Why did the Lord Jesus Christ give Himself to die for us?
Now, we only covered two verses in our last lesson, and we’re still in verse 32, and I can’t emphasize enough that everything that God now has done, and is doing on our behalf, is based on that finished work of the Cross, where God did not even spare His Son. Why? So that He could purchase mankind back to Himself. Now, the first thing we may wonder if we’re not taught in these things is, Well, why does God have to do this? He’s Sovereign, and He could do any way He wanted, but you see God never goes against His own principals. God is Holy, God is righteous, God is Omnipotent, He is full of all knowledge. And so He knows what has to be done to reconcile fallen man back to Himself. And so in His knowledge, and understanding He is the One Who determined that it had to be the sacrificial death of Himself on our behalf.
“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many (in other words all that will believe).”
“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift (in other words, as Adam plunged the human race into condemnation with his act of sin, so Christ has lifted the human race, by virtue of death on the Cross): for the judgment was by one to condemnation (every one is under that condemnation), but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.”
And like I’ve said in the last three lessons, Paul is just hammering this theme of justification home. I don’t want anyone who has heard me teach these first few chapters of Romans ever forget this word “Justification.” This is what we are, we’re justified by a judicial decree of the Almighty God Himself, that since we have believed the Gospel for our Salvation, then He can restore us back as Adam was before he fell. Of course we’re still going to sin, and He has made compensation for all of that by virtue of His Advocacy at the Father’s right hand. Now let’s move on into verse 17.
“For if by one man’s offence (Adam’s) death reigned (as a king) by one (because of Adam); much more…”
Do you see how Paul is constantly driving home the Grace of God, which is going to compensate for the fall of Adam, is greater than anything Adam did? And this is what we have to understand, that, yes, it seems like God is severe in condemning everyone who was born out of Adam’s race, but yet He’s not severe because He’s made the way back for every human being without lifting a finger. If God would makes us do something almost impossible for our Salvation then that would be different, but He doesn’t. He just lays it right out in front of every human being. You know when I teach John Chapter 10 the good shepherd chapter, I always ask where is the door to that sheep fold? Is it up on some cliff? Is it across the ocean? No it’s on ground level, it’s where anybody can walk through it. It’s accessible for anyone to go into the door of the sheep fold. So Salvation is not something that people have to obtain or work for or grasp at, but rather it’s right in front of every human being. Now reading on.
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign (not like old death does, but now we’re going to reign forever) in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
Not because of what I do, but because of what He accomplished. So as Adam was the federal head of the human race, and he plunged everyone into a place of condemnation, the second Adam, Jesus Christ has accomplished everything that is necessary to bring fallen man back to Himself. The only difference is now there has to be an exercise of will. Now I know there is a lot of controversy of how much will is exercised in Salvation, and how much of it is in election. But nevertheless, I sort of bring the two extremes to the middle, and granted, God has to open our eyes, and hearts. But on the other hand man has the prerogative to reject it. And I think that is what will be so hard on lost people when they go through all eternity regretting their rejection of God’s opportunity.
Now verse 18. Notice that verse starts out with “Therefore.” When Paul uses ‘therefore’ and ‘wherefore,’ just go back and see what he has said. This is so heavy and important that it’s just repeated over and over for about two or three chapters. That means God wants us to get it straight. Yet Salvation can be by nothing that man can do, but it’s all been accomplished by the work of the Cross, and He is just in being the Justifier of those who believe. He’s not cutting corners. God isn’t winking at man’s sins. He has paid the total price for it so now He can be just in justifying the unbeliever.
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one (this constantly brings the two into play) the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.”
Now let’s get down to the subject at hand, and that would be in Romans Chapter 6, and this whole idea of overcoming the old sin nature, old Adam, and to enter into this new life which, of course, is what Christianity is all about. Christianity is not a religion, it’s not just something that we work for, it is something that is all accomplished by the Grace of God and by His power, and that alone. Now let’s review verse 6 and come right on into verse 7.
“Knowing this, that our old man (the old nature) is crucified (put to death)…:
Let’s stop and qualify. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and God had made only one stipulation, one responsibility, and that was not to eat of that one tree, God said:
“And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.’”
Now I call that the very first fundamental law in Scripture. Then it’s repeated in Ezekiel.
“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” Then Paul in that classic third Chapter of Romans tells us:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”
And so God has mandated that as soon as Adam sinned, and as soon as every son of Adam has sinned, what has to be the result? Death! And there is no getting around it. The soul that sinneth has to die. It’s a command of God, but God gave mankind what we call a loophole. Yes we have to die, but we do not have to die in ourselves, we can take Christ’s death as our substitution. And so this is the whole concept then of Salvation, and that is, yes, we have to die because we’re sinners, but if we will just simply believe the Gospel, then Christ’s death takes our place. That’s what we call the substitutionary death of Christ. He took my place, and He took yours. So that’s why Paul has to teach that the old Adam has to be crucified, he has to be put to death because he’s a sinner. Now let’s read on.
“For he that is dead is freed from sin (or old Adam).”
I used to have two judges in my classes years ago, and one of them has since passed away, and when we would come to something like this, then naturally it always helped to get the feedback from somebody who has firsthand knowledge on these things. And when we would come to this idea that old Adam had to die in order to be broken from any relationship in the future, then I would use the analogy, especially with one of these judges in the class, by saying, “Now look, you have someone up for murder, and you’ve gone all the way through the trial process, and it’s evident that he was guilty. In fact, you can almost bet that the jury is going to vote to put him to death, but what if about a week before it’s all over the guy dies? He’s dead, then what?” Well, you all know how those judges answered. The trial’s over. It’s all done, because you don’t try a dead man. Even though he was as guilty as can be there is nothing you can do once he dies. Well, it’s the same way with regard to old Adam, the only way we can separate ourselves from that old Adamic nature is to put old Adam to death. And the moment that he dies, he loses that control over us. Have you got the picture? And that’s exactly what verse 7 is saying.
“For he that is dead (been crucified) is now freed from sin (old Adam).”
And until old Adam is put to death, he reigns as a king. Now verse 8, so Paul is building all of this for our own information to increase our faith of where we are as believers.
“Now if we be dead with Christ (if we have identified with that death then that’s when we died, and that all comes by faith when we believe the Gospel), we believe that we shall also live with him:”
I Corinthians 13:6-8a
“(Love) Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (Love) Beareth all things, believeth all things, (Remember faith is the other word for believeth, so our faith is based on love. The whole crux of the work of the Cross was the love of God, that He showered on mankind when He sent the best that heaven had to the Cross of Calvary. So far as Christ is concerned, God’s wrath was poured upon Him while He hung there, but as God’s wrath was poured on Christ the love of God was shed abroad on the human race.) hopeth all things, endureth all things.” Then verse 8a: “Love never faileth:….”
Love will never let us down.
Editor’s Note: For further insight into this question, see the answer to the question, “Why did God require a blood sacrifice?”, which is explained later in this book.