I am going to continue our run through Romans series. I apologise in advance that it has been a couple of months since the last post on this, but I have been really busy with the church and with work and with planning the gospel crusade. I would love for all of you to be at the gospel crusade in August – I know we are going to see so many signs and wonders, healings and salvations and it is going to be absolutely awesome.
I am really looking forward to continuing this series as well, especially as we are about to look at Romans 6-8, which is easily some of the most neglected teaching in the whole of Christianity about how we can live holy and why we should live holy. Most Christians are still mixed up in the law and do not realize we are under grace. But before we reach those chapters, we are going to hammer the message home that Jesus Christ has paid the complete price for all of us and we are under grace and not law:
13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
This is so important for all of us to realize: where there is no law, sin is not imputed. Imputed means held against. You have to realize that there are two categories of consequences to sin. Most Christians never ever realize this. There are resultant consequences to sin and legal consequences to sin.
Resultant consequences are the things that happen when we sin: if you steal something and are caught, you will be fined or jailed. If you offend someone you care about, you will never have the joy of their company again. If you swear a lot and are lazy, you will not be promoted at work.
This things have always happened. As we will find out in Romans 6.23, the wages of sin is death. If you sin, death will always result. Adam and Eve sinned and death resulted. Sin is stepping away from God and His glory and His goodness, and if you sin, you leave that life and wonder and beauty, and you end up in death, and ugliness and loneliness. God cannot make you make a choice, but if you choose sin you choose death.
When God told Adam and Eve that they would die spiritually and that Eve would be in pain in childbirth and that Adam would be in toil working the ground, God was not cursing them: He was simply explaining what the resultant consequences of sin would be. God was on their side, He loved them, He clothed them and He looked after them.
Legal consequences to sin are much worse. A legal consequence to sin is when God judges you for your sin.
When Cain murdered his brother Abel, God didn’t strike Cain dead, He actually offered to protect him. This is because the law had not been given. When there is no law, sin is not imputed. In other words, before the law was given by Moses there were no legal consequences to sin. God did not judge Cain for His sin, God simply protected him.
After the law of Moses was given, people had their sin imputed to them. In other words, there were now legal consequences for sin. A man was stoned to death for picking up sticks on the wrong day of the week! If you lied you would be stoned to death. Achan stole some precious metal and was stoned to death. Read through the laws of Moses and look at what you would be stoned to death for: almost everything.
However, what most Christians still don’t realize is that Jesus Christ on the cross completely dealt with every single legal consequence for sin. God is not angry with us, God is not after us, there is no more wrath of God for us. Hallelujah! We could kill our own brother and God would not judge us. That is what it means to be righteous by faith. It is entirely through what God has done that we are righteous, not by anything we have done. Any and every sin we commit has no legal consequences whatsoever. It won’t make you lose your salvation, it won’t affect your fellowship with God at all.
14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Even though there were no legal consequences to sin, there were resultant consequences to sin. Adam died. Every one of Adam’s descendants died. This is before the law. Death is a resultant consequence to sin. If you sin, you will die. The more you sin, the faster you will die.
15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
This verse is telling us first of all that the gift of righteousness is different from Adam’s sin because it is better. You see because of Adam’s sin, the resultant consequence is that we all die. But because of Jesus’ redemptive, we all live. Grace triumphs over sin. Jesus’ death means that death does not lead to hell for us anymore! We can enter heaven when we die because we are righteous right now.
16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
This verse is telling us the second difference between Adam’s sin and Jesus’ redemption. It only took one sin from Adam to lead us all to death – but Jesus’ death and redemptive gift of righteousness erases many offences. It doesn’t matter how many sins you have committed, how many you are committing right now, and how many sins you ever commit Jesus Christ has completely and totally paid the price for them all on the cross. If that doesn’t get you excited, I don’t know what will.
Sin has no more legal consequences for the Christian. You are not under the law of Moses anymore. You don’t have to worry about sin causing God to be angry for you, you don’t have to worry about hell, you don’t have to be concerned about losing fellowship with God ever again. He paid the price! Hallelu Yah!