I am writing tonight from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.
Sunday’s section of this week’s lesson asks,
How successful have your efforts in law-keeping been? What should that answer tell you about the futility of trying to be saved by keeping the law?
What if I told you that just as assuredly as you already sinned in Adam, you have also already lived a perfect life in Christ?
For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 NKJV
Paul is not merely saying Adam’s sin caused us all to sin. He is saying we all sinned in Adam when Adam sinned. It’s the same idea Paul was using in Hebrews 7:5 when he said Levi paid tithes in Abraham since he was in Abraham’s loins when Abraham paid tithe. Likewise, we were all in Adam when Adam sinned, causing us all to sin in Abraham. Romans 5:19 goes on to say that we are all made righteous by one man’s obedience.
How so? After we all sinned in Adam, Jesus became one with our flesh,
Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh…Romans 1:3 NKJV
Since the wages of sin is death, (Romans 6:23) Jesus took our sinful flesh to the cross, where we all died the death we deserve in Christ.
by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh…Romans 8:3 NKJV
What has happened so far? We all sinned in Adam, and deserved death. Jesus took our sinful flesh and went to the cross. Therefore our sinful flesh was crucified with Christ. The wages of sin is death, and I died that death with Christ.
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him…Romans 6:6 NKJV
So I have died the death I deserve in Christ. I still need a perfect life but fall short of God’s glory. See Romans 3:23. Here is the good news! Just assuredly as I died in Christ I have also lived a perfect life in Christ. Jesus did not only die for me, He died as me. Jesus also did not only live a perfect life for me, He lived a perfect life as me! I am not only saved by His death. I am saved by His life!
much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:10 NKJV
I don’t have a perfect life to offer, but Jesus’ perfect life counts as my perfect life! Jesus is not cheating when He credits His perfect life as my perfect life, because He took my flesh and lived a perfect life with my flesh, just as Abraham paid tithes with Levi’s flesh.
The good news is, when I accept Jesus I am accepting way more than just forgiveness. When I accept the life of Jesus the power of His life becomes the power of my life!
…reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Romans 6:11-12 NKJV.
Thus Jesus’ life is my justification and sanctification! I am saved by His life!
You may study this week’s Sabbath School lesson here.