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socialmedia@cityrise.org March 28, 2021 sermons, christianity, cityrise, Good News, houston, houston church, Roger Patterson, romans, sermon,

The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Roger Patterson on Sunday March 28, 2021 at our Crosspoint Church – Bellaire campus and in our Online Experience. To view the sermon in full, please visit our YouTubpage. To listen to the message, check out our podcast page.

It is Palm Sunday – the day we commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It’s the moment when the people want to anoint him King and they are shouting, “Hosanna – Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” So many in that day were lifting up Jesus. So many that day saw him as the Messiah and they wanted him to be their king.

John 12:17-18 says

John 12:17-18

17 The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. 18 The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

The crowd heard he has raised Lazarus from the dead and they were coming after him. And it is in this setting – the setting of the crowd, the Hosannas and the people witnessing of his raising Lazarus from the dead that Jesus said:

John 12:32

32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

John then continues:

John 12:33

33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

 

He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

As you read the gospels and look at the words of Jesus, it is abundantly clear that Jesus purposefully spoke of his death and voluntarily went to the cross. And today, as we celebrate the Lord’s table, let us reflect upon this question together: Why did Jesus come to die?

Let’s look at Romans 5:12-21 to answer this question.

Romans 5:12-21

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So, how should we answer that question?

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. In order to confront our greatest problem and worst enemy
  2. In order to provide us a free way of escape
  3. In order for grace and life to reign

Why did Jesus come to die?

 

I. In order to confront our greatest problem and worst enemy

Look at with me Romans 5:12-14

Romans 5:12-14

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

What is our greatest problem? Sin. Sin is our greatest problem. Missing the mark. Not obeying God. Not loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and not loving our neighbor as ourself.

These are expressed in disobedience to God and in hatred to others. We rebel against God and we inflict harm onto others.

At a micro-level, this sin disrupts homes, marriages, and relationships. At a societal level, we see it playing out through racism or sexism. We see people exploited for money or for sex. The Apostle Paul said to the church in Ephesus in Ephesians 4:31

Ephesians 4:31

31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

So, how should we answer that question?

Our greatest problem, from which all problems flow is our own selfishness. And we are told to put away all of these conflicts that we have in our hearts and with one another. But the truth of the matter is that we are unable, on our own to combat our greatest problem. Instead of combatting sin, we have been enslaved to it. And sin leads to death. And death is our greatest enemy. Here, the Apostle Paul is teaching that our sin nature has been imputed to us because of Adam and his failure.

And when we hear that, we think, “Hey, that’s not fair. I wasn’t there. I didn’t do that.” And we say that as if we would make another choice in the matter if we were in the garden. But we don’t mind it if the righteousness of Jesus is imparted to us.

Verse 12 teaches that our greatest problem, sin, is followed by our greatest enemy, death, and this came to us by Adam.

James Boice states…

Verse 12 assumes two great truths (1) The universality of sin, and (2) the universality of death.

Now, this comes from a Christian worldview, for in the Christian worldview, death is not natural but is the punishment of God for sin. The Christian worldview teaches that sin entered the world through the act of one man, Adam, the first man, and that from him, sin and its consequences, death, passed to his descendants.

But the secular worldview challenges this perspective. The secularist says, “Sin – no body perfect. But as human nature progresses, we are getting better and better. Sonner or later, we will work our way out of it.”

But the harsh reality is that we aren’t getting better all. More people are trafficked and exploited today than at any other time in history.

Are we really any better than we were 10 years ago? 100 years ago? Or 1000 years ago?

If you examine history, humanity seems to repeat the same sins – over and over and over again.

The secularist also says that death is just a natural part of life. And, yes, the one who observes, we do see that things die – that death is part of life. But if you have ever stared death in the face and looked at it really up close, if you are honest, you say, “that’s not fair.” There is something in you that wants to and thinks you should live forever.

Add to that the of eternity and man’s longing for eternity in all cultures everywhere, and it causes you to challenge the assumption that things just die. In cultures and religious you have After-life, Nirvana, the Underworld, Mount Olympus and Paradise. You have Sheol, Heaven, all of these destinations found in all the world’s civilizations and religious.

Why is that? Could it be that we were created for eternity?

The teachings of the scripture tell us that sin is our greatest problem and death is our greatest enemy. And these came to us through Adam’s fall.

Quote: And this happened because as James Boice states,

God appointed Adam the head or representative of the race, so that he would stand for them and they would be accounted either just or sinful on the basis of his obedience to or disobedience of God’s command… In this view, the point is not that all people sin, though they do, but rather that Adam stood for them so that, when he sinned not only was Adam judged but they were judged too. It is because Adam sinned that death passed upon all.

Romans 5:13-14

13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

You see, Adam was appointed by God to be our representative, so that if he stood we too would stand. And if he fell, we too would fall. He fell, therefore death was passed on to everyone.

Warren Wiersbe says,

Men die because they are united racially to Adam, and in Adam all die.

That’s why verse 14 says that, “Death reigned.”

Now, as we read the gospels, and as we read we can see the first answer to the questions: Why did Jesus come to die, is because Jesus came to confront our greatest problem and destroy death’s reign. And as we continue, we see very clearly that Jesus has provided for us a free way of escape.

That’s the second answer to this great question: Why did Jesus come to die?

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. In order to confront our greatest problem and worst enemy
  2. In order to provide us a free way of escape
  3. In order for grace and life to reign

II. In order to provide us a free way of escape

Notice Romans 5:15-17

Romans 5:15-17

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

In these two verses, the term free gift is used five times.

The term free gift simply means “grace gift.”

What do we see here about the free gift?

What do we see about the free gift?

V.15     1. It is not like that fall. It is not like Adam’s trespass.

You see, the trespass was a deviator from the path that God has clearly given to Adam. His act was self-serving.

But the act of Christ’s death on the cross was an act of self-sacrifice, in obedience to the Father.

What do we see about the free gift?

V.16     2. It has a different result!

In the case of Adam, God’s judgement brought condemnation, where as in the case of Christ, God’s gift of grace brought about our justification.

The contrast here is absolute. Don’t miss the wider point that God’s judgement followed only one sin, where as God’s gift followed many trespasses.

The secular mind would expect many sins to attract more judgement than one sin. But, as Cranfield expresses it, this is the, “miracle of miracles, utterly beyond human comprehension,” that the accumulated sins and guilt of all ages should be answered by God’s free gift.

What do we see about the free gift?

3. It reverses the curse

The curse was that death reigned.

 

The word “reign” here means – to rule as a king or supreme ruler over a nation; to control completely.

Now look at verse 17 again

Romans 5:17

17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

 

Death had dominion over us. But here is the good news, and I am quoting verse 17, word for word here:

            “…those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”

Jesus came to die on the cross to reverse the curse of sin and death. He came so that instead of death reigning over us, life would reign over us.

And those who receive this free gift have this life.

For he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

And verse 18 helps us see the effect of Jesus’ death on the cross.

Romans 5:18

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

One act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

F.F. Bruce

This one – act in verse 18, as F.F. Bruce states

Is the crowning act of Christ’s life-long obedience when he yielded up his life. The second man’s act that brought salvation is contrasted with the first man’s trespass, which brought condemnation.

It’s a free gift – a grace gift – its for those who believe – the many who will be made righteous.

My friend, have you believed? Have you partaken of this free gift?

Why did Jesus come to die?

The last thing we see here is really profound.

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. In order to confront our greatest problem and worst enemy
  2. In order to provide us a free way of escape
  3. In order for grace and life to reign

III. In order for grace and life to reign

That’s what we see here in verse 20-21.

Romans 5:20-21

20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Verse 20 is a necessary digression as Paul goes back to include the law and how it served any purpose. Paul says that the law increased sin rather than diminishing it – which probably shocked his Jewish audience – but he makes this point to celebrate God’s grace.

Paul is saying that the law reveals our sinfulness. Yet God has made ample provision for the increase of sin by the increase of his grace.

Now, notice here: Both grace and life are reigning.

In verse 21, we see that grace reigns.

What does this mean?

We are to allow grace to reign over our lives.

  • Because grace sanctifies us, shaping us into the image of Christ.
  • Grace preserves us, completing what has begun in us.
  • Grace inspires us to come to his throne of grace to find the help we need.

And life reigns. We will celebrate this even more next week.

But in the meantime, listen to the words of Horatius Bonar, a great Scottish pastor from a century ago, the father of the Scottish Free Church.

Horatius Bonar

The first Adam dies, and we die in him; but the second Adam dies, and we live in him! The first Adam’s grave proclaims only death; the second’s Adam’s grave announces life – “I am the resurrection and the life.” We look into the grave of one, and we see only darkness, corruption and death; we look into the grave of the other, and we find there only light, incorruption and life. We look into the grave of the one and find that he is still there, his dust still mingling with its fellow dust about it; we look into the grave of the other and find he is not there. He is risen – risen as our forerunner into the heavenly paradise, the home of the risen and redeemed. We look into the grave of the first Adam and see in him the first-fruits of them that have died, the millions that have gone down to that prison-house whose gates he opened; we look into the tomb of the second Adam, and we see in him the first-fruits of that bright multitude, that glorified band, who are to come forth from that cell, triumphing over death and rising to the immortal life; not through the tree which grew in earthly paradise, but through him who that tree prefigured – through him who was dead and is alive, and who liveth for evermore, and who has the keys of hell and death.

Jesus death on the cross as our representative, took the just punishment for our sins. He became our representative, just as Adam had been our representative before him. He endured the punishment of our death, and then he rose again so that we might enjoy the reality of everlasting life.

Why did Jesus come to die?

  1. In order to confront our greatest problem and worst enemy
  2. In order to provide us a free way of escape
  3. In order for grace and life to reign

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