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July 21 | Romans 5:12-19

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REFLECTION


The Worst News...and The Best News

by Kristin Schoeff


From childhood, I always felt it was terribly unfair when someone was punished for another person’s failure or disobedience. In an elementary school class, someone misbehaved and the whole class lost a privilege. An entire soccer team had to run extra laps because one or two teammates hadn’t put in enough effort. Stories of innocent civilians who were executed in retaliation for the actions of resistance fighters in WWII never failed to move me to tears. I’ve always marveled at those who, without complaint, suffered for someone else’s actions.


Romans 5:12 says that “sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men.” At first it seems unfair that because of one man’s failing and sin – Adam – we are all now subject to sin and death. But really, Adam’s original sin soon became my personal sin, deserving of my own punishment. Adam opened the door to sin and death, but I came running right through. This is the WORST news we could hear: that because of what began with Adam, and continues through us, we are all under the law of sin and death.


But – thank God, the story doesn’t end there. God’s grace reached out to us through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ, who willingly took the punishment for all of us. Not only are we forgiven, but death no longer rules us and we’ve been given the opportunity to reign in life through Christ Jesus (verse 17). Isn’t that the BEST news you could ever hear? Verse 19 sums it up: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man [Adam] the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”


The literal meaning of the word “gospel” is “good news,” but I believe it goes far beyond that. This is the BEST NEWS that’s ever been told. We’re forgiven. We’re washed clean from our sins and delivered from the curse of sin and death. We’re invited to reign in life with Jesus. Isn’t that the best news you’ve ever heard?


Perhaps you can sing this song today as a reminder of this awesome, best news:


“Amazing love, how can it be, that you my King should die for me?”

 

Dear Jesus, as we go through our lives today, remind us that while often life isn't fair, You are always fair. Adam's sin is now our sin, but Jesus death and then Resurrection, is now our eternal life too. Amen.




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