Understanding the Plan of God is important. It helps us to walk in His light with confidence.
5 Evildoers do not understand what is right, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully [a continuous process].
I’ve been reading Romans lately. I read through it and now I am going through it again. It’s amazing how much I missed that first reading! I’ve been stuck in chapter 5 for several days now. Today, I managed to read three verses and I would like to discuss them with you. I am using the Amplified Version for clarity–the interesting thing is that my program was on that version from yesterday; otherwise, I may not have even looked at that one (do you think the Holy Spirit arranged that little detail?!):
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned. 13 Sin was [committed] in the world before the Law [was given], but sin is not charged [against anyone] when there is no law [against it]. 14 Yet death ruled [over mankind] from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who had not sinned as Adam did. Adam is a type of Him (Christ) who was to come [but in reverse—Adam brought destruction, Christ brought salvation]. Romans 5:12-14
Looking at verse 14, let’s break it down:
- Death ruled over mankind- Adam was our representative before God just as we have representatives in Washington. What they decide affects us; in the same way, what Adam decided affected us–or, should I say, infected us with sin! With sin came death. By the way, the Old Earth idea foregoes death entering through sin whereas a literal six-day creation sets the stage for Adam and sin; it’s either one or the other.
- Sin was in the world before the law- The law, which is God’s basic description of righteousness, wasn’t given until Moses, but since God’s law is written on everyone’s hearts (see Romans 2:15), everyone is held accountable to that same law. God, “in His forbearance, let the sins committed beforehand unpunished” (Romans 3:25) until Christ came to pay for all sin. Consequently, death ruled over mankind until Christ came. The law, with its sacrificial system, was designed to increase people’s desire for righteousness and holiness and to set the stage for Christ to come as the Final Sacrifice (Romans 3:20 –> Ephesians 4:24).
- Christ brought salvation- Jesus is our Representative just like Adam was, which means that what He did on the cross paid the sin debt for all mankind. The invitation for salvation is open to all people, but is not universally granted; it is granted only to those who accept His sacrifice and receive the forgiveness achieved by it.
We’ll talk more about this salvation as we move through Romans. Today, let’s try to get our minds around the fact that God has a Plan and has been working His Plan from the beginning. Us in Christ was on His mind before He ever created the heavens and the earth! Let’s enjoy our position in Him as children of the heavenly Father!
Abba, thank You for having such a great plan for the world, for Your church, and for us. We had no part in our salvation except to accept Your sacrifice for us and to receive Your forgiveness. May we take great comfort in that forgiveness, Lord. From that time on, we live in the light of Your love, walking with You and striving to be just like You, Jesus. Lead on, my King. Amen.