Every Sunday at 7:45-8:00 AM (PST), you can listen to our radio program at KSYC 103.9FM in Yreka, California. Big Springs Community Church started this program about two years ago when Rev. Bernie Van Ee was the pastor. This is the first broadcast since Pastor Bernie passed the baton to Pastor Nollie.
To listen live, go to this link: http://www.ksyc1039.com/live. When you click on “Click here to listen,” your computer will download a file called listen.pls. On my Mac, it plays on iTunes. It says it also supports these Windows players: RealPlayer, WinAmp, iTunes, Quicktime. Test the link and the music player before the broadcast.
Readings: Romans 5:12-21; Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-7, 14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45
November 9, 2014 • KSYC 103.9FM
NEXT SUNDAY, November 16, 2014: Mount Moriah: The Lord Provides a Substitute
Today, I will start a series of programs about the history of mankind as the Bible reveals it to us. The church was very gracious in housing us in a beautiful location in Lake Shastina, where we always enjoy a gorgeous view of Mount Shasta from our porch. The mountain reminds me of mountains in the Bible from where God often revealed himself and his Word to man.
We begin today with the account of creation in Genesis Ch. 1-3. In these chapters, we are told that God created the universe and man himself. It was a “very good” creation, perfect in everything. Even the man and woman he created were perfectly holy and righteous. They had no sin. They were placed by God in a lush garden called Eden, where they had pleasure in all kinds of trees, plants, fruits and animals. In short, it was a literal paradise. Also, Eden sits on a mountain, since there are four rivers flowing down from it.
But we all know what happened. God gave a clear command to Adam; there was no ifs or buts or maybes or loopholes. They were prohibited from eating the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The law given was, “Disobey this command and you shall die.” The reverse was implied, “Obey this command and you shall live.” And they chose of their own will to disobey God.
Paul says that because of this one man Adam, sin and death came into the world, corrupting all mankind after him with his sinful nature. Because he is the head of all mankind, when he sinned, he represented all human beings—all his descendants. This is why his sin is called original sin.
But it is often objected that this is unfair: How can I be counted as a sinner because of another man’s sin? So, many believe that every person is born into this world without a sinful nature. That Adam’s sin is only his own, and it did not have any effect on his descendants. That we sin only because we are influenced by bad company or circum-stances. Therefore, most people believe that man is basically good, able to pull himself up with his own bootstraps, and exercise faith in God by his own will.
But the Bible says that all mankind have Adam’s corrupted sinful nature. And because all possess this nature, all are condemned to death, whether it is before birth or even after 100 years of life. Because all human beings are sinful at birth, no one will ever reach God’s requirement of sinlessness. If you desire to reach heaven by doing good works, you will never attain it. Why? Because one sin in thought, word or deed will bar you from heaven and condemn you to eternal judgment.
Thus, because of Adam’s sin, the whole world was subjected to the curse of sin and death. So immediately after Adam sinned, God inaugurated his eternal plan to save Adam and his descendants from sin and death. Starting in the Garden of Eden and continuing through all of the Old Testament history, God provided animal sacrifices to cover the shame and nakedness of their sin. And, in the fulness of time, he sent the once-for-all Sacrifice who would fulfill all the shadowy animal sacrifices for the forgiveness of sin.
All of the Old Testament believers looked forward to God’s promise of a Descendant of Eve who would crush the head of Satan the serpent. It was by grace through faith in Jesus Christ as Redeemer that the curse of sin and death over them was broken. It was Christ’s one act of perfect obedience in his life and death on the cross that brought forgiveness of sin and righteousness to God’s people. In his role as the head of all believers, his righteousness is being imputed or credited to all those who believe in him.
In Romans 5:18-19, we read Paul’s words about Adam and Christ:
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Paul makes a couple of contrasts between Adam and Christ.
The first contrast is about obedience: that of one man’s disobedience and the other Man’s obedience. Both men represented their people in their roles as representative heads. All people belong to either one of these two heads: either “in Adam” or “in Christ.” In Adam, all disobeyed God, and in Christ, all did obedience.
Paul also uses another contrast: one trespass versus one act of righteousness. What was that one trespass? It is clear that this one trespass was Adam’s one act of disobed-ience in the Garden of Eden. On the other hand, the “one act of obedience” refers to Christ’s willing sacrifice of his body and blood on the cross.
God gave Christ, whom Paul calls the Second Adam or Last Adam, as a gift to many people in all nations, to those who would place their faith in Christ. He would be like Adam’s children in all things, tempted like us, suffered at the hands of men. Because unlike Adam, he would not inherit Adam’s sinful flesh, so he did not sin. He would be God’s Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. Born under the Law, by a human mother, he would fulfill all righteousness and obedience required by God’s Law, all the way to his cruel death on the cross.
Thus, universal corruption, sickness, death, suffering and disasters are the ugly consequences of Adam’s one trespass. Since then, the whole creation groans under the curse of sin and death, waiting for its redemption. We long for the day when God himself “will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Rev 21:4). Because he has conquered the reign of sin and death in sinners, Christ now reigns in righteousness in all believers, leading them to eternal life. And he will renew not only mankind, but even this corrupted creation. What abounding grace!
Dear friends: To those of you who have faith in Christ, may this abounding grace always bring you to awe, reverence and thankfulness before God! And because the righteousness of Christ has been credited to you, live as those who are godly and righteous before God. Because your Lord Jesus Christ calls you to live holy lives.
And to those of you who have not received this abounding grace, may it bring you to your knees so that Christ could bring you up to heaven by the free gift of his salvation from sin and death. And because it is only by faith in Christ that God will give his righteousness to you, you can rest from striving to be self-righteous by good works to earn the treasures of heaven. Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved from all your sins and eternal death.
CLOSING RAYER: Dear heavenly Father, we acknowledge our sin and misery that we have brought upon ourselves because of our disobedience to your holy commandments. Because of our sinful nature, we know that we can never save ourselves. It is only by faith in Christ alone and in his sinless works as our Savior and Lord that we can be righteous before you. Give us this repentance and faith.
And now, Father, another week of work, home, school and errands awaits us. May you be with all of us. Give us joy in that we do. Bless us with health and provisions. Restore health to those who are sick. Give comfort to those who are grieving. Help the widows and the poor. Protect our troops and comfort them in their loneliness as they serve in different parts of the world, away from their families and loved ones.
We thank you for the orderly elections last week. Thank you for the peace and freedom that you have given to our land. Give wisdom and integrity to our civil authorities. May all of them work in harmony with one another for the good of all people, especially who have been newly elected.
God our Creator, thank you for the much-needed rains you poured upon our dry and parched lands. We pray that you continue to bless us with rains so that our fields and cattle will be watered, and our thirst quenched.
May you bless us and keep us and give us grace and peace this week. In the precious name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
NEXT SUNDAY, November 16, 2014: Mount Moriah: The Lord Provides a Substitute