“Wrestling With Romans”
In My Place Condemned He Stood (Chapter 6 vv 15-23)
We are told that Adam, in a sense, is an Old Testament pattern of Jesus Christ (Romans 5.14) and that he the Lord Jesus, that is, earned for us eternal life (v23). The grace gift of life becomes ours in personal justification, it is ours the moment we believe, the moment we die to sin and become alive to God (vv11-13). It is a grace gift to us but earned, worked for by Christ Jesus, life by his death. It is in and through the agency of Christ Jesus our Lord (v23b). This life comes to us, because he willingly agreed to do, to carry out, the grace-drawn plan offered to sinful man (John 4.34).
First, he was willing to lay aside the glory of his divine nature, hide it, so to speak, by appearing as a man on this world’s stage (Hebrews 2.14). To be our Saviour he had to partake of our nature, human nature. Furthermore, in willingly offering himself which included a willingness to suffer all that was entailed in his life and death. In laying aside that glory, being born of a woman, his walk of humility and obedience to the Father’s will throughout the entirety of his life and finally his death on the cross. Now all this was undertaken so that in him we would have life. It was to save lost sinners by his death (Luke 19.10). It was to rescue us from our sinful slavery (Matthew 1.21). It was to make us more than just respectable, it was to save us (1Timothy 1.15). To render the power of death powerless (Hebrews 2.14-15), what could be a clearer deliverance than this? To purify, sanctify, make holy (v19), and glorify his people (Ephesians 5.25-27). To make us individually holy (John 17.19), in other words serve the new master. To offer himself, in our place, a substitute, his life for ours (Galatians 1.4) It was to take our sin upon himself (2Corinthians 5.21), that we should become righteous.
There is one more aspect of this we need to consider. By entering into the benefits of Jesus’ saving work, through faith, we need to know that salvation is made an absolute certainty. His working for, and obtaining salvation was for a definite purpose, to give us life, and it was all of grace, totally unconditional, free grace. All the covenantal benefits become ours through what he, Christ has done, even the hand of faith that reaches out and receives him, is provided for us, a gift from God (Ephesians 2:5-7). So in the way of righteousness we walk in newness of life. Here it is, God’s wonderful and eternal plan of redemption, his covenant of grace, to bring his people, the elect of God, from every tongue, tribe and nation in the world together under his gracious covenant, that in everything purchased in the death of Jesus we would know the certainty of life. He obtained it for us. It shall be so.
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1997)