A Better Adam (Romans 5:12-14)

Here’s the notes from my sermon on Romans 5:12-14, that I preached at Cross of Christ Fellowship, our church in Naperville, on 9/19/21. You can hear the sermon here.

A Better Adam (Part 1): The 1st Adam and the Hope of Another (5:12-14)

Intro: This week I saw something that my wife and my children have never seen. It is something that many of you have probably not seen before either, though some of you most likely have. It was the sight of a dead person’s body.
It happened two days ago. I was at an OPEN CASKET funeral, for a godly 75-year-old man who died of health complications. He was a faithful Christian and died in hope of eternal life, which meant the funeral was mixture of sadness and hope. At the service his casket was partially open so everyone could look on the face of the deceased one last time. From our angle it just looked like he was asleep, but we all he knew he was dead.
I think every funeral we attend reminds us of our mortality. One day, we too will die. One day, you will die. And someone, most likely, will hold a funeral service for you.
QUESTIONS: Why is there death in this world? Why is there so much sadness and pain? Why are things so wrong around us and in our own hearts? We find the answer in today’s text:
                       *M.P.: Things are not the way they are supposed to be because of the sin of Adam and the sin of you and me.*
CONTEXT: Book of Romans is a letter from Paul to church at Rome.
        -Theme is the GOSPEL
                    –Ch 1-4 Explain the Gospel (Sin, No hope in ourselves, Solution in Christ, Faith)
                    –Ch 5-8 Unpacks the Gospel and Addresses some objections.
                                –5:1-11: Unpacks the gospel [Better than we realized!] Because of the Gospel we have peace w/God;
                                access to grace; hope of eternal life; joy in trials; God’s love in our hearts; love proven in cross;
                                assurance of future salvation [God who saved us in the past will save us in the future]
                                            -5:12-21 is a section gives us a reason why all these promises are true:
                                            JESUS is a better Adam; He has overcome the effects of sin and death.
                                                        -It will take several weeks for us to unpack this section together.
TODAY: We look at the beginning of this unit of text. We learn about how sin and death came into this world through Adam. We see that things are not the way they are supposed to be because of the sin of Adam and the sin of you and me.
        -This is not a chipper, upbeat, sermon; or 5 ways to make your life more comfortable or easy in suburbia.
                    -This is God’s Word to us telling us why the world is the way it is: The Sin of Adam and our Sin.
                                -These are weighty truths, but it is the truth that we need to hear and consider together.
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? If we are to rightly appreciate the gospel, we must see what we have been saved from. We must see problem of sin and death for what they are, if we are to see Christ as our the only possible solution.

1. 3 Truths about Sin and Death (12)
5:12 is made up of 3 PROPOSITIONS. Each one is worth considering:
1. Sin came into the world through one man
        -Sin is rejecting or ignoring God in the world He created. Here it is described as a personified power.
        -The “one man” refers to Adam, the first human God man. He was head of the human race.
        -This refer is referring to Genesis 3 (Story of Adam and Eve)
                    -Adam was created upright, and given holy task to work the Garden
                                -Adam was told “you may surely eat of every tree of the garden” (2:16)
                                -Adam was told “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat”
                                            -Warning: “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
                                -Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan (Gen 3:1-5)
                                            -Adam and Eve sinned (Gen 3:6-7)
                                                        -Sin Brought estrangement with God and the curse of sin (3:8-19)
 -One reason the world is not the way it is supposed to be is because of Adam.
                    -His decision brought ruin to the world (like head of corporation or head of family)2. Death came into through world sin (death through sin)
        -God promised death as punishment for sin (2:17)=we see this in Romans 6:23
                    -Adam and Eve experienced a spiritual death, then eventual physical death.
                                -Death entered into the world through this sinful act
                                            -Death is not natural or normal, but is an intrusion into this world.
                                                        -It is right to react and fight against it (abortion, euthanasia are evils)
3. Death has spread to all men because all sinned
        -Every single person experiences death now: SPIRITUAL DEATH and then PHYSICAL DEATH
                    -This is because we all also sin—our death and sin is due to both Adam and ourselves.
QUESTION: Do you see yourself as a sinner? As one who has broken God’s law? If you will be a Christian you must
                                -Don’t we all recognize something is deeply wrong with our hearts/desires.
                                            -Don’t we grieve at death and the evil of this world? Don’t we want something better?
CHILDREN: Image you got a brand new toy. Is easier to be selfish or generous with it?
       Things are not the way they are supposed to be because of the sin of Adam and the sin of you and me.
WORLD: Death is just a natural part of life.
CHRISTIANITY: No, it is not. Death is a just natural part of life in a fallen world that has rejected God.

2. There was sin and death in the world even before the Law of Moses (13-14a)
Paul addresses a question likely more relevant to his original hearers. It is this question: What about all the people who lived between Adam and Moses? God gave the Law to Moses, so how could the people before him have been sinners if they did not have the Law given to Moses and did not sin in the same way Adam did (breaking a specific prohibition)? –Even before Moses, there was still sin in the world: for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given
        -People still sinned, even if there sin was not like the transgression of Adam (don’t eat from tree)                    EXAMPLES: Cain and Abel (Gen 4); Noah’s Generation (Gen 6:5-7); Noah’s Sin (9:21); Tower of Babel
                    (Gen 11); Abraham lying about Sarah (Gen 12); Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 18:20 ‘sin is great’); Isaac’s lying
                    (Gen 26); Esau’s hatred of Jacob (Gen 27); Sins against Joseph (Gen 37-50—jealousy of brothers; sold into
                    slavery; Potiphar’s wife having him arrested); Israel under cruel oppression and slavery (Exodus)
-Death reigned during that period over all sinners: Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam,
       
-Death REIGNED, everyone—except Enoch—died from Adam to Moses
APP: What we see around us the reign of death. We can try to stop it, but it is too powerful for us.
        -Jeff Bezos and others are investing in a company to try to reverse aging.
                    -No money or mere human effort can overcome reign of death =we need something greater

3. The 1st Adam Points to Another Adam (14b)
who was a type of the one who was to come.
Here the passage ends with an imagery that will be unpacked for the rest of the section.
-Adam was a a type of the one who was to come.
TYPE: –Moo: the word “type” denotes those OT persons, institutions, or events that have a divinely intended function of prefiguring the eschatological age inaugurated by Christ—hence the word “typology.”
EXAMPLES: Temple was a type of place, place of worship, that pointed to Jesus as the true temple
                        -Sacrifices of OT were types of sacrifice that pointed to Jesus’ great sacrifice
                        -David was a type of king that pointed to Jesus as everlasting king
                        -Prophets were a type that pointed to Jesus as final revelation of God
                        -Melchizedek was a type of priest that pointed to Jesus as final priest
QUESTION: How was Adam a type that point forward to Jesus?
ANSWER: Adam was the head of humanity, and his action impacted all. Jesus is head of new humanity and action impacts all. Moo: “It is in this sense that Adam is a “type” of Christ; the universal impact of his one act prefigures the universal impact of Christ’s act.”
       
-This is unpacked in 5:15-21. It is glorious and I’m looking forward to considering with in more depth with you.

CONCLUSION: Christians have a different approach to death.
-We don’t ignore death or pretend it is not part of this world: (twitter account; wife of Puritan)
       
-Death reminds us to make the best use of the time given to us in this life.-Death is not normal, but we can explain its presence here in this world
        Things are not the way they are supposed to be because of the sin of Adam and the sin of you and me.
-DEATH is tragic, but we don’t grieve as the world that has no hope: Our hope is in Jesus.
END:
One day you too may see a dead body, at a funeral or somewhere else. And you can know that Things are not the way they are supposed to be because of the sin of Adam and the sin of you and me. But there is hope for those who have placed their faith in Jesus, a hope that goes beyond sin and death and the grave. Do you have that hope this morning?

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