Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Romans 5:1
In Romans 1 and 2 Paul concludes that God’s wrath is against all of sinful humanity, Jews and Gentiles alike. Romans 3 and 4 Paul concludes that God’s grace benefits all humanity, Jews and Gentiles alike. Romans 5 begins with “therefore”, so we have to ask why it is “there for”? Both, those that have the law and those that don’t have the law are all Abraham’s children. We now all have peace with God, through Jesus. Paul is trying to unify the church as we deal with the implications of this righteousness. And he starts using this wonderful “we language”. It means Jews, Gentiles and Paul or the Church.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5
Paul gives us this small tidbit to help give context to his declaration in verse 6. Rarely will someone die for a type of person that is able to control his will for good things, sometimes a person will die for a kind person, but not for a sinner. That is, unless you are God. God sent Jesus to a people that had no ability to accomplish what was needed on their own. Should this make an impact in our lives? I want you to visualize a difficult relationship. Now, in humility wake up in the morning and love them. And lets say, they respond to your love with bitterness and hatred. Love them more. That is so hard. But Jesus did it. We had no way to save ourselves. Thank you God.
11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— Romans 5
Reconciliation is the process of building a bridge. It restores the connection from one side to another. Sin created this divide. Adam created this divide. Jesus built the bridge to reconcile the two sides. In view of our desire to inspire and motivate men to follow Jesus I think it would be wise to focus on the comparison of Adam and Jesus.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5 (left out a few verses)
Adam lived in the presence of God by God’s terms. Live here, take care of the garden and most important, don’t eat the fruit of that tree. When tempted with the fruit Adam had to make a decision. Do I live by my terms? Or by God’s? He chose to live by his own, but why? What motivated him. Ultimately its a matter of trust. Will Adam trust God’s judgement even when it is in conflict with Adam’s desire? Adam didn’t trust God.
What about Jesus? Did he decide to live by his own terms or God’s? What motivated him? You are a reflection or an image of God. So, what about you? Will you live by your own terms or God’s? What motivates you?
Jesus was a peacemaker. Are you? Look back at your week. Did you gossip or slander? Did you reconcile relationships or strain them? A sign of a follower is an ever increasing ability to love. What can you do this week to be a peacemaker?
What was the motivation behind Adam’s act? What was the motivation behind Jesus’ act? I love these questions!
Think about your greatest enemy. What is a way that you could act in their best interest?
I’ve spent quite a bit of time lately meditating on the Juxtaposition of Adam and Jesus. Both had unique circumstances and temptations. And both made difference choices. It’s almost intimidating to write about Jesus in this regard, because I come so short. He lived completely and wholly for others, even the point of death. I can’t even remember to go to the bathroom to pray for my co-workers once a day, no less hang on a cross for them. I hope this has been beneficial for you. It really has been for me.
*Check out a detailed commentary for work and sin’s effect as detailed in Romans 5. I have my opinions. But they are for another time and another place.