Lesson 6

Adam and Jesus

(Romans 5)
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Introduction: Would you like to have more peace in your life? Worry, dread, anxiety, and apprehension are major factors in the lives of many people. The gospel promises peace. But, why is that? One main reason is that God loves us. The Ruler of the Universe loves you! How did that happen? Let's plunge into our study of Romans to learn more!

  1. Peace


    1. Read Romans 5:1-2. What gives us peace with God? (Grace - being justified through faith.)


      1. Romans 5:2 says "we have gained access." Gained access to what or whom? (Access to grace, access to God! If there is anyone you should fear, it is God. Paul writes that grace gives us peace about approaching God.)


      2. Romans 5:2 also says that we "rejoice in the hope of the glory of God." I like peace. But, I prefer rejoicing. What do you think is hope in the glory of God? (I think this is our promise of heaven and an earth made new. If you take the "long view" of your current troubles, you can have peace, but more than that you can rejoice in the ultimate conclusion of things.)


    2. Read Romans 5:3-4. Paul writes about rejoicing in suffering. That is a difficult concept to understand. How doe Paul tell us this is possible? (Paul tells us that suffering leads to a series of attitude improvements that lead up to "hope.")


      1. I see a problem that we need to sort out. Romans 5:1-2 tells us that accepting grace leads to rejoicing "in the hope of glory." Why not take that path to hope instead of the suffering, perseverance, and character path to hope?


      2. Is there both a hard path and an easy path to hope? Why not take the easy path? (Paul did not tell us that righteousness by faith made us free from suffering. He said that it leads to peace and hope. When we suffer, we can rejoice because we know that it does not destroy our hope, rather it leads to hope.)


    3. Read Romans 5:5. Have you ever accomplished a goal and found it was less satisfying than you thought it would be? Will we be disappointed when we reach the stage of hope? (No.)


      1. Why not? ("God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit." I'm not sure how this connects to hope, but let's see what we can learn as Paul continues to address this issue.)


  2. Love


    1. Read Romans 5:6-8. What makes Jesus' act of giving up His life for us so unusual? (Paul suggests that this is often a rational decision - we give up our life for someone who will make the sacrifice worthwhile. But, Jesus died for sinners. He died for those destined to die anyway.)


      1. Notice that Romans 5:6 points out that Jesus died for us "when we were still powerless." How does that add to the unusual nature of Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf?


    2. Now let's go back to that phrase in Romans 5:5 about how hope will not disappoint because God "poured out His love into our hearts." In light of Romans 5:6-8, does this now seem easier to understand? (God loved and died for us when we did not deserve it, when His decision seemed irrational. This gets us excited because we do not have to "earn" the basis for our hope in heaven. Like salvation, it is a free gift. Thus, we can rejoice because we are certain of it!)


      1. We don't want to miss the Holy Spirit component of the promise in Romans 5:5. What is the role of the Holy Spirit?


    3. Read Romans 5:9-11. Verse 11 tells us that we have "received reconciliation." What is "reconciliation?" (It is the restoration of a friendship. Causing two people to become friendly again.)


      1. I see a God of love and generosity even in the Old Testament. Why would God ever be unfriendly to us? ( Romans 5:9 says that we are "saved from God's wrath." That must mean God's anger over the sin arising in our world. It must mean that a perfect and holy God is incompatible with sin. Thus, when we were sinners not covered by the sacrifice of Jesus, we were incompatible with God.)


    4. Read Romans 5:12. Who is the source of our sin problem? (That "one man" must be Adam.)


      1. Does that seem unfair to you? Should Adam's sin cause you to lose eternal life? (Verse 12 also adds "because all sinned." You deserve eternal death because of your sin.)


    5. Read Romans 5:13-14. Has there been a time since Adam's sin that we did not have sin in the world? (No. Before the law was given, sin was in the world.)


      1. What does Paul mean when he says that "sin is not taken into account when there is no law?"


        1. If Paul means that sin was not punished, how can we explain Cain and the Flood? Cain was punished for murder and those who refused to enter into the ark were punished. How can this be explained? (To "account" for something is to record it and put it in an orderly arrangement. I think Paul is merely saying that we did not have an orderly statement of sin prior to the Ten Commandments. However, sin still existed and humans still died as a result of the entrance of sin into our world.)


    6. Read Romans 5:15 and re-read the end of Romans 5:14. Who is the "One to come" who is patterned after Adam? (Jesus!)


      1. How is this true? (Adam's one sin plunged us all into sin. Jesus' life, death and resurrection took us out of sin - if we accept it.)


    7. Read Romans 5:16. Romans 5:15 tells us "the gift is not like the trespass," and Romans 5:16 repeats that the "gift of God" is not like "the result of the one man's sin." How are they different? (On a very basic level, one brings death and the other brings life. If this was about the quality of paper towels, or the efficiency of a sponge, Adam's one sin created a nightmare. But, Jesus' actions on our behalf sponged up all of our sins. It is the one sin versus negating the many.)


      1. Let's look at the last part of Romans 5:16. What did Jesus' actions bring into our lives? (Justification.)


        1. I recently read a statement that Jesus simply took away our sins. Thus, we need to do something additional to be in a correct relationship with God. What does this text say about that idea? (Jesus brings justification. Trying to add our works is like pinning some cheap jewelry to the perfect robe of righteousness given to us by Jesus.)


    8. Read Romans 5:17. What do we receive from Jesus' gift? (Life!)


      1. What does this verse add to our discussion of Jesus' death simply "zeroing out" (negating) our sins? (It says Jesus brings to us "the gift of righteousness." Jesus did not simply negate our sins. He brings us the positive gift of righteousness.)


    9. Read Romans 5:18-19. On first reading this seems to say that Adam automatically made all of us sinners, and Jesus automatically saved all of us. Is it true that everyone is saved?


      1. Notice that the NIV translation refers to "condemnation for all men," and later, "the many will be made righteous." This sounds like not all are saved, rather "many" are saved. The problem is that the Greek word used for "all" is the same used for "many." How does that affect your view of this? (Read Romans 3:22. Paul is simply saying that salvation by faith is available to all. He is not saying that salvation comes to those who do not accept the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.)


    10. Read Romans 5:20-21. Why would God want to have sin ("trespass") increase? (I think this means that our understanding of sin increased. We understood better how God wants us to live.)


      1. Is it a bad thing that sin increased? (No, because grace increased even more.)


      2. What is the outcome for those who believe that Jesus is God and accept what He has done for us? (We have eternal life!)


    11. Friend, eternal life is the hope in which we rejoice. That is what gives us peace in life. Sin can bring excitement, but obedience, trust in God, belief in grace, brings us peace. Why not choose peace today?


  3. Next week: Overcoming Sin.

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Lessons on Romans

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