“Much More” in vv. 9, 10, 15, 17, 20
From the first Adam to the last Adam [Christ] we see all we lost in sin and all we gained thanks to our Savior! One man makes all the difference.
What do we gain? "Much more" it says, over and again...we gain much more in Christ than we ever lost in Adam. The disobedience of one was erased in the obedience of another.
Can the fallen angels be saved? Why or why not? No! They are not a race. They sinned individually, were judged individually, and have no federal head, so no individual can save them. But you and I were lost in Adam, our representative and federal head, and can be saved in Christ.
From Adam we inherit sin, death, and judgment, so what is this "much more" we gain in Christ?
1. The redemptive act of Christ was much greater than the condemning act of Adam.
v. 15 God's grace is more powerful than man's sin.
Even though man's sin had far reaching effects, what Christ did is much more far reaching.
For instance: When a person gets saved their spirit is quickened. It comes alive. They were dead in trespasses and sins, and their spirit was dead, but being born again, they come spiritually alive. But it goes farther than that, because not only did I receive spiritual life when I got saved, but I also received the life of God, eternal life!
Also, at salvation we are restored to the state of Adam's original innocence. But it goes farther than that, because Christ shares with us the full righteousness of Christ! My sins were traded for His righteousness, so God doesn't just see me as a sinner who has been forgiven, but justified, just as if I'd never done those things!
Additionally, the power of Adam's sin can be broken. Jesus breaks the power of sin and death, but the opposite is not true...sin and death cannot break the power of Jesus! The condemnation of Adam's sin is reversible, but the redemptive act of Christ cannot be undone! The effect of Adam's sin is permanent unless it is nullified by Jesus, but the effect of Jesus' act on our behalf is permanent on us who believe and is not subject to reversal and cannot be nullified.
That's why it bothers me when people talk about eternal security like it is just a peripheral issue. "What's the difference between your beliefs and that church's beliefs?" We answer, they believe you can lose your salvation and we don't...that's the only real difference. We mention it lightly like it is some insignificant peripheral issue, but it is not.
If you say a person can lose their salvation you are saying that Adam's condemning act is more powerful than Christ's redemptive act, and can override it. So much for this 'much more' passage in Romans 5!
God's grace is greater than all our sin!
2. What Christ did is much greater in its extent than what Adam did.
v. 16 God hates sin so much that it only took one sin to condemn the entire human race and separate us from His presence. That's how holy God is. It's not that it was such a heinous sin, he probably went on to do far worse in man's eyes, but in God's eyes, no sin can appear for even a moment without justice having to be done! Let this soak in...that it only took one little sin to plunge the entire human race into darkness.
But this verse reveals that there is only one thing greater than God's hatred for sin...and that is His love for sinners!
Think of how you feel toward a mother like Casey Anthony, or what despicable feelings you have toward a cannibal like Jeffrey Dahlmer, and multiply those feelings times infinity and that's how God feels about sin. Then consider that when Christ saw us in our lost condition he would come and take one of those sins upon His own self...but not just one, but all of yours, and all of mine, and everybody's...He literally became sin, the thing He hated the most.
Christ's redemptive act was far greater in extent than Adam's sin.
3. What Christ did is much greater in efficacy than Adam did.
v. 17 Efficacy = the capacity to produce a desired result.
When Adam and Eve sinned, what was the desired result? To be like God! They didn't take a bite because they wanted to die, but they wanted to know what they were missing...why can't I have this fruit, what are you keeping from me? Did their sin produce the desired result? No, the opposite. They became less like God.
But when Jesus died on the cross, what was the desired result? That those He died for would receive Him and reign in life by Him...did it work? Yes! It's not just God's job to get us saved, but to keep us saved, and in efficacy it achieves its desired result.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
4. What Christ did is much greater in essence than what Adam did.
vv. 18-19 These 2 verses summarize the analogy of Adam and Christ. And the essence of Adam was disobedience, and the essence of Christ was obedience. But this not only means from a legal standpoint, but it means that if you are still in Adam, your whole life is characterized by disobedience, but in Christ your life will be characterized by obedience. What is the essence of your life?
Some mock and say, if I believed I was eternally secure I'd just get saved and go do anything I wanted. What a gross mischaracterization of salvation. If you've been truly saved you will repent of sin and try to take on a new essence.
5. What Christ did is much greater in energy than what Adam did.
vv. 20-21 sin abounded, but grace abounded much more!
"When sin hit the high water mark, grace completely flooded the entire world!"
And that grace was not a late addition to God's plan...it was in His heart from the very beginning. We call the OT the Law, but it's all about grace too! Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, and so did Adam. Even his removal from the garden was an act of God's grace. How so? If allowed to remain he would have eaten from the tree of life and lived forever in his fallen state, and never had redemption complete!
Adam came from the earth, but Jesus is the Lord from heaven.
Adam was tested in a garden, surrounded by beauty and love, but Jesus was tested in a wilderness and died surrounded by ugly hatred.
Adam was a thief cast out of paradise, but Jesus turned to a thief and said, today you'll be with me in paradise!
The OT is the book of the generations of Adam, and it ends with a curse.
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The NT is the book of the generations of Jesus Christ, and it ends with 'no more curse.'
And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:
Aren't you glad God's grace is greater than man's sin? Are you in Christ, or still in Adam?
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