Reading through the Bible together
Paul begins: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” What a blessing to have peace with God! What a blessing to be justified by faith! What a blessing to be fully persuaded in the promises of God! When we have this faith, we have confidence in our standing with God based on what Jesus has done for us. As we experience this faith, God purifies this faith through tribulation, experience, and hope (1 Peter 1:7). This is the process God allows us to pass through to strengthen our faith (vs. 3-5).
Next he describes Christ’s death on the cross as the atonement for our sins (vs. 6-11). This is the second time now in Romans that Christ’s death and redemption through His blood is explicitly mentioned (see Rom.3:24, 25). Amazingly, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! We have been justified by his blood and saved from wrath through Him. Not only were we justified and reconciled by His death, but Paul also shows that we are saved by His life (vs. 10). In a later chapter, Paul will give us a deeper understanding of this statement. Yes, Jesus died to save us from the past record of our sins, and also to give us the power to live the life which He lived in the flesh on this earth.
Then Paul describes the effect that Adam and Christ have had on humanity. The first Adam has affected all of humanity but the Second Adam has as well (vs. 12-21). Because of Adam’s sin, death has passed on all men because all have sinned (notice that death reigned from Adam to Moses because he was the first human resurrected). So death has passed on all men, because all have chosen the same path of sin. Adam was a figure of him who was to come (the Second Adam). Adam’s choice to sin has caused all of us to have sinful natures. The Second Adam also made a choice that could affect all of humanity, if we all chose to accept His death on the cross.
Because of Adam’s sin, all of his children would have received death and eternal condemnation by choosing to sin because of the weakness of the flesh (see Roman 8:3). However, Christ’s death has made it possible for each one of us to choose the rich free gift of justification, so that it can be truly said, “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”
Although Adam had an effect on all humanity by passing on to each of us a sinful nature, Christ’s death has the power to deliver all of humanity if we would choose to accept His free gift of grace. What a Saviour!
Norman McNulty, M.D.
Neurologist, Lawrenceburg, TN, USA