Thursday, March 15, 2007


Romans 5:12-21

When I was in my teens, I remember one of the hardest questions put to me in a classroom setting. The question put to us as a class was: “if you died tonight, how many of you are confident you’d go to heaven?” Maybe I was not ready for the question to be put to me so bluntly, but I reckon if an outsider observed the number of hands raised in response to the question, he or she would not have been very impressed at the level of confidence in the class. To be honest, I was personally bogged down with the technicalities of the question. I was actually troubled by the extent of time it would take me to enter heaven and if there was one, what the process would be to get me there! In hindsight, this passage makes me realise how trivial my fears were.

In this passage, Paul highlights the differences between Adam and Jesus. Through one single action, Adam brought death to mankind (verses 12-14); yet though one single action Jesus brings life to mankind (verse 17). This way Paul illustrates that everyone is born ‘in Adam’, or, born with sin. Yet once you accept God’s gift of grace through Jesus Christ, you receive a clean slate and now stand justified before God.

By now you will probably realise that Paul goes to great lengths to explain the concept of being justified through salvation in Christ. To put things in perspective lets revisit the question I was posed when I was a teenager: if you die tonight, how do you know you will go to heaven? The question is not about where you will located after you die; nor does it ask the question of whether your spirit leaves your body and follows a bright light into a beautiful place of marbled fountains and of endless supplies of grapes (seedless, please).

It simply asks the question: how do you know you will stand before God on a clean slate when you know full well that you are born into sin, tempted by sin and commit sin? This answer is in Jesus Christ. If you recognise and accept that Jesus Christ came to free you from the consequences of sin (death), then you are reconciled to God and will not have to face the consequences of sin (death).

• Think about the number of times you or your friends have questioned your salvation. In light of what the passage tells us about our salvation, how can you address this question that often plagues us as Christians? Does it change how we should look at life?
• Pray and ask God for the courage to tell our friends of His great love for us because of this knowledge of a new certainty in Christ Jesus!

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