Life for Death

Posted Nov 3rd, 2017 in Glen Slingerland, Salvation

Life for Death

Essentially, what Paul in talking about in verses 12-19 of the fifth chapter of Romans is the imputation of sin in all of humanity paralleled with the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to all who believe in Him. Adam, and the covenant head of mankind, sinned; this one transgression plunged the whole human race into a state of inherent sinfulness. This is proven in that death, the punishment incurred for the sin committed, is suffered by everyone. Similarly, although in a much greater magnitude, the righteousness of Christ demonstrated in His act of perfect obedience is imputed to His people. This is proven in that Christ rose from the grave, having conquered death; one day, all the dead in Christ will rise to reign with Him in glory.

So what? Are there implications for today as I live my life from (often mundane) moment to moment? First, the sin that remains in me is of the same nature as Adam’s sin. Adam sinned in desiring to elevate himself into the position of God. I, too, seek to displace God and raise myself up. Since God has revealed this to me, I can begin to repent of the ungodly motivations that seek to rule my heart.

In relation to this, this passage teaches me that I am in need of a Savior. There is no room for any merit of my own righteousness in this equation. Therefore, this text keeps me running back to Christ. Further, when I face accusations from Satan regarding past forgiven sins, these words can be used to challenge and defeat his accusations. Therefore, guilt and shame, while potentially debilitating, can be properly challenged and managed since I have been justified through the work of Jesus Christ. Moreover, the reality of this imputed righteousness means I am now included in the family of God. This is my new identity. I am no longer my own, but belong to God. This new identity informs the way I ought to live from day to day- as royalty!

There are also practical parenting strategies that can be born out of this doctrine. A biblically informed view of our children and the sinful tendencies of their (and our!) hearts will shape the way we discipline and disciple them.

Perhaps best of all, this passage speaks of great hope that orients our gaze towards the future. The salvation procured through the righteousness of Christ is far greater than the depths of sin into which Adam plunged himself and his progeny. The glory given to Christ, of which I will also one day be a partaker, will far surpass even the edenic state from which Adam fell. Therefore, when I face uncertainties and struggles in this life, I can find hope and comfort in the righteousness of my Savior, and look forward to the day when sin and its curse will be completely eradicated and I will live under the approving gaze of God. Jesus Christ has given life for death!