Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This week's message: Celebrate!

Romans 5:10-21.
Our reconciliation through Christ restores us to a relationship with God and brings us from Death into Life!

Adam’s story:
Sin entered by him
Death came to all by him
Sin brought Judgment that resulted in Condemnation
One Sin ushered in the Reign of Death
One Transgression Condemns All
One’s disobedience=Many sinners

Jesus’ story:
Grace of God entered by Him
Life is restored by Him
Sin with Grace applied results in Justification
Receive Grace and each one can Reign in Life
One Righteous Act Justifies All
One’s obedience=Many righteous

When the Law came, more people became law-breakers, but Grace won! Sin ruled in death, grace rules through a new-found righteousness in Christ to produce in us Eternal life. So celebrate the life you have available in Jesus the Messiah. Let that joy well up in your life and overflow into the lives of those around you!

Romans 5:10-21 The Message
If, when we were at our worst, we were put on friendly terms with God by the sacrificial death of his Son, now that we're at our best, just think of how our lives will expand and deepen by means of his resurrection life! Now that we have actually received this amazing friendship with God, we are no longer content to simply say it in plodding prose. We sing and shout our praises to God through Jesus, the Messiah!

You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we're in - first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn't sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.

Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man's sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God's gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There's no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man's wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?

Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.

All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn't, and doesn't, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it's sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that's the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life - a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

No comments: