Adam and Christ Contrasted
12 When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. 13 Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. 14 Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. 15 But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. 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.
18 Yes, Adam’s one sin brings condemnation for everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
20 God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. 21 So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. First, a quick note – I am testing out the NLT (New Living Translation) in this reading because Laurie recommended it. I thought I might wait until the next book to really dive into NLT, but I really liked the version.
Anyway, on to the meat of the situation. I remember once that someone in my family took all of my mom’s good red pens and left the caps off and the pens dried out. These pens were expensive and she was using them for all of the Christmas cards. Anyway, she asked all of the kids if we took the caps off of the pens and we all told her that we didn’t. Well, someone had to have taken the caps off of the pens, they didn’t just uncap magically – so all of us kids were grounded all day long. NOT FUN. Finally, late in the afternoon, one of my sibs finally fessed up to it (I’m not going to out anyone here – not the point) and we were un-grounded.
Long story longer – it only takes one person to ruin everyone else’s good time and that is basically what happened with Adam & Eve. Generations of people died forever as a result of Adam & Eve’s actions, which is quite the price to pay.
It makes me think – what kinds of sin is passed on from generation to generation? Adam and Eve got the ball rolling with sin in general, but it seems like some families struggle with the same kind of sin from one generation to the next. The good news is, it doesn’t need to be like that. The cycle of sin can be stopped.
But while salvation was lost at the hands of one man, it was won back at the hands of another man. Paul says that God gave us the law so that we could see how we fell short of God’s law, but that his grace and mercy is abundant.
I think it’s kind of cool that while one guy ruined the party for everyone, one man made it right. It’s like God’s own brand of poetic justice.