Title: The reign of life v.s. The reign of death

Focus: As descendants in Adam, we suffer the consequence of his sin by being born under the reign and power of sin and death and are therefore helpless and powerless to save ourselves. However, in Christ we are freed from the power of sin and death because Jesus inaugurated a reign of life and justification which overpowers sin and death. We can participate in his reign if we so choose.

Function: to encourage the hearers to trust in God by placing their lives into his hands, into his reign of peace and accepting his lorship.

Text: Rom 5:12-21


Intro:
1.  What is an age or era?
	a.  When talk about an age or area of history
	b. Age of enlightenment, or Dark Ages
	c.  Period of time with characteristics
2.  Bible have ages?
	a.  For Paul, there are only two ages
	b.  Not ages of history.  But dominions or reigns of history
3.  Text:  Rom 5:12-21
4.  Godís grace is greater that our sin.  
	a.  How is it
	b.  Paul develops it by a contrast -- Adam and Christ

I.  (v.12) - Reign of Adam brought death
	A.  There was an ďoriginalĒ sin in the Garden
		1.  Debates for centuries about how that sin affects all of us
		2.  Adam introduced sin into world -  Result = Death
	B.  What is Sin?
		1.  Simplest definition - Breaking of a command
			a.  1 Jn 3:4 - Sin is lawlessness
			b.  Jas 4:17 - Know right and not do it = sin
			c.  Example of Adam = Disobedience
				- Resulted from lack of trust in God knowing best
				- Wanted to be like God
		2.  For Paul, sin along with death is also a Power
			a.  v.21 - Sin ďreignedĒ in death
			b.  Once you transgress law, you stuck in sin
			c.  No way to undo it, you powerless, law powerless
		3.  What about infants?
			a.  v.20 - All made sinners through Adam
			b.  (Ezek 18:20) - Not inherit guilt of fathers sin
			c.  Yet infants die!
			d.  how all made sinners?
				- Nature or nurture?
				- Paul not get into that, we wonít either
				- His point - we helpless, powerless 
		4.  Why powerless?  Adam inaugurated reign of sin & death
			a.  (v.13-14) - Was sin in world without law or command?
				- Yes.  Evidence is that all died
				- Death reigned even when no law
				- Rom 8 - Creation subjected to corruption
			b.  But what is death?
				- Absence or separation from God
					(dark is absence of light, evil is absence good)
				- Expelled from Garden/God, body start to die
				- Ezek 37 - Separation from God = valley dry bones
			c.  Life is fellowship with God
			d.  Adam brought separation from Garden/God
	C.  ILL:  Father and young children on vacation
		1.  Father alcoholic got drunk - Accident - All died
		2.  Children guilty of what that Dad did?  No
			a.  But they suffer because they all together in family
			b.  Being in same family, suffer consequences
		3.  As children of Adam, we suffer for what he did
	D.  (1 Cor 15:22) - In Adam all die
		1.  Play on words in Hebrew - In man all die
		2.  In Christ, all made alive

II.  Reign of Christ
	A.  Hebrews looked for the reign of God in the Old Testament
		1.  Hebrews called it ďMalkut ShemayimĒ (Reign of Heaven)
		2.  Jesus preached Reign of God was near
			a.  He began his ministry with power
				- Cast out demons, healed sick, forgave sins
			b.  Ended ministry with power
				- Resurrection from the death
				- (Mk 9:1) - Will see reign of God come with power
	B.  Jesusí reign is inversely proportional to Adamís reign
		1.  Jesusí reign filled with power, Adamís with weakness
			a.  v.15 - Grace greater that sin
			b.  v. 16 - From many sins resulted justification
			c.  v.17 - More abundance of grace
			d.  v.20 - Grace abounded more
		2.  Adam wanted to be like God - Christ humbled self
			a.  (Phil 2:4ff) - Christ poured himself out
			b.  (Heb 2:14) - Rendered Satan and death powerless...
			c.  Freed us from slavery and fear!!
		3.  Jesus inaugurated reign of life
			a.  (Rom 14:17) - Reign of righteousness, peace and joy
			b.  (v.21)  Reign of Grace = Forgiveness
			c.  (v.17)  Reign of Life = Restored fellowship with God
		4.  Another difference between Adam and Christ
			a.  We all born into Adamís reign
			b.  Must be ďre-bornĒ into Christís reign (Col 1:13-14)
			c.  Gal 3:26-27 - By faith and baptism
	C.  So we have two simultaneous reigns at work
		1.  Yes, Satan is still at work - 1 Jn 5:19 - Whole world in his power
		2.  ILL:  World is quicksand
			a.  Everyone is stuck, sinking and dying
			b.  Quicksand is made up of sin and death
			c.  Canít swim out, canít kick out, bet more stuck
		3.  Thatís why Rom 5:6 say we helpless/powerless
	D.  But Jesus offers a way out
		1.  Extends his right hand, grab hold and hang on
		2.  He transfer you out of the quicksand of sin and death
		3.  WHAT does taking his hand mean?
			a.  Accepting his lordship over your life
			b.  Only two lordships - death and life
			c.  Your choice
		4.  If choose life, have more to look forward to

III.  In Christ, we look forward to full realization of his dominion
	A.  Paul not mention it in this passage, but it appropriate now
	B.  1 Cor 15:20-26
		1.  Even though sin and death power destroyed in our lives, it
		      still exists in the world
		2.  Jesus will abolish all rule, authority, and power, including death
		3.  Sin and Death will no longer be a reality
	C.  He will deliver us up to Godís eternal kingdom
		1.  (Rev 11:15) - Godís reign will fill ALL of creation
		2.  (Rev 20:14) - Death and Hades thrown into lake of fire
			- ie:  DEATH ITSELF WILL DIE!
	D.  Result:  Rev 22:1-5 - Restored to full fellowship with God

Concl:
1.  Thatís what we have to look forward to in Christ
2.  Who are you in (only two choices)
	a.  Adam - In Adam all die
	b.  Christ - In Christ all shall be made alive
		- In Christ, not heave to fear worst tragedy - death
		- Death is positive, it is final step to God
3.  The choice is yours
	a.  If choose life, this is as bad as it gets
	b.  If reject it, this is as good as it gets