Jesus: Salvation in No Other - Romans 5:17-19

JESUS: Salvation in No Other (The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ, Part 1)

Today we are beginning a new sermon series titled, “JESUS, Salvation in No Other.” During the next several weeks of this series I will attempt to take us deep into the Gospel of Jesus Christ. All of us Christians have believed and most of us have a grasp of the elementary teachings of the faith. The Scripture urges us to move on from the elementary principles to things that are greater and deeper. We are to push toward maturity with the attitude of the Apostle:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” So, we will do this if God permits!

The first sermon of the series is the first part of the Biblical idea of “The Act of Adam and the Act of Christ.” Romans chapter five clearly demonstrates the universal necessity of Christ’s redeeming work on the cross. It is the cross that is put forward as the divine answer for the dilemma of the whole human race. God gives no other answer for the sin-problem and He offers no other way of escape from it – only the cross of Christ. And we will see in today’s main text that Christ’s work was not done in a corner for only a small group of people. It was done for the sins of the “whole world” (1 Jn 2:2). In this text, the Apostle correlates the work of Christ with the work of Adam.

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V17] “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.)”

In verse seventeen we come to a climax. People die both physically and spiritually because of the one sin of the one man, Adam. What is the evidence of this universal condemnation? Death. Look all around us – death reigns. “And as it is appointed for men to die once…” (Heb 9:27).
Do we need more evidence that we are all sinners? Do we need more proof that none are righteous, no not one? Are there any that escape death?

Through Adam sin has entered this world and all have fallen short of the glory of God. Both Jews and Gentiles (whites and blacks, poor and rich, male and female) are all under sin.

Yet, praise be to God that Christ’s one act has enough power to reverse Adam’s one offense and much more.

What does it mean to reign in life?
1. It is “Through the One, Jesus Christ” (there is salvation in no other)
2. It is for “those who receive…the gift” (*the word receive is important)
3. It is a future condition “will reign” (starts now, but anticipates full restoration)
SEE Romans 8:19-23
Adam was to reign over the world by the authority of God, yet sin and death stripped this role from him and all mankind thereafter. Christ has defeated death and allows us to reign in life.

The grace and gift are defined in terms of righteousness. What is this righteousness?
It is not our moral success, but a status given to us by God.

What is the truth of Scripture? “A critical spiritual condition has been introduced into human history through” both Adam and Christ.

V18] “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.”

“Therefore”  Here is the summary and logic of the argument.
It only took Adam’s one sin for God to declare him offensive.
SEE James 2:10 – This is God’s standard – Perfection

You see how the parallel is laid out between Adam and Christ.
Adam: one act spread to all men (negatively)
Immediate result: Condemnation
Christ: one act spread to all men (positively)
Immediate result: Justification

Now, it seems logical that sense Adam’s one sin has caused condemnation and death for every single person that Christ’s work has cause justification and life for every single individual. Isn’t that what the verse is saying? Remember that I said the word “receive” was important in v17.

We are only united to Christ by receiving the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness.
In Adam we basically had no choice. The world is skewed because of sin, but Christ reverses that. In Him we have a real choice  “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Christ’s free gift of righteousness is available to all, but not all receive it.

V19] “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

Verse nineteen restates and explains verse eighteen using different language. The same parallel is continued with the new words disobedience and obedience. It is by Christ’s obedience that many will be made righteous. Paul must have in mind the cross. This was Christ’s ultimate determination of obedience. Do you remember the Apostle’s word in Phil 2:8?

It is through His obedience that we are made righteous. This is what God said His Messiah would do (SEE Isa 53:11). I said that we now have a real choice because of Christ. That is true, but we must realize that though we choose Christ, the choice is non-meritorious. Choosing the good doesn’t earn us anything. It is Christ’s obedience that has earned us everything. Choosing the right allows us to simply receive the righteousness that Christ has already attained for us.
All are united with Adam’s sin because all are connected to him. He is the head of the first creation of which we are all descendants. The same is true of Christ. He is the Head of a new creation and all can be united to Him by receiving. How can we receive this gift? Believe/Trust

Both Adam and Christ were the heads of new creations:

Adam failed to keep God’s holy standard by sinning in the Garden.
Because of his failure, “sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…” (Rom 5:12).

Christ is our righteousness. Three words are used in our text that explains what Christ has done in comparison to Adam. Yes, Adam has greatly affected this world, but Christ does “much more.” He offers an “abundance” of grace. So, the Apostle John says, “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.”

Christ’s obedient death on the cross is God’s answer for the problem of sin in the world. There is salvation in no other act than the one act of Christ.

John 15:9-12 Your Joy in Christ

“Your joy in God will expand the more you joy in the joy of others.” --John Piper

I would like to prove this statement true with one main Scripture and several others supporting.

READ John 15:9-12 – This is the Word of God

(9) Jesus loved us the way the Father loved Him.
We know that “God is love…” (1 John 4:8).
Between the Father, Son, and Spirit there is perfect love (full, mutual, unending).
Jesus says that He loved us in that same way – the cross! Now, He commands all His
disciples, “Abide in My love.” We may think that is a difficult thing to do. How do we abide
in Christ’s love? He tells us in the next verse how to abide in His love –
keep His commandments.

(10) Jesus gave several commandments during His earthly ministry –
Matt 5:17-20 – “These commandments”  what He was about to say
Hate/Murder – Lust/Adultery – Marriage/Divorce – Loving Enemies – ETC.
This explanation of how to abide in His love is no simple matter. In fact, this is difficult.
We are Christians, we know that we can’t keep His commandments perfectly. Honestly, I
have come to the point that I believe that the Sermon on the Mount was just another example,
basically the final straw, to demonstrate to mankind that we have fallen short of the glory of
God. I think it is a punch in the nose that says in big bold letters that we
That is why He began the sermon with the beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit…”

Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly.  Heb 4:15; Jn 8:29; Isa 53:9

(11) If we abide in His love, His joy will abide in us and it will be FULL! This kind of joy is caused by loving a fully fruitful life. This is the life that Jesus lives. The Christian life “is no cheerless, barren existence” This joy comes from a wholehearted dedication to obeying the commands of Jesus. The note of joy in the disciples has only been mentioned once so far in the Gospel of John and then it is used SEVEN times in the upper room! As Jesus is about to be betrayed, as He is about to go to the cross, as He is about to bear the burden of the world’s sins on His sinless soul, as He is about to leave in just a short amount of time  He wants to leave His disciples with JOY! The Christian life is not about some kind of mundane, boring, lazy, go through the motions, obedience. It is about creativity. It is not the obedience of a slave that we are talking about. It is the obedience of a son/daughter! The obedient child shares in all things with his father. So do the children of God.

(12) See the link from v11 to v12? He has said all these things that His joy may be in us. We have already learned that we must abide in His love by keeping His commandments and then His joy will remain in us. Now He sums His commandments into one- love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU. So our joy is linked to loving others! No verse explains this love issue better than First John 3:16. We love like Christ by living sacrificially for others. Romans 12:1 says to “present your bodies a living sacrifice…” Love one another by laying down your soul. This is your reasonable service, Paul says.

The fruit of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22

You may still be worried about remaining in His love – Romans 8:31-39

“Your joy in Christ will expand the more you joy in the joy of others.”

Romans 1:15-17 The Righteousness of God is Revealed

“In the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,” truly a dying world, we have a great faith and hope in our God. “For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord…We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus…Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

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Verse 15: The Gospel from Beginning to End
In this first section of the letter Paul identifies four things that he wants to accomplish in Rome:
1) v11 impart some spiritual gift
2) v12 encourage by the mutual faith
3) v13 have some fruit among the Romans
4) v15 preach the gospel

Paul was the “Apostle to the Gentiles” and he was eager to preach the Gospel to the predominately Gentile church in Rome. Follow the thought of “you”:
V7 “To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints”
V8 “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all”
V11 “I long to see you”
V15 “I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome”
*Who is the “you” that he wants to preach the Gospel to? The Christians

Since Paul wanted to preach the Gospel to those who had already heard the message and believed we can reason several things:
1) The Gospel involves more than initial conversion
2) The Gospel has an integral part of the Christian’s life from beginning to end
3) The Gospel is deeper than the simple message “God loves you”
4) As one person says, “The gospel includes every aspect of Christian existence.”
The Gospel changes, empowers, encourages, teaches, and influences us forever.
5) The Gospel unites Christians (which the Romans needed)
*Remember that famous verse in 1 Cor 2:2 where Paul says, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”

Paul wanted to strengthen believers in their faith. And what is our faith in?
Christ and Him crucified! “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21). Our faith in that atoning, substitutionary work must constantly be renewed and reinforced.
*Paul wanted to preach the Gospel to the believers in Rome like he would new converts.

Verse 16: For it is the Power of God
“For I am not ashamed of the Gospel”: Paul employs a figure of speech used to ‘lessen a thing in order to increase it.’ He uses a negative word (“not”) in order to grab the reader’s attention which intensifies his main point. What Paul is saying in an intense fashion is, “I count the Gospel my highest honor.” He is honored to proclaim the Gospel and to suffer for it with full confidence in its power. The Gospel is literally, “good news.” Though we are hard-pressed by this world and despite persecution from the evil one, we are the children of God. “Whoever believes [in Christ] will not be put to shame.”

But this shame issue is important. Remember what Jesus said in Mark 8:38 --
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Paul would not and could not be ashamed of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of salvation in Him.

Salvation most often refers to the eschatological sense which will only be realized at the Judgment when we will escape the wrath of God, but there is also the sense in the NT that salvation is realized in the present. It impacts our lives today. It matters what you think about death, judgment, and eternity. These things impact our decisions and actions. We are saved from many things here and now such as guilt, heavy burdens, this present wicked age, works of the law, hopelessness and we will ultimately be saved from the wrath of God to come.
Punishment and Hell do not await us who believe.

You see, the Gospel is the power of God that “results in” salvation.
You want to be saved? You need the power of God – The Gospel
In 1 Cor 1:18 the Apostle says, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
The message of the cross…is the power of God.

The Gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ who is declared in v4 as the “Son of God with power.” The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God and that power is available “for EVERYONE who BELIEVES.” The Romans needed to hear that there is unity in Christ… You see, “The Gospel unleashes God’s power so that people [anyone, Jew and Gentile, red, yellow, black, and white], by embracing it, can be rescued from the disastrous effects of sin, being pronounced ‘righteous’ in God’s sight,” though we are not! The Gospel says that Christ has attained righteousness and He freely offers it to all who believe – those who will receive it.

You want to be right in the eyes of God? The Bible says that God takes Jesus’ righteousness and gives it to you if you trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection. “It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.”

We must note, the Gospel is universal yet particular: “to the Jew first and also for the Greek.”

Verse 17: The Righteousness of God
In the Gospel the righteousness of God is manifest  made real. “Righteousness of God” is significant to Romans study because besides 2 Cor 5:21, it is only used in this letter.
*It is an act of God and our status because of it.

The Jews continually looked for the righteousness of God in their behalf as the OT Prophets and Psalmists predicted. Paul announces the coming of the righteousness of God in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He emphasizes two aspects of this righteousness that weren’t widely accepted:
1. God’s righteousness is an entirely gracious act, only experienced by faith.
2. Anyone, Jew or Gentile, can and need to experience it.

“Faith to faith”:
1. From faith in the Law to Faith in the Gospel
2. The Faith of the Preacher and the Faith of the Hearer
3. The Reference of the Growth of Faith in an individual
4. First faith = God’s faithfulness and Second Faith = Faith of an individual
5. Righteousness is received by faith and has faith, not works
*Probably for emphasis (faith, nothing but faith)

“The just shall live by faith” which is quoted here from Habakkuk is a key Biblical theme.
“Abraham believed and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

We need the power of God actively working in our lives to accomplish salvation for us.

“The Gospel unleashes God’s power so that people, by embracing it, can be rescued from the disastrous effects of sin, being pronounced ‘righteous’ in God’s sight,” – saved from this present wicked age and the wrath that is to come on those who are outside of Christ.

The power of God working in us is a promise of Scripture if we will continue in the faith:
1) “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
2) “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Christ…”

Receive the Gospel…Believe the Gospel…Feed on the Gospel…Trust in Christ…Do not be ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes!