Social Network Links
Powered by Squarespace
Search the Riddleblog
"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
« New Book from Horton, Godfrey, Riddlebarger, Venema, Hyde, et al | Main | And They Came to Life and Reigned with Christ for a Thousand Years -- Revelation 20:1-15 »

Through the Obedience of the One -- Romans 5:12-21

romans%20fragment.jpgThe Twelfth in a Series of Sermons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans

Earlier in Romans, Paul spoke about the gravity of human sin and its impact upon the human race.  Paul’s assessment of the human condition is bleak: “there is no one righteous, no not one.  All have turned away.”  But Paul has also spoken of the way in which ungodly sinners (including Jew and Gentile) are delivered from their sins through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In Romans 5:12-21, Paul will deal with the source of human sin (Adam) as well as contrast Adam with that one who undid the consequences of Adam’s sin (Jesus Christ–the second Adam).

If the first eleven verses of Romans 5 were packed with important theological terms, the last ten verses of Romans 5 deal with two of the key figures in the drama of redemption–the first of the human race and the savior of the human race.  The first man, Adam, is both the biological as well as the federal head of the human race and our representative before God.  Adam served in both of these capacities during a time of probation in Eden under terms of the covenant of works.  In Genesis 3 (our Old Testament lesson) we read of how Adam’s probation turned out–not very well.  As the Puritans used to say “in Adam’s fall, sinned we all.”

But death is not the final word for God’s people.  Where sin abounds, grace super-abounds!  As the second Adam, Jesus Christ stands as the living head and federal representative of all those redeemed and justified, all those whom the father had chosen in Christ, and for whom he performs his priestly work.  Throughout Romans 5:12-21, Jesus is depicted by Paul as the second Adam, whose perfect obedience unto death (unlike the disobedience of the first Adam), effectively overturns the sentence of death which now hangs over the human race as a result of Adam’s fall into sin.

While this is a very important passage, doctrinally speaking, it is also one of the most widely interpreted.  The key point is the meaning of the phrase in verse 12, “because all sinned.”  A brief word about the structure of the passage and the subsequent history of its interpretation is necessary.  The main point of contention can be seen by looking at any modern English translation of this passage.  Verse 12 ends with a dash, indicating that Paul breaks off in mid-thought in verses 13-17 to explain what he just said.  It is not until verse 18 that Paul returns to and completes the thought broken off in mid-sentence in verse 12.  Keeping this in mind is important to understand the passage correctly. 

To read the rest of this sermon, click here 

Reader Comments (6)

A sermon with (properly formatted) footnotes!

Students: NB!

November 28, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterScott Clark
Well, as someone's who's been accused of preaching in footnotes, I'm envious that KR has a congregation which will attend to such detailed preaching. Obviously the footnotes are added for publication. But even so, despite my best efforts to simplify without dumbing down, I'm told that what's presented is too complicated or too much for people without education. I suspect the real problem is often that people will shut down rather than expend the effort to stretch mentally a bit.
November 29, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPB

I have found that to be true in Bible Studies, sometimes being advised to bring it down to the lowest common denominator or being told that no one will commit to a long-term, indepth Bible Study.

Unfortunately with this point-and-click age, mental focus skills have been left unused. And if you don't use a skill, it becomes dull. I fear for the younger generation, now in college many of them, who know nothing else. Working at a college, I see the extent of this problem and how it pervades much of their social and intellectual interaction on all levels.

November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
I'm talking about folks with HS or lower education. Lots of everyday common sense but they've fallen for the lie that they have to be higher educated to understand the basic theological vocabulary like atonement, justification, and so on. What's left is fertile ground for emotionalism, revivalism, decisional regeneration, etc.
November 30, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPB
For what it is worth; I know someone who can read seminary level theological book, with no college studies. He just reads solid stuff. Charles
December 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCharlie
here are my $.02

The doctor says you have cancer.
Suddenly you are asking him to repeat terms, to explain terms you don't understand. You go home and you look up these terms on the Internet and you read to learn / understand them. Suddenly you "need" to learn them.

You ask your real estate agent to please explain the terminology of their profession, and you expect to be introduced to new terminology, and "you recognize your need" to learn new terminology.

Your pastor mentions Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Imputation, Progressive Revelation, the Regulative Principle of Worship, Church Censures, Eschatology, The Already and the not yet, Union w/ Christ, Covenant Theology etc.

And many of the members if not upset are at least bored to death! They are heard to be complaining about the terminology, "the preacher never talking to the common lay people", the silliness for people to "waste time trying to learn all of this terminology that is not relevant to us anyway".

My point?
How many pastors have members calling them up, stopping them because they care enough to ask "Pastor, I need to know, what does ________ mean?"

Only Jesus can meet our greatest needs and we are only going to learn how great he is by wanting to; wanting to dig into his Word he has provided us.

The problem is our cold hearts that don't have a clue how desperate of a condition we are in w/out the atonement, a double imputation, Predestination, Election, Justification, Adoption, Sanctification, Glorification etc. etc. :)

May God give his people hearts that want to know this vocabulary and its underlying truths as well!
December 6, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterIvan

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.