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Sermons

Joyful Confidence: Eternal Life in Christ, the Second Adam

September 27, 2020 Speaker: John Bell Series: Genesis

Passage: Romans 5:12–5:21

The Big Picture: This passage shows why we who have been justified and reconciled can be joyfully confident that we will be saved from wrath and behold God’s glory on the last day: the power of Christ’s act of obedience on the cross overcomes Adam’s act of disobedience in the garden, thus ensuring eternal life for all those who are “in Christ.” So now, nothing can stand in the way of our final salvation, Christian: not death (Rom. 5:12–21), not sin (chap. 6), not the law (chap. 7)—nothing (chap. 8)! What God has begun, having justified and reconciled us, he will bring to a triumphant conclusion!

Point 1: Adam, sin, and universal death (12)

  • In God’s sight, every human being sinned in and with Adam. We really did sin when he
    sinned!

Point 2: The Law of Moses did not cancel the effects of Adam’s sin; it made them even worse. (13–14)


Point 3: The contrast (15-17) and comparison (18-19) between Adam and Christ: the backbone of the paragraph’s structure

Adam/Christ parallel
Adam Adam’s sin humanity condemned in him eternal death
Christ Christ’s obedience  new humanity justified in him eternal life

Adam’s sin results in the following:
 Many died by the deliberate transgression of the one man, Adam (15)
 Judgment followed one sin of Adam, bringing with it condemnation (16)
 By the trespass of one man (Adam) death reigned through that one man (17)
 One trespass results in condemnation of all people who are “in Adam” (18)
 Through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners (19)
Jesus’ obedience results in the following:
 The free, undeserved gift of overturning deserved condemnation. His mercy overflows to the many (15)
 The undeserved gift of forgiveness followed many deliberate trespasses and brought
justification. What a testimony to God’s gracious character! (16)
 Life reigns through the one man, Jesus Christ, in all of those people who have Jesus as their representative. Everyone who responds to his wonderful grace will have the
righteousness of Christ credited to them, his righteousness will be their righteousness,
just as Adam’s sin was once their sin, and these people will triumph over sin and death
because their representative has triumphed over sin and death (17)
 One righteous act results in justification and life for all people who are in Jesus (18)
 Through the obedience of one man, many will be made righteous (19)

Conclusion: Grace reigns (20–21)!

This sermon owes a debt to Douglas J. Moo’s “Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey.”