“A Tale of Two Men, and the Supremacy of Christ” Pt. 4
October 15, 2017
There is a notion among unbelievers that Christians and the Bible don’t understand real life — that we live sheltered lives away from harsh realities and burdens. You don’t have to read far in the Bible to see that’s not true. In the fourth chapter of Genesis is the first murder — brother against brother — when there was only one family on the earth. The Bible speaks plainly of the burdens caused by sinful choices — consider the complicated life of David, who experienced anarchy from his sons and then observed murder and gross sexual sin among his own children following his own sexual sin and committing of murder. Consider the failure of Jonah, the suffering of Job, the persecution of the early church. The Bible knows hardship.
Paul speaks of the hardships of life — consider what he writes in 2 Corinthians 11:24-29. That’s real life.
And you and I are not sheltered either. After the elders and I prayed on Tuesday morning, I looked up and said, “There are lots of heavy and hard things in our body right now.” There are untimely illnesses and sorrowful and sinful choices by family members and unsaved and rebellious family members and financial pressures and hard consequences from poor choices. And there are things like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the fires in California and the shooting in Las Vegas that make us wonder how to make sense of the world. And then Tuesday afternoon Elizabeth texted to say that the father of the roommate she and Emily had until this past June was murdered early Tuesday morning by an intruder into his home — a 51-year-old man, a medical PA, and a faithful servant in his church was taken away by a senseless, violent attack. And an hour later a friend called and said that he was in a courtyard at his apartment on Saturday afternoon when a man came up from behind and put a gun to his head and demanded his phone. Only by God’s grace did the man take the phone and walk away without committing an even more heinous crime.
Do we understand the reality of life? Yes. We do. And better than those who are in the world, we also understand that all these things — illness and disaster and unrighteous actions are all rooted in sin and even more specifically, in Adam’s sin. We understand sin’s source and we understand sin’s solution. The source of all the effects of sin is Adam, and the solution for sin is the second Adam, Christ.
In Romans 5, Paul compares the two Adams — Adam and Jesus — and demonstrates how Jesus is far greater than Adam. The solution is far greater than the problem. And in summarizing his argument, Paul says in vv. 18-21 that,
The influence of sin is great; the power and sufficiency of Christ are infinitely greater.
Here are four ways that sin is influential, and that Christ is greater:
- Through Christ There is Not Condemnation, But Justification (vv. 18-19)
- Through Christ There is Not More Sin, But More Grace (v. 20)
- Through Christ There is Not the Reign of Sin, But the Reign of Grace (v. 21a)
- Through Christ There is Not the Supremacy of Adam, But the Lordship of Christ (v. 21b)
Download the rest of this sermon on Romans 5:18-21.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website tomorrow morning.