Romans 5 - Adam and Christ
Romans 5 - Adam and Christ
What should be a great chapter of comfort to the whole world has become a battleground for theology. Beginning in Romans 5:12 and continuing to the end of the chapter, Paul contrasts what Adam accomplished with what Jesus accomplished. I don’t propose to solve all the debates that have been generated by a study of this chapter, but I do believe there are some points that all should acknowledge.
Death came by Adam. Is it spiritual, eternal, or physical death; that is what gets debated. I believe it is physical death that came as the penalty for his sin. However, whichever one you take, Christ MUCH MORE overcame it. Through Jesus we are offered spiritual life (Rom. 6 - raised to walk in newness of life), which will result in eternal life with God. Jesus also promises to not only raise our mortal bodies (cp. Rom. 8:11) but will change them to be fit to live in the presence of God forever. What Adam brought, Jesus MUCH MORE provides the remedy.
Sin came by Adam. Many theories of how each individual is then charged with sin get argued. Some wrongly asserting that we are charged with the very guilt of Adam’s transgression. Some assert that Adam sinned ‘as our representative’. Yet others that Adam introduced sin and we have followed his example and have sinned. It can not be denied that Paul has already affirmed that ‘all have sinned’ (Rom. 3:23). The good news is, Jesus provides MUCH MORE in that we can be forgiven, justified, and glorified through His sacrifice. Whereas Adam sinned by disobedience, Jesus was obedient even unto death. He thus became our sacrifice for sin, our high priest who offers this sacrifice, and our mediator who reconciles us unto the Father. What Adam did, Jesus MUCH MORE undid!
Corruption of this world was a result of Adam’s sin. We live in a broken and corrupted world that is very different than the Garden that Adam lived in at the beginning. Jesus MUCH MORE will restore that world. The curse will be removed, the earth will be made new, our eternal fellowship with God will be restored.
The point of this chapter is that what one man, Adam, did, one man, Jesus, more than undid. Paul emphasized that Jesus did ‘much more’ (8:15, 17, 20). Through Jesus we can be fully restored to an eternal relationship with the Father. Will EVERYONE thus be saved? NO, but Jesus made the provision. The gospel is God’s power to save all — all who believe (Rom. 1:16). Notice the universal nature of God’s invitation - Rom. 1:5, 16; 2:6, 11-12; 3:22, 26; 4:12; 5:6, 18-19; 6:3; 8:12-14; 10:1, 11-13; 11:14-15, 20-23, 32; 13:2; 14:12; and 16:26.
Paul mentioned that he was heavy with sadness because not all of Israel would be saved (10:1). It wasn’t that God didn’t desire it and make provision for it (cp. 2 Pet. 3:9, and be sure to read all of the scriptures listed above!) - but that they ‘have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (10:2). “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (10:13) but “they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah saith, Lord, who hath believed our report” (10:16).
Whatever your problem with God, Jesus is ‘much more’ than the answer. Don’t reject Him and face the judgment of God in your sins.