Paul was writing his letter in the time of emperor worship heavy Rome during the time of Ceasar Nero. The persecution of Christians was so great that it would be difficult to describe. And in Rome, part of that emperor worship was the pleasure of self. But Jesus didn’t bring that kind of worship. It wasn’t about self, it wasn’t asking people to give something for Him, but it was a gift from Him that is to be received. So as we finish up we will see how Jesus is providing a gift of salvation, and that it is through Jesus that we receive the righteousness of God.
Paul will now describe two extremes if one believes that there is no eternity. One is the mindset that if we only get one life to live, let’s live it up! Might as well eat, drink and be merry. And the other mindset is if this the only life we get, what is the point? Many times we see young people today fall into this despair. How sad is teen suicide when someone so young has lost all hope?
God didn’t measure us through the failures of Adam, but he will measure us by our relationship and faith in Jesus. And in Christ, you don’t have to do something or be in a specific place. But our faith in Jesus is enough, we are justified to the Father. Everyone is given that opportunity.
We run the risk as we look at the deeper theological principles and ideas by losing interest of the bigger picture. But one message can sit over top of the theology. We are share in the sin of Adam. Sin is just missing the mark from the perfection. But there is nothing we can do to overcome that on our own. The law leads to realizing the sin all the more. But confession is simply agreeing with God that we are in the wrong. And from that comes God’s grace. The root word of grace means “gift”. It isn’t something earned by falling rules (the law) but is something given when we confess that those laws expose our sinful nature.
But the price of that sin has been paid for by Jesus. He placed our punishment on his shoulders on the cross. You can accept that gift. But we can also try to justify ourselves. Maybe try to convince God that we have done enough good things to get “a pass” on the punishment for sin. Nothing can be done by ourselves, except by believing in the one who paid the price.
Have you accepted that gift of life? Or have you tried to justified yourselves? Are you working hard to make things right instead of turning to the one who has a gift of salvation for you if you will take it?
5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)
17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. (ESV)
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. (ESV)
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)