Today on Summit Life with J.D.
Greer. There are really only two family lines, only two races anymore in the human world. There is the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve and there are the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ and you got to choose which family you belong to. You're automatically born into the family of Adam. You got to choose to be in the family of Jesus. You're either on team Adam or team Jesus, one or the other. Welcome back to Summit Life.
I'm your host, Molly Vidovitch. While it's true that one man named Adam brought the curse of death upon the entire human race, it's also true that by another man, a sacrifice was made that actually removed that curse for us all. This is the tale of two Adams. Today, Pastor J.D. Greer teaches from Romans chapter five about how we have chosen sin like the first Adam, but we can choose life through the second Adam, who is Jesus Christ. And when we do, we'll understand why every son and daughter of Adam needs to hear how they too can be redeemed. Let's rejoin Pastor J.D. right now as we conclude this first section of Romans today. Remember, if you missed any of the messages from the first five chapters of the Book of Romans, you can find them all free of charge at jdgreer.com. So grab your Bible.
Here's Pastor J.D. Adam, who was the first human created, chose to defy God's authority and to reject God's clear command to avoid the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Because of that choice, Paul explains, death descended on all people.
Even though you and I were not physically present with Adam, God regards Adam's choice to be ours, and God holds us guilty of Adam's sin. That is called the doctrine of original sin. Basically, you've got two options when it comes to explaining evil in the human race. You've got the atheistic option, which says that there's no such thing as good and evil. There's just useful, which makes arguing for justice really difficult, if not impossible. The other basic option is the Christian one, which says that we are created for good, which is why we know what injustice is, but every single one of us, even though we know what justice is, is horribly bent toward evil, and it's caused all these problems in the human race.
So the question is, which of these two are you going to choose? Yeah, this is a lot of bad news, I realize, and Paul knows that. But in verse 13, Paul is actually going to say that this whole idea of being represented by somebody actually turns out to be great news, because it's going to set up our way of salvation. You can see Paul reasons, if the whole world was put under sin by one man, what if salvation could come to everybody also through one man?
If it was a representative that condemned us, what if it's a representative who can save us? And that's exactly where Paul turns next. Verse 14, Adam, you see, was a type of the coming one. Adam's story set us up for Jesus's story. There's another Adam that was going to be born to the human race, Paul explained, and that Adam was going to be very similar to the first Adam, it's just that what he did was going to work in reverse. So you've explained, verse 15, but the gift of the second Adam is not like the trespass of the first Adam. For if by the one man's trespass, if by the original Adam's sin, the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift which comes to the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, the second Adam, overflowed to the many. Since by the one man's trespass, death rained through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the second Adam, the one man, Jesus Christ. Adam and Jesus are alike, Paul says, in that their action as representatives have implications for the whole human race.
But they're also very different, Paul explains. The motivation behind what they did was different. The first Adam selfishly disobeyed God and ate from a forbidden tree, thereby bringing a curse upon the earth. The second Adam sacrificially obeyed God and climbed up into a cursed tree to take the curse of the human race onto himself. The first Adam brought death upon the whole human race.
The second Adam restored life to all who would receive it. The Apostle John in his gospel does what Paul does here. He follows the same line of reasoning, but he chooses to present it in a narrative form.
And because of that, a lot of people miss it. It's one of the most beautiful things about the gospel of John. If you really learn to read John, you'll see it as John retelling the creation story through the lens of Jesus. Because what you've got is you've got John 1, 1 starts out by saying, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.
All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. That is a clear allusion to Genesis 1 that starts in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth and God does so by means of his word. Just like in Genesis 1, the word comes into a world that is formless and void and brings beauty and order out of chaos. Well, now what you've got is Jesus beginning a ministry where as the word of God, he brings beauty and order into lives that are spiritually dark and filled with chaos.
That is the ministry of Jesus. John points out that Jesus dies on the sixth day of the week, the Friday. Well, that was the day that man had been created. What he's showing is that Jesus is suffering the death penalty of the first creation, the death that came through sin. John then points out that Jesus was raised on the first day of the next week on Sunday, showing that he is beginning a whole new week of creation.
The new creation has come. John points out that when Jesus died, they placed a crown of thorns on his head. Well, you might recall that in the Garden of Eden, it was thorns that were the result of the curse.
So what you're seeing is that Jesus is literally taking the curse of sin on his own head. The first person that Jesus encounters after he resurrects, John shows us, is Mary. And where does he encounter her? In the garden. You remember the last place that mankind was together with God in the book of Genesis was in the garden.
That's where they departed. And you remember Adam and Eve were hiding from God. So it's like, Jesus shows up in the garden.
Mary can't recognize him because she's weeping. And it's like, Jesus says, hey, found you. I came back to where we left and here I am.
I'm rejoining myself to you. Maybe the best part of the whole book is right at the very end, first time Jesus encounters his disciples, it says that he walks up to them and he breathes on them. Which I remember when I used to read that, I thought that's just weird. Like, was that like a first century greeting? Like, hello friend. You breathe on them.
But look at what it says next. It says, he said, breathe on them and receive the Holy Spirit. What's he doing? He's saying that just like God breathed into the first man, Adam, and made him a living soul. Now I'm coming with the Holy Spirit to breathe into spiritually dead people and I'm making them alive through the Holy Spirit.
All that the first Adam destroyed with his sin, the second Adam undid with his death and resurrection. I'd clap for that too, because that is absolutely amazing. Right?
Put your hands together. That's fantastic. That's the gospel. Right? That is the beauty of what Paul explained to us. Just like it was the actions of a representative who did what any of us would have done in the situation had we been there. Now we're saved through a representative who did what none of us would have done or could have done because he was the man that we just could not be. By the way, this idea of a representative acting on behalf of the people gets alluded to all throughout the Old Testament.
Right? I mean, in the sacrificial system, it's all built on one representative dying for the people. The story of David and Goliath, what happens? You've got a giant that's terrifying Israel.
And how does he get defeated? Not by the armies of Israel ganging up on him. You got one little guy running out on the field and slaying the giants through an act of God's power.
He's all by himself while all the armies of Israel stand terrified like cowards on the sideline, powerless to help. God is setting up that ultimately the human race is going to be delivered from the giant of sin and death, not through their heroic actions, but through the actions of one who will come on their behalf and do for them what they could not do for themselves. So then Paul says, as through one trespass, there's condemnation for everybody. So also through one righteous act, there is justification leading to life for everyone.
Just like death came through a representative, life came through a representative. Now, let me stop here for a minute because some of you see that phrase, life for everyone, and you're like, well, wait a minute. Does that mean that just like Adam's condemnation automatically came to everybody, maybe life for everyone means that Jesus's death and resurrection is automatically going to be applied to everybody, right?
It's going to be applied to everybody. And because it's applied to everybody, that means everybody's saved. The problem with that is it would contradict too many other things that Paul has said and that the Bible teaches. You see, the Bible never contradicts itself. Let me give you a little rule of Bible interpretation. You always interpret hard verses by easy ones. You always interpret unclear verses by clear ones, assuming the Bible never contradicts. So Paul, even in the book of Romans, is going to explain that not everybody is going to be saved.
So like, for example, you have Romans 10, 9, and 10. It says, if you will confess with your mouth, that's the condition that Jesus is Lord, and if you will believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, that's the condition on which you will be saved. Not that you're automatically saved, but these are the conditions. For with the heart, man believes under righteousness. With the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. Salvation, he explains, is like an invitation.
It gets sent to everybody, but you got to RSVP in order to have it. So clearly, Paul is not saying that everybody's going to be saved automatically. John 3, 36 says, he that believes in the son has everlasting life, but the one that does not believe is condemned already.
He stands under condemnation because the wrath of God abides on him, right? So clearly, the Bible's not teaching that everybody's automatically saved. Even in this passage, in Romans 5, Paul indicates that kind of subtly, but if you look at verse 17, notice how he says, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace? Implication is, not everybody is going to receive the overflow of grace.
It's the invitation that you've got to RSVP to. What Paul is saying is not that everybody's automatically saved, he's saying that everybody has the potential to be saved. He's saying that there are really only two family lines, only two races anymore in the human world. There is the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve, and there are the sons and daughters of Jesus Christ, and you got to choose which family you belong to.
You're automatically born into the family of Adam, you got to choose to be in the family of Jesus. You're either on team Adam or team Jesus, one or the other. The word one is used 12 different times in these verses. One in this context means have unity with. He's saying that you're either going to have unity with Adam in his posture of rebellion, or you're going to have unity with Jesus and his submission to the father and his finished work of salvation. This morning, you are one with one of those two. You're the one with Adam in this posture of, I know better than God, or you are one with Jesus in his submission to the father and believing that Jesus has done what is necessary to save you.
When somebody gets baptized, what they're showing is, I'm no longer a son or daughter of Adam and Eve only, I'm now a son and daughter of Jesus Christ, because I'm identifying with him. He said, well, I don't like the fact, I don't like that I got included in Adam's choice. Fine. Now you've got the chance to reverse it. It has been given to you.
Which are you going to choose? Thanks for listening to Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. We'll get back to today's teaching in just a moment. But first, I wanted to let you know that today is your last chance to get ahold of the essential Christianity bundle that we've been offering to our generous donors and gospel partners. All month long, we've been able to send our supporters a copy of Pastor JD's latest book called Essential Christianity, along with a discussion guide that we designed specifically to help you have gospel conversations with anyone in your life who might be exploring the faith. One thing we always do here on the program is continually point people back to the power of the gospel, and this resource is a great step in that direction. We'd love to send you this bundle as our way of saying thank you for your gift of $35 or more to our ministry. But again, today is your last chance to receive this resource.
Get yours now by calling 866-335-5220 or giving online at jdgreer.com. Now let's finish up today's teaching. Once again, here's Pastor JD. Now, before Paul closes the chapter, he's going to go back to his discussion of the law. And some of you are like, come on, Paul, why the law again? Did the law do something unkind to you when you were a kid?
Did the law turn down your offer to go to the prom? What have you got against the law? Well, remember, this book is written to address people who think that the Jewish law is necessary for salvation. So he turns to verse 20 and he says, the law didn't come along to save us. No, the law just multiplied the trespass.
The law multiplied the trespass. In other words, the law couldn't save you. The law could just reveal how desperately you needed to be saved. It just showed you how sinful you are. Our hearts were sinful before the law was given. The law just revealed how sinful we were by giving us more rules that we would never keep.
So it multiplied our disobedience. Imagine that you were deathly sick with the flu. Okay, and you're in the room and the door's shut. I come in the room and I'm like, hey, I'm here. I'm here with some laws. You're laying there.
You're barely conscious. You've got a fever and you've got the flu. And I'm like, okay, here's your first rule. Thou shalt not run a temperature. Thou shalt not cough. Thou shalt not sneeze. Thou shalt not have a headache. Thou shalt not feel nauseated. Thou shalt not get dizzy. Thou shalt not have the shakes. With every new command not to have symptoms, I'm just multiplying the ways that you fall short. At some point, you're going to lift your weary head off of your pillow and you're going to say, I get it. I get it. I can't keep any of these laws.
I'm sick. Well, see, that's what the law did. The law didn't create sin in us.
The law just revealed it by showing us a bunch of places we could never live up to it. You see what verse 13 says? In fact, sin was in the world before the law.
It was in our hearts. No, but sin is not charged to a person's account when there's no law. You see, the law came and it gave us commands that we wouldn't obey and so that multiplied our sin. Now, there's another phrase in there that brings up something else.
This one right here. You're like, okay, sin is not charged to a person's account where there's no law. That means if somebody hasn't heard of the law, it sounds like Paul is saying that they're not guilty of sin. And that is exactly what he's saying.
All right, now watch this. You say, what about babies or mentally challenged people? Are they going to go to heaven?
By the way, I know for many of you, this is not a theological question. This is a very personal question because you lost a baby. Maybe it was a miscarriage. Maybe you lost a child early in their childhood.
Maybe it was through a tragic choice like abortion. Well, according to this verse, if somebody doesn't know the law, they're not held accountable for it. Remember what Romans 1 18 said that God was angry at? For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth and unrighteousness. What God is angry about is the suppression of truth. Well, you can't suppress the truth you don't comprehend, right?
I mean, that makes sense. John 9 41, Jesus says the same thing. Gospel of John. He's having an argument with the Pharisees. The Pharisees are the religious leaders.
They think they know everything. They call themselves the light of Israel. And Jesus says, actually, you're blind. And they're like, you calling us blind? He's like, I just called you blind.
And they're like, are you saying that we're sinners? Here's what Jesus says. John 9 41, if you really were blind, you would have no guilt. If you actually couldn't see, you wouldn't be guilty.
It's because you say that you can see. That's the reason you're guilty, because you have suppressed the truth. You have known what the right thing to do was, and you have done the opposite. God is saying the same thing.
He's like, well, there's no perception of the law. There's no sin. Deuteronomy chapter one, Israel has wandered for 40 years because of Israel's sin in the wilderness. And God said the whole generation wasn't going to be able to go in the promised land.
Well, they get to the end of the 40 years, but there were a bunch of kids that were like under the age of 10 or so around there. And God is going to let them go into the promised land. And he explains to Moses why he's going to do it. He says, Deuteronomy 139, he says, because when Israel sinned, these children didn't even know, quote, good from evil.
They didn't know their right hand from their left. I'm not going to hold them guilty of a sin that they had no ability to understand. What that means, I feel like my conclusion for that is that infants or mentally challenged people are not held guilty of sin because they have no perception of the law in their hearts. And as such, they will go to heaven when they die, covered under Christ's blood as an act of God's grace.
So I think that's the way that you answer that question. You say, well, what about adults who have never heard the law? Because there's a lot of people around the world that have never heard the law of God. Well, yeah, but don't you remember in Romans two, Paul answered that one specifically. He said, they may not know this law, but their conscience has taught them a law. And all of us, because we are made in the image of God, all of us know some perception of right and wrong. And Paul says without exception, every single adult has known the right thing to do at some point and chosen to do the opposite. So while it's true that a baby or a mentally challenged person has no perception of the law, that's not true of an adult in a culture somewhere that just because they haven't heard about the Bible, they've still known right from wrong and they've chosen to do the opposite.
And because they've ratified Adam's choice, they have become subject to Adam's penalty. That is why we go all across the world carrying the message because we realize, listen, brothers and sisters realize there's only one race of people. And that is Adam's sons and daughters, the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve. And we realize that there's really just one problem that we all have. We may be from different cultures.
We may speak different languages. We may come from different backgrounds, but we got one problem and that is sin. All of us were made in the image of God. We're all made for the same creator.
We all have the same father of God who created us in his image, but we have chosen to turn and walk away from. Jesus Christ died for all of us alike. And while the condemnation of Adam has rightfully passed to all people, they need to hear about the salvation work of the second Adam.
Because Paul says, how are they going to call on the one they've never even heard about? If Jesus really has done the work necessary to save them, they need to hear about it so that they can choose to be saved. There has never been a sin ever committed by anybody in any race of people in any culture in the world that God's grace was not greater than. Just a sin reigned in death and reigns now in every culture.
So also will grace reign through righteousness resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. But they got to hear about that. And the only way they can hear it is if we go. That's why we say, first of all, some of you ought to pray about transporting your life to one of these places. Some of you, I'll back up a step from that, need to go on mission trips.
Do you need to see what's going on out there? Because I guarantee you, when you see it with your eyes, you'll pray more effectively. You'll probably give more.
You'll care more. And so my third thing that we always push you to do is we believe that God has put people in your life that he wants you to tell about the work of the second Adam. We believe that God has done everything necessary to save your neighbor. We believe that Jesus has already paid the penalty.
The work has been done. But how are they going to believe on somebody they've never heard about? You know what helps me sometimes when I get intimidated to share Christ? Sometimes I feel, especially if the person's really different than me.
I mean, let's even be radical with it. If I'm talking with somebody who's a Hindu, they barely speak the same language as I. Their background has almost nothing in common with me.
You know what I remember sometimes? I remember this is the son or daughter of Adam and Eve. There's just one race. We're really, we may look different, but we're exactly the same. Both of us were created in the image of God. I'm not more in the image of God than this guy is.
This guy's got the same questions that I've got. This guy was made for the same heavenly father. This guy's heart yearns for his heavenly father, even if he doesn't know how to express it or articulate it. God has come to the garden to redeem this guy. And God put me in this guy's life to remind him of something he's always known. And that is he was created for God. And he's got a heavenly father that stands at the edge of heaven yearning, waiting for this son to come home. And I get to be the mouthpiece that tells him, Jesus is the son of all. What you've always known in your heart, I'm articulating it to you.
And you can believe because the price has been paid. The first Adam that you, whose choice you've ratified, he brought condemnation on you and your family. But there was a second Adam that came and he went back to the garden and there he died for your penalty. He took the thorns upon your head. He's ready to breathe the new life into you.
He's back at the garden waiting on you. And so I get to tell you that we're not that different. We're the same. Everybody's the son or daughter of Adam and Eve. And you will never encounter a person, never, that when Jesus died on the cross, he was not thinking about them. And he puts you in their life so you could tell them there's a second Adam who undid all the destruction the first one did.
And that's good news. So friend, I got two questions for you. You're on team Adam or team Jesus. You automatically got born under the first Adam and you ratified his choice.
But now there's an invitation for you. If you so choose to become part of the family of God. It's expressed through baptism. It's, you know, that's not what does it, but it's what shows that you now identify with Jesus. Have you ever made that decision to become a part of the family of God and receive Jesus' invitation to be born again?
Remember what Jesus explained to Nicodemus? In order to be a part of the kingdom of God, you gotta be born again. You're born biologically to the first Adam. You're born by the spirit to the second one. And that's a choice where you choose to receive him.
Have you ever done that? Secondly, are you being faithful to tell the people that God has put in your life about the salvation that's available in the second Adam? That's why we do Who's Your One. That's why we give you Inviter Cards because we believe God puts people in your life. Are you being faithful to tell the people that God has put in your life?
There's two questions. Number one, have you ever received Christ? It's an invitation you got to RSVP. If you've never done it, it would sound something like this, Jesus, I surrender to you. I recognize I'm a son or daughter of Adam and Eve walking in their footsteps. I choose to submit to Jesus now. I need to be forgiven and I need to be born again. You can do it right now, just say that to me. Now secondly, if you've done that, who has God put in your life for you to tell about the salvation available in the second Adam?
Have you been faithful? Maybe you should pray about that person's name right now. Maybe you should say, God, help me.
Give me the courage to invite this person. Father, I pray. I pray, God, that we would rejoice. Rejoice in the salvation given to us by the actions of a representative to the point that we can't shut up about it. We tell everybody we know that there's salvation available in Christ, whether it's the Hindu, the Buddhist, the communist across the world, or whether it's our next door neighbor, son or daughter.
Brother or sister. I pray, God, that I ask these things in Jesus' name. In Jesus' name.
Amen. Am I being faithful to tell those in my life about the hope I have in Jesus? What a great challenge to end the first part of our Roman study here on Summit Life with Pastor JD Greer. And we'll come back to the book of Romans for parts two and three later on this year. But as we wrap up part one, I want to bring us back to the question that Pastor JD asked us in the very first message. Who's your one?
That's a question that we should all be asking ourselves. Who is the one person in your life that you know needs to hear about and believe the message of the gospel? And how are you being intentional about sharing it with them? I mentioned it earlier in the show, but today is your last chance to get ahold of a resource that we designed specifically to help you have gospel conversations. It's Pastor JD's latest book called Essential Christianity.
It comes along with a discussion guide that we created to help facilitate those conversations as you read the book alongside your one. And we'd love to send you the Essential Christianity bundle with your gift of $35 or more to this ministry. Summit Life is funded by listeners like you, so your gift truly makes a difference. You can give now by calling 866-335-5220. That's 866-335-5220.
Or give online at jdcreer.com. I'm Molly Bidevich, and I hope you'll join us tomorrow as we begin a very special two-day message all about what it means to live sent. Listen Tuesday to Summit Life with JD Greer. Today's program was produced and sponsored by JD Greer Ministries.
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