Romans 5 is very important in the points expressed as a part of the 1888 Message. Paul has established the truth of Righteousness by Faith alone. Salvation is by faith alone, in the merits of Christ, obtained for the human race through His love and grace. Romans 5 then goes further to look at the issues of Adam vs. Christ, and the results of both lives in the history of sin and salvation.
The issues raised in Romans 5 and the realization of what Jesus accomplished for the human race, corporately and legally, in the redemption of mankind, has been discussed in many avenues in our church in the last few years, and I feel a deep responsibility that people understand what Jesus did, and did not do, through His life, death, and resurrection. Justification, received by faith, results in forgiveness of sins, power to stand, and hope in the glory of God, or His character reproduced in us.
I Corinthians 15:1-4 reveals the Gospel, the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Man did not, and cannot contribute to this finished work of redemption. We are called, in John 6:28-29, to believe in Christ as the Savior of mankind. When we place faith in Christ, we have peace, freedom from condemnation, and the promise of a changed heart through the power of love in the Holy Spirit. See Romans 5:1-5, Romans 8:1.
Paul reveals the history of the First and Second Adam, and the results of their lives on the problem of sin in the human race. Jesus came to rewrite the history of the human race, and to undo what Adam did in the fall into sin.
God took the initiative in our salvation, dying for the human race while we were His enemies. We were saved from wrath by Him. This is true historically, as well as in terms of present assurance and future reality. Adam and Eve should have perished due to their sin, but because of the intervention of God, mankind had a second chance to return to loyalty and allegiance to God. When we are in right standing with God, we have peace, and the hope of eternal life, through the grace and forbearance of God.
Paul expresses the truth that due to Adam’s sin, condemnation came upon the human race, in him as the head of the human race. In the same way, justification unto life came upon all men, through the Victory of Christ at the Cross. What does this mean, and what does it not mean? I Timothy 4:10 tells us that Christ is “the Savior of ALL men, especially those that believe.”
Jesus saved us all,
in Him as the Head of Humanity or the 2nd Adam, in paying the redemption price, saving the world, in Adam.
We have quotes in inspiration that reflect the Biblical point.
See Selected Messages, I, p. 252.
“In assuming humanity Christ took the part of every human being, He was the Head of Humanity. A being Divine and human, with His long arm He could encircle humanity, while with His Divine arm, He could lay hold of the throne of the Infinite.”
Letter 67, 1902.
“Christ came to the earth and made an offering of such value that He redeemed the race.” Ministry of Healing, p. 90.
“With His own blood He has signed the emancipation papers of the race.” Letter 136, 1902.
“The world does not acknowledge that, at an infinite cost Christ has purchased the human race. They do not acknowledge that by creation and by redemption, He holds a just claim to every human being. But as the redeemer of the fallen race, He has been given the deed of possession, which entitles Him to claim them as His property.”
Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
The entire human race was legally justified, unto life, redeemed from the penalty of sin, and reconciled to God through Christ’s death. This, of course, does not mean that every human being, in their own personal spiritual experience, are “born again.”
What Christ has accomplished for every human being, in order to be personally experienced, must be united with total faith and surrender in the merits of Christ for His freedom from condemnation in the judgment. When we do so, we stand before God as though we have never sinned, and moreover, He changes the heart, brings us back into right relationship, gives us a new heart and a new spirit, causes us to walk in His commandments, and fills us with His love.
Mankind must, themselves, be reconciled to God in their hearts and minds. We are to submit by faith to the righteousness of God, which alone is our title to Heaven. God promises to sanctify the character of those who believe in Christ.
We are all in the water, drowning, in our experience, before Christ. God has purchased the lifeboat, given us the life preserver, and our name is inscribed on a seat in the “ark” of salvation. We are called to enter into Christ, by faith, and to abide in Him.
Waggoner on Romans. "Justification of Life." -- "By the righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." There is no exception here. As the condemnation came upon all, so the justification comes upon all. Christ has tasted death for every man. He has given himself for all. Nay, He has given himself to every man. If it came upon only those who have some special qualification, then it would not be a free gift. p. 5, Para. 44, [WROM]. It is a fact, therefore, plainly stated in the Bible, that the gift of righteousness and life in Christ has come to every man on earth. There is not the slightest reason why every man that has ever lived should not be saved unto eternal life, except that they would not have it. So many spurn the gift offered so freely. p. 5, Para. 45, [WROM].
~Pastor Tom Cusack