Here’s the notes from my sermon on Romans 5:18-19 that I preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship.
Romans 5:18-19 “The Better Adam” (Part 3)
INTRO: If you go on our church’s website you will find a tab called “Not a Christian?” There you shall find a link to a video called the 3-2-1 gospel. This is one way to explain the gospel:
3=God is three persons united in love.
2=The story of the world is the story of two representatives
1=You are one with Adam, be one with Jesus.
This presentation of the gospel goes well with what we are considering today.
-We are in a section of Romans (5:12-21) where Paul gives us a contrast between Adam and Jesus, the better Adam.
-First Adam brought sin and death into the world (5:12-14)
-But he was a “type of the one to come,” (5:14b)
-Jesus is the one to come, the better Adam, who triumphs over sin and death
-Last week: Jesus gives to us GIFTS of grace, righteousness and life (15-17).
Today, we look at 5:18-19 and the focus is on the OBEDIENCE of Jesus.
-Unlike Adam, Jesus never sinned, and through his obedience secured a right standing for us and a new identity.
-*Jesus is the better Adam and we see this through the life he lived*
-Verses 18 and 19 make the same point, but from different angles.
-18: Focus is on the Act of the two (Adam and Jesus). The act of sin or righteousness leads to two different places
-19: Focus is on the two People (Adam and Jesus). These two lead to creation of two different kinds of people
Why does this matter? Because we all belong to the first Adam, but we can belong to Jesus the Last Adam. We are all part of the story of the two Adams, whether we like it or not. And Jesus the better Adam has acted to bring about salvation for us. This is a glorious truth we need to hear and consider again today.
1. The Act of the Two Adams (18); 2. The Two Adams Acting (19)
1. The Act of the Two Adams (18)
Paul encourages us to consider the contrast of two different acts or actions: The sinful trespass of Adam and the righteous act of Jesus. We see that these two different acts leads all of us to two very different places.
ONE ACT OF THE FIRST ADAM:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men,
–ONE TRESPASS: A trespass is the act of breaking God’s Law
-Adam trespassed the command of God by eating fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil (Gen 2:17)
-We ALL trespass God’s law as we sin.
-Considering our life in light of the 10 Commandments Reveals our Trespass
–LED TO CONDEMNATION FOR ALL MEN:
–Condemnation: a JUDICIAL Verdict of God pronouncing that you are guilty and deserve punishment
-for all men: All of us are condemned.
-Adam was the federal head of humanity, his actions impacted all humans.
-Besides Jesus, we all come under this condemnation.
ONE ACT OF JESUS, THE BETTER ADAM: so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
–ONE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
-Referring to Jesus’ death on the cross, but also his life of righteousness
-It was a RIGHTEOUS Act for Jesus to come and die for us.
-No one lived like Jesus, his is a beauty and glory unmatched.
-LEADS TO JUSTIFICATION AND LIFE:
–JUSTIFICATION: God declares us righteous before Him—JUDICIAL VERDICT
LUTHER: “a Christian is not someone who has no sin or feels no sin; he is someone to whom, because of his faith in Christ, God does not impute his sin.”
–AND LIFE= Actually refers to the life that justification brings.
-Spiritual life, life with God.
–FOR ALL MEN
-possible misunderstanding: EVERY SINGLE PERSON WILL BE JUSTIFIED.
-Universalism teaches every single person will be saved, but that is not what the Bible teaches
MOO: “all” does not always mean every human being (8:32; 11:32; 16:19). Here it designates all those who belong to Christ”
-Many will die unjustified and go to hell: Matt 7:13-14
-SHOCKING TRUTH OF JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH: Jesus’ act has really brought about our justification. Our good works have contributed NOTHING to it. His good work did it all!
OUR PROBLEM: LUTHER: “The gospel is often a rare guest in our conscience.” This leads to all kinds of disheartenment and discouragement.
SUMMARY: The One act of Jesus the 2nd Adam brought out justification for all who believe. This overcomes the effect of the first Adam’s sin and condemnation. *Jesus really is the better Adam and we see this in the life he lived.*
2. Two Different Adams Acting (19)
This verse is a repeat of verse 18, but also gives us an elaboration and a different focus. Here the focus is on the person acting in disobedience or obedience INSTEAD OF THE ACT. The two Adams bring about a different kind of people.
FIRST ADAM ACTS IN DISOBEDIENCE: For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners,
ONE MAN’S DISOBEDIENCE:
-Adam’s sin is now described as disobedience
-Sin is disobedience to God. It is refusing to walk in God’s ways.
-There is no neutral way of living, it is either living for God or refusing to live for God
-MY FRIEND’S Conversion: I realized I was either living for God or Satan.
THE MANY WERE MADE SINNERS:
-Adam’s sin led to the human race being “made sinners”
-His act led to a SINFUL HUMAN RACE
-Outside of Christ, this is how we all stand before God: SINFUL
-Bible reorients how we view humanity: Special (Created) but Fallen (Sinful)
THE BETTER ADAM, JESUS, ACTS IN OBEDIENCE: so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
BY THE ONE MAN’S OBEDIENCE
-Jesus obeyed God’s law perfectly (Heb 4:15)
-Passive and Active Obedience:
-Passive=Jesus satisfies the penalty of the law, by dying in our place
-Active=Jesus lived a perfect life, His righteousness is credited to us.
-Machen, on his death bed, said there was no hope without it.
THE MANY WILL BE MADE RIGHTEOUS
-The “many” are all who place their faith in Jesus
-“Made Righteous” is God covering us with Christ’s righteousness
-2 Cor 5:21 “GREAT EXCHANGE”
-MADE RIGHTEOUS when we believe.
-Jesus as the beginning of a new humanity, a holy humanity.
-Christians are RIGHTEOUS, not because anything we do, but because of what Jesus did.
ANOTHER SHOCKING TRUTH THAT NEEDS TO COME INTO OUR HEARTS: We are Righteous!
LUTHER: “Therefore we should believe for a certainty that not only our office but also our person is pleasing to God. Whatever our person says, does, or thinks in private is pleasing to God, not indeed on our account but on account of Christ…To the extent that Christ is pleasing to God and that we belong to Him, to that extent we, too, are pleasing to God and holy.”
OBJECTION: But I sinned again this week! Can God really STILL view me as righteous?
ANSWER: YES! This is the wonder of the gospel. We are not saved by any of our works, but by grace of God given to us Jesus Christ.
LUTHER: “And although sin still clings to our flesh and we still fall every day, still grace is more abundant and more powerful than sin. For the mercy and the truth of the Lord reign over us forever. Therefore sin is unable to frighten us or to make us doubt the grace of God that is in us. Christ, that mighty giant, has abolished the law, condemned sin, and destroyed death and every evil. So long as He is at the right hand of God interceding for us, we cannot have any doubts about the grace of God toward us.”
BUT WHAT ABOUT WORKS?
LUTHER: “Works do not justify… They should be done as fruits of righteousness, not in order to bring righteousness into being. Having been made righteous, we must do them; but it is not the other way around: that when we are unrighteous, we become righteous by doing them. The tree produces fruit; the fruit does not produce the tree.”
-What are the good works God has for you this week?
CLOSE: Are you one with Jesus, the better Adam? If not, place your faith in today!
-If you are one with him, consider deeply these wonderful truths: in Christ you are JUSTIFIED; in Christ you are RIGHTEOUS!
*Jesus really is the better Adam, and we see this in the life he lived for us*