Romans #11 – Best News Ever Find Your Hope (Romans 5:12-21)

Romans #11 – Best News Ever Find Your Hope (Romans 5:12-21)

– Well, if you’ve got a Bible we’re in Romans chapter five. And it’s an incredible texts today. I’m super excited. This is one of those texts from the scripture that gives you perspective on all of human history and also your life and struggles therein. And sometimes we get into our life and we don’t see the totality of our life. And every once in a while God pulls back and lets us see things from his perspective. As I was thinking of praying for you this week, it’s like this photo. This was the first time that we had a full photo of our entire planet. This was the first time that we actually got to put our lives in perspective and context. And all of a sudden, where we live and what we see and where we go and who we know, it fits within a greater scheme and grand plan of God. And what I’m telling you today is that Romans 5:12-21 is like this photo. It’s seeing our planet and our history and your life from God’s perspective. it’s actually getting it in right context. And so I’m really, really, really excited. We’re just gonna jump right into Romans 5:12-14. He talks first about our ruin, then our rescue and then our reign. He says, “Therefore,” based on everything up until this point. “Just as sin,” that’s our discussion today. Our problem is sin. We tend to blame anyone and anything, everyone and everything. The issue is always the same. It is the sin problem. That is the problem under all of our problems. “Just as sin came into the world,” the whole planet, “Through one man.” And so ladies, congratulations it’s our fault. “And death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned, for indeed sin was in the world before the law was given.” So even before the Bible was written. “But sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses.” From the first man to the writing of the first five books of the old Testament. “Even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type,” we’re gonna hit that. “He’s a type of Jesus of the one who was to come.” So he’s talking first about Adam. Couple things I need you to know about Adam. Number one, Adam was the first person. The Bible says that everything started with Adam. That God made Adam, and that ultimately we all descend from Adam. Evolution says, we’re part animal, we’re part human, there’s transitional forms. We don’t know exactly when the human race started. That’s not what the Bible says. The Bible says that God created animals, and then he created human beings. The first human being that he made was Adam. Adam is the first person. The reason why this is so significant is he’s going to tell us that we’re either under Adam or under Jesus. That Adam is the problem. That Jesus is the solution. The whole storyline of the Bible rises or falls with whether or not Adam is real or fictitious. That’s the issue. So he did exist and furthermore, he is a historical person. And he is the first person. And as a result, he is the father of the human family. That’s the big argument that Paul is making in Romans five. Number two. So that is who Adam is. What did Adam do? He sinned. The guy only had one restriction. Don’t eat that. That was it. That was it. He did not have a hard job description. This was not lengthy. He had to wake up every morning and be like, “Okay, do that.” That was it. That’s all he had every single day. And God told him don’t partake of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it, you will surely die. And what he was told was you need to trust God, not tempt God, you need to walk with God. You’re not trying to supplant God. And what did he do? He sinned against God. He did the one thing God told him not to do. The theologians will call this original sin because it was the first sin. He was made good. Everything that God made was good and very good. And then what Adam does is bad and very bad. And ultimately what he is telling us here, is that Adam sinned first, the original sin. technically Satan and demons committed the original sin, but this would be the original human sin. And then as a result, death comes, that’s what he says. Sin produces death. God is the living God. When you separate yourself from the source of life, death commences and inaugurates. And this death is threefold, it’s Spiritual death, where you’re separated from God. It’s also physical death. That’s why we all die. And it’s eternal death, where ultimately we go to hell, if we don’t know God, and we’re forever separated from God. So this entire death cycle kicked in because of Adam’s sin. And so then the next question is, well, how does this affect me? That’s his life, not mine. Those were his choices, not ours. How am I affected by his decisions? The doctrine here is something called federal headship. And federal is the Latin term for covenant. And the Bible speaks of people in groups. We tend to think of ourselves solely and exclusively in categories as individuals, we’re not. God sees us as collectives, as families, as groups. Furthermore, in a covenant that’s God’s language for a group of people in relationship over a covenant is a head. And the responsibility of the head is to make sure that the people in the covenant are cared for, and that the terms of the covenant are kept. And so what he’s telling us is that Adam is the head of the human race. He’s the head of the human family, in the same way that the church has Jesus Christ as our head, we’re in covenant with Jesus. In a family, husband, wife, kids, who’s the head of the family?

– [Congregation] The man.

– The husband, the father, the man. That God establishes covenants, and then he puts heads over the covenants. And ultimately what this means is that Adam is the father of mankind and the head of mankind. In fact, the name Adam means mankind. And so Adam is the federal head. He is the father of the whole human family. And as a result, he says, when Adam sinned, it was accounted to all of us. We were all implicated in his erroneous decision. So here’s the story of Adam and Eve, if you don’t know it. God makes the man first, he’s supposed to be the head. God speaks to the man, tells him what to do and not do. And the God makes a woman brings them together, and everything is incredible. It’s incredible. The sun is shining. They live in a garden. God is their friend. They’re naked. If you’re from Texas, they’re naked. Everything is fantastic. Fantastic. And then the enemy shows up, and he shows up to tempt them to rebel against God. And there is Adam and Eve and they aren’t together. And Satan has a conversation with Eve, not with Adam. And what he’s doing is he’s undermining, he’s subverting the authority structure of the family. Well, Adam sits there and says and does nothing. Most men sin is passivity. Most men their sin is cowardice. Most men when they do sin it’s because they’re afraid of conflict. And also they’re afraid of getting in the way of their wife who’s the stronger personality. What I say is offensive, and then we’ll get very offensive. And then we’ll close in prayer. That’s where we’re going in this hour. That’s where we’re going in this hour. So what happens is that, he comes, Satan does, and he has a conversation with Eve. And the Bible says in the New Testament, that she was deceived, she thought she was helping, but she was not helping. As a result, she partakes a forbidden fruit, give some to her husband who was with her. He did not make this decision for his family. He allowed her to make the decision. Here’s the moral of the story. They were thinking, well, either the husband could be the head or the wife can be the head. Here’s what we learned from Genesis three, either the husband is the head or Satan is the head. You weak men, write that down. Either you lead your family or Satan does. That’s the story of Genesis three. As a result, she partakes, give some to her husband, what was he doing? Nothing. What was he saying? Nothing. For many men, this is their problem. They say and do nothing. It’s a sin of omission. Hers is a sin of commission. His is a sin of omission. He doesn’t step up, so she tries to lead the family. As a result, Satan undermines the entire authority structure of the family. And there’s nothing but death, devastation and destruction every day since. Ultimately, I need you men to know, that when we make decisions, we make decisions for generations. When we make decisions, we make decisions that implicate others. Adam made a decision, we’re all implicated in his decision. Eve made a decision as well. And so what God does, God shows up to confront Adam and Eve after their sin, the original sin, the first family. who sinned first, Eve or Adam? Eve. Who did God come looking for first? Adam. And see what happens is, men think if they avoid their responsibility, that God will hold their wife accountable. He still holds them accountable, because the question is not the man the head, is he a good head or a bad head? And so God shows up when he calls out, Adam, where are you? It’s a great question. So guys with your wife where are you? Leading your family Spiritually, where are you? Providing for your family financially, where are you? Protecting your children from harm’s way, where are you? Overseeing who your daughter dates, where are you? In your church, where are you? In your community, where are you? In your business, where are you? God is asking where you are. Now he knows where you are, he wants you to answer that question for yourself. Are you in the place that you are supposed to be? And what happens is, ultimately Adam and Eve both make excuses. He kind of blames God, “Well, God, you and I were great, everything was fine. This woman showed up and crazy ever since. She’s crazy. I hope she’s a test, this can’t be the final product, right? This is not what we’re going with. There are some glitches in the system, Father. And you made her not me, I’m kind of a victim. So I’ll just go over here and drink beer and pray for you, while you figure it out with my girl.” So what he literally does, he abdicates his responsibility. His wife becomes a mess and then he just walks away and wants God to fix her. He’s still passive. Well, and she’s charismatic. So she says, the devil made me do it. That’s it. It’s like devil made me does, she blames the devil. And what God does, God holds the man firstly responsible, now not solely responsible. God speaks to the man, then the woman, they are both responsible, but the man is firstly responsible. So let me say, this is deep in the roots at our church. So to be a man is to be a leader. To be a man is to take responsibility. To be a man is to remain in the position of headship and not giving that over to Satan and demons. That is our responsibility as men. This is why I preach to the men. This is why I’m talking directly to the men. This is why our largest ministry is to men. If I can get the men to take responsibility, then we are reducing the attack opportunity of the enemy.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– And that ultimately, we live in a culture that has replaced husbands and fathers with government. And we wonder why we have problems because God did not tell us to live under the dominion of government, but to have husbands and fathers be heads of homes to love and protect women and children. That’s our role and responsibility. Now let me say this. Some of you guys when you hear this should be like, I don’t agree. Well, you’re wrong. Okay? And some of you guys will say this isn’t my personality, then repent of your freaking personality. Okay? Because at the end of the day the wellbeing of your family is your responsibility. And Adam failed in his responsibility and the whole human family has suffered since. Now let me tell you the way this works. So this doesn’t mean that the man is the boss and the wife is the employee. It doesn’t mean that. You’re equals, you’re co-leaders that ultimately, they’re singular headship, plural leadership. You lead together, but the man takes first responsibility. And what this means is, when the Bible says that you are one and that a prudent wife comes from the Lord, the way it works with Grace and I, we make all of our decisions together, all of them. We pray and seek the Lord’s will. It’s not that I get my will and she gets her will, it’s that we seek his will. And then we make our decisions together, but I take responsibility for the decisions. So if it was Grace’s idea and it fails, I can’t be like, well, it’s your idea. She’d be like, it’s your responsibility, Rock-paper-scissors, you win again. Okay? And what happens with men is oftentimes they’ll say like, it’s not my fault. It doesn’t matter, it’s your responsibility. You can make excuses or you can make plans. Most of men make excuses. That’s what Adam does. They don’t make plans. That’s what Jesus does. Men who make excuses are like Adam, men who make plans are like Jesus. Men who avoid responsibility are like Adam, men who take responsibility are like Jesus. Men who run from conflict are like Adam, men who accept conflict are like Jesus. Men who carry burdens for women and children are like Jesus. Men who dump burdens on women and children are like Adam. This is the human problem. This is the human problem. And I’ll just tell you, I love you guys, and I love your wives and I love your kids and I love your families, but men need to stop thinking about having a good time, and they need to start thinking about leaving a good legacy.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– When Adam blew it, he probably wasn’t thinking that thousands of years later, we’d all be dealing with his decision. Hundreds, thousands of years from now, there will be people with your last name, man, who are living under the decisions you’ve made. They are living where you moved. They are marrying people that you allowed them to marry. They are worshiping the God that you taught them to worship. They’re building the relationships that you’ve encouraged them to build. They are architecting the families that you have modeled for them to architect. And a lot of guys like I just don’t do responsibility. Well, then you do the demonic. Those are your choices. You do responsibility, or you do the demonic. And I believe I’ve said this for 25 years, I get hammered like a nail on it. But men are like trucks and they drive straight with a load. You dump some responsibility on a man, and it tends to straighten them out. You take the responsibility off of man, he’s like a two wheel drive in the snow. Eventually he’s in the ditch. That’s how men are. And what God is doing here, is he’s laying an extra additional burden on men. And if you’re a man and you hear this, you’re like, I read the Bible, it means I’m the boss. Well, you read it wrong. It means you’re responsible. It doesn’t mean you get to boss people around. It doesn’t mean you get to abdicate responsibility. It doesn’t mean you get to be domineering, harsher overbearing. It means you need to quote first Corinthians, which is a very offensive verse, “Act like men.” And this is just gonna be a rant for about an hour. Okay. This is what we’re gonna do. This means two things. Number one, there are men. Okay? Number two, the men should act like men. I know it’s crazy to interpret it like that, but I think that’s what it means. When it says, “act like men,” I think that means that men should act like men and be heads and take responsibility, with love and kindness, for the benefit and blessing of women and children.

– [Congregant] Amen.

– Now, ultimately some people don’t understand this covenantal thinking. When you make a decision and you’re in leadership, it affects everyone and everyone. Let’s say you’re in a company, you make a decision, does it affect the employees? If you’re the CEO? Yes. Yes. Let’s say that you’re on a sports team and the coach makes a decision, does that affect everybody on the team? Yes. Let’s say you elect the president, does that affect everyone in the country? Yes. And we’re adorable in America like, that’s not my president. Yes, it is. I didn’t vote for him, it doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter. The leader is the leader and when they make decisions, they make decisions for all of us, we’re implicated in those decisions for a blessing or for a burden. So what he’s talking about here is, it started with a man not leading his family, not fighting the enemy and not taking responsibility. Some of you guys, you need to know, saying nothing is the problem. Doing nothing is the problem. And the reason I’m so passionate about this, I love the women and the children. And I get frustrated when I see the men leaving them in harm’s way. It frustrates me. Last night was a weird night. I went to bed, I was sleeping like a Calvinist, Benadryl is doing fine, no problem at all. And then I had this weird dream about someone that I have not seen in a very long time. They came into our ministry a long time ago. I won’t say too many details. And really loved the wife, really loved the kids, but the dad was just irresponsible. Didn’t like conflict, just didn’t wanna be involved. Didn’t wanna have that much pressure. Ended up that they had a lot of family problems. And we were invested and involved for a long time. And then when they left, they went very loudly because the wife and the kids, they ultimately blame me because he flamed out. He just made some horrific life choices. Self-destructive. They blame me, they’re like, well, you’re the pastor you should have fixed it. It’s like, “I’m not the head of household. I have a church, not a harem. Right? All the wives are not my wives, and all the kids are not my kids. Just so you know, that’s how we do this. I have one, I have Grace and five kids. And we’re not adding a wife or kids, no, we’re not. You came down from the mountains in your LDS. You need to know, we don’t do it like that. Okay? So I’m met with them, it’s just gonna be like this. I met with them and I said, “It’s your wife, it’s your kids, it’s your family. It’s your responsibility.” It’s like, “Yeah, I just don’t feel it.” So I had a dream last night. God showed me, I kid you not, it was so weird. I went to bed, I haven’t thought about this person in maybe a decade. I don’t even know where they’re out or what they’re doing. I have no clue. So I was sleeping and God showed me, what they were doing today. I literally saw their face and their place of employment. And it’s very sad and tragic. And then God showed me what their family would have been, had that man taken responsibility and come under the headship of Jesus. And they would still be married, and he’d be with his kids and his grandkids. And he was smiling and he was joyful. And then God brought me back in the dream to show me exactly where he is at right now. And it was very, very sad. And God spoke to me in the dream and he said, those were his decisions, those are not your responsibilities. I woke up and I told Grace, I said, “That was a weird dream.” She said, “I think you’re supposed to share it.” So I double-checked his social media this morning. Exactly what I saw, where he is working, is where he is working. And all his photos are of himself and by himself. He is not with Jesus, his wife or his children. He took no responsibility, so he doesn’t get to have a family. Here’s what I’m telling you, I wanna see you here with your wife and your kids. I don’t wanna see you in my nightmares without your wife’s and without your kids. I can teach but it’s your responsibility. I can preach, but it’s your responsibility. I can push, but it’s your responsibility. I’m gonna stand before God and men, and I’m gonna give an account for what I taught you. You’re gonna stand before God and give an account for what you do, and what you don’t do. And that is the story of Adam. And ultimately his sin in facts and affects all of us. We have added 500 children to the roster at the church in the last 10 weeks. Okay? You know what they need? Dads. Dads who are active, present, involved, loving leading, lifting burdens, protecting, taking responsibility, okay? And if we will take that opportunity as men, I’m telling you that not only will there be hundreds and thousands of years implicated, it could be for good and not for bad. It could be for a blessing and not for a burden. That’s the story of Adam. And so where he’s talking about here, he’s talking about sin, and he’s gonna give us sin in four categories. It’s imputed, inherited, imparted and included. I’ll explain all of this. And it’s all in the notes at realfaith.com, but the sin from Adam is imputed to us. What it means is, it’s global, because he’s the father of the human family. All humans are implicated. We are sinners in Adam. What this means is you can’t go to one nation and find the good people. You can’t go to one race and find the good people. You can’t go to one group and find the good people. How many of you have traveled? And you found that there’s bad people there too. It’s a global phenomenon. The sin problem. Number two, not only is it imputed, it’s inherited in nature. Sin is who you are before it’s what you do. What this means is it’s a Spiritual problem, at the deepest level of being. So you can go to your doctor and they can not prescribe a prescription for the sin problem. You can go to a counselor and they could tell you how to manage some of the implications and complications of sin, but they cannot cure the sin problem. Because the problem is firstly, Spiritual before it’s practical. It takes the Holy Spirit to fix the sin problem. Number three, not only is sin imputed, inherited, it’s also imparted in conception. The Bible says that we’re wicked from our mother’s womb. That we go astray from the womb. What this means is every generation has this same sin problem, from Adam who made the decision for all of us. And what’s adorable, and if you’re young, hear me in this, you’re not going to fix the world. You’re not. Every generation, they’re like, We’re here. And I love my Pentecostal friends, but they’re always like, “We’re the Elijah generation.” No, you’re not. You’re the Adam generation, version 97. That’s all you are. “No, no, no, we’re the Joshua generation.” You’re the ridiculous generation. Don’t sing songs about how you’re gonna change the world. Your parents did and their grandparents did, and you know they didn’t do it, so you won’t either. When I was young, long time ago, they put me in a young leaders group, and we went around the country talking about the problems in the church and how we were gonna fix them. We didn’t. Okay? We didn’t. And when you’re 25, you’re like, I don’t know anything, I just don’t. At the end of the day, it’s a problem in every generation. You know what that means is, the next generation is not gonna be the good generation.

– [Congregant] That’s right.

– See, if you’re young you’re like, “No, it’s not true.” It is. It is. Your parents should have spanked you, you’d know this. Number four, it’s imputed, inherited, imparted and included. And it’s included in personal choice. Do we make our own simple decisions?

– [Congregation] Yes.

– Yes. And like Adam and like Eve, we like to blame, Oh, it’s my parents, you know, it’s the culture, it’s the system, it’s my environment, it’s my personality. It’s like, it’s you. It’s everyone. It’s everything. See, and people don’t believe this. They think, no, no, somebody’s good, somewhere it’s good. Some group is good. Nope. Ever since Adam and Eve, we’ve all been bad. Now how many of you find this very discouraging? Let’s be honest. Right? You’re like, I thought pastors were supposed to give us hope. Somebody send this guy an email, let him know . Ultimately this makes sense of reality.

– [Congregant] That’s right.

– ‘Cause if you look at the world, they’re like, it seems like something went wrong. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just feels like something went wrong. Well, Adam explains everything. Amen?

– [Congregation] Amen. So let me give you a little, you know, free explanation here. Original sin explains, number one, my personal problem under my problems. If you believe evolution, you’re a good person getting better. You have unlimited potential. And then you look at your life you’re like, then why do I keep messing it up? Well, because you’re a sinner. You have a sin problem. You have a nature problem. Oh, well, that makes sense of my life. That’s why there’s things I regret, things I say, things I do, I’m not super proud of. And I know they’re wrong. In addition, it explains original sin does, struggles with your family. Let’s be honest. It’s Thanksgiving. Here’s what some of you are thankful for. You can’t travel and see your family. That’s what you’re thankful for. Thank you Lord, I don’t have to see them. I’m so thankful. Can we be honest? How many of you have relatives? Let’s be honest. Not only is Adam’s family fallen, your family is part of Adam’s family. So your family is fallen too. How many of you you’re keenly aware that Satan has another world when he gets together with relatives. True. Right? Okay, there are people that are laughing and there are people who brought their family and they’re not laughing, they are just… Okay, it’s an amazing view. It is an amazing view. This is why family systems and structures are so complicated because ever since the first family there’s been sin, and an inversion of leadership and responsibility. Number three, this explains the first priority of parenting. How many of you have tried to raise a child and found that they’re sinners? Have you found that? Did any of you have to teach your child to be selfish? Any of you need to teach your child how to throw a feet? Any of you need to teach your child how to punch you in the face? Did you teach them that? Yes, we’re doing face punching 101, you know, wet the carpet 303. We don’t have classes to teach children these things. If you ever raise a kid and you wonder what is going on, they have a sin nature. That’s why they need a new nature. It’s why the first priority of parenting, is to introduce them to Jesus and the Holy Spirit gives them a new nature. And people who don’t understand this, they mess up whole generations. In the 1970s, the number one sort of childhood education, parenting guide, was a guy named Dr. Spock. And he was like, “Children are good. They don’t have a sin nature.” Like, what are you single? Like, this is crazy. As a result, what we need to do is not sort of lead them, we need to sort of befriend them, and then encourage their self-esteem so that they think good about themselves. Okay, those kids grew up now and they’re riding, that didn’t work. Right, ’cause now we have horrible people with high self-esteem. There was a Christian version. It’s true, right? Now we’re making sense of the whole planet. There was a Christian version called Growing Kids God’s Way. And there was a secular version called Baby Wise. First of all, what that means is you do it our way, or you’re not doing it God’s way. Immediately that means you should set the book on fire, just because of the title. It’s written by religious legalist. And so the book basically said that children don’t so much have a sin nature, they’re basically neutral and that we can condition them toward moral behavior. You would train a dog the way you would raise a child. Just punish bad behavior and reward good behavior. The point is, if you don’t understand human life and condition, you don’t know what to do with yourself, you don’t know what to do with others, you don’t even know what to do with the child. You have no idea what to do. This explains number four, why systems and institutions always fail. It’s real popular right now to talk about systemics not personal sin, organizational sin, not personal sin. Their sin not my sin, because everyone wants to be the victim. Here’s the truth, all systems are built by people. All people are sinners, therefore all systems are flawed. And there’s something called critical theory, where they’ll just criticize. And the point is, that’s the Spirit of the enemy. The Greek word for accuser of Satan is critic. It’s a demonic Spirit that just says, well, that’s a problem, that’s a problem, that’s a problem. Okay, what’s the solution? Every institution and organization is built by sinners, therefore it’s a flawed system. In addition, even if we had a perfect system, it would be run by a sinner who’s flawed and would ruin it. How do we know? Look at the garden of Eden, perfect system, and we ruined it. So the myth is if we just had the perfect system, then we’d all be living in heaven. We have the perfect system and we turned it into hell. And what happens then is we tend to think, okay, there’s good people and bad people. There’s not bad people in Jesus. And so what happens then is, this narrative gets built, that the bad people built the systems and they take advantage of the good people, therefore, we need to rearrange the power and authority and dismantle. And the result is transfer everything to the good people and they’ll build good systems and then everything will be good. So you know what, okay, well though the rich are the bad people and the poor people are the good people. Therefore, we need to take all of the wealth and redistribute it, which is called stealing. And we’ll take it from the rich people who are bad, we’ll give it to the poor people who are good. And then when the poor people have the money, then the world will be a blessed place. We’ve tried this in major urban cities. You’ve got the very rich, the very poor. The poor vote for people who tell them that they are good and that the richer bad. So then their job as elected politicians, is to go steal from the rich and to give to the poor. That leaves no room for the middle-class and families because they can’t afford to live there, and they don’t qualify for the free stuff. And as a result, they flee, welcome to Arizona fastest growing city and county in America. Welcome from Chicago. Welcome for the people’s Republic of Seattle. You know, welcome. And then eventually what happens is, the people who are rich run out of money or flee, there’s nothing left and all there is, is blaming and excuse making. And there’s not human life and flourishing. Because unless you realize that you are part of the problem, you’re incapable of diagnosing a healthy solution. Romans five doesn’t tell us just what happened, it tells us what always happens. If you don’t know who God is, and you don’t know who you are, then you don’t know what you’re doing. And you end up thinking, well, I’m one of the good people and if we could just take down the bad people then everything would be good. And this Explains why history is not evolving. This is what we’re all told. Right? You’re good. You’re amazing. Our potential is unlimited. The sky’s the limit. We’re only getting better. Are you guys feeling that? You guys waking up thinking, it’s gonna be better today and even better tomorrow. No. See, we’ve been lied to. We’re not good getting better, we’re bad getting worse. I was thinking about it as I was praying for you. He talks a lot about law, in here law. And law is God’s laws. The first five books of the Old Testament are called the books of the law. It’s got over 600 laws. God says, do this, don’t do that. Our view of law as sinners and rebels is, that we have tremendous potential, and it’s God’s laws that are restricting us. They’re our lid, they’re our limiter. Okay? So it’s like, we need to get rid of gender, marriage, sexual mores, generosity, repentance, personal responsibility, hard work under the Lord. Those things are limiting us. If we could get rid of those limiters, then our potential would increase. What we know now is that the word of God is not a lid over us, it is a net under us. It is a net under us. That if law is removed, we are not getting better, we are getting worse. Adam’s fall has started a free fall, and this is a safety net to keep us from total self destruction.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– When it says don’t get drunk and don’t have sex outside of marriage and don’t steal and don’t lie and don’t kill people and fathers take responsibility for your families. And husbands love your wives. If you will do some of those things, you will save yourself from tremendous self destructive pain. And as soon as those are removed, then things descend. And this is what we’re seeing right now in our country. We’re seeing ultimately, Hey, you Know what the problem is? Cops. Cops are, they’re real lid. Let’s defund the police. And my point is, most cops are good, there’s a few bad ones. Just like most teachers are good, and there’s a few bad ones. So I don’t think we should defund the cops or the teachers. Okay, So then it’s okay. Let’s have less police, cause the criminals feel limited. Okay, so- So while we’re at it, let’s decriminalize weed. No big deal. Well, the problem is, drug dealers don’t go out of business, they’re like, “Oh, Shocky Tom.” You know, they’re selling weed in the State now. We’re unemployed, now we got to go get jobs. No, what they do is they get a harder product; heroin, meth. Heroin and meth. They don’t start selling vitamins. All right? So now we defund the police, we decriminalize drug use. Now we have more crime and now we have harder drug use. Now we have mental illness. Now we have drug addiction. Now we have homelessness. And then we realize, that we can’t keep up with all of the criminal activity. So now what we do, we decriminalize misdemeanors. We say that those aren’t crimes anymore. And everything deteriorates. And then was just like, well, we’re the good people. And we’re just gonna blame the bad people. You know what? God’s word, God’s laws, God’s authority saves us from ourselves.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– And if you live in a world where you’re like, you know what I want, less authority, less laws, less consequences and I want more rebellion. If you’ve ever flushed a toilet, you know how this works, okay? You flush what happens? It stinks and it goes down. That’s what happens to a world that denies God and his laws. It stinks and it just goes down. It doesn’t go up. Things are getting worse. They’re not getting better. People are getting worse. They’re not getting better. If you think that people are essentially good, then you just need to remove all restraints and let them achieve their full potential. If they are evil and you do that, you unleash hell on earth. And people are hurting, and they are self-destructing. And saying that they’re good and blaming others for their suffering does not help them, with a solution for their problem.

– [Congregant] Amen.

– So what Paul is talking about is actually a global view that explains everything. And lastly, here’s the good news. So it also explains why gospel ministry is our only hope. You know what? There is a God. You know what? He does have some laws. You know what? We all are sinners. You know what? We need a savior. You know what? We need help. You know what? We need God. You know what? We need a new nature. You know what? We need the Holy Spirit. You know what? We all need Jesus and if we don’t have Jesus, we’re doomed. Okay? So as everything is collapsing and everybody is freaked, I’m like, this is awesome I got more plans than ever. Nothing else is working. Everyone’s like, it’s not working. It because you’re sinners and I’m a sinner and we need a savior and Jesus is our only hope. So church needs to be open. The gospel needs to be preached. Plans need to be made. The kingdom of God needs to advance. All right, that’s my first point, I have three, we are 38 minutes in. Yeah, all right, here we go. Our rescue, it gets a little better here. But the free gift, let me say this. Socialism is a counterfeit of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Socialism says we have free gifts for you. No, you don’t, you stole it from somebody else. There’s no free education. There’s no free healthcare. There’s no free housing. God’s the only one that really does free.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– Okay. The salvation of Jesus Christ is a free gift of grace. God doesn’t take from this person to give to this person, God takes out of his own resources and gives generously and graciously.

– [Congregation] Amen.

– “The free gift is not like the trespass, for if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man, Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift, third is again, following many trespasses brought justification. Four, if because of one man’s trespass, death reign through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men.” We all start headed to hell. “So one act of righteousness leads to justification.” Jesus brings people to heaven 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.” He’s told us that Adam is a type of Christ. And what he’s saying here is that, ultimately, every single one of us is either under Adam or under Christ. That we are born in Adam, we are born again in Christ. That ultimately there are only two teams. See, we look at nations and races and classes and cultures, and God sees those who are in Adam and those who are in Jesus Christ. That’s it, that’s all of human history and humanity. And when Adam made his decision, he made it for you, and for me and for us all. And some of you will say, “I don’t like that.” It doesn’t matter. It does not matter. It’s like gravity, it exists whether or not you believe it, it exists whether or not you like it. We do this all the time with a power of attorney. We do this all the time with an investment banker or broker. We let people have authority to make decisions for us. Every time we elect an official, we are doing the same thing. Ultimately, Adam made a decision and thankfully Jesus also made a decision. And Jesus’ decision overturns Adam’s decision. Now ultimately when you hear this and you realize, okay, Adam made a decision and I don’t get to choose ’cause we’re Americans. I didn’t choose, Adam did. So we like, we didn’t choose for me, okay, then prove me wrong and don’t sin and live forever. If Adam didn’t sin for you, that means you’re perfect and you can avoid death and you can do whatever you want. So prove me wrong, be perfect and live forever. Like, well, I can’t do that. Well then you lost. Adam made your decision. He chose sin and death, that’s why you sin and die. And what happens is this runs against the three greatest myths that undermine the gospel of Jesus Christ in American culture. I’m free, I’m independent and I make my own decisions. Somebody’s like, Adam can’t make my decision, I’m free, I make my own decisions, my own free will. You don’t have free will. You don’t have free will. The Bible says that because you’re a sinner, you’re enslaved to sin and death. You’re by nature objects of wrath. The Bible, he told us in Romans three, no one chooses God. The last people on earth that started with free will were Adam and Eve. They didn’t have any sins so they’re free to choose God and holiness. The rest of us received sin, we’re in sin nature. Now we’re sinners by nature and choice. Our will is not free it’s bound to our nature. It’s only when you receive the Holy Spirit, get born again and have Jesus that your will is restored to some measure or degree of freedom. Now you’re free to choose God. Now you’re free to choose holiness. You weren’t free to do that before. In addition, I’m independent, I make my own choices. No, you’re not, you’re dependent. We’re dependent upon God. That ultimately we don’t live independent and make all our own decisions. We live dependent and Adam made a decision and Jesus made a decision. We’re not independent. We’re all dependent. In addition, I’m good, as the most people think. I’m a good person. That’s not what God says. See when we compare ourselves to one another, we think I’m pretty good. I mean, even looking at me now, you’re like, I’m pretty good, I’m better than that guy. And so, you know, I know what you’re thinking. But when God compares us to his standard of holiness and his law and the example of his son, Jesus Christ, he says, I don’t see good people, I see bad people. I don’t see people who are free to love me, I see people who are slaves to sin. And I don’t see people who are independent, I see every human being on the same team. And so he shows it this way. It’s a little comparison and contrast. In Adam there is sin, but Jesus Christ is sinless. In Adam there is death, but in Jesus Christ there’s life. These are the exact words I’m pulling from Romans five. In Adam there is condemnation in Jesus Christ there is justification, we’re declared righteous in his sight. In Adam there is disobedience, in Christ there is obedience. Adam makes sinners, Jesus makes people righteous. And Adam was a trespass, he earned his fate and our fate, in Christ there is the free gift of grace. So let me ask you this, are you in Adam or are you in Christ? So don’t say I’m neither, I’m in the middle. Two teams. If you’re not with Christ, you’re with Adam. That’s it. And what he tells us is that Adam is a type of Christ, but he’s a prototype of Christ. I’ll give you a summary of Adam and Christ. Adam turned from the father in a garden, Jesus turned to the father in a garden. Adam was naked and unashamed, Jesus was nearly naked and bore our shame. Adam sin brought us thorns. Jesus wore a crown of thorns. Adam substituted himself for God. Jesus was God, substituting himself for sinners. Adam sinned out of tree. Jesus bore our sins on a tree. Adam died as a sinner and Jesus died for sinners. You don’t need to be good, you need to be in Christ. You don’t need to do better, you need to be in Christ. You don’t need to try harder, you need to be in Christ. How many of you were really thankful, that not only did Adam make a decision, but so did Jesus? And that Jesus made a decision to overturn Adam’s decision and to put you on his team and to take you off Adam’s team. He talks about our ruin, he talks about our rescue and then he talks about our reign. Romans 5:23,21. Now here’s the good news. “Now the law,” the word of God, “came to increase trespass.” What he’s saying is this, the more Bible teaching you get, two things happen. Number one, you have categories and names for your trespasses. I didn’t know that was coveting, I thought it was shopping. You know, you didn’t know? You get names and categories for your behavior. And number two, because the word of God is good, but the nature is bad, then all of a sudden, when you hear the word of God your nature wants to rebel against it. And don’t covet your neighbor’s wife. Oh, let me think about it. Who is my neighbor? What’s his wife look like? Now you’re going to the place you’re not supposed to go. Not because the law is bad, but because you are bad. “Now the law came to increase the trespass, but where sin increased,” what? All grace. We’re talking about that. “Grace abounded all the more, so that as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign,” so here’s the big idea, you’re under the reign of sin or you’re under the reign of grace. You’re under the reign of Adam or you’re under the reign of Christ. “Might rain through righteousness leading to eternal life, through our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Reign of sin under Adam, reign of grace under Jesus. What this means is there’s an authority ruling over you. There’s a kingdom over you. There is either a condemnation or a justification. There’s either a death or a life. There is either what you have earned or what Jesus has earned. And the reign of grace, to be honest with you, it is a life of anointing. It is where literally the grace of God reigns over your life, and he is anointed you in Christ to be a recipient of his reign of grace. And I’m gonna end talking about the grace of God. We sing a lot about it, we talk a lot about it, but most Christians don’t know a lot about it. When the Holy Spirit applies God’s grace to your life, it transforms everyone and everything that it touches. When the Holy Spirit brings the grace of God, it is the most powerful force unleashed in the entire universe. It changes people. It heals people. It transforms people. It brings dead things to life. It brings non-existent things into being. We need to be really honest about the reign of sin and Adam. And we need to be really excited about the reign of grace in Jesus Christ. Do you know what you need right now? You need a reign of grace over your life. Do you know what your marriage needs? A reign of grace over your marriage? Do you know what your kids need? A reign of grace over them. You know what your life needs? A reign grace over it. Looking at our world to live and endure it, you know what you’re gonna need? You’re gonna need to live, not under the reign of Adam in this world, but the reign of Jesus over this world, and live under the reign of grace. Let me ask the men this. The reign of grace comes from who in the covenant? Which person in the covenant is supposed to reign down the grace? The head. In the covenant of salvation, Jesus is the head. He reigns down the grace on us. Husband, father who is supposed… Husband, who’s supposed to reign the grace down on your wife? You, Jesus wants to reign the grace down on you, and then he wants you as head to reign it down her. Father, who does God wants to be the dispenser of the reign of grace over your child? You, Jesus wants to reign grace down on you, and then he wants you to reign down grace on your child. I’m asking the men in this church, the first thing it means to be the head, is to pour some grace on the women and the children. To create a life-giving relational, healthy, loving, generous environment. A reign of grace. There are some women and children they’re living literally under the reign of law; punishment consequences, fear, condemnation, isolation, performance. Don’t live under the reign of grace and make your wife and kids live under the reign of Adam. Live under the reign of Christ and the reign of grace, and then allow your wife and kids to live under the reign of Christ in the reign of grace. Men, I’m telling you this, sometimes the reason why there’s not a lot of grace on our life is because we’re not reigning it down on others. Why would the father reign down something on you, that you’re not gonna reign down on his daughter and his grandkids? Why would he give something to you, that you would not share? Why would he bless you if you would not bless? Why would he lift burdens for you, if you want lift burdens for them? Why would he be present for you, if you’re not going to be present for them? To be the head doesn’t mean you’re the boss or the bully, it means that you’re responsible to make sure that the reign of grace extends over everyone that you’re in covenant with. Our God is a really amazingly, extraordinarily good God. And one of the hard things that we have to believe it’s such a struggle, because we live in a world of such finer resources, there’s never enough time. There’s never enough money. There’s never enough energy. It’s hard to believe that grace is bottomless. That grace is endless. That you can never exhaust the grace of God. And some of you say, I’ve sinned a lot. What sin reigns, grace reigns all the more. Ultimately, God’s grace means this my friend, nothing is irreversible. If Adam could make a global historical cosmic decision, and Jesus could reverse it through his death, burial and resurrection, that means that nothing is irreversible under the reign of grace. In addition, no verdict is final under the reign of grace. There was a verdict in Adam, but that was not the final verdict. The final verdict was under the reign of grace in Christ. Some people have called some things in your life, that God is gonna change. There’s some verdicts that have been rendered regarding you, that Jesus is going to overturn under the reign of grace. In addition, under the reign of grace, here’s really good news. There’s no day God is done with you. There’s no day when God gives up on you. There’s no day when God says, look I’m just out of grace for you, you’re on your own now. What this world needs is the reign of grace. What everyone needs is the reign of grace. So what we’re gonna do, I’m gonna read some things over you as a prayer. Let me act like Spiritual father over our family. Let me invite the band up, we’re gonna spend some time singing and processing the grace of God. Grace is particularly appreciated and enjoyed, when it is specifically applied. So some of you have a need for grace right now, and when that grace meets that need, there’s a supernatural anointing and unleashing of God’s presence and power in that place. I don’t care if you’re a Christian or not, I love you. I’m gonna pray for you either way. I’m gonna ask you to open your hand, to receive. I’m gonna ask you to close your eyes. And I’m gonna ask you to just listen. Dear shame-filled saint, is that you? You’ve got shame, something you did in your past haunts you. Maybe you did it recently, maybe it was last night. Dear shame-filled saint, who gives grace to others, but will not receive grace for yourself, is that you? The Holy Spirit has grace for you to cover your shame forever in Jesus’ righteousness. Receive the grace of God. Dear religious saint, is that you? you make rules and you like to punish and judge people. Dear religious saint, who keeps making rules and punishing people, the Holy Spirit has grace for you both to transform your relationship with God and each other. Receive the grace of God. Dear theological saint, is that you, you keep making God into a concept master, rather than a person to befriend. The Holy Spirit has grace to pour out the love of Jesus into your heart, receive the grace of God. Dear burdens saint, who is haunted by your past, is that you? The Holy Spirit has grace for you to transfer your burdens to Jesus who carries them for you and with you. Receive the grace of God. Dear abandoned saint, is that you? They left you. They disowned you. They abandon you. They betrayed you. They lied to you. They took advantage of you. They used you. You’re lonely. You’re alone. You’re sad. You try to hide it, but God knows it. You abandoned saint, who keeps getting disappointed in people who ignore and use you, when you need them the most. The Holy Spirit has grace for you, from Jesus, who will never leave you nor forsake you. Receive the grace of God. Dear weary and broken saint, is that you? Just tired, you can’t go anymore, you can’t take any more. You can’t hear any more. You can’t do any more. You can’t endure anymore. Is that you? Dear weary and broken saint, who is struggling to pull it all together, the Holy Spirit has grace to heal you and strengthen you, and will not stop until you were with Jesus and you were like Jesus, receive the grace of God. Dear failed saint, who doesn’t feel they measure up, is that you? You hear all the talk about sin and failure and you’re well aware of it. The accuser has been yelling at you for a long time. Is that you? The Holy Spirit, grace to lift you up, into the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Receive the grace of God. Dear addicted saint, is that you? Drugs, alcohol, food, shopping, gambling, pornography, sex, spending, dear addicted saint, who is in snared by a dark desire, is that you? Have you you’ve been hiding it, but you know that God sees it? The Holy Spirit has grace to set you free, to change your desires because who the son sets free is free indeed, receive the grace of God. Dear fearful saint, who is anxious about the future, is that you? The election didn’t go your way, the economy is trending down. You’re struggling to make ends meet. You’re worried about what world your kids will inhabit, is that you? Dear fearful saint, who is anxious about the future, the Holy Spirit has grace waiting for you in the darkness of tomorrow, and it comes from Jesus who rules the future. Receive the grace of God. Dear controlling saint, is that you? You struggle to trust God’s rule, and so instead you try and rule. Dear controlling saint, who fears that giving people too much grace will permit them to sin, the Holy Spirit has grace that not only forgives and covers us, but also transforms and empowers us. Receive the grace of God. Holy Spirit, we invite you to bring the reign of grace in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ. Holy Spirit, we invite you to reign down grace from the kingdom of God. A grace that this world does not know, a grace that this world does not possess, a grace that this world does not share. Lord Jesus, we thank you so much that you have taken us from the reign of Adam, to the reign of Christ. From the reign of sin, to the reign of grace. From the reign of law, to the reign of love. From the rain of death, to the reign of life. Holy Spirit, I pray for a supernatural anointing in the name of Jesus Christ on these people. I pray for your grace to flood their hearts, to change their minds, to renew their Spirits, to transform their souls and to empower their future. And God, I pray that you would start by reigning down this grace on men, as heads and husbands and fathers. And I pray that then they would turn around and lavish on their wives and children, grace upon grace. And that the reign of grace would heal all that is broken, that it would remove all that is fearful, and that it would give joy where there is nothing but concern, because ultimately we have Christ, in whose name we pray, Amen.

Mark Driscoll
[email protected]

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