Issue #181

I trust by now that you are beginning to realize just how wonderful it is to know how blessed you are if you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. After last Sunday, each one of us should really be praising God for the situation we are presently in. We have peace with God! We have a special access line to God where we can tap into Him at any moment of any day! We have inexplicable joy in our hearts knowing that we are the recipients of every spiritual blessing! We can now rejoice even when times are tough and when trials come our way because of what we know and who we know! We have hope that defies understanding! And we know that our salvation is assured and that our future in glory with God is guaranteed! Yes indeed … we are more than greatly blessed! What more could we possibly want?

It is important that we come to some theological understanding as to how these blessings are bestowed on us Christians. We know from Paul’s teaching that we have been justified by faith. We also know that we have been credited with righteousness. We are no longer on ‘death row’ so to speak. But how can this be? Paul in this next section of his letter introduces us to the thought of representation … that is, where one of two figures represents us. We are all familiar with the concept of ‘representation’. We elect politicians to represent us in government. They make the decisions for us whether we like it or not! If they make a decision to go to war … we go to war! Similarly, Paul teaches us that one of two men represents us before Him. It is either Adam or Jesus! And the differences are stark!

Paul teaches us about the inauguration of two eras. The first is how Adam inaugurated an era of sin and death that affects all humanity. The second is how Jesus inaugurated an era of grace, righteousness and life that will endure forever! Paul teaches that we either stand with Adam in our ‘unredeemed’ state or with Jesus in our ‘redeemed’ state. This is not an easy passage of Scripture but Martin Lloyd Jones deems it to be the turning point or centre of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Therefore, it has much importance to us! So speaking of ‘representation’ … who represents you at this moment? Is it Adam or Jesus?