Grace Debrief - 7/30/17
The Book of Romans presents us a contrast. How do you want to live? How do you want to live forever?
In musical composition, contrasts help identify characters and situations. Think about the music that plays when the Road Runner appears on screen. Now think of the music that accompanies his nemisis, Wiley Coyote. That contrast helps with the identity of each character.
In Romans 5, Paul gives us a vivid contrast that provides us a look at our situation and the two principle people who got us here.
Martin Luther has said of chapter 5, "In the whole Bible there is hardly another chapter which can equal this triumphant text." - It's really something! You should take a few minutes right now and read it. I'll wait.
OK. In verses 1-11, Paul tells us about the amazing work of RECONCILIATION that God has accomplished through Jesus Christ. Reconciliation is mandated because of who we are (sinners without help) and who God is (holy and righteous). Our separate identities make any kind of relationship completely out of the question, since who we are makes us natural enemies of who God is. So something had to be done.
Jesus Christ is that something. Because of Jesus, we can have PEACE WITH GOD! We no longer have to be enemies, because "who we are" has been completely altered and changed. As Paul said elsewhere - ALL THINGS HAVE BECOME NEW!
How does that work? The rest of Chapter Five spells out the contrast. It's between Adam - the first man - and Jesus - the redeemer. Here's a good exercise since you've already got your Bible opened: Make two columns on a piece of paper and list the attributes of each of these - Adam and Jesus. I'll wait.
See what Paul did there? He contrasted our problem (Adam and his sin, which has become ours) and Jesus and his solution (which can become ours).
What contrasts often do is bring us to a choice. This one is simple: We can stick with Adam and try to appease God through our own feeble and empty attempts at righteousness, or we can choose to put our faith in Christ Jesus, who has already paid the price for our brokenness and inadequacy on the cross.
The choice is yours.