To begin with, we are all sinners. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” We are sinners because we were born of Adam. It is not a matter of our behavior, but our heredity. I am not a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I am a sinner. It is not because I individually sinned that I am a sinner, but because I was in Adam when he sinned.
Because by birth I come from Adam, therefore I am a part of him. What is more, there is absolutely nothing to change this. I cannot change myself to improve my behavior to be anything other than a part of Adam, a sinner. We derive our existence from him, and because his life became a sinful life, a sinful nature, therefore, the nature we derive from him is also sinful. Our trouble is our heredity, not our behavior. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners“ (Romans 5:19). We do not become sinners by what we have done but because of what Adam has done. This distinction is important. For instance, if I were to ask you who is a sinner? The most likely reply would be, “the person that sins.” Yes, that is true, but it is equally true that one who does not sin is also a sinner, because he is of Adam’s race.
There are good sinners and there are bad sinners, there are moral sinners and there are immoral sinners, but they are all sinners alike and in need of redemption. We have probably all heard the question asked; how could God send this person or that person to hell when all they have ever done is good in their life? There again, it is not what they have done, but who they are. We are all from Adam’s race and we cannot change that, no more than we can change our parentage. I am a sinner because I sin, but I sin because I came from the wrong stock. I sin because I am a sinner.
What is the answer? The second half of Romans 5:19 answers this, “so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.”
How then can we cut off our sinful heredity from Adam? There is only one way. Since we were born into sin, the only way out is by death. Death is the secret of our emancipation. Romans 6:2 “We are those who have died to sin.” How can we die? Certainly not by killing ourselves. The apostle’s next statement tells us: “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?” Romans 6:3
“One died for all therefore all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14). When Christ was crucified, we were all crucified there with Him. The Lord Jesus died on the cross, shedding His blood to atone for our sins. Jesus chose to give His sinless life to satisfy the righteousness and holiness of God. The Scriptures never told us that we shed our blood with Christ. In His atoning work on the cross, Christ acted alone; no other could have a part. But the Lord did not die only to shed His Blood, He died that we might die also. He died as our representative. In His death, He included you and me. “Christ died, and we have been joined with him by dying too. So we will also be joined with him by rising from the dead as he did” (Romans 6:5 ESV).
We died as a race of Adam and rose as a new race. The Cross is then the mighty act of God that converts us from Adam to Christ.
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him” (Romans 6:5-8). We are no longer heirs of Adam and his sinful race but are now heirs of Christ. All we need to do to receive our inheritance is to receive Jesus into our lives.
Our crucifixion can never produce the intended results by our will or by our effort, but only by accepting what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross. Romans 6:7 & 11 does not mean deliverance from sin that no longer exists, but that we are delivered from its power in our lives in increasing measure as day by day we rely on God.
It is God’s holiness and righteousness that demand that a sinless life should be given as redemption for man. There is life in the blood, and that blood has to be poured out for our sins. God is the one that requires it to satisfy His righteousness.
We have to believe the blood which is precious to God, is sufficient payment for our sins and God is satisfied because He said it was (1 Peter 18-19).
“18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:18-19)
It is the blood that cleanses us from all sin and unrighteousness. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
This study is continued in my next post, “The significance of Christ Shedding His Bood on the Cross.”