Romans 5:9, for us who are justified, we wonder whether we are truly saved after seeing the reality that we still sins.
To help them, Paul continues to explain the theory of salvation and the differences of root sin and actual sins. It is crucial to understand this difficult passage. Otherwise without assurance of our salvation in Jesus, our faith will lose strength and even collapse all together.
There are so many sins we have seen, paul list for us, both the sins of Gentiles and Jews. But what is the root? We have not dealt with that yet. How did sin enter the world and how did human become sinful in the first place?
Verse 12, sin entered the world through one man. We know that is Adam. And sin brought death. More than that, death reigned over all of us because all of us sinned. In Adam. Paul did not say it here clearly but in 1 Cor. 15:21 he said it clearly. For as in Adam all die.
Then he talked about the law. The law of Moses. Because many people think about sinners in terms of breaking laws. For people who have not the law how can they become sinners? Paul's argument is that in Adam we all sinned and reaped the consequence of death, death reigned over all of us even over those who did not sin by breaking a command as Adam did. Here Paul said about infants. Many scholars believed. I believe Paul is talking about them too. How can infants become sinners by breaking the law? Impossible. However when Adam sinned we have all sinned with him. It is mysterious. We will try to understand why later. When Adam sinned he brought death to the whole world and human race. all of us became slaves to sin and death since then.
Then from verse 15 to 19, Paul began to make comparison between the trespass of the one man Adam to the gift of God, the grace of Jesus Christ. Verse 15, but the gift is not like the trespass. It is quite difficult to understand what Paul meant here. Let us continue to read. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ overflow to the many! I believe this is the point Paul wants to make and prove ultimately through this most difficult part of all scripture. God's grace and the gift THAT came by Jesus Christ who died for our sins, will function in a more powerful way than the trespass of the one man. In what way? Verse 16 Through the trespass of the one man we all died and received the judgment of death and condemnation; But through the gift of God in Jesus Christ we sinners, will all be justified. The conclusion is in verse 17. Death shall no longer reign over us because we still sin after receiving Jesus Christ and being justified. We will reign over sins we have committed. How can we know whether we are saved or not? Here is the test. We will reign over our sins. We will be able to resist temptation for us to sin after we have been justified. In the past when we were slaves to sin, we could not overcome temptation to sin. (Personally I also thought about the signs of salvation but I was not very clear. So I asked some seniors when did they begin to be sure of their salvation despite of the fact that they still sinned. One pastor told me that when he began to experience victory over temptation for him to sin and he could resist it and overcame it eventually. He said that he never experienced victory over the temptation before he believed in Jesus Christ. Once he had that victory, he began to have assurance of his salvation. Have you had that experience of victory in your life of faith?
The example of being ruled by sin is like being addicted to it. A man was addicted to gambling and because of that he lost all his fortune and his family suffered tremendously. He felt so sorry for his family and decided to not gamble any more. To show his determination he cut his fingers. You can imagine how strong his determination is. Guess what? Not long before he began to gamble again, not with his hands but with his feet. That is the power of sin over him. He could not overcome it.)
To summarize the difference between Adam and Christ, verses 18 to 21. Adam through disobedience brought death, bondage and condemnation for all men while Christ through obedience brought life, freedom and life for all men. Adam made all men sinners while Christ made all men righteous. The world can be divided into two groups of people: those in Adam and others in Christ. Before Christ came it was a history of sin, death and darkness. When Jesus came, the history of life began. Both Adam and Christ affects the history and the destiny of human race. How? In order to understand it, we have to understand first how when Adam sinned we all sinned for Adam was a pattern of Christ.
I would like to share with you the two views scholars hold. One believes that we sin because Adam's sin nature pass down to us. It has been discovered some illness of the parents will be passed down to their children. Hospital did a blood test for our baby to see whether he would inherit some illnesses from us a few months ago. Another view claims that Adam is the representative of human race in the eyes of God. When Adam sinned, God considered it the sin of the human race, not just his own sin. Which one do u think is more biblical? I believe the two views both are reasonable but to help us understand why Christ could save us, I think the second view is more biblical. Both Adam and Christ are representatives of human race so what they have done will affect the whole human race. Just as Adam's disobedience and sin was regarded by God to be the disobedience and sin of human race so the obedience and righteousness of Christ was reckoned by God to be the the obedience and righteousness of human race. Through Abraham we can understand the representative position of Adam in the beginning. In Gen. 12, God promised Abraham that he would bless the whole world through him. Later when he failed to offer the sacrifice God commanded rightly in Gen. 15, his children suffered the consequence of being slaves in EGYPT for 400 years. God wanted to bless the human race through Adam in the beginning but he failed and disobeyed God. Therefore we all suffered the consequence of being driven out of the garden of Eden, being separated from God from our birth. Another example about the representative theory of a person is the story about Achan in the book of Joshua. Achan disobeyed God by stealing something from the spoil of wars in Jericho, so Israelites could no longer stand up against their enemies in the next war in the small city called Aai. Actually all of us are representatives. Whether we live our life well or bad, it will affect our children.
Now you can understand why Christ could bring life and justification to us sinners. He is another representative of human race. How can we receive the life and justification Christ brought to human race by His obedience? Look at verse 17. By receiving the gift of God in faith.
Christ was sent by God the Father to us as the most precious gift. In John 3:16.
That shows us God's love. When open our heart and receive it, we are justified by God.
What does it mean? It means that we no longer belonged to Adam but to Christ. Christ became our master and Lord in life.
Then how shall we look at the sins we commit after receiving JESUS Christ? Will this cancle out our justification or salvation? The root of our sins is that we belong to Adam in the past. It has been changed after we received Jesus Christ into our life as our Lord. We are free from the bondage of sin now, we are no longer slaves to sin now. and we have become the children of God. In John 1:12 the penalty of our sins have been paid by Jesus once for all, the sins of the past, present and the future. All our sins have been forgiven by God because of what Jesus has achieved. We still sin because we still have the sinful body with us. It has the habit of sinning. However these is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus now. In Romans 8:1
What we need to do is to rely on God's amazing grace and continue changing our sinful habit. In other words according to our Lord Jesus, we have been washed away of all our sins but we often make our feet dirty again. We need to wash our dirty feet continually. However our salvation is not made non-effective because we still sin because of the sinful habit in our body.