Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.”
In verses 13-14, Paul details how Adam’s sin affected the whole human race. Death is the result of Adam’s sin and the sins we all commit.
How so? Well, Paul pointed out that sin was in the world from the time Adam sinned to the time the law was given to Moses at Mount Sinai, even though during that time there was no clearly revealed law of God. People still rebelled against God. Think of the story of Noah… Sin was clearly in the world for thousands of years even though the law had not yet been explicitly given and yet people died. Did you get that? Even without the law—people still died.
Why? Because of sin. Think back to Romans 2:12-16 where Paul spoke about all people having the law of reason and conscience, but now with the coming of the law it only increased their responsibility and their guilt. One thing we know to be true: sin was and is all pervasive and deadly even in the absence of any commandments. Once sin gained an entrance into humanity, death followed.
Remember that the law was added to help people see their sinfulness. The presence of law turns sin into “transgression.” Transgression is an interesting word. A transgression is to know something to be wrong, and yet you willfully do it, even though you know it to be wrong. Paul’s point in verses 13-14 was this: sin may not be charged to one’s individual account apart from law, but sin is still sin and brings God’s condemnation and wrath.
This was true in Moses’ day, and it is still true today. Sin is a deep discrepancy between whom we are and who we were created to be. The law points out our sin and places the responsibility for it squarely on our shoulders.
Here’s one interesting thing about the law: it offers no remedy; it simply shows us clearly how we have violated it. It makes me think of the commercial where the bank is getting robbed, and the people laying on the floor look up at the security officer and say, “Do something!” and the officer replies, “oh I’m not a security officer, I’m only a monitor, I only notify you of a problem.” That’s what the law does, it can’t save us it can only notify us of a problem.
So what are we to do? The only thing we can do: When we are convicted of sin, we must turn to Jesus Christ for healing.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Story of Reality, Gregory Koukl.