Yesterday I preached from Romans 5:15-17 in our series through Romans. In this paragraph, we see Paul explaining how Christ is far superior to bless than Adam was to curse. In verse 14, he called Adam a type of Christ, but now suddenly, he dives off into a three part comparison as to how and why Christ is far more superior to redeem than Adam is to ruin.
First, we see Paul’s explanation that human depravity is replaced by God’s righteousness. Through Adam, we inherited by imputation the depravity of the human heart. This leaves us helpless and hopeless in a state of spiritual death. However, it’s through Christ that lost and rebel sinners are brought to faith and redeemed from the curse of sin. In order for this to take place, we receive by imputation the righteousness of God in Christ. Paul repeats this pattern in this section of verses twice, but he writes, “much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many” (Rom. 5:15).
Secondly, Paul notes that condemnation is replaced by justification in Christ. The result of human depravity is that we are condemned by God. Yet, in order to be welcomed into heaven and reconciled to God, we must be justified. Justification is a legal verdict and pronouncement of our status before God. God declares us just. This is the only way to escape the wrath of God in the condemnation of sinners. This is only possible through the miracle of conversion that happens through Christ. It is the last Adam who is far greater in his work of redemption than the first Adam is in his work of corruption.
Finally, Paul makes it clear that Christ is far superior to Adam in the fact that death is replaced by life. Adam brought death into the world and it reigned through Adam. Through one man’s transgression, sin entered the world and death was the result. Not only physical death, but spiritual death. In Adam all die physically and spiritually. The very moment that Adam ate of the forbidden tree, he died spiritually. He would later die at 930 years of age a physical death. Genesis began with an explosion of light and life, but it ended with the veil of darkness and death.
However, that’s not the end of the story. Christ is the light of life and through his work of redemption, he defeated death. The gospel (good news) is the announcement of the reverse of the curse of Adam. The degeneration of Adam’s curse is overcome by the regeneration of life through Jesus Christ. The gospel denounces sin in the death of Christ and it announces hope in the resurrection of Christ. Christ is far more powerful to save than Adam is to curse.
Through Adam’s one sin spiritual death death came which introduced degeneration, pollution, corruption, rebellion, sickness, pain, brokenness and lawlessness—resulting in physical death.
Through Christ’s work of redemption we see the following work of God’s saving grace:
- Sins are forgiven.
- Atonement is made.
- Propitiation is accomplished.
- Death is defeated.
- Righteousness is granted.
- Justice is satisfied.
Reconciliation is achieved.
- The head of the serpent is crushed.
- The curse of sin is reversed.
- One day – Christ will return – and make all things new!
- The entire world will be renewed.
- Death will be no more.
- No more weeping.
- No more pain.
- No more sorrow.
All of this is the work of Christ. The work of Christ in redemption is far more superior than Adam’s work in rebellion.