Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Daily Devotions from the Heidelberg: "The Sin We Are Born With"

Voting for the Right Representative

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

10 Q. Will God permit such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?

A. Certainly not. He is terribly angry about the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit. As a just judge he punishes them now and in eternity. He has declared: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the book of the Law.”

2) Scripture

Romans 5:12-19: Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

Comment

Our tendency as sinful human beings is to fight against God and his ways. This comes so naturally to us as sinners that we fail to see how wrong it is. Q&A 10 shows us the way things really are. We can fight against the way things really are to our own harm or we can accept the truth revealed to us from God in his Word.

Two difficult to accept truths are taught in Q&A 10. The first difficult truth is that God is angry about sin. Scripture is replete with the truth that God hates sin and that his holy reaction to sin is anger or wrath. The catechism says that God “is terribly angry about the sin we are born with as well as the sins we personally commit.” The good news is that the Son of God himself came to take away God’s anger through his atoning or propitiatory sacrifice.

The second difficult truth is that we are guilty in Adam, i.e., “the sin we are born with.” The original sin that we received from Adam not only poisons our nature, but it also makes us guilty before God. God is angry, not just about the sins we personally commit, but also about the original sin we inherited from Adam. How can this be?

Adam was our representative. Just as in the United States our representatives vote for us in congress, so Adam voted for us in the garden. His vote in the garden was for sin and rebellion, rather than for obedience and love to God. We voted in Adam, and with Adam.

Before we complain this isn’t fair, remember that God provided a second representative named Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has also voted for his people. His vote was not a “no” to God like Adam, but a “yes” to God. Jesus chose to obey and love God the Father. Through this second representative we are justified as Christ’s blood and righteousness are imputed to us, just as Adam’s guilt and unrighteousness were imputed to us before we came to Christ.

The question for all people today is a simple one: Who will you vote for? Will you vote for Adam or Christ? By coming to Jesus as your Lord, you can have a new representative. You can leave the representation of Adam, for a new representative and government with Jesus as your Lord and Savior! Won’t you vote for Jesus Christ, by coming to him by faith?

Discussion: Why is it hard for us to accept the way things are, namely, that God is angry about sin and that Adam was our representative? How does the cross where Jesus died, bearing God’s anger, help us to accept the difficult truth of God’s righteous anger against sin? How does God providing Jesus as our new representative help us to accept the fact that Adam was our first representative?

Prayer Starter: In your prayer thank the Father that Jesus is your new representative, who frees you completely from God’s anger against sin and gives you his perfect favor instead. Pray for a family member or church member who needs prayer.


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