I’m a grandparent, and pretty dang proud of that fact. We have a dedicated play-room in our house again, just for our grandchildren. One thing I’ve noticed is that when they charge into that room to begin playing, it takes mere seconds to completely destroy the order of that room (not that we mind – there’s nothing more sad than a well-ordered and unused playroom – but that’s not the point I’m making here). Like the classic cartoon Tasmanian Devil, those kids can create total upheaval in a matter of moments.
Putting it all back in place is another matter. It takes much longer…weeks, sometimes, as we randomly discover runaway Legos underfoot.
As with most things, deconstruction is the easy part – putting things back to right is the greater challenge.
That’s the idea that Paul is trying to convey in the passage we’ll be reading this Sunday as we continue our study in the book of Romans. We’ll be reading Romans 5:12-21
Paul makes a grand contrast between Adam, the progenitor of our ruin, and Jesus, the ground-source of our redemption.
Paul begins by describing how sin entered the world through Adam’s disobedience, and death followed on its heels. How would you describe the effect of sin and death on this world? How has this affected you personally, or your family?
How difficult is it for you to believe that Jesus’ one act of obedience has the power to transform us into people who are redeemed…described as saints? Why do you think we struggle with this and so often try to find redemption through our works or good behavior?
Paul emphasizes the word “gift”, something offered for free, four times in this passage. Why do you think he makes that emphasis, and how should that impact the way we present the gospel?
In verse 20, how does God’s “more abundant” grace change your perception of yourself in relationship with God? How can it change the way we think about those outside the church? What is the great lesson we can learn from the overarching nature of God’s grace?