Thursday, May 26, 2011

Still Paying

Romans 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

17 εἰ γὰρ τῷ τοῦ ἑνὸς παραπτώματι ὁ θάνατος ἐβασίλευσεν διὰ τοῦ ἑνός, πολλῷ μᾶλλον οἱ τὴν περισσείαν τῆς χάριτος καὶ τῆς δωρεᾶς τῆς δικαιοσύνης λαμβάνοντες ἐν ζωῇ βασιλεύσουσιν διὰ τοῦ ἑνὸς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.

Paul continues his argument explaining the problem of sin and the need for justification. Here he uses a first-class conditional sentence, as seen by his use of  εἰ followed by the verb ἐβασίλευσεν in the indicative. According to Wallace, a first-class condition assumes truth for the sake of argument. Here Paul assumes that death reigned through Adam because of his sin. We of course know this to be true because we have the record of Genesis to tell us this.

This verse is one of those verses that pretty much encapsulates the gospel. All of humanity has a problem because of Adam. We are born with a sin nature, which means that we are sinners by nature and by choice. In other words, we come into the world with an inclination to sin and that is just what we do. We are free to choose, but because our nature is bent toward sin we choose sin. This alienates us from God.

But the the second half of this verse is pregnant with hope, isn't it? Here we see that despite our sin problem God gave us a solution in Christ. It is a gift that God offers everyone. The question is whether or not we will take it.

I realize that this would be a fine place to split hairs about election and God's sovereignty. The problem is that I don't know who the elect are. Spurgeon famously said that if God put a yellow stripe on the back of all the elect then he would be in the business of lifting men's shirt tails. But since God didn't do that he had to preach with the assumption that the elect would hear and believe the gospel. That's what I'm trying to do here. My prayer is that those who read this would accept the free gift of grace that God offers. 

No comments: