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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Argument in the Roman Courts

Paul was a brilliant and learned disciple who came to faith in Christ after the resurrection. One of the blessings of reading his teachings comes from his acquaintance with the Hebrew scriptures, and another is Paul's excellent use of Roman rhetoric and logic.

Romans 5:12-17 is a passage which uses both of these influences to create and describe a new truth.   Much of what Paul wrote was new.  The Old Testament contained truth that was revealed by the birth, life, teaching, and death of Jesus, but we were not prepared in how to use those teachings.  Paul and the other New Testament writers showed us the lenses through which we should see the Scriptures of the Old Testament.

In this passage, Paul explains how we are taught the meaning of sin.  Paul says that sin entered the world by the fall of Adam.  He set a pattern for men when he violated the first command not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  Sin, therefore, was present in the world even though man did not have a definition of it until Moses brought the Law.  Death came by sin.  Death reigned even though there was no prohibition; death came on man as a consequence of life.  The penalty for sin was not exacted since the sin had never been defined, but the result was still death.

Jesus came to the earth to eradicate the world's captivity to sin and death.  Jesus died as the acceptable sacrifice that would satisfy the justice of God, and when he died, God proclaimed that his sacrifice was sufficient.  The fact that he rose from the dead proves that the power of sin had been destroyed and sin no longer held mankind captive.

There is another factor to consider in this transaction.  By one man's sin, sin entered the world, and by one's man's sacrifice, sin was removed.  The consequence of the sacrifice was more than the removal of one sin, however.  All men followed the example of Adam's, and all became liable for sin.  All who place faith in Jesus will have their sins removed, but that is the part that God requires of us.  We must believe on him to see the  transaction completed.  It is a gift, but the gift must be accepted.  He will not force it on us, but is available to anyone and everyone

Read the passage from your Bible and claim the gift.

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