ROMANS 5:17: “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Can one person really make a difference? This wonderful verse in Romans reminds us that the answer to this question is a resounding – YES! One person can change the course of history. One person can influence the world with bad, or with good. History is replete with examples. In fact, when you think of history, your always think of it in terms of an individual that influenced his or her circumstances.
Adam, the first man, truly made an impact on this world. It was an impact that caused a ripple to take place in the fabric of humanity that would affect every man and woman who would ever live. His impact imprisoned men and women in sin. And ultimately, his impact led to a sentence that no man would escape – the sentence of death!
- “None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked.” (Ecclesiastes 8:8 NLT)
Yet, think of the gift of the One Man who changed everything! Through the obedience of Jesus Christ, through His perfect life, His willingness to die on the Cross and pay the penalty for our sin – the power of Adam’s sin is completely broken! Paul emphatically declares – “…for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one may, Jesus Christ.” In this statement we see both the power of this One Solitary Life, and also the difference between His life and that of Adams.
- Adams sin touched every man. No one chooses to be a sinner, we are born sinners. It is in our spiritual DNA. This may not seem to be fair to some, but it is the reality none the less. And we are not guilty because of Adam’s sin, but because of our own sin. We inherited Adam’s DNA, but we are the ones who sin. There is no excuse!
- Jesus death and resurrection offers life to everyone, regardless of their race, gender, or social status. It is a gift of faith, apart from works. It is free to all – except, it must be received! Adam’s action forced the consequences of his sin upon mankind. Jesus’ action offers the power over this choice – to all who will believe. It is free, but it must be embraced by faith. God loved us so much that He freely gave His only Begotten Son to die in our place. And God loves us so much that He will never override our free will. We always have a choice!
You may wonder – “Then why doesn’t everyone believe?” This is a good question. When you see what is at stake, it seems like everyone would run to the Cross of Christ to have their sins forgiven. Yet, although the God’s wonderful gift of salvation is free, it does require an action on our part. It requires repentance. Repentance is turning away from our sin, brokenness, and shame – and turning toward God. We must let go of all of these things so that we can receive the gift of life. And the sad thing is, many choose to hold on to their sin.
- “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants. ”. John 3:18-21 NLT
Lord, there is nothing worth holding onto – besides You! I pray that today I would run freely to the Light of Your Grace, and walk in the freedom and power over sin that You have so wonderfully provided for me through Jesus Christ. I pray that those who are bound in their brokenness and sin, would turn from this darkness toward Your marvelous light, and receive Your gracious and free gift of new life, eternal life, abundant life – through Jesus Christ our Lord!
And I pray, that You would grant me the strength to walk in Jesus’ footsteps, and make a difference with my life – by grace through faith!
In Jesus Name!