A sermon preached at New Hope Lutheran Church, West Melbourne, FL on March 13, 2011 by Pastor Dale Raether Our Two Representatives 1. Our first representative brought sin and death to all. 2.¬† Our second Representative brings righteousness and life for all Romans 5:12-19A question that has bothered a lot of Christians is why do we have to suffer because of Adam and Eve did?¬† The quick answer that¬ís sometimes given is God gave man a free will, and our first parents blew it.¬† Well, that explains how sin and death came to them, but we weren¬ít there.¬† We did not eat from the tree, and yet we¬íre suffering the consequences.¬† For example, is it fair when a baby is born with severe birth defects? ¬†He hadn¬ít done anything.¬† Or, if a person inherits a tendency the Bible calls sinful, why should he be made to feel guilty for being who he is?¬† Not being able to answer these kinds of questions has led some to doubt the Bible is true or to think that God is uncaring. ¬†Well, the Bible is true, and God is love.¬† ¬†¬†¬†This morning St. Paul takes us to the heart and core of God¬ís relationship with us and our relationship with Him.¬† He says in Roman, chapter 11. ¬ďOh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!¬† For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things.¬† To Him be the glory forever! Amen. ¬Ė Romans 11:33,36¬Ē¬† God wants us to be the giver of every blessing, He wants us to be the receivers, and He wants us to give His blessing through the means HE chooses.¬† In other words, we have right relationship with God when we are living inside this box.¬† The four sides are all things are from Him, and through Him and for Him and to His glory.¬† ¬†But what does this have to do with our having to suffer because of what Adam and Eve did?¬† Everything!¬† In order to teach man that He is the source of every blessing, God appointed one person, Adam, to represent the human race, so that all everyone else could do was be the recipients of what His appointed representative would do in their behalf.¬† Or, let me put it another way.¬† Even though we wouldn¬ít be born for another 8000 years or so, when Adam fought Satan, either his victory or his defeat would be ours too.¬† Well, you know what happened.¬† ¬†We read, ¬ďTherefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. ¬Ė Romans 5:12¬Ē ¬†God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the middle of the garden for a reason.¬† It was NOT so that Adam would sin, even though He knew he would sin and planned in eternity what He would ¬†do about it.¬† Sin is never God¬ís will; God is holy!¬† But getting back to that tree, if Adam had obeyed God, he would have learned what good is by being good.¬† Also he would have matured in his relationship with God, and he would have experienced that GOD alone is the giver of every blessing, and that He gives His blessings HIS way.¬† Then living inside this box that all things are from God and through God and for God and to His glory, Adam could have used his free will in taking of the world and all the animals.¬† And in doing that, he would have grown and matured even more.¬† Finally because Adam represented us, if he had obeyed, all mankind would have been born into this relationship with God and loved it.¬†¬† ¬†¬†Unfortunately, that isn¬ít what happened.¬† Satan attacked our first representative by attacking the one he loved, Eve.¬† First Satan got her to doubt that God and His Word can be trusted.¬† He said, ¬ďDid God really say?¬Ē¬† Next Satan got to her think that she could decide for herself what¬ís good and evil, and didn¬ít need to listen to God.¬† Satan¬ís third temptation was that she could find better happiness and blessings on her own and in her way.¬† What Eve did is she put herself outside this box that all things are from God and through God and for God and to His glory.¬† Instead in her mind everything was from Eve and through Eve and for Eve and to Eve¬ís glory. ¬†So, how did Adam feel about this?¬† The representative, whom God had appointed for the human race went along with that, except he would change it to everything was from Adam and through Adam and for Adam and to Adam¬ís glory.¬† Thus started the war between the sexes.¬† But worse thus started the war between God and man.¬† ¬†So, who¬ís going to win?¬† Well, the universe only has room for one God, and so Adam and all his descendents must die.¬† Also, all of Adam¬ís descendents now have double guilt.¬† They have guilt for Adam¬ís sin, because he represented them, and they have guilt for their own sins, and all of which merits them death.¬† So, one thing we have learned from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and we¬íve learned it well.¬† Evil is anything outside this box and there¬ís NOTHING we can do to bring ourselves back into the relationship Adam had with God.¬† Furthermore since we are born in Adam¬ís rebellion, that¬ís why bad things happen to ¬ďgood¬Ē people, or that¬ís why each person is born with sinful tendencies whether it¬ís to be gay or greedy or addicted or just plain a jerk.¬† ¬†And now I have to pause for a moment and ask you.¬† How do you feel about all this?¬† Does it make you angry that God has let you suffer because of another person¬ís sin, and there¬ís you can do to fix it?¬† If there¬ís any feeling of ¬ďyes¬Ē in you, you are convicted.¬† You want things done your way and in your time, and so you too are thinking outside God¬ís box that all things are from Him and through Him and for Him and to His glory.¬† Don¬ít you realize that this is being an alley of Satan?¬† However, if this Word of God is bringing you to the point of absolute frustration, that¬ís a good thing, because now you¬íre ready to let go, and let God¬ís second chosen Representative do for you.¬† ¬†¬†¬†We read in our text, ¬ďConsequently, 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 the many will be made righteous. ¬Ė Romans 5:18-19¬Ē¬† Paul calls everything Christ did and suffered one of act of righteousness because he¬ís comparing our two representatives.¬† Adam commits one sin and puts himself and us outside of God¬ís box.¬† Christ on the other hand lives His entire life in perfect righteousness and obedience inside the box that all things are from God and through God and for God and to His glory. ¬†¬†And now because Christ represents us, we can watch Him defeating Satan¬ís temptations in our Gospel reading and we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my victory.¬Ē¬† Or, we can watch Jesus¬í unbelievable patience with His disciples when He washed their feet, and we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my patience.¬Ē¬† Or, we can follow Jesus to the Judgment Hall and watch His sheer determination to obey God, and we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my obedience.¬Ē¬† Or, when our conscience and Satan attacks us with guilt, we can look to Jesus on the cross, and we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my death.¬† Or, on Easter morning we can look inside Jesus¬í empty tomb, and we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my resurrection.¬Ē¬† And finally on the fortieth day after Easter Jesus ascended into heaven and was glorified at God¬ís right hand of God.¬† But we can say, ¬ďThat¬ís my glory.¬Ē¬† ¬†I¬íll grant you that some will say this sounds almost blasphemous.¬† How can we claim all of Jesus¬í merits as our own, and even His glory, while all we do is sit on the sidelines and watch, or at time try to be all those things Christ is and fail miserably?¬† We are not being blasphemous in claiming Christ¬ís merits as our own, because He represents us.¬† And so, again, let¬ís contrast Adam and Christ.¬† Adam put us outside that all things are from God and through God and for God and to His glory; the result is sin and death!¬† But through Christ we are again inside God¬ís box, and the result is righteousness and life.¬† Furthermore, not only are all the riches of Christ ours because He represents us, but everyday He¬ís storing up even more glory for us in heaven ¬†through the works of faith and love that He leads and enables us to do.¬† ¬†¬†¬†And now I have to pause again and ask you?¬† Are you taking this all in?¬† It¬ís really too much, and sometimes we need to just rest and clear our heads so that we can try again wrap our minds around all that God is doing for us.¬† Bingo!¬† This is exactly where God wants us to be in our relationship with Him.¬† He wants to be the giver of all things through the means He has chosen, and He wants US to be the receivers of His blessings.¬† However, now that God has restored us to this relationship with Him through Christ, let¬ís stay in it!¬† Let¬ís stay in it by daily turning from all rebellion, wickedness and sin, and through Word and Sacrament let¬ís keep claiming all the merits of Christ as our own.¬† Also now because we are back into this relationship with God, let¬ís not be afraid of anything, but let¬ís trust that in all things He works for the good of those who rest in His love, including even when bad things happen to good people ¬Ė let¬ís let go, and let God!¬† ¬†However being in this relationship with God doesn¬ít mean we¬íre already perfect.¬† In fact now we see the sinful tendencies that are still in us more clearly than ever, even if it¬ís just to let loose some bad language once in awhile.¬† However may these tendencies serve as a reminder that everything God says is true.¬† We inherited a sinful nature from Adam; but through Christ we inherit eternal life ¬Ė praise God from whom all blessings flow!¬† And finally, since we are in this right relationship with God through Christ, we are truly free, just like Adam was before the Fall.¬† For example God let Adam name all the animals, and whatever he named each one, God said, ¬ďOkay!¬Ē¬† So also for us, He gave us a commission ¬Ė ¬ďgo and make disciples of all nations.¬Ē¬† He gave parents a commission ¬Ė ¬ďbring up your children in the training and instruction of the Lord.¬Ē¬† And He gives all of us work to do ¬ďthat we may take care of ourselves and have something to share with those in need.¬Ē¬† But in all these things, we are free.¬† And so, when we make our decisions in the context that all things are from God and through God and for God and to His glory, often God will say, ¬ďOkay!¬Ē¬† And then He¬íll bless us, and He¬íll add to our glory in heaven.¬† You know, God lets us do a lot of things, but He¬íll never let us outdo Him!¬† However, if God¬ís goodness moves you to want to try, then keep trying as you taste and see that God is good, until you shall eat from His tree of life in the heavenly kingdom.¬† Amen.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

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