Romans 5:12-19 [The Message] “You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?
Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.”
Prayer: “Lord, thank you so much that you paid the ultimate sacrifice for me. Thank you for paying the ultimate sacrifice for my sins, for my debt. Not just me but the entire world. It's unimaginable to me that there is nothing I could do that would make you love me less. Help me to accept the reality of this forgiveness and walk in truth because of it, as a believer in pursuit of my reborn self--a reflection of Christ. Give me your eyes for others as I walk through this week, seeing them as the spotless creations you intended them to be. Where I may be impatient with my coworkers or family, give me your loving kindness and grace for them. Help me to seek you in all of my interactions and help me to love others out of the overflow of your forgiveness.”
Next Steps: Search your heart: Where in your life have you not fully accepted the reality of Christ's forgiveness? Is this perhaps hindering you from rising above a stronghold or sin in your life?
Ask yourself the question: Is there anyone in my life I view as “too far gone” or “unsavable?” Why or why not? Spend some time praying on their behalf. What practical steps can you take to overcome that barrier and be a conduit of Christ's forgiveness in their life?
Dr. John’s Comment: This writer, Marilyn Fitch is the daughter of a pastor friend of mine, Reverend Paul Newell, ChurchForFamily.com, Cherry Valley, California. She is part of ROCKHARBOR, a Church in Fullerton, California
Personally, I was one of those “too far gone,” “unsavable” characters. I was an avowed atheist drunk, who gambled away my paycheck every weekend, playing poker and the horses. Dr. Jim Combs came to our home in Downey, California and showed me the way to eternal life through Jesus Christ.