1379 reconciliation. Before we receive God’s blessing through His Son, we are enemies of God, sinners of the worst sort. But God makes the first move to restore us to a right relationship with Him.
13Before God gave the law, sin existed, but there was no way to account for it. Outside the law, how could anyone be charged and found guilty of sin? 14Still, death plagued all humanity from Adam to Moses, even those whose sin was of a different sort than Adam’s. You see, in God’s plan, Adam was a prototype of the One who comes to usher in a new day. 15But the free gift of grace bears no resemblance to Adam’s crime that brings a death sentence to all of humanity; in fact, it is quite the opposite. For if the one man’s sin brings death to so many, how much more does the gift of God’s radical grace extend to humanity since Jesus the Anointed offered His generous gift. 16His free gift is nothing like the scourge of the first man’s sin. The judgment that fell because of one false step brought condemnation, but the free gift following countless offenses results in a favorable verdict—not guilty. 17If one man’s sin brought a reign of death—that’s Adam’s legacy—how much more will those who receive grace in abundance and the free gift of redeeming justice reign in life by means of one other man—Jesus the Anointed. 18So here is the result: as one man’s sin brought about condemnation and punishment for all people, so one man’s act of faithfulness makes all of us right with God and brings us to new life. 19Just as through one man’s defiant disobedience every one of us were made sinners, so through the willing obedience of the one man many of us will be made right. 20When the law came into the picture, sin grew and grew; but wherever sin grew and spread, God’s grace was there in fuller, greater measure. No matter how much sin crept in, there was always more grace. 21In the same way that sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace reigns through God’s restorative justice, eclipsing death and leading to eternal life through the Anointed One, Jesus our Lord, the Liberating King.
We arrive here, children of a common ancestor, Adam. As such, we
have inherited his traits, physically and spiritually. Although our sin may be of a different sort than his, we sin no less than Adam. The proof of that is death. Adam opens the way for sin and death to pursue us and run rampant across the earth. But from the beginning, God has a plan to reverse the curse. At just the right moment in human history, Jesus arrives, a son of Adam and the Son of God. Through His faithful obedience to His Father, He challenges the twin powers of sin and death and defeats them. Sin no longer reigns unchecked. Death no longer has the last word.
How should we respond to all of this? Is it good to persist in a life of sin so that grace may multiply even more? 2Absolutely not! How can we die to a life where sin ruled over us and then invite sin back into our lives? 3Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing,* we entered into His death? 4Therefore, we were buried with Him through this baptism into death so that just as God the Father, in all His glory, resurrected the Anointed One, we, too, might walk confidently out of the grave into a new life. 5To put it another way: if we have been united with Him to share in a death like His, don’t you understand that we will also share in His resurrection? 6We know this: whatever we used to be with our old sinful ways has been nailed to His cross. So our entire record of sin has been canceled, and we no longer have to bow down to sin’s power. 7A dead man, you see, cannot be bound by sin. 8But if we have died with the Anointed One, we believe that we shall also live together with Him. 9So we stand firm in the conviction that death holds no power over God’s Anointed, because He was resurrected from the dead never to face death again. 10When He died, He died to whatever power sin had, once and for all, and now He lives completely to God. 11So here is how to picture yourself now that you have been initiated into Jesus the Anointed: you are dead to sin’s * 6:3 Literally, immersion, in a rite of initiation and purification
10/21/11 12:42 PM
Published on Feb 24, 2012
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