“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Romans 5:18 (Read Romans 5)
Here is an amazing truth we seldom consider. Through the sin of the first man, Adam, death was passed down to all men; but through the righteousness of the second man, Christ Jesus, forgiveness and life is passed upon all men.
When Adam disobeyed the commandment of the Lord and ate of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3), he brought physical and spiritual death into the world upon all of mankind. Not only did Adam become afraid of God and hide himself, and eventually return to the dust of the ground, every descendant of Adam has been born into this world in spiritual death, not loving God and seeking Him, and is subject to physical death and eternal condemnation. Through Adam’s sin, all are judged of God to be sinners and, in fact, live in sin and disobedience to God – even during that time when the law of God was not yet given through Moses and recorded as a witness against all mankind.
But when God sent His only-begotten Son into the world a true man to fulfill the holy and perfect will of God in His thoughts, desires, words and deeds, and when He suffered and died for the ungodly and paid in full the just penalty for the sins of the whole world, God imputed the perfect righteousness of Christ and His atoning sacrifice to all of mankind.
That means that you and me – though born into this world condemned sinners and subject to death, and though we have transgressed God’s holy commandments in our thoughts, desires, words and deeds – are now accounted of God as forgiven and righteous for Jesus’ sake. Instead of coming to us in judgment and with a sentence of eternal death and damnation, God reaches out to us with mercy and forgiveness and offers to us life everlasting for the sake of His Son, Jesus Christ!
And so, the second Adam, Christ, is not like the first Adam; for the first Adam brought a sentence of condemnation and death; Christ brought us acquittal, for Adam’s sin and all our own sins as well, and a sentence of life eternal in the everlasting kingdom of our God and Savior. When we place our faith in Christ, God’s acquittal and His gracious gift of life in Christ Jesus become our own.
Because Christ not only died for the sins of the world, but rose again on the third day, we can be certain of our justification – God’s sentence that our sins are paid for in full and forgiven – and we can be certain of life – that we too will be raised up on the last day unto life everlasting in heaven.
Dearest Lord Jesus, we thank You for fulfilling all righteousness in our stead and for bearing upon the cross the just punishment for Adam’s sin, our sin and the sin of the world, that in You, we might have pardon, forgiveness and life everlasting. Amen.