Peter tells us in his second book that “all things pertaining to life and godliness” come into our lives through the “knowledge of him that hath called us” (2 Peter 1:3). This knowledge he referred to is found in the Word of God. If we are missing anything the reason is that we do not have sufficient knowledge. Let’s take healing as an example. Sickness manifests in our lives because we have an insufficient revelation of Jesus’ redemptive work. This may be because we’ve spent more time looking at the doctor’s report or considering a loved one’s illness than the Word of God.
We are going to spend time looking at Scripture together to discover what the Bible tells us about living the overcoming life. I am believing that the Holy Spirit to help me share some truths that will make you think. These are truths that will require us to dig into Scripture and spend time meditating on its truths. Let’s begin our study in the book of Romans.
12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
God did not “impute” sin to mankind until after the Law was given. This is contrary to what religious tradition tells us today. The usage of “impute” communicates the truth that God did not credit people’s sin until after the Law was given. Men and women were not charged for their sin but Paul tells us that death still was present. The reason for this is that sin has a two-fold effect on humanity. On one side, it is an offense against God. On the other, it opens a door for Satan to work in our lives.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
When we yield to sin, we yield to the author of that sin. This provides Satan with free access to our lives. This is what I call the horizontal effect of sin. It is what opens the door for death to reign in our lives. Paul told us that God did not impute sin against people. This is what I call the vertical effect of sin because it refers to the judgment of God coming down on mankind.
God dealt with men and women with mercy before the Law being given. They still died because sin opened the door for Satan to bring destruction. The Law was given to drive people to a point of realizing their need for a Savior. It was meant to show how incapable mankind is to save themselves and to put an end to self-righteousness. I believe that Satan’s greatest deception is that of convincing Christians they can keep all of God’s commands without help. If this were possible, we would not have needed Jesus!
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Adam was a “figure” of Jesus. This is not completely clear so let me share the verse in a few other translations.
Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, [a]the former destructive, the Latter saving]. But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many.
Romans 5:14-15 (AMPC)
Paul provides us with a contrast between Adam and Jesus. Sin and death both entered into the human race through Adam’s sin. Life and grace entered in through Jesus’ death. They are alike but opposite.
It was through Adam’s one sin that death and its ensuing consequences entered into the earth. Sickness, poverty, and death are all consequences of this sin. Oppositely, God took all of the millions upon millions of sins that will be committed throughout eternity and eradicated them with the blood of His son, Jesus.
14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.
15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Romans 5:14-15 (NIV)
I normally do not like to quote other versions but think these two verses become clearer when we look at them from other viewpoints. I hope that they have helped you to see the amazing gift we have been given in Jesus through His death, burial, and resurrection.
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