Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P22 (12-16-19)
So this condition of spiritual death happened in the garden of Eden. There was a war raging in heaven between Satan and God. Satan, who deceived Eve, and caused Adam and Eve to sin, thought he had won. To be clear, Adam, of his own free will, chose to decide for himself what is right and wrong, what is good and evil, independent of God.
Now Satan thought he destroyed God’ creation, forever. All mankind since Adam are born very much alive to the world, and with free will, but dead to God. That is why man has a longing in his heart, and ask questions like: “Why am I here?”, “Is there more to life than this meaningless life I have?”, or “Why do I feel so empty inside?”
The story does not have to end there, in the death of mankind. God, full of love and compassion for mankind, had a plan. Through the lineage of the Jews, through the line of David, He sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world. Jesus is God in the flesh, a person of the Trinity. Jesus came to show us His righteousness and in so doing showed us our unrighteousness. Why? So we might see our need, our condition of spiritual death, and seek a Savior.
Jesus ultimately came to redeem mankind. What keeps mankind from God? Death because of sin. Sin caused man’s death. God, being perfectly holy and just, death was the price Adam and Eve, and all men, will have to pay for sins, unless the cause of death is taken away. So, in God’s plan, an innocent person takes the punishment of death for sin for us. Otherwise, there is absolutely no hope for mankind. That is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin for us.
Often times, events in the Old Testament are a picture, a foreshadowing, of the reality that is in Christ Jesus.
17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Such is the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. This story illustrates the war between one man, a man of evil, and another, a man of God. This is a parallel of one man, Satan, and one man, Jesus. Satan was more powerful than mankind and had the upper hand from the point of view of man. Man is no match for Satan. We are in his clutches. But Satan is no match for God. Just as David put his trust in God, so too, when we put our trust in God, we have the victory in Christ Jesus over sin and death.
Now, Jesus became sin for us, but let us not stop at the cross. For the cross is preparation for what man really needs. What vacated Adam and Eve when they died? The Spirit of God left them, and in turn all mankind, for all sinned. The Holy Spirit in the man is what spiritual life is. The life of God is indispensable to the functioning of the man just as gasoline is necessary for the proper functioning of a car or electricity to the functioning of a lamp. Jesus became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
So how can the Holy Spirit, the very life of God, be placed back into mankind? Jesus did not stay dead. He came to die in order to be raised to life again, in order that the same life that raised him from the dead, can raise you and me, who are born dead, back to life again. Whose life will we receive? The very Spirit of God in Jesus, the very life of God, will be placed back into the man.
How can this be? It is by nothing we do. We are dead and cannot raise ourself back to life again. We have no power to do that, and death has its hold on us because of sin. We are hopeless, dead and without God. So Jesus offers eternal life as a gift. A gift is not something you earn, but something you receive. A gift is not something you pay for, but someone else pays the price for you. Jesus, by his mercy, paid the price of death for you and offers who he is, eternal life, the Holy Spirit to live in you, which is his grace offered to you. You receive eternal life by faith, placing your trust alone in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for you.
If we look back at this for a moment. You say sin entered through one man. Let us turn back to the book of Genesis. Look at Genesis 2:15 to see how it all began. Genesis 2:15-16
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;
That today, in essence, can be equated to freedom. A lot of times people ask, “Who does God want me to marry?” God is saying, “Take your pick.” It does not matter. Today, with sin in the world, as long as they are Christians, it does not matter. You are sitting around waiting for this perfect job, this perfect woman. God says, there are all kinds of trees in the garden. Go and pick the one you want. Is that not encouraging? Now, you are free to eat of any tree, except there is one tree that you better not eat of.
17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
There is one tree, man, you better not eat of, the tree where you decide “I do not need you, God, to determine for me what is right and wrong, good and evil. I am going to deal with situational ethics. I am going to make up my own rules. I am going to just say, after all, we are just human. I am going to come up with all those things.” God says to them, “I am going to tell you something. The day you eat of that tree, and you make the determination that you do not need me to determine right from wrong and good from evil, you are going to die.” So it says, later on, in Genesis 3, what Adam chose to do.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman,
He said to Adam first, that you can eat of any tree in the garden, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and if you eat of it you shall die. Then, God created Eve. He said “Wow. I do not want to lose her.” So Eve is in the garden and Satan says to her.
“Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
Did God say this to Eve, or to Adam? He said it to Adam. Who told Eve? Adam. Look what Satan did.
2 The woman said to the serpent,
In essence, Eve is saying, here is what Adam told me.
“We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
Now did God tell Adam not to touch the tree? No. But you could hear Adam. I can tell you what God said, but I can tell you that you do not even need to touch that tree. So here, Eve got her instruction from Adam not to even touch that tree. So what was Satan probably doing? Leaning on the tree. Not dead, but alive, leaning on the tree. So he says.
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.
It is as if Satan is saying, “Look at me. I am touching the tree. I am not dead.”
5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
You see what happens when you add to the scripture, folks. You add to the scripture and that is where Satan is going to get you every time. If you subtract from it or add to it, that is where Satan will get you. Adam added to the scripture. God did not tell him to not touch the tree. He just merely told him to not eat of it. Adam, in his enthusiasm, I think, not to lose Eve, said to her, “Do not even touch it”. And that is where Satan got her.
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye,
She did not see anything wrong with it.
and also desirable for gaining wisdom,
And also, you will get some wisdom, according to Satan.
she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
I think Eve was deceived and man is rebellious. I think that is true today. A woman is more easily deceived. A man is just plain old rebellious. Do you guys agree with this? So Adam ate it, intentionally. All of a sudden their eyes were opened.
7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
In other words, they tried to cover up their own nakedness with their own doing. That was the beginning of religion. That was law in the garden of Eden. And there was also grace. In essence, God said those fig leaves are not going to cover you. I will clothe you. I will provide the clothing for you. And we all know the story of that. That is where sin began.
From that moment on, we are told that we came from the loins of Adam. Read Genesis 5:1-3.
1 When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God.
Adam and Eve were created in the image of God.
2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind” when they were created.
3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.
Were we born in the image of God? Or, were we born in the image of Adam? Which is it? Were we all created in the image of God, as people say? No. Who was created in the image of God? Adam. Who was born in the image of Adam? Us, dead as a hammer. Adam died and we were born into Adam, dead. That is why we were born dead. That is why it says that through one man, sin entered into this world, and death through that sin, and in this way death came to all men. Death came to how many men? All men. Why? We have all sinned.
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
Now this grace and this gift came.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
One man, Adam, brought death. One man, Jesus, brought life.
16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation,
What was the judgment of God? On the day you eat, thereof, you will surely die. That was the judgment of God. Now, did Adam die physically that day? No. Did he die soulishly? No. How did he die? Spiritually. What is death? The absence of life. What is darkness? The absence of light.
The condition of this world is dark. The sun comes up, dispels the darkness, and we have light. The sun goes down, we return to our natural state. What is spiritual death? The absence of spiritual life. The life of God departed from Adam. His human spirit was joined to God because of God in His master plan of creation. God determined that God in the man is indispensable to the humanity of the man, just as electricity in a bulb is indispensable to the function of the bulb, or gas in your car is indispensable to the function of the car. God made us in such a way whereby God the creator, in His creation, is indispensable to this man being totally whole.
So God departed from man, and man was left with a human spirit that is alive to the world but dead to what left it. This is contrary to what some people say. They say that your human spirit is dead dead. If your human spirit is dead dead then all you have is a soul and a body and that is a dog. A dog has a body. Does a dog have a soul, a mind? Does a dog have a mind? Yes. Emotion? Yes. A will? Yes. Does a dog have a will? Yes. It sure does. You are a dog if you do not have a human spirit that separates you from the animal kingdom. You would be nothing but an animal. So this idea that your spirit is dead dead means that you are an animal.
Your human spirit is alive. Your human spirit is alive to the world but it is dead to what vacated it, God. So your human spirit is constantly longing and each and every one of us who are in Christ today, remember the day before we came to Christ, when our hearts were longing for something. Something was missing. You remember those days. Something is missing. Something is wrong.
11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Things are not functioning properly. It is kind of like a car without a spark plug. Something is missing. It is running, but it is jumping. You remember those days. So you turned to alcohol, drugs, women and guys and bars and booze and all this stuff to feed the flesh, to try to get some satisfaction, and there isn’t any. None. You are as empty as a pork barrel. You look into the mirror and say what is this all about? (Read the book of Ecclesiastes, a picture of a man, Solomon, a man with all kinds of wisdom, with every pleasure afforded him in the world, yet spiritually dead, looking for the meaning to life, and saying “Life is meaningless”.)
17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
That is exactly the prayer I had before I was saved. Not a very theological prayer, but it was my heart. What is this life all about? There is no meaning to it. Making money, successful, no meaning to it. It has no meaning. That is a condition of a heart without God living in you. There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man that can only be filled by God through His Son, Jesus Christ. There is a vacuum that is there. We have to understand that.
So your human spirit is very much alive to the world. It is just dead to what vacated it, and that is God. That is what you are longing for. Every person is longing for God. We do not know that is what we are longing for. I remember the day I was saved. I looked back and I was wondering, “Everything I have been looking for in my life was as close as a prayer. It was as close as saying, ‘Jesus, come live in my heart’. That close, and I missed it for 36 years.”
26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Is that not crazy? How we miss something so important. I knew about Jesus. If someone had asked me, “Do you love, Jesus?” I would say, “Yes, I love him as much as I can love anybody.” But did I know him? No, I did not know him. I did not know I could. I never heard that I could. I had never been in a church that taught I could know Christ personally. When I came to know Him, I wondered why it took so long. Many times I asked God that. How come it took 36 years for you to save me? God said to me, “So you can have compassion on the lost?” I do because I remember what it is like to be lost.
All this came about through one man, one man, Adam, and one man, Jesus.
16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
The gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin, Adam’s. The judgment came on Adam, and it, therefore, came to all men. We were born in that judgment. We were born dead.
18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.
So that judgment followed one sin and it brought condemnation. What is the condemnation of God? Death for all men. But the gift followed many trespasses, not just one, but multitudes, and it brought justification. For who? All who turn to Him by faith. If by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man. Does death reign through Adam today? Absolutely. To who? Where is it reigning? To all who are not in Christ.
The wages of sin is death
The wages of sin is death for all men until they come to Him for life.
So if this death reigned through this one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness, that is Jesus, was justification that brings life for all men.
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Is this good news? Now folks, what do you see through here? You see one, one, one, don’t you? Let us turn back to Samuel. I will show you a parallel here.
1 Samuel 17:1-11, 16, 25-54
1 Now the Philistines gathered their forces for war and assembled at Sokoh in Judah. They pitched camp at Ephes Dammim, between Sokoh and Azekah. 2 Saul and the Israelites assembled and camped in the Valley of Elah and drew up their battle line to meet the Philistines. 3 The Philistines occupied one hill and the Israelites another, with the valley between them.
4 A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.[9 feet 9 inches] 5 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[125 pounds]; 6 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. 7 His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[15 pounds] His shield bearer went ahead of him.
8 Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. 9 If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before. 31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.
That is quite a story isn’t it? What is this story about? This is a story of two men, one evil and one of God, at war with one another, and whoever wins, the other becomes subjected, and subjected to for the rest of their life. Who won the battle? God’s guy or the Philistine? Satan or Jesus? Who won? Jesus.
Satan thought, that when he caused Adam and Eve to sin, and sin entered into the world, you could almost hear him saying, “I got Him. I got Him. I have destroyed His creation forever. Every man that has ever born, that God wanted to be born, is going to be born dead. I got Him.” God created a plan, and His plan was this. “In My timing, I am going to send My Son, Jesus, to this earth. Jesus is going to walk on this earth. Jesus, God the Son, is going to walk, on this earth. He is going to take upon himself, My creation’s flesh and blood, in an earth suit, and will walk on this earth for some 33 years, and in so doing, he will show My people what true righteousness is, and in so doing, showing them their unrighteousness. I am going to go first to the Jew, the people of David, through his bloodline, who killed Goliath. I am going to go first of all to the Jew, and then I am going to go to the Gentile. That is all a part of my foreknowledge. That is all a part of my predestination, that these heathanistic Gentiles are going to come to Christ the same way the Jews do.
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”