Bible Study from Calvary Chapel Newberg
with Tom Fuller
A New Race
To understand what Paul is talking about in Romans 5:12-21 we have to go back to the beginning, not of creation, but of sin.
12 ? 14
Sin is basically independence from God.
Genesis 2:15-17 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, \"You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.\"
Adam?s rebellion became an infection?part of the human genome?passed down from father to son or daughter through the seed of the father (we were all ?in? Adam like Levi was in Abraham when he presented tithes to Melchizedek ? Hebrews 7:9-10).
?All have sinned? means that our continued rebellion against God is a sign of the infection. It?s a fatal disease, 100% of the time. God did not intend for us to die. Even now, physical death seems just wrong to us, and it is wrong, but it?s a result of our rebellion. We trace the sin back to Adam because he was not deceived like Eve. He willfully and knowingly went against God (1 Tim 2:14). We have been infected with sin from Adam, but we also have responsibility because we ourselves sin (?all have sinned? 3:23).
Sin was still in the world but we came to understand it more when the Law was given, describing the character of a holy God and contrasting that with the character of sinful man.
The Law makes us accountable to sin, but we were sinners before the Law came about. It says ?sin was not counted? which to me means, it was sin?we just didn?t know what to call it before the Law.
Death is the direct result of sin. Adam disobeyed a direct command of God. Those from Adam to Moses did not have the direct command but sinned anyway, and suffered death because of it. The Law helps us see our sinfulness. It?s like getting a deep cut in the middle of the night. Not seeing the wound does not make it go away. Turning on the light merely reveals the truth of the wound that was already there. The Law also gives no remedy to sin, but merely points to the remedy of Jesus.
Adam was a ?type? of Christ, whom Paul calls ?The Last Adam? in 1 Corinthians 15:45. Adam was a flawed human, Jesus is the perfect human. Adam typifies the disobedience of a fallen man in the first creation, Jesus is the obedient Son who is the first fruits of a new creation (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Why is the free gift not like the trespass? It took only one act of rebellion (?trespass? is a willful violation, not a mistake or a ?bad example?) against God?s command to bring sin and death to all of humanity. As Paul will say, it will take only one sacrifice to undo all of that sin and death (everyone that has ever lived has died ? except Enoch and Elijah). Our problem as humans is that we want to make ourselves better by ourselves. It?s a futile endeavor.?
Gal 2:16 by works of the law no one will be justified.
16 - 17
The result of one man?s sin was condemnation?separation of humanity from God. But the result of Jesus sacrifice is the return of fellowship (justification?right standing before God) for ALL of humanity.
18 ? 21
The Law shines a spotlight on sin. That?s why sin increases with the law?the knowledge that all these things we?ve been doing are actually against the expressed character of God. But the answer to sin is not more law. That?s why you can?t legislate morality. Now, I?m not saying we should have laws that condone ungodly behavior, but you can?t change someone?s behavior by a law. You can only change their behavior by them dying and coming back to life in Jesus.
?I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
So how does this new life come about?
Let?s start in Luke 1 ? the annunciation ? creation of a new race: God?s seed, Mary?s egg.
Luke 1:35-36 And the angel answered her, \"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of? the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called? holy? the Son of God.
Essentially, God?s seed fertilized Mary?s egg and Jesus was the result. The only other thing close to this is the creation itself, where God intervened and man was created.
We talk about evolution?this is the evolution of a new race of humans. The life and purity of God is infused into the egg of a human tainted by sin. The result isn?t that God was stained with sin but that the egg was purified?just as Jesus purified evil and sickness and death when he touched it.
So when we die on the cross with Christ, we are also raised by Him into this new race, this new life that He gives. We are still human, and will always be, but it?s like a life transplant?and we escape the sentence of death.
We are either a son or daughter of Adam, or a son or daughter of Christ
Jesus gives us more than Adam took away.
In Jesus we get righteousness which is eternal life. We weren?t just cleaned up and told ?don?t do it again.?
It?s useless for us to try to earn God?s favor anymore
In Genesis 3, God told Adam that he would have to work for everything he got. In Matthew 11, Jesus said:
Matt 11:28-30 ?Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.? 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.? 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.\"
So in Jesus, not only can you not work for anything you get, if you are burdened and heavy laden you?ve picked up something that doesn?t belong to you.