“Wrestling With Romans”
From Rags to Riches (Chapter 5 Verses 12-21)
The gift of God here is put into perspective. Adam’s sin you could say murdered the human race, death and sin reigned supremely as a result of original sin (vv12-13), but bringing this historical fact into focus we are made to see more clearly the extent of what the Lord Jesus has accomplished for us. Even those who lived between Adam and Moses were in the grip of sin and death (v14). They had the law written upon their hearts, and so were without any excuse even though they did not have a specific written command, (on paper, or tablets of stone if you prefer), such as was given through Moses (John 1.17). Yet again the exhaustiveness of the gift of God is displayed for us, because it reaches right back even to the point of Adam. So deep the calamity, the profundity of the tragedy, you see something of the measures God had to take to perform the rescue operation (v10). The first Adam plunged us into sin and death, the second Adam, Christ, plunges us into a sea of life and liberty. The Second, and the last, had to undo the death-gripping work of the former, the very bottom of sin had to be got to every fibre of the cancerous death-producing disease had to be extracted.
There is a difference between the gift and the sin which led to our downfall (vv15-17). Jesus, the second and the last Adam has attained much more than simple restoration, he has brought to us the reign of everlasting, eternal life. The condemnation came as a result of the first Adam’s one sin, but the rescue operation dealt with the many offences committed since (v16). In other words the gift of God in Jesus Christ is abundant, superabundant towards all the redeemed, obtaining for us much more than ever was lost. We are one with Jesus as we were one with Adam, and through Christ Jesus we shall reign in life as he reigns, but not in a territorial garden subject yet again to falling. No! No! Without the slightest danger of losing the gift we shall live in glory, immortality in the heavenly realms with Christ (Ephesians 1.3; 2.6; Colossians 3.3). His victory is our victory, through our vital relationship with him. This must never be forgotten by us, the importance of a preoccupation with the victorious Person of Jesus is what gives us liveliness and richness in our lives and testimony. We declare him, the one who became truly Man, and won hands down the victory for us, over death’s reign and sin’s grip. We trust him unconditionally, without reserve, we are persuaded of his ability to do everything he has promised to do (Philippians 1.6; Romans 8.35-39).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)