Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Second Adam

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!" Romans 5:12-17

Jesus was born to be the second Adam!

Why would He want to do that?

Because the first Adam blew it big time!

The second Adam had to undo what the first Adam did.

The first Adam was hand-crafted by God. Therefore, he was created with a sinless nature so He could walk with God.

The second Adam was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin, therefore, He was born sinless. Not only could He walk with God, He came from God and was in fact, God in the flesh!

The first Adam was placed in Paradise and enjoyed a personal intimate friendship with God every day - until he rebelled and was expelled.

The second Adam was in Paradise but left it to come to earth. He gave up His paradise to suffer and die in our world in order to regain access to Paradise for you and me!

The first Adam was perfect but sinned because he wanted to be God.

The second Adam WAS God but became man - albeit a perfect man - for one reason, so He could die to atone for our sins! He had to be sinless so He could take our sins upon Himself!

Christmas is about the arrival of the second Adam! The second Adam means a second chance!

The good news of Christmas is that God is the God of second chances! Jesus proved it!

November 29, 2018

"Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ." Romans 10:17

I really hadn't planned to go this direction this morning but as I was reading about the angelic visits to Zachariah and to young Mary, and for that matter, the shepherds, this verse popped in my mind and tied some things together. Perhaps this thought will help you as well!

What I was looking at was the initial response from these who were visited by angels and then their ultimate response. Each of them moved from fear to faith. They each changed from being terrified to being edified. How did that happen?

We can understand the fear part. Each of them were minding their own business in the course of their daily responsibilities and suddenly an angel appears. That has to startle you a bit. We know that they were frightened because in each case the angel reassures them with the words, "fear not!"

Imagine you are at work today or on the treadmill or eating your frosted flakes and a brilliant, beautiful heavenly being pops up in front of you. How would you be?

Me, too!

But that is the easy part to understand. What we need to know is what happened to move them from fear to faith.

In each case it is the same. They listened to the message that the angel brought. Each one of them heard the Word of the Lord. Their faith came by hearing!

Is there a message there for us? I think so!

Fear comes from looking, faith comes from listening! Looking at an angel can certainly be frightening. It's not like they saw them everyday. For all we know this was the only angelic appearance of their lifetimes. But as they listened to the message of hope, and peace, and news of great joy, they moved from fear to faith.

If you or I look at the world in which we live or a particular circumstance that might face us, fear can rise up within us. If we walk by sight we can be overcome by fear. But as Paul reminds us, "we walk by faith not by sight". And where does faith come from? LISTENING to the Word of God!

Zachariah, Mary, the shepherds all give us proof from the Christmas story! That is another aspect of the "good news of great joy" announced by the angels! We don't have to live in fear!

Are you struggling with fear? Does what you see around you have you frightened?

Tune into God's voice!

 Get into God's Word. Hear what He has to say to you today! 

Let His voice move you from fear to faith!