say; nor, presumably, did he think it necessary to speculate on the subject. The only pertinent fact is that they are there, brooding presences whose influence determines the unfolding of the plot

But God has promised better things for those who are in Christ.
Paul makes a comparison of Adam and Jesus:
Paul embarks on a comparison of Adam and Jesus.
I want to make three simple points today from this passage of scripture, that further explain the hope that we have as Christians:
I want to make three simple points today from this passage of scripture, that further explain the hope that we have as Christians:

Adam and Jesus are similar

Paul begins by showing what it is that Jesus and Adam have in common – v12:
Romans 5:12 NIV84
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned—
In V18a he says the same thing again:
In V18a he says the same thing again:
Romans 5:18 NIV84
Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.
One man’s sin led to condemnation for all, while one man’s act of righteousness led to the justification and life for many. The principle of the comparison is that the actions of one affects the many.
I’ve always wondered about the fairness:
What it is saying that all of us were in Adam. Where are you and I before we’re born: we’re in the genetic bank of Adam. So when Adam was sinning – where were you and I? We were there! Adam was all of us – we are just separate parts of Adam. He made the choice for us all, he broke the law for us all and he became the transgressor for us all. Because he is the father of us all.
Why is it never called the sin of Eve? Because Adam was the head. The buck stayed with him. He was responsible for his family. When he sinned, his family sinned. There is one humanity. God deals with this one humanity. The word ‘Adam’ means ‘man’- not male. Man in the sense of mankind – humanity.
We do not exist separate from him. And our actions are all part of his action. His judgement is mine. When I sin, I do as my father. When he sinned, he brought me under the reign of sin and death.
One man's choice is another man's life.
And the family as a whole makes decisions. There is a right teaching about my individual culpability. There is also a right teaching about my part in the community. I am part of the total. And my fathers decisions are my life.
Where I was raised was my parents choice. How they raised me was their choice and my life. For you think the way they think, speak the accent they speak with and vote the way they vote. We are the offspring of our parents.
Besides that - I show that I am Adam’s offspring every time I willingly sin.
The cricket captain who wins the toss and chooses to bat. His actions affect the team and possibly the outcome.
The one leads to the many coming under condemnation and death – 12, 18a, 19; and the other one leads to many coming into life and righteousness – 18b and 19b.
Why is he making this point?
Just as we can be certain about sin, so we can be certain about righteousness. EXPAND
The assurance that comes from being identified with Christ is that nothing will stand in the way of our salvation - not even our being part of Adam’s race. We will live and live on into eternity.
This passage is linked to 1-11 because of the repeated phrase in v1,11,21 ‘through our Lord Jesus Christ’.
The assurance that comes from being identified with Christ is that nothing will stand in the way of our salvation. We will live and live on into eternity.
What it is saying that all of us were in Adam. Where are you and I before we’re born: we’re in the genetic bank of Adam. So when Adam was sinning – where were you and I? We were there! Adam was all of us – we are just separate parts of Adam. He made the choice for us all, he broke the law for us all and he became the transgressor for us all. Because he is the father of us all.
Why is it never called the sin of Eve? Because Adam was the head. The buck stayed with him. He was responsible for his family. When he sinned, his family sinned. There is one humanity. God deals with this one humanity. The word ‘Adam’ means ‘man’- not male. Man in the sense of mankind – humanity.
We do not exist separate from him. And our actions are all part of his action. His judgement is mine. When I sin, I do as my father. When he sinned, he brought me under the reign of sin and death.
One man's choice is another man's life.
And the family as a whole makes decisions. There is a right teaching about my individual culpability. There is also a right teaching about my part in the community. I am part of the total. And my fathers decisions are my life.
Where I was raised was my parents choice. How they raised me was their choice and my life. For you think the way they think, speak the accent they speak with and vote the way they vote. We are the offspring of our parents.
Besides that - I show that I am Adam’s offspring every time I willingly sin.
The assurance that comes from being identified with Christ is that nothing will stand in the way of our salvation - not even our being part of Adam’s race. We will live and live on into eternity.
Salvation in Christ is just like sin in Adam – but in reverse:
Adam’s rebellion led to destruction, immorality and death. Jesus leads to life and glory and salvation.
Adam changed the future of all men. And now one man has changed the future of all men again.
Jesus has overcome Adam. Just like in Adam we all sinned and were all condemned and will all die, in Christ we have been justified and reconciled, we will be saved, and we will live through his life. It turns out you can change your race.
But Paul is on thin ice when he says in verse 14 that Adam was a ‘pattern of the one who was to come’. It’s a risky comparison because Adam is no hero of faith or godliness. Adam is the great disaster of humankind.
To say Christ – who is the picture of righteousness - is somehow prefigured in Adam who was the man who sinned and rebelled against God - is a risky comparison that needs to be qualified.

Adam and Jesus are different

This he does in V15-17 and shows us that although Adam and Christ are similar, they are also different. He points out three significant differences between Christ and Adam:
1. V15: the gift is not like the trespass - READ: the gift sounds like the trespass: one trespass, all die; one gift, all live. But the argument is: how much more is the gift than the trespass.
The trespass powerfully and relentlessly pushes us from sin to death, but the grace of God – the gift of God is much more powerful because it breaks the power of sin and gives life.
It is easier – to kill, than to raise the dead to life again.
Jesus not only stops the cart rolling down the hill, he gets it rolling up the hill again.
Jesus is better than Adam - because to bring life is greater than to bring death.
2. V16: They have different results - READ: The result of one man’s sin was condemnation, the result of the gift was justification. The trespass leads us from innocence to guilt; while the gift leads us from guilt to innocence.
Jesus is better - because to make innocent is greater than to make guilty. The result is different.
3. V17: The difference between two kingdoms - READ: one man’s trespass brought the reign of death - the kingdom of death. But God’s grace and righteousness by that one man Jesus has brought the reign of life – the kingdom of life - for us who are in Christ Jesus.
Whereas death reigned over us as it’s servants because of Adam, we now reign in life. We have become the kings of eternal life through Christ.
Jesus is better because - Adam led us into slavery, Jesus makes us into kings.
Jesus is better because - Adam led us into slavery, Jesus makes us into kings.
Jesus turned the servants of death into the kings of life! It’s amazing! He’s brought us from bondage to death to ruling in life.
Jesus is better than Adam. The difference Jesus makes is that he takes us from . . .
death to life,
from guilt to innocence and
from servants to kings!
This is the magnitude of Jesus’ reversal of Adam’s work.
This is the hope of Christians as we live in this world with all of it’s brokenness.
And so in v15-17 he’s saying Adam is not like Christ. Adam is different to Christ. So although they are similar, they’re radically different!

Adam and Jesus and you

What does this have to do with us? Verse 21 announces a Great Victory: the glory of the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over sin and over death.
What does this have to do with us? Verse 21 announces a Great Victory: the glory of the victory of the Lord Jesus Christ over sin and over death.
Romans 5:21 NIV84
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Jesus has reversed Adam’s destructive reign.
The one man has affected the many: in sin & death and in victory and righteousness. Jesus has conquered sin and death and brought freedom from sin and it’s consequence. Jesus has brought righteousness and life.
This passage highlights for us the Bible’s bleak assessment of life. People are not good. All of us are living in corruption and condemnation. We are living in the reign of sin and death. We’re in Adam’s world. That is where we are born and live and that is where we die.
Christians shouldn’t be surprised by the corruption, and sinfulness and death that is here.
Because we are Christians, we are never surprised by suffering and death: Everywhere we can see the result of Adam – the reign of sin and death. It touches all of us in every area of our lives. And so the Prayer Book rightly says ‘In the midst of life we are in death’.  
We know sin from the inside. Someone struggling with cancer knows about cancer from the inside.
The tremendous news of , is that there has been a great release from this world of the First Adam.
The bondage has been broken, death no longer has the victory over us. For by the grace of God – justification has been given to us – the war has been won by that one man – the Lord Jesus Christ – the righteous one – the Second Adam.
And those who are in Jesus are justified - and because they are justified they will live.
The opposite is also true: those who are still in Adam will be condemned and die. Today is good day to think about which humanity you are a member of: Adam’s or Christ’s?
The eternal life of 5:21 is the promise of a life of joy and grace and right standing before God. That is the life that Christ gives us. That is our hope.
That is what keeps countless Christians going, across history and geography– even in the face of suffering.
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