We continued our study of Paul’s letter to the Romans last night by looking at how he describes salvation in Chapter 5, 6 and 8. Here are the notes:
5:1-2 Summing up Ch. 1-4: We have peace with God, “through Jesus Christ”
5:3-11 This produces a totally new outlook on life, on that is dominated by our assurance that, no matter what, we are totally reconciled with God. (Because of Christ dying for us)
Part 1: 5:12-21—He gives the reason this is true: we have a connection to Christ now that is more powerful than our old connection to Adam.
5:12 There’s a connected-ness to all human life. It’s part of what it means to be human. Adam sinned and sin entered the world. Death came in too. “All sinned” and so death spread to all men.
5:13-14 This is shown to be true by the fact that people died from sin even when their sin was undefined by a specific word of God (like Adam) through the law of Moses.
5:15-17 Adam’s sin vs. Christ’s obedience
1. They are different in degree: Christ’s work is greater (v.15, 20), see “much more” (15, 17) – grace is bigger than sin. God’s act is bigger than man’s act.
2. They are different in consequence: death (15,17), condemnation (16) vs. life (17), justification (16)
5:18-21 We find ourselves enmeshed in a web of sin that connects us all the way back to Adam. But God has something bigger. See also 1 Cor 15:20-22, 45-49
Part 2: How does this happen? Through Union with Christ.
Romans 6:1-10 We are born united to Adam. In salvation we become united to Christ.
v. 3 his death is our death
v.4 his resurrection is our new life
v.6 his crucifixion was the end of our old life
Romans 8:1-4, 9-17 The way we’re now part of Christ is that we’re actually one with him by the Spirit dwelling in our hearts. He lives in us, and we are united to him.
Galatians 4:4-7 we’ve been adopted by receiving the Spirit of the Son
Galatians 3:1-5 This happens as we hear the word of God and believe it. The Spirit enters the hearts of those…
Back to Romans 5:1 How do you get “Peace with God?”
Just hear this word. Just believe the Gospel, and you can know God is giving you His Spirit. He is bringing a whole new life to you, and you are no longer defined by your past, or by your sins, or by your humanity without God—your old family under “father Adam”—but you’re now defined by the Spirit that is in you, the Spirit of Christ. You’re one with him now! And you have his status before the Father, The status of the Son! And that makes you defined by your connection to him, not your connection to Adam and old humanity. You have peace with God, forever, and you now occupy the place that is defined by God’s grace, not your sin and death.
If we struggle to really believe these things, why is that?
How do these things redefine how humans think about identity, and answer questions about who we are?
How does it help us think about things like guilt, our past, self-worth, achievement…?
How does this help us think about God?
How would you share this with a non-believer?