God’s Gracious Gift

“But there is a great difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gracious gift. For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ. And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins. For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.”
Romans 5:15-17 NLT

We could feel that an awful lot of blame has been dumped on Adam. After all, he committed one sin and then, because of that, he was immediately removed from the Garden and spent the rest of his life fighting thorns and thistles as he scratched a living in circumstances never intended. Genesis 3:17-18. “And to the man he said, “Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains.” If that wasn’t punishment enough, the blame game for man’s sin focused on Adam. Paul wrote that Adam’s sin “brought death to many”, “led to condemnation” and “caused death to rule over many”. 

Perhaps it is fairer to empathise with Adam, and put ourselves in his shoes (if he had any at this point). Would we have behaved any differently? Whether it was Adam’s fault or not, we all sin. Of course, we could look at the spiritual connotations of the Genesis account, and see Adam as a spiritual representative of mankind. Fronting up God’s human creation, using Adam as a name for all mankind. We are effectively all Adamites. But whatever our opinion, it would be wrong to use the excuse “It was Adam’s fault”. As Paul said in Romans 3:23, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard”. 

But, thankfully, things didn’t end with the human race being doomed through Adam’s sin. God had a rescue plan in the form of a gift. “God’s gracious gift”. Just three words but behind them was a manifestation of God’s love so breathtaking that it has completely turned the world into a sphere of hope. Imagine it. We stand before a Judge, knowing that we are guilty, and just before the verdict is passed a Man steps forward and says to the Judge that He will take the punishment. That would be amazing enough in the natural, but when we find that it is the Judge’s own Son who steps forward we can only stand in amazement and gratitude. Emotions beyond all that we can even experience. That’s “God’s gracious gift”. But what is even more amazing is that most people in our societies will stand before that Judge one day without realising that if they had only accepted “God’s gracious gift” earlier then they would not have had to do the time themselves. And it will be a long time. Eternity.

God’s loving grace is available for all. No exceptions. And we pilgrims, having found a wonderful treasure, can only invite others to take a share. God has a personal gift available for everyone. It has a gift tag attached which reads, “To [put in your own name]. Here is a “gift of righteousness”, a passport to eternal life with Me”. And we reach out and take it, trembling and overwhelmed, knowing that it is totally undeserved. What a Saviour!

Dear Father. What else can we say than thank You. Amen.

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