October 12, 2018
Romans 6:19… For as by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
How hard was it for you to become a sinner? Did you exert yourself toward that end? No, it came naturally; nobody taught you. Because of sin, death rules all people. And in my lifetime, every human, at the end of their life, has died. Nobody had the power to not die. So, without any effort on our part, we were/are sinners, and we will die. Paul exhorts us, “That is the same way righteousness works.” By Jesus’ obedience, we will be made righteous. It is not by our works. Our works, even our good ones, are a pile of filthy rags in God’s sight. Don’t trust in your goodness to get you into heaven. It won’t and can’t. We get to heaven because of Jesus. That’s it. There is no room for boasting on our part. Was Jesus’ obedience any less important than Adam’s disobedience?
I think not. Paul tells us that as one is, so is the other.
When we sin, we blame many forces. When we do something righteous, we praise our goodness. Salvation is a gift because of Jesus… not because we earned it. You cannot earn a gift. The Santa Claus song is misleading, “He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice.” In the case of Santa, who represents all people, it is true that niceness is rewarded and naughtiness brings only shame. But that is in the world where our senses rule our lives. In God’s world, where eternal life is reality, our senses don’t rule. He does. And He put sin in a category of evil that leads us away from Him. And then, in the fullness of time, He sent His Son to rectify the situation, to justify us. Don’t resist Jesus; but also, don’t try to assist Him. In a memorable nutshell;
Don’t resist; and don’t assist
It is a sin to try to help Jesus; do we really think that highly of ourselves? So, what is the place of good works? Is there any reason for them? Paul anticipates that question and answers it in the next chapters. Any goodness in us is because of the power of righteousness. Because of Jesus, we have been changed… made new. As a new creation in Christ, we can express goodness, and we should. Contrary to the teachings of ‘feel-good’ preachers, we are not inherently good.