Jesus Undoes What Adam Did
Prepared by Dr. John E. Marshall
Romans 514b (Holman) He (Adam) is a prototype of the Coming One.
Since what he did had effects extending far beyond him, Adam prefigured Jesus. Both mens lives had far-reaching consequences and influenced the world.
This is as far as the similarities go. Though alike in this way, they were vastly different otherwise. Adams work destroyed Christs saved. Jesus had to undo what Adam began. In the next verses Adam and Christ are compared by contrast.
Romans 515 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one mans
trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the
gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ.
There is no comparison between the trespass and the free gift of God. If damage could flow over the whole race from the deed of one man, much more certain it is that blessing can flow to the whole race from the deed of God incarnate.
Adam was but a man made in Gods image Jesus was God made in the image of man. Jesus can meet at all points the destructive consequences of Adams deed.
Adam could not spew out a poison Jesus could not negate. Christs antidote is sufficient. The stream of grace always runs deeper and wider than the stream of guilt.
Romans 516 And the gift is not like the one mans sin, because from one sin
came the judgment, resulting in condemnation, but from many
trespasses came the gift, resulting in justification.
There is no comparison between the results of the first sin, and of Gods gift. The one deed of Adam caused a weak nature to be passed to all people. As a result, we all inevitably choose the way of death and the path to condemnation.
This much is inevitable solely because of Adams one deed. But there is even worse news. We compound the problem by adding ever more evil deeds of our own. We are hindered by many of our sins in addition to the one committed by Adam.
But Christ delivers us from them all. He offers us justification as a free gift from (KJV of) many offenses. The deed of Christ outweighs all the total weight of evil that has emanated from Adams deed, plus whatever else we add to it.
Romans 517 Since by the one mans trespass, death reigned through that one
man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the
gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
As all the pains of death came on our race from one man, Adam, even so all the blessings of salvation spring from one other man, Jesus Christ. Just as we received death from another mans hand, even so we must receive life from Another.
Death has tyrannized the race into subjection. It is a malignant dictator that knows nothing of consent by the governed. Death has reigned from Adam to this day. Individuals, families, and nations die. Every funeral and graveyard should remind us we are made of dust, and dust will someday be our home.
However, there can be victory, even over death. If we are subject to death because of a deed we did not personally commit, how much more shall we be saved by a righteousness we voluntarily embrace. There is more life in the medicine of Christ than there is death in the wound of Adam.
No one can complain of being cheated by Adam. God has provided a way whereby we can undo the negative factors passed on by Adam. We have no right to complain. Acquittal has been placed in our reach.
Do notice this grace is something we must receive. We must consciously accept what Christ did in our behalf. God has never yet taken from us the power to commit spiritual suicide.
Christ takes no one by force. Unlike death, He enters a life only at the consent of the individual. Once He enters, He lifts us to His throne of glory. He transforms us from slaves into kings. He casts death into a dungeon, and sets us on a throne.
He makes us kings, and wants us to rule in lifes domain. Though Christians usually content themselves to live in their own strength, it is possible for them to live like a king, ruling in victory over sin and death. In Jesus we have overflow.
When Japan invaded the Philippines, the U.S.A. had several thousand troops on the islands, but not enough to stop the hordes thrown against them. Our soldiers fought bravely on Bataan, and made the enemy pay dearly for every gain. The soldiers hoped against hope that reinforcements would soon arrive. Our naval fleet was too crippled. There were no reinforcements. The soldiers had to be abandoned.
About a year later, we launched a counteroffensive, beginning in the Solomon Islands. As news of fierce fighting at Guadalcanal reached home, the government tried to calm fears that the tragedy of Bataan would reoccur. The Secretary of the Army assured Americas mothers this time there would be no failure due to a lack of materials. He said, There is twice as much food as the soldiers can eat there is twice as much ammunition as the soldiers can fire there are twice as many nurses and doctors as would ordinarily be needed in any military engagement there are twice as many medical supplies as could be needed there are twice as many airplanes as are possessed by the enemy We are prepared for every contingency.
Rest assured God deals with us as in the latter example, not the former. God never had a Bataan with regard to His children in spiritual warfare. All of Gods gifts come to us in abundance. He always has more to give than we are willing to receive.
However much we draw from his supply, there is always more. Spanish coins before 1492 displayed the Strait of Gibraltar with the inscription, No more beyond. After Columbus discovery, Spain changed the inscription to read more beyond. In our dealings with Jesus, there is always more beyond, abundantly more
Rom. 518 So then, as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone.
We know from the context that both results set forth in this verse come on us as a voluntary act on our own part. We inherit neither condemnation nor salvation.
Neither the offense of Adam nor the cross of Jesus can in themselves settle our everlasting destiny. Eternity hinges solely on willful rejection or acceptance of Jesus.
At the same time it must be stated that the choice is forced on us because of Adams offense and Christs death. Because of those two events, people must decide.
We do not die physically because we are in ourselves bad neither do we live spiritually because we are in ourselves good. We must look beyond our self to the pure One who died in our place. The words of H. G. Spafford express it well
My sin–oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more.
Praise the Lord Praise the Lord Oh, my soul
It is inconceivable that anyone would reject Jesus, but we can. We have the awful right to tramp over Calvary and spit at the cross. But if we do, the result is everlasting condemnation. Do not even contemplate such a thing. Flee to the Savior.