Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 9
June 27, 2006
Lincolnton, N.C.

<228> Thesis: The only part individuals "get to play" in their eternal identity is that part called "believing". Introduction: Paul, in Romans 5:12-21, is very much "geared up" to make a case for the individual's inability to "do" anything that will make any difference in how things play out. It is pretty much impossible to read this paragraph and not come away with the sense that "the ball game's over". Adam struck out. Jesus hit a home run. As we come to 5:18-19 this evening, we are confronted with the same thesis: one man's offence brought condemnation; one Man's fulfillment of righteousness brought a return to Life. In fact, the thesis is intensified in that Paul not only says condemnation and Life are beyond the current individual's ability to do anything about them, he also says that the roots for those results were determined by Adam and Jesus: Adam actually constituted men "sinners"; and Jesus shall constitute men "righteous". The problem with this thesis is two-fold: first, it generates a sense of absolute futility in that it seems to declare that man has nothing to say about his future; and, second, it generates a sense of serious discord with a huge amount of the Bible which continually summonses man to make choices and take actions. How do we address these apparent problems?