Death and Rebirth (Part Two)
A continuation to an earlier post, Faith and Adversity.
In the first part of Romans Chapter 5, Paul spoke of how faith perseveres and even triumphs through adversity. It is the refiner’s fire, where gloss is burned away leaving that which is pure and unblemished. But Paul speaks of more, of something else God is doing in these experiences, not just scourge, but succor and restoration. We are chastined, but we are also rebuilt from the inside out.
Christ in Our PlacePaul explains how the Reconciliation spoken of here allows those of us who sin to be reconciled to the Perfect Lord and God of all creation. This is one of the great mysteries of faith, and perfect resolution to the problem of sin since the Fall. For God to be God in any meaningful sense, He must be that Perfect Divine Will before which no impurity or fault can stand. We are ungodly before we come into saving knowledge and acknowledgement of the One True God. This is the ultimate separation between those things that seem good to a man, a sense of good enough or earned acceptance, and the standard that would need to attain for the Supreme Being, Creator of all Life and Substance, He that spoke all things into existence and answers the question of who He is with the essential, “I AM that I AM.”
6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11)
Death in Adam, Life in ChristThat reconciliation makes all the difference in this world, and the next. It eliminates all the generations of rebellion, it ends the intergenerational curse, it perfectly and completely obliterates any sense of the sin of the Fathers being transmitted to their children, not to any generations at all, let alone the third and fourth in the fullness of time.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) (Romans 5:12-17)
18 Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:18-21)
That reconciliation starts the process of redemption, rejuvenation, renewal. All things are new again. We become the promised new creations. As sin entered the world through our Ancient first born, with the arrival of consciousness and intellect, so too God’s restoration and redemption, through the atoning sacrifice of One, the Perfect One. For with perfect wisdom and precision, God finds the way to turn our greatest defeat into His greatest victory through us His created. In striving to be like gods unto ourselves, we fell. By being made co-inheritors with Christ, we are made His children, and this sanctified and made whole in His eyes.
What once was lost has now been found.