This morning I read Romans 3-5. I took particular interest in Romans 5:12-21, “Death through Adam, Life through Christ”. And this is what I wanted to journal on. I will try to behave myself as much as possible!
“Just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man will be made righteous.”
This passage is of course talking about the fall of man through Adam, and the salvation of man through Jesus. When Adam sinned in the garden, taking the fruit from Eve from the only tree God forbade them to eat from, sin entered the life of man. The Garden of Eden closed forever for man. The only way sin could be forgiven was by offering a sacrifice to God, usually a perfect lamb with no blemish or scars. I can imagine in those days that lambs may have become scarce. Think of how often we sin, from an action to a mere thought. Because of our sinful nature, it is impossible to not sin. If we needed to sacrifice for every infraction we committed, first of all we would be more aware (which isn’t really a bad thing, when you think about it….), but we would surely miss out on some sins we overlooked, and would never get in the kingdom of Heaven.
Enter Jesus. Here was a man that God gave to us as our sacrificial lamb. He was not only our perfect lamb, he was our example of how our walk should look. The sacrifice of Jesus was so great that it became unnecessary to need to sacrifice any longer for our sins. Jesus’ death the sacrifice for all sins that have ever been committed, and all future sins as well. Jesus died for all of us so that we will all join God in Heaven.
But see, this is where things get confusing. There are a lot of scripture in the bible that read one cannot be saved without belief in Jesus. But then scattered sparingly through the bible are scriptures like this, everyone is saved through Jesus. The many were made sinners through Adam. Not just a select few of us either. The many of us can safely be assumed to mean all of us, for who of any of us is without sin? And if it is clear that the many of us means everyone when it comes to who was affected by Adam’s sin, it seems like it should be clear that the many of us means everyone when it comes to who is made righteous through the sacrifice of Jesus.
And it makes sense. If the fall of Adam led to the sinful nature of everyone, wouldn’t the death of Jesus, God’s son, have even more power to save all of us? Why would he sacrifice himself for only a select people when the sin of Adam affected EVERYONE? And beyond that, if sin is a sin, none better and none worse, and if disbelief in Jesus is considered a sin, how is that worse than any of my sins? How will one’s sin of disbelief damn them any more than any of my sins? What makes me more deserving of the kingdom of heaven than someone who doesn’t believe things the way I do?
These are just thought probing questions, I am not giving answers here. Coming across these passages really isn’t ammo for some new war against religion. I cannot take these verses and disregard the rest of the bible. But I also cannot take the rest of the bible and disregard these verses. But reading these verses gives me hope. It is true that I hold reservations about religion in general, for every religion claims that they are the only true religion, that they are the only ones who know the truth, and everyone else is screwed. I don’t think I’ll ever believe that any one religion is absolutely correct, including Christianity. Religions are not God. God is God. And we will never know the whole entire truth until we are in the kingdom of Heaven. However, I do believe Christianity has a good hold on the truth. I wouldn’t consider myself a Christian if I didn’t. But I do think we can learn from other faiths to strengthen our own. We are all one people under God, on different paths that lead to God, and I would like to think that if we could open our eyes to wisdom in all corners of the earth, it might get us even closer to God than we ever thought possible.
Lord, I thank you for providing us a way to get to you through Jesus. I even thank you that we have a choice now in how we live our lives and how we accept you through the sin of Adam, for it makes that choice so much sweeter, and the journey that much more wondrous. And even more wondrous, you have chosen me whether I am faithful or not. Lord, I cannot even find words to describe how wonderful that feels, and how grateful I am for you in my life.
Lord, please guide me in this journey to you. It has been my desire, even in times I stopped walking and stood still, to know the truth of you in this world. I truly believe you are in many things that are foreign to me, as well as the things that are familiar to me. But I admit to having a hard time seeking your wisdom without also drowning in lies and doubts over you.
Lord, I ask you to protect my soul as I travel through the fires to reach you. I want my life to radiate as much of you as possible before I join you in the next life. But to do that, I know I need your guidance. And my faith must be strong. Please be my shield.