By: Eric Boothe
All of humanity is born with the same nature as Adam. Each of us has an innate desire to want our own way and to rebel against God. We are born "in Adam." We are born sinners. If you need evidence of this all you have to do is look at a small child. From the moment they learn how to speak they lie. You do not have to teach them how to lie, they are born with the ability to do so. You do however, have to teach them how to tell the truth. We are born with these destructive tendencies. We disobey God because we think we know best. This disobedience is called sin. Sin effects the whole world and we lie to ourselves if we think that our sin does not impact other people. Sin has far reaching effects and God takes it seriously. God says "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). Sin always creates death in some way or another. It may be physical death, death of a relationship, or death in the clarity and truthfulness of our thought processes.
God is a just god. He cannot let sin slip by and allow it to go without justice. We get our sense of justice from God. We do not like it when crimes and hurts go without justice. We are always crying out for justice to be done. God is this way with sin. Along with being just, God is also wrathful, compassionate, kind, loving, graceful, merciful, patient, controlled and he is wise and full of knowledge. God has put into action a plan to remedy the problem that Adam has given us. The plan displays all of his qualities. It's just, wrathful, kind, loving, merciful, full of grace, knowledge, patient, controlled and wise. The plan is Jesus. Jesus said that he loved us and he proved it with his blood. Jesus really does love us to death!
Romans 3:23-26 says, "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement [or as one who would turn aside God's wrath, taking away sin], through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished- he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus." The funny thing to me about this passage is that is disproves something that I find to be true about ourselves. We think and we are always trying to find ways to justify ourselves before other people and before God. We do things that we think will make people like us and bring us fulfillment. This passage however, tells us that there is no work that we can do that will justify us. Even though we have a sense of justice, we are not just nor the justifier. God is. We are justified only by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. It is a free gift that we receive only by faith. The question is do we exercise the quality that God has created us with? Do we choose to believe him, trust him and follow him?
Romans goes on to say, "For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous" (4:19). This is a verse about Adam and Jesus. Adam disobeyed and brought sin into the world. However, the work of Jesus is much more than the failures of Adam. It was an act of obedience that defeats sin forever and brings hope of new life without sin. If we choose Jesus, God sees that justice for our sin has been done and he justifies us. We are no longer "in Adam," but we are now "in Christ." It's only in Christ that we recognize the love of God and leave the consequences of Adam behind. It's only in Christ that God pours out the consequences of Jesus on us. It's something we do not deserve but God has chosen to bless us with anyways because he is a great and mighty God. Who will you choose to follow?