“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin;
and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12)
Many Christians have wondered why, though they have given their life to the Lord Jesus Christ, they continue to sin. They may ask, why do I have wrong thoughts and actions? Why do I have resentment, envy, jealousy, hatred, spite, lust, and anger, as well as others? I thought I was done with these! Many Christians have even wondered if they really are Christians. You may know some like this. You may have had these thoughts yourself. It is my hope that a look at Romans 5:12-21 and Romans 6:1-14 will help you to help others and yourself also.
I. Adam’s Disobedience Brought in All Sin
Romans 5:12 states, “Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin; and so, death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Note that God’s Word does not say by 50 or 100 men but by one man. Here is one of many examples from scripture that the historical account of Genesis is true history. Indeed, we see in John 8:56, that the son of God, who is TRUTH itself, authenticates that he was revealed to Abraham. Galatians 3:8 states, “…foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, in thee shall all nations be blessed.” The Lord Jesus also authenticates Genesis in Matthew 19:4, I Peter 3:20, and still others as well. Thus, we see that the historical account recorded in Genesis is authenticated many times in scripture.
In Romans chapter 5:14, the one man is identified as Adam. “One man.” In I Corinthians chapter 15:22, Adam is also identified as the “One Man.” “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Lord Jesus Christ is called the “Last Adam” in I Corinthians 15:45. Thus, we learn from God’s Word that when Adam, who is stated in scripture to be historically the first man, disobeyed God, sin “invaded” the world. All had been good previously, but when Eve was deceived and listened to the serpent, she disobeyed God. She gave the fruit to Adam, which he ate, and he too disobeyed God. Then “…sin entered into the world and death by sin.” We also learn in Romans 5:12 that sin and “death passed upon all men, for all sinned” in Adam. Every descendent of Adam (which is Everyone) sinned when Adam sinned. The one exception is the Lord Jesus Christ. So, “all sinned in Adam, and all died.” To be sure, everyone also has committed sins, but all died in Adam.
Therefore, as by the sin of Adam, judgement came upon all men, we also learn that by the righteousness of one, the Lord Jesus Christ, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. The Lord God set forth the Lord Jesus Christ to be the propitiation for our sin through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness that He might be just and the Justifier of him who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 3:23-26). Justification is solely and only by God in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the precious blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin! It is all of God. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
II. In Christ Alone is Justification
In the Gospel of John chapter 5, the Lord Jesus Christ states to those who were persecuting Him and seeking to slay Him, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that hears my Word, and believes on Him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24). Everlasting life is a sheer gift. It cannot be earned for that would be a wage and “… the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). We are “justified freely by [God’s] grace through the redemption that is in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:24). Therefore, we see in these portions of scripture that the entire Bible is the historical account of one man. This one man disobeyed God, and his disobedience brought about the invasion of sin and death by sin, which passed on all men.
Genesis 3 is the historical, scriptural account of Adam’s disobedience and God’s promise that “… and I will put enmity between thee (the Serpent) and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). Everything in scripture is the historical account, the scriptural history, of God’s plan and purpose to redeem fallen mankind. It is through the seed of the woman; the Last Adam; the Lord Jesus Christ. Alone.
III. The Fulfilling of God’s Purpose and Plan
In Romans chapter 6, God’s word instructs us that, “Knowing this that our old man is crucified with [the Lord Jesus Christ] that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). This is not an experiential act. We do not feel this according to Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones. The “Old Man” is not our actions or sinful acts, but the man we were in Adam. We see in Romans chapter 6:3 that we have been baptized into Jesus Christ. “Baptized” here is not talking about the mode of baptism, but that we have been placed in union with Christ, just as he says in John 15. We are united in Him. We were in Adam. Now we are in the Lord Jesus Christ! I would not know I was in Adam unless the Lord God had told me so in His Holy Word! We receive this and believe this by faith, just as Abraham believed God when He told him that he and Sarah were going to have a baby and he would be the father of many nations (see Romans chapter 4).
Abraham was nearly a hundred years old and Sarah was ninety. God told Abraham to look at the stars and asked if he could count them. God also told Abraham to look at the grain of sand on the seashore, could he count them? So shall thy seed be. Abraham did not feel anything, but he believed God because God said it. God preached the Gospel to Abraham, and he believed God. We too must believe this Holy Truth because God says it. You were in Adam! When Christ was crucified, you were crucified with Him. You are no longer in Adam, you are in the Lord Jesus Christ, in union with Him. There is therefore now, no condemnation to you- because you are now in Christ. No matter what the devil tells you, or how you feel, believe this Word of God because he has said it! Dr. Lloyd-Jones says, “Stand on the foundation of God. Plant your feet on this great and glorious promise, because it is true! God tells me that he has put me into Christ and that because I am in Christ I have died (been crucified) with Him, I have risen with Him, I am walking in newness of life with Him. This is the fulfillment of the promise of God from Genesis 3:15. The seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ, has delivered us out of sin and death and brought us into this new life” (MLJ. The New Man, p. 67).
IV. Dead to Sin, Alive to God
In Romans 6:11-14, we learn that we are to “…reckon ourselves dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Our Old Man was crucified with Christ. We are joined to Him. Everything that happened to Him physically has happened to us spiritually. What is true of Him is true of us. We died with Christ. God’s purpose for us is seen in Ephesians 1:4, which states: “…that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.” [God] chose us in [Christ Jesus] before the foundation of the world. Therefore, to be alive unto God means that He is working out His plan and purpose in us.
The Lord God, from before the foundation of the world, announced before Adam and Eve were banished from the garden, that our Old Man was crucified with Christ. We are commanded in verse 12 to not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. We are also told that we are not to yield our members of our body as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin. Therefore, we see that while “my Old Man” was crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ and that “Old Man” is the man I was in Adam, according to God’s Holy Word and Plan, we are commanded to let not sin reign in our mortal bodies. Therefore, we are being told that as long as we have these mortal bodies, we have to put sin to death. We do not let sin reign in our mortal bodies. We can see that we have been given great and grand resources to help us to “not let sin reign in our mortal bodies.” This obviously is an exhortation, a command. In Philippians 2:12-13, we find the Lord telling us to “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.”
This command is given to us after exhorting us to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). After having told us His Holy Truth that, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). Therefore, if we want to be Holy, we need to know these Holy Truths, some of which Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones sets out in his work in Romans, The New Man (p. 158ff). These can be seen below:
Remember, you are not left to battle with sin alone, and by your own power; because you are a child of God, the spirit of God is in you; the mind of Christ is in you; and the purpose of God is working itself out in you. Therefore, “Reckon yourself to be dead indeed unto sin and alive unto God and let not sin reign in your mortal body.”
Remember that in Christ Jesus, the tribes of Adam boast more blessings than their father lost. As Augustus Toplady writes and Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones quotes:
“My name from the palms of His Hands eternity will not ERASE!
Impressed on His heart it remains in marks of indelible grace.
Yes, I to the end shall endure, as sure as the earnest is given;
more happy but not more secure, the glorified spirits in heaven!”
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)
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