GOD’S DUSTMAN BRINGS A FREE GIFT
The Death-Dealing Sin, the Life-Giving Gift
12-14 You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
15-17 Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?
18-19 Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.
I loved the free gifts in the cereal packet –
though with brothers we all had to wait our turn!
Then there were the free gifts in the teenage magazines-
lipsticks and eye pencils and non permanent tattoos.
Then there were the free gifts when we bought a car.. a house
a dishwasher...a holiday
But by then we knew there are no free gifts!
You never get something for nothing.
So when they said that God was offering us a free gift-
His grace, His forgiveness and His love –
We wondered about where the catch would be?
And we found that we had to sign up to a lifetime’s commitment;
We had to agree with the elders of the Church on all spiritual matters.
We had to go regularly to Church, and give regularly.
Or so we (or they) thought.
Then we read Romans 5: 12-19.
And we understood.
There are no strings attached to God’s love, his grace and his forgiveness.
He offers us life with him, abundant love-filled life,
Free gratis and for – not for nothing; but Jesus paid for it all.
So – it is difficult to get our heads around,
and it definitely goes against the grain!
But now we know.
“The outcome of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is new life, abundant life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
Help us, O God,
To share your free gift with those who do not yet know you.
We pray for all those who struggle with life
because of their mistakes and weaknesses;
We pray for those who struggle
because of the hand they have been dealt –
Illness, poverty, abuse, violence, hunger and thirst.
Guide them, we pray, to your abundant life,
And keep us and your people faithful in sharing
All the gifts of your love.