Romans 5:18 (NLT)
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.
What was the unintended consequence of Adam and Eve’s transgression? If you answer that sin became a part of the nature of Man you would be correct. But something else just as deadly also occurred at that moment in the Garden. When Adam and Eve sinned, the Glory of God which had clothed them was lifted. (If it hadn’t they would have died immediately because the Glory cannot be in the presence of sin without destroying it.) In addition to being aware of the nakedness of their bodies (Genesis 3:7) a change occurred in their soul. The soul is made up of the mind, the will and the emotions. When Adam and Eve transgressed they had a change of mind; condemnation (a sense of guilt and shame) attacked their minds and introduced fear into their lives. Genesis 3:10 confirms this. The Lord called to Adam and Adam’s response was, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”
Condemnation became a powerful force connected to the sin nature of Man. Many in the church understand that sin has been defeated; however, not so many realize that its companion, condemnation, likewise should have no place in the life of a believer. In fact, some believers actually embrace condemnation by allowing themselves to feel “bad” after they have repented. “Feeling bad” becomes a way of showing God that they are serious about being sorry and wanting to change. What they don’t realize is by continuing to feel bad, they are subconsciously trying to earn their forgiveness. They are trying to earn something that was freely given.
What they also don’t realize is that change will never come as long as condemnation is present. A person cannot successfully change by looking at what is wrong with him. He can only change when he focuses on “whose” he is, not “who” he is. A born-again believer has been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. That means he is in right-standing with God. God does not look at a person and see all the mess-ups of his life… He chooses to look at that person in the light of Jesus. What God sees when He looks at that person and what He sees when He looks at Jesus is the same thing. (John 17:23)
Romans 8:1 says “There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus…” Why did God include the Word “now”? Remove it and the statement seems much the same. But, as always God was trying to protect us from something the enemy would use to harm us. The only place you can truly be free of condemnation is in the present. The enemy will always try to take you back to past mistakes. If you begin to think about the things you have done in the past – even things you have asked and received forgiveness for – condemnation will try to sneak in. God forgiving us is one thing; forgiving ourselves is quite another.
Condemnation kills because it destroys our confidence that God will do what He said He will do in His Word. We have trouble believing God really loves us because condemnation makes us feel unlovable. This leads to a break down in our faith because according to Galatians 5:6… “faith works by love.” The Word tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). Why does God require faith of us? Because, faith is the hand that receives all the good things God has for us. We can avoid the downward spiral condemnation brings by remembering this important Biblical Truth: on the day we made Jesus the Savior and Lord of our lives, we lost the right to get what we deserve. On that same day we gained the right to get what Jesus deserves!
Romans 5:18 (The Message)
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it.
But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life!
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