Romans Chapter 5, in itself, is a fascinating portion of Scripture. It’s also often overlooked due to the complexity of concepts Paul introduces. Don’t be fearful or make it harder than it is, the truth is it’s very simple. It’s all about one man, Jesus Christ, by one act, his death and resurrection, has initiated salvation for all… IF (4:24) we believe in Him.
Paul continually communicates a consistent message throughout his entire epistle to the Romans: Forgiveness of sin and relationship with God is provided only through the person of Jesus Christ, God’s son. Always keep in mind as your read from Paul’s letter to the Romans that this concept was foreign to Jewish believers. They operated under the premises of what many call “works righteousness.” Meaning, a relationship with God is only possible because of something “we do” verse something “God does.” It was based on some level of goodness, or ritual, or achievement, even ceremony that would provide a vehicle to God.
Romans 5 thru 9 are some of the weightiest passages of scripture in the entire Bible. In order to fully grasp some of the concepts, it’s important to remember the duality in our relationship to God. We have the status of kings but the duties of slaves. We feel the presence of God in our lives, yet we still feel the pressure of sin. We enjoy the peace of God, and yet we grow through struggle, trials, and circumstances of life. This perspective will only help us to be even more reliant on the power of Christ given to us through the Holy Spirit.
Later in Chapter 5 Paul sets a contrast between the action of Adam verses the action of Jesus. Romans 5:18-19 (NLT) 18 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. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.
The easiest way to break this down is to think of it this way: Both Adam and Jesus had a choice, if you think about it, both were even tempted; however, Adam’s choice was, “My will be done,” while Jesus prayer and decision was, “Thy will be done.”
The scripture indicates that Adam’s action was considered “disobedient,” and because of his disobedience everyone became sinners. On the other hand, Jesus’ actions were consider in “obedience” with God, and has led to the opportunity for everyone to be made right with God.
I don’t know about you, but I can look back at multiple points along the journey and recognize the difference between “My will,” verses “God’s will.” It’s like the story I heard: An old farmer the other day was bragging and showing off how straight his rows were in his corn field. Upon further inspection, his 7 year-old grandson asked,
“Paw Paw, what about those rows over there?” Referencing the “not so straight” section of the field.
“Well, that’s where I turned off the Auto-steer function on the new tractor.”
Everyone had a pretty good laugh; but that’s a great point. God doesn’t know how to plant crooked rows. It’s “My will” that decides to turn off “God’s will,” and go about this life literally blind. You can’t plant straight rows on your own! You need GPS (God’s Positioning System)!
Maybe you too can look back on the field of your life and indicate where you turned off your GPS. If that’s the case, don’t fret, because of Jesus’ obedience, you can turn it on at any time.