Romans 5:18-21 — The Conclusion is Clear (Bible study notes)

For the video teaching to these notes click here:  Romans Bible Study – Week 9 – Conclusion is Clear!

  • Recap –
  • Paul spent almost 2.5 chapters talking about the condition of mankind — all mankind, Jew, and Gentile — before the Cross
    • lost and with no hope of attaining righteousness
  • Then in 3:21 he says But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
    • Remember he is talking to a transitional generation of people — those who lived on both sides of the Cross
  • v. 23-24 he tells us that ALL mankind had sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (remember — before the Cross) and then that same mankind has been justified freely
  • Chapter 4 discusses righteousness apart from works – apart from any of our performance or self-effort
  • And he ended the chapter telling us that Jesus was crucified for our (all mankind) offenses and raised up again for our justification
    • Justified is to be declared and judged innocent and righteous; positioned as if we never sinned
    • His judgment of innocent — being justified — put mankind in the same position as Jesus who never sinned
    • Not just forgiven but never sinned!
  • The beginning of chapter 5 we learned that we (ALL mankind) now have peace with God, through the work of Jesus Christ
    • peace is eirene in Greek meaning joined; as in dovetail carpentry; to be set at one again
    • with is pros which is face to face
    • Through Jesus finished work we have been joined to Him, face to face, we are now one with Him.
  • And last week we learned that through the one trespass of Adam sin and death entered the world and affected ALL mankind — from Adam to the Cross
  • We also talked about the words sin and trespass
    • Trespass is greek paraptoma and is para meaning close beside, an intimate connection; and pipto meaning to fall away, abandon;
      • Adam’s trespass was his falling away from, abandoning his intimate relationship with his Father.
      • Mankind (born before the cross) through Adam had moved away from what defined them – their identity in God
    • Sin is hamartia from “ha” meaning without and “meros” meaning form —without form
      • the root of sin is to believe a lie about yourself
      • it is to live out of context with the blueprint of one’s design; it is to behave out of tune with God’s design;
      • it is anything that distracts from the awareness of our true identity — our form which was made in His image and likeness
      • Thayer’s Greek defines it as a failure to hit the mark; First due to an error of understanding and 2nd due to a bad action or evil deed.
        • Mankind’s lost identity — their lack of understanding of the truth that they were made in the nature of God resulted in bad actions or deeds because they lived life after the flesh and not after the image and likeness of God
      • In Hebrew it means to miss; to be off target; it also means to miss oneself or lose oneself;
  • What man lost through the fall of Adam, was not his sonship – but the knowledge or the revelation of his sonship
  • Romans 5:16 told us that there is no comparison between what Adam’s trespass caused and what Jesus’ gift gave to mankind!!
    • Because of Adam, mankind after him had forgotten who they were; they lost themselves – lost their true nature and took on the nature of Adam
    • There was no hope for anyone — mankind had forgotten who they were and lost their way because of Adam
    • BUT the free gift upon ALL mankind before and after the Cross was an undeserved verdict of NOT GUILTY
      • I love the Phillips translation: men’s sins are met with the free gift of grace, and the result is justification before God.
    • Again, remember, this is all mankind from Adam to the Cross — The Cross changed everything!
  • Can one event, performed by one man, in one place really altar all the people in the world? — Yes!
    • Hosea 6:2 – on the 3rd day He will raise us (ALL mankind) up
  • Tonight we finish chapter 5 and verse 18 begins with So then,
    • or as one translation says, the conclusion is clear — I love that
Romans 5:18-19: The conclusion is clear: it took just one offense to condemn mankind; one act of righteousness declares the same mankind innocent. (19)The disobedience of the one exhibits humanity as sinners; the obedience of another exhibits humanity as righteous.
  • Adam’s one trespass condemned mankind (until the Cross)
  • Jesus one act of righteousness (His finished work) made all mankind (before and after the Cross) righteous
  • disobedience and obedience is not about doing or not doing the right thing;
  • In Hebrew, the word we translate obey is “shema.”
    • The first time shema is in the Bible is Gen 3:8 – they “heard” the Spirit in the Garden coming to walk with them…come to enjoy fellowship with them…. to enjoy oneness with them.
    • Shema is to hear with the heart, to hear with understanding, attention, and with a response.
  • A response to what?
    • A response of oneness, of intimacy with Him.
  • Disobedience is parakoe from para meaning close beside; an intimate connection and akouo meaning to hear
    • Adam wasn’t hearing from an intimate connection…. he wasn’t hearing and responding out of his oneness with the Father.
    • He instead heard and responded to the serpent’s accusation/lie of Adam’s not being like God
    • He instead heard and responded to his wife’s suggestion to eat what God said not to eat
    • That was his disobedience he listened and responded in the flesh instead of out of his oneness with the Father.
  • Obedience is hupokoe and is hupo meaning under and okoe meaning to hear; it is to hear from above.
    • Jesus heard and responded to His Father
    • His obedience wasn’t one of Yes Sir, No Sir
    • But instead He walked in awareness of His oneness with the Father, and He lived life from that intimate place of fellowship.
  • God has never been after our “obedience” — He has always been after a heart that is at one with Him
    • Jesus said in John 17:21: That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee that they also may be one in us:
    • John 14:20 “In that day, you will know that I am in My Father, you are in Me, and I am in you.
    • Col 1:27 He decided to make known to them His blessing to the nations; the glorious riches of this mystery is the indwelling of the Anointed in you! The very hope of glory.
  • Heb 5:8 is translated As a Son, he learned obedience through the things He suffered.
    • Reading it like that causes us to think that God is looking for our obedience too and that suffering makes helps us learn to obey!
    • The Mirror translates that Scripture with the correct translation for obedience – hearing
      • Heb 5:8 As a son, he was in the habit of hearing from above; what he heard distanced him from the effect of what he had suffered.
  • Jesus was in the habit of hearing from above
    • He lived in awareness of His oneness as a Son with the Father.
    • Adam abandoned (trespass) that awareness of oneness, of a hearing heart (disobedience)
  • Jesus succeeded in this, and we get to REST in His perfect hearing
    • Heb 5:9 By his perfect hearing He forever freed mankind to hear what He had heard.
    • He freed us to hear in such a way that we may live in an awareness of our oneness with our Father.
    • His perfect hearing awakened our heart to hear who we truly are — we have received the nature of God.
Romans 5:20 NKJV: Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,
  • The law had no power to make one righteous — it only pointed out sin and failures
    • Righteousness came upon ALL mankind apart from the law completely, successfully through Jesus’ faith
  • The trespass abounded…. it increased
  • the word translated “that” is “hina” in Greek meaning for the purpose of
    • the purpose of the law was so that the transgression of Adam would abound – increase
    • we know this was so that Israel would see their need for a Savior – it was to point them to Christ
    • It says the law came in so that the transgression (singular) might abound – talking about “the transgression of Adam” – losing his identity – his awareness of being made in the image and likeness of God.
      • Abandoning that intimate connection of oneness with the Father and as a result, living life from the flesh – sense realm – what he could see, hear, touch, etc
      • transgress also means to go beyond a boundary
  • Eph 1:5 says God predestined us for adoption as sons
    • Literally, that says, (In love) God chose to mark out our boundaries (before the foundation of the world) in sonship (adoption)
  • Adam left the boundary of sonship
    • as a result, mankind lost their identity as sons – forgot their origin
    • Deut 32:18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore you, and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
    • BUT God has always seen us as sons — He had never forgotten
  • Jesus reminded them of that in John 10 when He quotes Psalm 82:6 after talking about His relationship to the Father as a Son in oneness with Him.
    • Psalm 82:5 describes the condition of fallen mankind before the Cross
      • they know nothing – yada – they have lost their intimate knowledge of Me
      • neither do they understand – they have lost their understanding of Me
      • they walk in darkness – they live their lives, not in union with Me
      • they are out of course – they have fallen down; they have moved away from Me
    • sounds like the Father in the garden when Adam fell – He cried out “where are you” which is a Hebrew idiom meaning “why did you leave my heart, Adam?”
    • v. 6 God says of mankind “I have said you are gods, you are ALL children of the Most High” — His image and likeness
  • Then it says in v. 20 But where the sin abounded
    • not sins (plural) but the sin – talking about Adam’s sin, not bad behavior
    • this word abound is aorist tense in the indicative mood
    • Paul is not saying that sin is still abounding or increasing
    • aorist points to something that already happened and indicative mood states something as a fact – no doubt the action occurred.
  • The sin of Adam — living out of context with the blueprint of God’s design, behaving out of tune with God’s purposes, a lost identity — that increased over time
  • BUT through the finished work of Jesus, the grace of God abounded much more!
    • It went much very very much beyond increasing as sin did — it over abounded.
    • In fact, the word in Greek is hyper abounded — it’s hyper-grace – overflowing, exceedingly abundantly
    • It is in the aorist indicative also — it already happened – it’s a fact
  • Sin no longer has the power to abound
    • Grace defeated sin
    • After the Cross, there was no reason to continue walking in the sin of Adam – the distorted identity – a wrong identity
Romans 5:21: Mirror: (Spiritual) death provided sin its platform and power to reign; now grace has taken over sovereignty through righteousness to introduce unthreatened life under the Lordship of Jesus Christ over us.
Passion: And just as sin reigned through death, so also this sin-conquering grace will reign as king through righteousness, imparting eternal life through Jesus, our Lord, and Messiah!
  • As sin reigned in death
    • reigned is aorist indicative — aorist pointing to something that already happened; and indicative mood stating this is a fact, Paul did not doubt that this had occurred;
    • this is telling us that sin before the finished work of Christ reigned in death – but no longer!
  • Now grace reigns!
    • Grace reigns completely successfully through (dia!) righteousness unto eternal (unending) life
    • life is zoe which is life defined IN CHRIST
      • Gal 2:20 – it is His life live in me, through me, as me — this is our new lives defined IN CHRIST — this is zoe life
  • Death no longer reigns – it reigned only from Adam to the Cross
    • At the Cross, Adam has passed away
  • The Last Adam alone remains — mankind was crucified with Him and risen with Him
    • He restored to us what Adam lost — our identity as sons – made in the image and likeness of God
      • Col 3:10 (Mirror) We stand fully identified in the new creation renewed in knowledge according to the pattern of the exact image of our Creator.
      • Eph 4:24 (Mirror) Immerse yourself into this God-shaped new person from above! You are created in the image and likeness of God. This is what righteousness and true holiness are all about.
        • v. 23 said to be renewed in your innermost mind
          • be renewed in the attitudes of your mind or the way your mind thinks
        • receive or grasp what has taken place — Christ died mankind’s death and resurrected that same mankind in righteousness and holiness – made in the image and likeness of God.
  • God did it completely, successfully IN CHRIST without any help from mankind
    • It is not positional or progressive righteousness — it was given as a free gift to mankind
  • Hosea 6:2 – on the 3rd day He will raise us (ALL mankind) up so that we can live in His Presence — in Hebrew it is “panim” – face to face! No degree of separation!
  • On the 3rd day, He raised us up! ALL mankind’s nature changed at the Cross!

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