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.
READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
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.