“A Tale of Two Men, and the Sad Story of Sin’s Origin” Pt. 1
September 10, 2017
If you read the news most days, you will find many stories that are filled with tragedy and senselessness that inevitably leads us to ask, “why?”
- Why does a man drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel of his car — resulting in an accident that kills a 30-year-old mother of two young children, as happened in Granbury this week?
- Why are people so filled with hate that they kill people of other races simply because their skin color is different, as in Charlottsville, VA last month?
- Why do husbands and wives who pledge their undying love for each other end up killing the relationship with angry and hostile words that lead to divorce?
- Why do teenagers embrace illegal drugs as a means of hope?
- Why are newborn infants murderous in their cries when a feeding is slightly delayed? (Grown husbands are sometimes not much better!)
- Why does a well-compensated CFO embezzle millions of dollars, destroying a company, his family, and leaving dozens of employees without jobs?
All those questions are essentially asking the same thing. Where does sin come from and how can it be so very evil? One little girl gave a hint to the answer. She’d been in a fight with her younger brother and after her mother separated them and pulled her off of him the mother asked, “Why did you let the Devil put it into your heart to pull your brother’s hair and kick him in the shins?” She thought for a moment and said, “Maybe the Devil put it into my heart to pull my brother’s hair, but kicking his shins was my own idea.” And with that answer she demonstrated a knowledge of the pervasiveness of indwelling, original sin.
And it is the topic of original sin that Paul addresses in Romans 5:12-14. But he is talking about more than just original sin. Remember in chapters 1-3 he has identified the universality of sin and in chapters 3-4 he has explained the gift of justification — the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to those who believe. And in chapters 5-8 he will explain the process of sanctification, the living out of the justification that has been given to us. And he begins that discussion in 5:1-11 by talking about the blessings of justification — many of the privileges that come to the believer who has been justified.
And in 5:12-21 Paul builds on that idea of the justification that is given to the believer and the resulting reconciliation, and demonstrates how justification must be an act of God’s grace. And Paul does that by comparing and contrasting two men — Adam and Jesus. And the discussion of Adam necessarily includes a discussion of Adam’s sin and his impact on the rest of humanity. And that’s what Paul introduces in verse 12.
In these verses, Paul says that,
Adam’s sin resulted in all men being under sin.
Where does evil come from? How did all mankind come to be infected with and under sin? Here is Paul’s four-fold answer in verse 12 —
- Sin Entered the World Through Adam’s Sin (v. 12a)
- Death Entered the World Because of Adam’s Sin (v. 12b)
- Death Came to All Men Through Adam’s Sin (v. 12c)
- All Men Sin Because of Adam’s Sin (v. 12d)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 5:12.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website tomorrow morning.