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 ROMANS 5:12-19

A verse by verse Bible Study

THE BIBLE DOCTRINE OF "IMPUTATION"

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

Romans 5:12-19

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

THIS SERIES CONTAINS 15 BIBLE STUDY LESSONS.

 

LESSON 1 ... (OCTOBER 4, 2004) ... VERSE 12:

In our day of "post-modernism" (the word more and more being used to describe the current philosophy of this lost world in which we live) ... nothing seems stable!

Mankind is even questioning the existence of absolute Truth!

As that agnostic trend continues, the fundamental facts taught in the Word of God will be more and more questioned and then more and more ignored.

Among those great precepts is that of "original sin."

Man is a sinner!

Man is born a sinner!

We are endowed (from our forefathers) with an old sin nature!

Here's how the Bible words it:

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  Romans 5:12

The opening word (both in the King James Version and the Greek Textus Receptus) is a preposition ("dia" in Greek) and means "by" or "through" as well as "therefore" or "wherefore."  In other words, this is how it happened ... how man became a sinner!

Who is that "one man" by whom sin entered the world?

That man is Adam, the first created human on earth.

He is mentioned by name in this paragraph of Romans 5 (verses 5-19) twice!  (Verse 14 --- "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.")

The noun for "sin" is "hamartia" and means "that which causes one to miss out on his or her share in something!"  Sin robs one of God's blessings in life!  It also has a verbal background which means "to err" or "to do wrong."

"Entered" ("eiserchomai") means to come in (or to go in).  It is an aorist verb telling us that this "entered" action has already occurred (at the "fall" of man when Adam originally sinned)!

But then notice that along with sin ... entered death!

"For the wages of sin is death."  Romans 6:23 tells us that very clearly.

Death came "by" ("dia" again) sin.  Death resulted through the means of sin.  Sin is the "channel" out of which death flowed onto mankind!

We DIE because of Adam's sin.  Of course as soon as we have sinned personally (an event that doesn't take too long to accomplish) we die also for our own sins!

Then ... death "passed upon" all men!  This verb is "dierchomai" and means to come through (to travel throughout)!  Death saturated mankind!  It has universally stained humanity!  (This is another "aorist" verb.  The action is completed.  It stems from Adam's failure long ago.)

"All" men translates the little adjective "pas" which means every single one!

As the verse ends ... we are again reminded "for all have sinned."  That is not talking about some wrong you committed yesterday.  It is talking about our "original" sin we have inherited because we are members of Adam's race, of the human family!

It is plainly saying that we are sinners because of Adam's wicked deed years ago in the Garden of Eden!

All have sinned ... in Adam.

It is my understanding that if a man lived a full life here on earth, having never once personally sinned (but neither having received Jesus Christ as His Saviour), he STILL would have to stand before God as a sinner ... simply due to his state as a member of Adam's human family!   And that man, again ... having never been saved, would die and go to hell.

That's how deadly sin is! 

And that's how it entered the timeline of human history!

It was by one man, Adam!

Ladies and gentlemen, that is called the Bible doctrine of IMPUTATION.

The word has a Latin background and means to consider ("putare") something to be on ("in, im") someone.  Adam's sin "on" us because we are his children!  We share his bloodline!  We inherited his sin!

(Do not ever let anyone tell you that a Daddy's sins do not impact his children!  They do!  They certainly do!  And we have just studied the classic Bible example of such.)

The only Good News concerning this comes later in the Romans 5 paragraph!

As by ONE MAN (Adam) sin came!

So by ONE MAN (JESUS) righteousness and salvation can come as well!

Glory to God!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2 ... VERSE 13:

Paul teaches us that we are sinners not only because we practice sin ("For all have sinned!" Romans 3:23) ... but also because we "inherited" an old sin nature from father Adam!

We are sinners through our blood line! From Adam to his sons to their children to theirs and so on perpetually until this very hour!

He goes about proving that fact in Romans 5:13-14.

We shall today notice just the first of those verses:  "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."  Romans 5:13

By "law" (in Greek = "nomos")  Paul means the commandments God gave through Moses.  Once Israel had the "law" of God ... they knew what to do and what not to do!  (God's Mosaic Law had some "Thou shalts" and some "Thou shalt nots!")

And until the "Law" came ... no wrongdoing was considered a violation of any current statute ... for none existed!

Look at John's definition of sin:  "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."  (1 John 3:4)   John just said that sin was a violation of God's Law! 

Well, does that mean that if there was no law ... there was no sin?

No!

Sin has reigned on earth since Adam.  See Romans 5:21.

BUT it does mean that God did not look at sin as "imputed" legal wrongdoing.  This verb (in Greek = ellogeo) is a courtroom term.  It means "to count toward" someone's list of transgressions. 

So ... though there was no Mosaic LAW to violate ... YET sin was still "in the world!" (In Greek = "en kosmos")

Let's reason through this.

IF there is no law ... and if sin is transgression of the law ... then logic says there is no sin!

But God says otherwise.

"Until the law sin WAS IN THE WORLD!"

Here's our verse for today again --- "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law."  Romans 5:13

Even before Moses and the Law ... sin existed.  It's just that sin was not yet calculated against one's violation of the (not yet existent) Law of God.

You can't charge a man with the violation of a statute that has not yet been written ... even though his action was clearly morally wrong!

BUT here's the problem.  (And I'm looking a bit into the next verse here!)

Though there was no law ... men still died!  There was death everywhere. 

And death is the result of sin!

"The wages of sin is death" (both physically and spiritually)!

Then ... if there's no law to violate ... yet the results of sin are everywhere ... we must look elsewhere for some "source" of that sin!

And here it is:  Man is a sinner not just because He violates God's Law!  Man is a sinner because he has Adam's blood flowing through his veins!  Man is a sinner via Adam's headship of the human race.  His sin nature has been born into us!

Here's the absolute PROOF that man ... even before the giving of the Law ... is a sinner ... he died!

We are born sinners!

David said:  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."  Psalm 51:5

That verse alone is proof enough!

Yet Psalm 58:3 adds:  "The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies."

What iniquity Adam brought upon us all!

(But there's good news coming!  Another man ... the God Man ... the Lord Jesus Christ ... will make available to us everything Adam lost!  By Adam comes death for every man!  By Jesus ... if one believes and is saved ... comes Life, eternal Life!)

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3 ... OCTOBER 6, 2004 ... VERSE 14:

"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come."  Romans 5:14

Our verse is telling us that even though there was no Law (no Ten Commandments and supporting Mosaic legislation) in the early days ... still the wages of sin (death ...) fell upon all men!  All died.  This is proof that all had been tainted by sin!  But not by sin as violation of Moses' Law.  That did not exist in the days between Adam and Moses!

Then, what sin brought death upon all men? 

They had not (yet) transgressed God's specific laws of Exodus or Leviticus!

Answer:  The sin mankind inherited from father Adam has so polluted us that we are all sinners regardless of our behavior toward the Commandments!

(We sin because we are sinners!  We are not sinners just because we sin!)

Look how Paul words it.

"Death reigned!"

The verb is "basileuo" and means to sit as king!  To exercise royal power!

The noun "similitude" comes from a Greek root ("homo") which means "the same." We did not commit the same sin Adam did!  We did not enter a garden and eat of a forbidden tree.  Yet we are sinners because of Adam none the less! 

How do we know?

First, the Bible says so!

Secondly, we all die ... and such death is proof of our sin!  (It's the "wages" of sin! Romans 6:23)

That noun "transgression" is also very interesting!  It is in Greek "parabasis" and means a stepping ("basis") across ("para") the line, God's line!  That's exactly what Adam did ... and exactly what has been passed down to us from our forefathers!  We were born with a proclivity to sin!  We were conceived with an old sin nature!

Then Paul ends this great verse with a simple statement.

He says that Adam is a "figure" of Jesus Christ!  That Greek noun is "tupos" and is our English word TYPE.  Adam is a Type of Christ Jesus!  (It literally means an "impression" that has been pounded onto something by the fierce imprint of the real thing!)

How is Adam a Type of Christ?

Adam sinned, Jesus did not!

Adam was created, Jesus is eternal!

Adam made excuses, Jesus never!

Again, how is Adam a picture of Christ?

It this way for sure:  By Adam sin came upon all men!  By Jesus (His death on Calvary) sin is removed from (repenting) man and he is declared righteous before God!

By Adam death came ... By Jesus eternal life came!

By Adam came sorrow ... By Jesus comes joy!

Glory to God ... for Jesus!

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4 ... OCTOBER 7, 2004, VERSE 15: 

Forty times the Bible has the phrase "much more." 

From the good news of Exodus 36:5 where the people of God brought "much more" than enough to build the Tabernacle ... to the encouraging words of 1 Peter 1:7 where the trial of our faith is worth "much more" than gold!

I've just given you the first and the last references for these astounding "much more" descriptions of Scripture.

Today's verse also has one! 

Romans 5:15 declares:  "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many."

Look at that!  "Much more ... the Grace of God!"

But, what is this "offence?"

The Greek word is "paraptoma" and means a "falling" beside something.  (To fall down!)  "Pipto" means to fall and "para" means alongside.  It's called a "side slip" by one dictionary.  (A "lapse" into sin!) 

The "offence" here is referring to Adam's original sin in the Garden of Eden, the "Fall" of mankind!

The verse is saying that UNLIKE the sin Adam committed (bringing death) ... is the gift Jesus brought (bringing Life)!

The term "free gift" translates the Greek noun "charisma!"  It comes from a verb that means to grant as a favor!

Sin kills!

But God's gift of salvation brings Life ... and so much more!

Adam's offence has caused many to "be dead."  That verb uses the aorist form, telling us that they are dead once and for all!  Their deaths are finished events.  (No second chances after death!)

The comes our great "much more" ... in Greek "polus mallon"  which here means many more ... all the more ... better by far ... more than that ... or even more than ever!  While adverbs have no "degree" as do adjectives, "mallon" is built upon an adjectival  root which is comparative which in turn itself is built upon another adjective that is superlative!  It is as if this word's history goes:  more ... a little more ... more than that ... much more ... the most!

What's the source of all this goodness?

"The Grace of God!"

Who and What God is!

In fact 1 Peter 5:10 calls Him "the God of all Grace!"

Titus 2:11 tells us that it is the "Grace of God that bringeth salvation!"

And here's more good news yet!  2 Corinthians 9:8 --- "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you."

But we are quickly told that it's not just Grace alone (as a static cold dead) commodity!  No!  It is living dynamic powerful Grace!

It is "giving" Grace!

There is a "gift" that accompanies this Grace!

We know from other Scripture that this Gift is Eternal Life!  See Romans 6:23.

The noun for "gift" is "dorea" in Greek and means a gratuity.  It literally suggests a "sacrifice!"  It is a present from God to us!  What Mercy this reveals!

"By" Grace translates "en" (Greek) Grace!  This Gift is embedded within the very Grace of God!  (It's Grace in the Gift and the Gift in Grace too!)

One man's sin condemned us all!  So ... One Man's Gift (via the Cross) saved all who believe!

Who is that "One Man?"

Jesus Christ!

We have just had the Christ (Messiah) identified!  He is Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God!

And the verb "hath abounded" which attaches action to this gift and this Grace ... is in Greek "perisseuo" and means to go all around something ... then to go in it ... then to go all the way through it!  (To totally saturate!)

If you have been "graced" by God ... you are completely involved, completely saved!

Glory be to God!

How many enjoy this gift of Grace?

It just says "many!"  That's our little adjective again "polus."  In English it becomes "poly" as in polygamy (many wives) polychrome (many colors) or polymorphous (many forms)!

That "many" so far covers millions and millions of saved sinners!

And they are still coming!

What a statement of the Grace of God Paul has given us this Thursday in November!

Hallelujah!

                                                                       --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5 ... VERSE 16:

Jesus' gift to us of eternal life cannot be compared to much of anything on this old sin-cursed earth!  It is incomparable indeed!

And that is partly what Paul is saying in Romans 5:16.  "And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification."

Remember that this noun "gift" translates "dorema" and means a gratuity, a bounty, a benefaction ... but is based upon a word that means a present ... or a sacrificeOur gift of eternal life sure IS based on a Sacrifice!

"One that sinned" ... with the verb being an "aorist" ... views Adam's initial original sin as a thing that he committed in the long distant past.

So also is Jesus' Death on Calvary something He will never have to repeat!  It's power and influence and impact will last forever!

I think our verse today is saying this:  Adam committed one great sin!  He rebelled against and disobeyed God, thus plunging mankind into the abyss of iniquity!  BUT Jesus, in His great Act of Sacrifice (the Cross and His death and Bloodshed there) has provided forgiveness for MANY MANY MANY sins!

Also notice that Adam's act led to condemnation ("katakrima" = intense judgment), being declared legally wrong in God's court of eternity!  BUT Jesus' act (the Cross again) leads to justification ("dikaioma"), with the result of repentant sinners being declared right legally in that court of heaven!

At the opening chapter of this "history" of iniquity and righteousness ... there is one sin committed (Adam's)!  At the end of it there are many sins (billions and billions of them) forgiven through Jesus' precious death on Calvary!

The word here for "offences" is again "paraptoma" and means to fall down beside the pathway!  (This pictures sin as a failure, a falling into a pit!  Hence the term ... the FALL of man!)

What logic Paul here uses!

He is right now deeper than many of us can fathom!

But I know this ... he is magnifying the good Grace of God!

Praise the Lord!

What Jesus gives is BETTER than what Adam lost!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6 ... VERSE 17:

Today's Verse is absolutely beautiful!

It basically says this:  By Adam's sin death has reigned for nearly all of human history! Likewise by Jesus' sinless Death on the Cross (shedding His precious Blood for sinners) Life now reigns through Grace and Righteousness!

Summary:  Adam brought death.  Jesus brings Life!

This is some wonderfully good news!

The exact verse is found in Romans 5:17.

"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."

The "one man" is Adam.

To "reign" means to sit as king!  To occupy the throne!

But here's the lovely thing.  That verb "reign" (in Greek = "basileuo") is expressed as an aorist, meaning that the "action" it represents is past action, finished action, completed action!

Death DID reign.

That is ... until Jesus came and died and was buried and raised!  He conquered death!  He defeated death!  He usurped the throne of death!  Since Calvary there is victory over death!

Life ... Eternal Life ... is available through Jesus!

Actually our verse in Romans 5 expresses it this way:  "They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by One." 

This qualifies those who reign in life!

This Life is only possible for those who have "received" something (or Someone)!

This verb is a present participle (active voice) of "lambano" and means to take hold of!  To choose!  To obtain!  To collect!  To seize or trap!

This is aggressive salvation!

(This verse reminds me of Matthew 11:12 where Jesus said:  "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.")

But WHAT does one have to receive to reign in Life?

"Abundance of Grace and of the Gift of Righteousness!"

That word "abundance" is in Greek "perisseia" and means all around and all within and everywhere!  (Saturating and overflowing Grace!)

"Grace" is "charis" and means God's free gift!  (Romans 6:23b --- "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.")

Gift is "dorea" and means a gratuity, a free bestowal of goodness!  (The word is based on this thought: a gift made possible by sacrifice!)

"Righteousness" is the state of being correct (forensically unblemished) in the eyes of God!  God (through Jesus' Death and Blood on the Cross) sees no sin in me!

And the noun life (speaking of both physical and eternal life I believe) translates the Greek word "zoe."  It is their word for life on the highest plane!  (Not just biological life!)  Meaningful and vibrant life!

If the first "one" in this verse (the death bringer) is Adam ... Who is the Second "One?"  Paul clearly identifies Him! 

He is Jesus!  He is Jesus the Christ!  (Jesus is The Life Bringer!)

The Saviour of the world!

There is doctrine (meaning "teaching") built into our verse today!  And the Gospel is embedded within it too!  And a bit of a warning also!  Adam's Way equals death! Jesus' Way equals life ... real life ... Eternal Life ... Abundant Eternal Life!

Wow!

Let us never loose the WONDER of it all!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7 ... VERSE 18:

In Romans 5:12-19 Paul seems to be repeating the same thought over and over again!

But in reality he is doing some Holy Spirit directed "logical" thinking!

The little English word "therefore" actually translates two Greek words!  They are spelled "ara oun."  The conjunction "oun" means "thus" ... or "so" ... or "accordingly." Paul is still developing his inspired thought!  He is stating his conclusion thus far!

And "ara" means (from its verbal root) to "lift up" and Paul is likely elevating one main thought from all he has previously said!  It is as if he declared ... "most importantly" ...!

When both these words are combined ... which is done in Greek for emphasis ... the sentence is heavily weighted with a conclusion!  (A critically important one at that!)

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life."  Romans 5:18

This verse also is definitely describing a court scene!

The word "condemnation" here (in Greek = "katakrima") means to judge down on someone!  This is a "guilty" verdict!   And it is a "capital" crime too!  It carries an automatic death sentence!  (Eternal death in hell!)  One of my computer lexicons defines this word as "a damnatory sentence!"

Likewise the noun "justification" is one often heard in both the Judge's chambers and from his lips as he sits on the Bench itself!   This term means "found not guilty!"  To be declared straight (not crooked) in the eyes of God! 

(But what happened to our sin?  Jesus paid for them on the old rugged Cross!  Then he saved our old lost wretched souls!)

Through Adam's sin came death upon all men.

Through Jesus' obedience (on Calvary) came LIFE for all who will believe!

This is called the doctrine of "imputation."

It is from a Latin background and means to give a person credit (or blame) for something done by the Head of his class or group or people.

Often it is used in a "family" context.

Adam is the head of the human family ... being the first man created by God.  As such his sin has impacted us all.  By Adam's transgression we are all made sinners! We are all born into sin!

Adam's sin is "imputed" to our account!

Technically speaking, if a man was born and lived his whole life and never did one thing wrong (AN IMPOSSIBILITY I REMIND YOU) ... that man would still be a sinner and have guilt all over himself when he faced God!  Why?  Because of the taint of Adam's sin upon all the children of men!

Again, that is the Bible doctrine of imputation!

Now some of the liberals of today are calling God's plan here "unfair!"

Of course Bible haters call many Scriptural doctrines untrue or illogical or impertinent in this day of apostasy!

But ... here is what I'm thinking this Lord's Day.

If "imputation" is an viable principle of God's dealings with man ... we should be able to find it throughout Scripture.  In one form or another ... "imputation" should be readily visible.

And so it is!

And, Lord willing, tomorrow I will begin to show you some of those many places!

Our search will reveal some astounding examples of "imputation."

See you Monday morning!

                                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8 ... VERSE 19:  (Monday, October 11, 2004)

Bible believing Christians have accepted this fact for all their saved lives!

It is perhaps most clearly taught in Romans 5:12-19.

In brief here is the Bible Truth concerning "imputation:"

Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden.

As a result of his sin ... death came upon him and Eve.

BUT Adam's sin also passed upon his children ... who also died!

In reality ... it has passed upon all mankind since Adam! (Since he is our federal father, being the first created human on earth)!

Hence, we are all sinners ... primarily because of Adam's "fall" so long ago!

There is also some "good News" in Romans 5 too!

Another single Man, the Man Christ Jesus ... the Son of God, obeyed His Father perfectly (never once sinning) and died a sacrificial substitutionary Death on the Cross! And by the power of That Man's Sinless Life and Blood-stained Death ... His Righteousness can be passed upon all men (who believe in His Name in saving faith)!

In other words: In Adam because of his sin, death has come! (Both physical and spiritual!)

And in Jesus, Life has come ... Eternal Life (again to all who will be saved)!

"Imputation"

Adam's sin nature born within me!

Yet ... Jesus' very Righteousness can be credited to my account!

That IS good news to a repenting sinner!

But many rebel against this doctrine!

They call it "unfair!"

A bit of advice: I would not call Almighty God unfair! Or illogical! Or untruthful!

I thought about all this "imputation" teaching ... and decided that the whole principle (if indeed of God) must be taught and observed elsewhere in Scripture too!

Well, it is!

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them (idols), nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:5-6  (See here how the sins of the fathers are "visited" upon the sons! That is "imputation!")

"Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."  Exodus 34:7

"The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."  Numbers 14:18

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments."  Deuteronomy 5:9-10

"Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations."  Deuteronomy 7:9

"Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name."  Jeremiah 32:18

These verses certainly illustrate the fact that God considers a father's acts to be influential on their children in years to come!

Notice that this works both as a detriment (if the father is sinful) and as a blessing (if the father is godly)!

God IS fair!

And if someone wants to study this further ... all he has to do is start looking for examples of this principle in Scripture.  They are everywhere!

Adam plunged us into the sea of sin!

Jesus provides us with the opportunity of escape ... the "life-line" of Eternal Life by faith in His Blood!

And the moment I believe ... Jesus' Righteousness is "imputed" to me by God's Grace!

2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches us that upon salvation "we are made the Righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!"

Again ... that is "imputation!"

Some say it is a complicated doctrine!

I say it is a glorious one!

Thank God for Jesus!

In Adam all die!

In Jesus ... all live!

("Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  2 Corinthians 5:17)

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9 ... VERSE 19:

How can it be?

That God would allow a Adam's sin to be "imputed" to his children?  And then to their children ... and on down the line until every man and every woman is indeed born with an old "sin" nature?

This "doctrine" is so questioned today that many no longer believe it!

Maybe I had best prove it again Scripturally.

Romans 5:19 declares ... "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

That "one man" whose disobedience made many sinners is ... Adam!

What a noun that word "disobedience" is!  In Greek it is spelled "parakoe" and combines "para" and "akouo."  The definition:  to hear ("akouo") + aside ("para")!  It means to mis-hear something!  To be inattentive ... then to disobey! 

And we must co-relate the pronoun "many" here  with Paul's other statement in the passage.  For example, verse 12 clearly states:  "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."  Notice his use of the word "all" (twice)!

The verb "kathistimi" is translated "were made" and means "to stand down" or "to be declared" or "to be constituted" or "to be designated!"

By means of Adam's sin ... we are all declared sinners by an Almighty God!

But today let me show you this Bible principle at work in a couple of other places.

In the days of Moses ... Pharaoh sinned against God repeatedly.  His hardened heart just would not obey the Lord!  With the arrival of that tenth plague ... death come to Pharaoh's House!  And it was not Pharaoh who immediately died ... but his firstborn son!  This is a form of judicial imputation from the Hand of God!  In fact Pharaoh's sin not only caused the death of HIS firstborn son ... but that of every firstborn son in the whole land of Egypt!  (Those who did NOT have the blood applied to their homes!)

Also in Joshua 7 a man named Achan sinned.  He "stole" from the Lord.  And his sin (by means of a form of "imputation") fell upon his whole family!  It appears to me that they were all stoned!

Numerous other Old Testament examples exist to illustrate this truth. (Like Dathan and Abiram in Numbers 16 and a situation in 2 Samuel 21 concerning one of the sins of King Saul!)

Now hear me today.

This is a sobering thought!

BUT HERE IS THE POSITIVE SIDE OF OUR VERSE!

Romans 5:19 again says:  "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

I have accented the "Grace" side of the verse with capital letters!

Adam's "disobedience" made us sinners!

Yet God uses the same principle ("imputation") to make sinners righteous by means of the Holiness and Blood Sacrifice of His only begotten Son!

"so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

That ONE is Jesus!

The noun "obedience" translates "hupakoe" ("hupo" meaning under ... and "akouo" meaning to hear)!  To sit down and hear and learn under the teaching of another! Jesus submitted Himself to the death of the Cross as a fulfillment of His Father's Plan for saving sinners!

Remember ...  "Jesus became obedient to death, even the death of the Cross!" Philippians 2:8

By imputation ... Adam's sin made us all sinners!

But, glory to God!  Also by imputation ... Jesus' Perfect Life and Sacrificial Death (shedding His precious Blood) make us (who believe) righteous!

I say to you that Romans 5:19 is a beautiful and concise way of stating the Gospel! One more time ... here it is:  "For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."

Thank you, Lord!

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

I know that this doctrine of "original sin" is no longer believed by many.

But it is still taught in the Bible.

Let me quickly state the essence of this great truth. 

God created Adam.

Adam was prefect when created (sinless).

Satan tempted Adam (and Eve).

They sinned.

As a result of Adam's sin ... his children have been impacted and influenced!  His iniquity has infiltrated the human race! 

Since Adam is ultimately the father of all who live yet today ... we have all been tainted by Adam's sin.

We are all born with an "old sin nature" inherited from father Adam.

WE ARE SINNERS BECAUSE ADAM POLLUTED US WITH HIS REBELLION!

Romans 5:18 says all this rather concisely:  "Therefore as by the offence of one (Adam) judgment came upon all men to condemnation!"  One man (Adam) brought upon us all judgment and condemnation (because of sin)!

Listen to David lament his very birth:  "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me."  He is speaking here in Psalm 51:5 of the Adamic nature we all acquired at birth ... really before birth!  We were born as sinners!

So when Scripture teaches us the practical side of God's view of Adamic sin ... we simply must accept it as fact!  "Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments." Exodus 20:5-6

God here just taught us that when fathers yet sin today ... their children can be visited with punishment!  This is an outworking of God's principle called "imputation."

And it is here that all the liberals and Bible haters cry "unfair!"

BUT today I want to show you something!

There is not only a negative side to practical imputation!

There is a positive side ... a GRACE side too!

Look at the last part of Exodus 20:5-6 again!  God not only visits iniquity on the children to the 3rd or 4th generation ... HE ALSO SHOWS MERCY TO THE CHILDREN OF THE GODLY BY THE THOUSANDS!  ( "... and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.")

Let's see if we can find this GRACE side to imputation elsewhere in Scripture!

"And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,  keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."  Exodus 34:6-7  (Here is mercy comes first!)

Here it is again:  Numbers 14:18 --- "The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation."

And again:  "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,  and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments."  Deuterononomy 5:9-10

But here is my favorite one:  "Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;  and repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face."  (Deuteronomy 7:9)  Note here that God says He will impute good to a thousand generations!  That sure beats to the "3rd and 4th generations" of the wicked!  God's marvelous GRACE again prevails!

Leaving Moses behind, even the Prophets teach it!  "Thou (Lord God) shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name."  Jeremiah 32:18

What I am trying to say this Wednesday is simply that God is a God of Grace ... even in His judgments!

Iniquity imputed ... to the 3rd and 4th generations!

Godliness rewarded ... to 1,000 generations!

Wow!

Let's not let that liberal crowd accuse our God of not loving people!

Now THAT helps me better understand God's dealings regarding "imputation!"

We have a perfect and a balanced and an Almighty God in Heaven!

Praise His dear Name!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11 ... VERSE 20:

Man, since Adamís "Fall" in the Garden of Eden, has been a sinner!

But until the Law came (the Law of Moses, being perhaps in our minds condensed into the Ten Commandments ... although the old rabbis tell us it contained a total of 613 commands or prohibitions), man did not know just how bad a sinner he really was!

The Law helps measure our rotten sinfulness!

Paul says that when the Law came ... it helped make sin "exceeding sinful" in our eyes! (Romans 7:13) Without the Law, sin just does not look as bad!

It (sin) was still there! There were approximately 2,500 years between Adam and Moses! Centuries in which sin still resided within every man and woman ... killed them and sent them to hell (if they died without faith in the Messiah/Saviour) ... yet without any way of man knowing just how very "wicked" he really was! That "way of knowing" how vile we are ... is the Law of God!

Hereís how Paul put it in Romans 5:20. "Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound." What a beautiful verse!

The verb "entered" is great! It is a combination of 3 words in Greek! "Para" plus "eis" plus "erchomai" means "to come into something ... deep within it ... and remain nearby it!" Paul told the Jews that in their early history the Law was their "schoolmaster" to bring them to Christ! See Galatians 5:24.

The noun "offense" has been used in our study earlier. It means a falling into a pit or hole! (Literally ... to fall down beside your pathway!) When theologians speak of the FALL of Man ... they use Biblical language.

The verb "abound" is "pleonazo" and means "to do, make, or be more!" (More in quantity, portion or quality)! Wow! It is a subjunctive aorist! It was Godís desire that the Law make sin appear so huge! So overwhelming! And the "aorist" tells us that the Law came only once ... sin has been made to abound only once (in history) ... and (Thank the Lord) Calvary had to occur but once!

But hereís the good news!

They worse sin looked ... the better Grace looked!

The more sin grew ... the bigger Grace grew!

The further down sin led ... the further up Grace led!

Hallelujah!

The final verb, used of Grace, is "much more abound" and in Greek is spelled "huperperisseuo." This is another compound word! It means ("peri") that which is through or around someone! In front of "peri" is the little word "hyper!" It means above or beyond all expectation! We here have a case of "hyper-Grace" on our hands! Glory to God! (Have you ever heard of "hyper-active" children? Or hyper-whatever? Well, hereís hyper-Grace! And it is good!) It means "to superabound" (in quantity or quality again too)!

I am thanking God for His Grace today!

It has outranked and outclassed and outrun sin again and again since the days of old!

Let us pray, thanking God for this manifold Grace!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12 ... VERSE 21:

Today briefly I would like to discuss with you these words from the pen of Paul the Apostle: "That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."  Romans 5:21

Adam sinned.

Then Adam died (spiritually the very second he sinned ... physically hundreds of years later).

In Adam we (us humans) all became sinners.

Thus we too (in Adam) died spiritually and will some day die physically.

Jesus came and lived sinlessly, dying vicariously on the old Cross of Golgotha.

Now in Him we can be saved and "born again" from our deadness in trespasses and sins!

Or ... to put it as our verse today does: Because of Adam ... sin has reigned and reigned until death has fallen upon all men! But because of Jesus ... through His Shed Blood ... GRACE can reign and reign forever by means of Godís great Righteousness!

Get these 2 word pictures!

Sin (as a king) reigns!

But its invariable end is a kingdom of death! (The wages of sin is death.)  Romans 6:23a

Yet in Jesus it is possible for Grace (as a King) to reign! And its invariable end is the Kingdom of Heaven! (But the Gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.)  Romans 6:23b

Glory to God!

Picture both sin and Grace as monarchs upon their thrones!

A reigning king must have some power behind himself! (Both sin and Grace do!)

A reigning king must have a throne! (Both sin and Grace do!)

A reigning king must have some attendants! (Both sin and Grace do!)

A reigning king must have some wealth! (Both sin and Grace do!)

A reigning king must have authority to enforce his edicts! (Both sin and Grace do!)

A reigning king must have some model to follow! (Both sin and Grace do!)

Then it dawned upon me ... these two cannot indefinitely reign at the same place and at the same time! They are antagonistic to each other. There will be constant war! And so it is.

The construction of these two verbs in verse 21 ("reigneth" and "reign" ... in Greek "basileuo") suggests that while one reigns ... the other longs to reign!  (In a life where sin is reigning right now ... the Grace of God longs to move in and take over and give life instead of death!  Thatís the Gospel for you!)

Yes, when one gets "saved," technically sin is dethroned ... and Grace is instated as the monarch (king) of that life!

And dear converted friend, if Grace reigns in your heart ... everything will be different!

Stop just a second Christian brother or sister.

See if you cannot "sense" in your heart right now the presence of the very Grace of God!

I suggest that you can!

And if Grace is reigning there ... then it should impact every single area of our lives!

If Grace is reigning in me ... every word I speak, every act I commit, everywhere I go, every thought I have ... should be vastly different than before!

The "reign" of Grace in a Believer's life is just another way of describing the controlling Power of the Holy Spirit!  ("The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."  Galatians 5:22-23)

Reign, Grace, reign!

Amen!

                                                               --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13 ... OCTOBER 16, 2004:

It sure looks like a contradiction!

In Exodus 20:4-5 the Bible tells us:  "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments."

Yet on the other hand Scripture tells us:  "The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin." Deuteronomy 24:16

Look!

The Exodus text says that God visits the iniquity of the fathers upon their children for several generations!  (That is called "imputation.")

The Deuteronomy text seems to say the very opposite!

How does one resolve this?

Let me first of all say that I believe the Bible is a perfect Book!

I nowhere accept the fact of any real contradiction ... even between these two verses!

Here, I believe, is the answer. 

When God judges ... He visits sins father to son any time He pleases!  After all, He knows everything and can apply His laws to perfection ... never making a mistake!

But the Deuteronomy passage is giving human legal procedure ... to be followed in the Israelites' courts of law.  There no imputation is to be applied ... because man does NOT know all things.  He should NOT punish a son for his father's wickedness!

Exodus 20 ... describes Divine Punishment for Sin!

Deuteronomy 24 describes Human Administration of Justice!

There, it all falls into place beautifully!

But whether I understand it or not ... God's Word is right!

Hear me:  "Let God be true, but every man a liar."  Romans 3:4

(Just to prove that Deuteronomy 24:16 is not trying to disprove the Doctrine of Imputation ... read Deuteronomy 5:9-10!  "Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, and shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments."

Therefore ... the doctrine of "imputation" stands!

But NOT in man's judicial system!

So ... the Bible is right when it tells us that our father Adam sinned!

And that his sin has been "imputed" to us all!

We are all guilty before God as sinners!

Yet ... Jesus, God's sinless Son came and died for us!

And, by means of His shed Blood from the Cross of Calvary, there can be "imputed" to me the very Righteousness of God (derived from Jesus' Character and Sacrifice)!

In Adam ... all born humans die!

In Christ Jesus ... all born-again humans live!

Remember that word:  imputation.

Of yes!  One more verse:  "And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."  James 2:23

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

It's in the Bible!

"Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil."

That's found in Ecclesiastes 8:11.

That noun for "sentence" is only used twice in the whole Bible.  In Esther 1:20 it is translated "the king's DECREE."  It refers to a judicial decision.  It is an edict (by a judge or jury). 

The verb "executed" is just the common Hebrew word for "doing" or "making" something. 

And the adverb "speedily" translates a word that means quickly or hurriedly ... the idea behind it being that of water quickly flowing downhill!

The words "fully set" translate another Hebrew verb, "male."  (Pronounced ma-lay') It means overflowing!  (An over abundance!)

Also both times the word "evil" is used in this verse, it is the Hebrew noun "ra" and means active vicious spreading iniquity!

What's the verse saying?

It's just again illustrating the stupidity of mankind!

He is again mocking God!

God has said again and again that man will reap what he has sown.  That his sins will find him out!  That they will come back to visit him (and his family)!

Listen to Paul here:  "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."  Galatians 6:7

But ... lost reprobate man reasons like this:  I sinned!  No judgment fell!  I'm all right! I will go sin more!

But according to the Bible ... judgment is coming!

It may take a few generations to get here ... but it's coming!  Again I am reminded of Exodus 34:7 which says of our great God:  "Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation."

We can either believe God ... or our own suspiciously gathered "empirical" evidence. And remember that such "findings" are also coupled with our sinful rationale. ("There is a way which seemeth right unto man ...."  both Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 declare.  Then they quickly add:  "... But the end thereof are the ways of death.")

For me ... I'm taking God at His Word!

By the way ... we are living in an age when God's Grace is especially abundant! 

But when God's longsuffering is exhausted ... and He's ready to move in His great wrath ... pity this old world!

If you don't believe me ... sometime today read the Book of Revelation.

And let's not ignore this truth.  What happened to Sodom ... could happen again! Someone tell me where the great city of Nebuchadnezzar (Babylon) is today.  (Gone ... by the judging Hand of God!)  Take your world map and show me these nations: Philistia, Moab or Ammon.  They are non-existent ... the result of God's judgment! Seen any Amalekites lately?  BUT YOU HAVE SEEN SOME JEWS!  God decimated one group ... but preserved the other!

My point is this:  God can do it again!

And mark my word:  America will not escape!

Psalm 9:17 --- "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."

Let our nation laugh.  Let her scoff at God!

True ... her "judgment" has seemingly been delayed ... "not executed speedily."

And true ... she has "fully set" herself to do more and more evil!

But also true ... God is going to ultimately judge iniquity!

Dear friend, let the Law of God (the Word of God) help restrain you from sin!

Promised judgments are on the way!

Live accordingly.

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15, OCTOBER 18, 2004:

This is our last study on the Bible doctrine of Imputation.

But I feel that I need to mention one more word of caution concerning this great Bible truth.

It seems that some in the days of Jeremiah and Ezekiel had abused this fact of Scripture. 

The people (Jews then in Babylonian captivity) apparently were saying that they were innocent of any wrongdoing ... and were just suffering for their fathers' sins!

When the truth was ... they were as guilty as sin itself!

Hence ... God told them to quit using that proverb about the fathers and the sons (an "imputation" proverb)!

Here are our verses: 

"In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge.  But every one shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape, his teeth shall be set on edge."  Jeremiah 31:29-30

"What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?  As I live, saith the Lord GOD, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel."  Ezekiel 18:2-3

I still believe that it's the abuse of this truth ... not the truth (of imputation) itself that God is challenging here.

God does not contradict Himself!

It IS wrong for a judge in a court room on earth to apply the crimes (or sins) of a father to his son. That is forbidden in Scripture.  ("The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin."  Deuteronomy 24:16)

And it IS wrong for children to declare themselves innocent and suggest that they are just suffering for the sins of their fathers!  ("For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God."  Romans 3:23)

But the whole principle of "imputation" is not voided because of these two prohibitions!

In fact, the very same Jeremiah who said the day is coming when they will no longer say "The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children's teeth are set on edge" ... also said to God:  "Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name."   Jeremiah 32:18

In review ...

In Adam ... because of imputation ... we are all sinners!

But, in Jesus ... again because of imputation ... we can all be saved via His precious Blood!

Hallelujah!

And that grand principle is still illustrated again and again in today's old world.  The sins of fathers are yet visited on their offspring to the 3rd and 4th generations!  But the opposite truth is also still binding ... the mercy of God is visited upon the children of the godly to a 1,000 generations!  God is good!  (His Grace even here is abounding!)

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

                                                                     

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