Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 2
April 18, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<214> Thesis: Man's individuality is real, but relative. Introduction: In Paul's theology, men are only relatively "individual". There is a unity of essence in humanity that no man can escape. The "individuality" is subservient to the "unity". Paul's argument in Romans 5:12-21 hinges upon one clear fact: individual men are not fundamentally individuals. By the actions of Adam all of humanity was plunged into sin and death. By the same token, only by the recreation of a new humanity can Christ bring any of Adam's progeny back into a harmonious relationship with God. The terminology of the Gospel, which includes "new birth", "if any man be in Christ he is a new creation", "he that is born of God cannot sin", "Christ is the Last Adam", the "old man/new man" designations of the roots of action, and the "children of God/children of the devil" -- all of these expressions indicate that Adamic humanity and Christian humanity are fundamentally distinct "humanities" and they have their fundamental identity and abilities in their "Adams". Therefore, in Romans 5:12-21, Paul set out to clearly establish the "origins" and "impact" of the two "Adams" before Romans 6 where he sets forth the principles of Life for the new humanity of which Christ is the Head for the interim period between "new birth" and the end of the process which will bring all of Creation into the Final State. Interestingly, there is not one exhortation to his readers in Paul's words from Romans 1:1-5:21 (unless I have overlooked something). This is important: until the foundations have been properly laid, action cannot be properly taken. So, as we study Romans 5:12-21 in the weeks to come, we are going to be studying the final "issue" that is involved in preparing us for the process of living as "Christians". Now, tonight, we are going to look into the opening declaration: sin and death are the experience of all people who have, at any time, lived in this present "world" for one reason -- Adam's action.