When reading Romans 5:12-21, it is clear that Paul is drawing a parallel between the work of Adam and the work of Christ; however, the two events are as different as they are similar. “In each case, a critical spiritual condition has been introduced into human history through the act of one man” (Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT, 339), but comparing the events is akin to comparing cancer and the cure.
To look at these realities, we will implore the old boxing device of “The Tale of the Tape” to see how they measure up.
||Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45)
| Offers a trespass
||Offers a free gift
|All humanity died
||Grace and life to all who believe
|Sin reign and increased
||Grace reigned and increased
While the acts are parallel, the effects of each are polar opposites. The sin of the first Adam brought the grave consequences of death into this world that has infected every being born since. It was the moment that destruction and despair were allowed to rule the day. Whether under the law, or even before the law, the curse of death ran rampant through all men and women as they all willfully chose to partake in the reign of sin. All people, born since that day, have come into this world as enemies of God (Romans 5:6, 8, 10).
But the glory of the gospel is that the story doesn’t end there. God sent the Last Adam, Jesus, into this world, while we were still sinners, to die in our place. Christ, in another singular act in human history, changed the destiny for all who would believe in His name. In place of condemnation, Jesus offers justification. In place of death, He offers life. In place of our unrighteousness, the Son of God offers us His righteousness. Where despair once ruled our existence, we can now live with hope. The reign of sin will not forever increase, but grace will rule the day and forever expand.
The two events are forever intertwined, but are as different as night and day. The act of the first man, Adam, is truly a day that should forever live in infamy. However, the act of the last Adam, Jesus, is a day that needs to be celebrated and declared from every corner. Jesus’ glorious obedience to his Father and the free gift He offer us demands our unbridled worship and undivided loyalty.
FBC Family Pastor
Wed, February 1, 2012
by Brian Tryhus filed under
- L3 Journal,
- Brian Tryhus,
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