Ah, winter break. Quite nice to not be working on anything for school at the moment, although I do already miss being on campus and around people all the time.
North Carolina winter seems to be indecisive. I would have never expected to be able to sit on my back porch in a comfortable temperature on December 17, but it’s not too cold yet… I figured I’d take advantage of this beautiful weather and spend some time reading outside this morning. I’ve spent some time in Romans 5 and 6, finding something that, upon a second reading, is surprisingly applicable to the Christmas season. I remember sometime earlier in the semester a sermon by Shannon Chapman mentioning something about “the gift not being like the trespass,” and at the time, I was slightly confused as to what that meant. I’m not sure if this is exactly what it means in the context of justification, but while reading this morning it dawned on me that the gift (the coming or birth of Jesus into the world and his sacrifice for our sins) is not like the trespass (the first sin of Adam and Eve) because of the way Paul writes in these verses:
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. SInce we have now been justified (there’s the connection to the justification sermon) by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”-Romans 5:6-9
All right, that’s pretty cool, but Paul goes on to further illuminate:
“Therefore, 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—for before the law was given sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when 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 was 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! … The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” -Romans 5:12-15, 20-21
Uh, yeah. Way cool. So basically, the trespass is death in sin, but the gift is LIFE in Christ (Romans 6). Two things that are totally different. Yet another thing to rejoice about during the Christmas season. Were it not for Jesus’ birth into our messed up world, we would not have the gift of LIFE and SALVATION that he brings. Praise God.Christmas gift life grace cold weather