The book of Romans spends the first three chapters establishing that all of humanity, both Jews (God’s original people) and Gentiles are all evil. Romans 3:23 sums it up well, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” A few verses earlier Paul even wrote, that there was no one who was righteous. Why would Paul say something like that? It sounds pretty harsh doesn’t it? When I look at the world around me I can see many different examples of acts of kindness by people from all walks of life. How can Paul say that there is no one who is righteous? (Romans 3:10)
All are Condemned in Adam
Every single one of us was born into the human family and (assuming you believe as I do that the Bible is true) are direct descendants of Adam and Eve. As such, who we are derives ultimately from them. In other words, their actions and the way they lived their life affected every human being on earth because we can all trace our ancestry back to the original couple.
Now if we read about them in Genesis 2-4 we find out that it didn’t take long for them to get into trouble. In chapter 3 we find Eve getting deceived by a serpent and choosing to take its word over the plain commandment of God. Eve was deceived, Adam was not. “and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” – 1 Timothy 2:14. Adam, faced with the prospect of living life without Eve, knowingly chose Eve over God thereby falling into idolatry by worshiping his wife over God.
Genesis 3:14-19 outlines the consequences of their sin.
The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
It doesn’t take us long to wonder if anything has changed as a consequence of their sin. At the bottom of Genesis 3 we read that God kicks our first parents out of the garden of Eden to make sure that they couldn’t eat the tree of life and become immortal sinners. Chapter 4 begins with the story of Cain and Abel. I encourage you to read it if you never have. The long and short of it though is that Adam and Eve’s firstborn son whom Eve hoped was the promised deliverer, became the world’s first murderer. Clearly, something was very wrong with the human race!
Condemnation Comes Through Adam
What most of us don’t realize is that each of us is naturally condemned for what we inherit from Adam. We read in Romans 5:15, “But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass…” Verse 16 reads, “And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation…” If you go read these verses yourself you’ll notice that I’m only quoting part of the verse, don’t worry, there is good news here too in Jesus but first I want to consider the condemnation. Stay with me. Ephesians tells us that the wrath of God is coming on those who are in disobedience to God. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.” – Ephesians 5:6
In John we read that while all of humanity has access to eternal life through Jesus Christ, unfortunately those that don’t are still under God’s wrath. “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.” – John 3:36. Why does this verse say, “the wrath of God remains on him?” The wrath of God remains on the ones who are in disobedience to God through the condemnation that fell on Adam as a result of his sin. Adam could not pass on anything he didn’t have. As a direct result of his sin, his disobedience against God, ALL his children (which includes you and me!) have also inherited a nature that is condemned.
Without outside supernatural help, all of us are doomed. Friend, there are no solutions to the human problem outside of what Jesus Christ has done and continues to do in us. Humanity isn’t evolving to a higher consciousness as some would have us believe. Human beings haven’t solved the problem of crime and never will. Jesus himself told us that we would always have poverty (Matt 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8). Contrary to what evolutionists would want us to believe, humanity is going downhill morally, physically, intellectually. In our natural sinful state the only hope we have is a total and complete makeover only God himself, our creator and our savior, can provide.
Bottom line friend, I don’t care how good you think you are, without accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour it won’t amount to a hill of beans. All of us naturally, through Adam, stand condemned in our sins. We are sinners. We are lost. We are desperately in need of a saviour.
In Jesus Christ we are no longer condemned!
If we ended on that note it would really be depressing! Fortunately, Jesus Christ has made a way for any and all human beings to be saved from this death sentence. He took us with him to the cross and paid for our condemnation. Let’s read the second parts of the verses I quoted in Romans 5 now.
“But 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 following many trespasses brought justification. If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned 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, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” – Romans 5:15-18
Will you choose to be saved? Will you choose to follow Jesus? Will you choose to believe in him and place your trust in Him forever? If you will, you have nothing to fear from the coming judgment. Jesus paid it all!