Romans – “Therefore”
A person who is drowning, just beyond the shore, is usually in a panic and becomes quickly confused about where they are. When rescuers leave the beach with a mind to save them, most drowning victims will fight them in this confusion. So the first words from the rescuer to the one drowning is, “Calm down, I’ve got you.” “Let me help you.” “Trust me.”
The drowning victim who listens is saved and brought back to the shore. Panic is gone when they feel the sand beneath their feet. Life is restored, confusion and panic is gone. What a gift to be saved! When the victim comes to their senses, they are grateful to the rescuer who gave them more days to live.
Our word for today brings this image to mind as Paul writes of the rescue of Jesus Christ. He gives the historical background from the first sinner, Adam, who said no to God, to the Messiah who set things right by offering His life for our sin in an act of “aggressive forgiveness, we call grace.” The Messiah is our rescuer from the waters of sin that overwhelm and confuse us, keeping us separated from God. He comes with the same words…”Calm down, I’ve got you. Trust Me. Believe in Me and you will be saved.” What a gift!
Romans 6, The Messaage
The Death-Dealing Sin, the Life-Giving Gift
12-14 You know the story of how Adam landed us in the dilemma we’re in—first sin, then death, and no one exempt from either sin or death. That sin disturbed relations with God in everything and everyone, but the extent of the disturbance was not clear until God spelled it out in detail to Moses. So death, this huge abyss separating us from God, dominated the landscape from Adam to Moses. Even those who didn’t sin precisely as Adam did by disobeying a specific command of God still had to experience this termination of life, this separation from God. But Adam, who got us into this, also points ahead to the One who will get us out of it.
15-17 Yet the rescuing gift is not exactly parallel to the death-dealing sin. If one man’s sin put crowds of people at the dead-end abyss of separation from God, just think what God’s gift poured through one man, Jesus Christ, will do! There’s no comparison between that death-dealing sin and this generous, life-giving gift. The verdict on that one sin was the death sentence; the verdict on the many sins that followed was this wonderful life sentence. If death got the upper hand through one man’s wrongdoing, can you imagine the breathtaking recovery life makes, sovereign life, in those who grasp with both hands this wildly extravagant life-gift, this grand setting-everything-right, that the one man Jesus Christ provides?
18-19 Here it is in a nutshell: Just as one person did it wrong and got us in all this trouble with sin and death, another person did it right and got us out of it. But more than just getting us out of trouble, he got us into life! One man said no to God and put many people in the wrong; one man said yes to God and put many in the right.
20-21 All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.
Our Savior and Lord.
Dear Heavenly Father,
First, we thank you for your aggressive forgiveness, forgetting all confessed sins in our lives. Thank you for your grace that is amazing and gives life to our souls forever. Thank you for the joy and peace this rescued life brings to daily living. Thank you for this precious gift offered only by our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. Forgive us for fighting you before giving in to your rescue. Thank for life and more life “that goes on and on and on, world without end.” Thank you for loving us that much.
In Jesus Name, Help us to help others who are drowning and confused, Amen.