How the Good News Changes Everything

Faith In Jesus Will Bring You Peace, Grace, Hope, and Love

Tim Lundy
Apr 3, 2022    43m
In our fallen world stuck in sin, we will all face suffering and anxiety. But when we place our faith in Jesus and the many promises of His kingdom, we can still experience peace, grace, hope, and love. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:50] Well, if you have your Bibles, go ahead and turn to Romans chapter 5. If you're new here with us, we're in a series, we're walking through the book of Romans. The whole book is about good news, this good news that we're celebrating at Easter, this good news that's changed our lives. And if you don't have a Bible with you, you can use your phone, pull it up on an app. Or I'd encourage you, the blue Bibles right in front of you, to go ahead and pull that out, especially if you want to track along in the same version I'm using. It's probably page 1120 or so, Romans chapter 5. And I really would encourage you go ahead and take it out, even if you've not read the Bible much. One of the things we do and kind of reading through this together, especially the language around Romans, can be a little bit difficult. And so just reading it together, explaining it together as you see it with your own eyes, it starts training you, giving you some understanding of how you could read it on your own as well. And so that's one of the reasons that we want to track in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:48] As we do so in Romans five, this whole book is kind of broken in sections, and we're coming to a summary section of Paul's first part. Where he's been describing this great thing that comes that God is willing to make us right, declare us right, the word is, justify us, strictly through faith. Not through our works, not through something we accomplish, strictly through faith in what Christ accomplished. And you come to chapter 5 and we kind of come to a so what chapter, so what really changed as a result of that? I mean, we use these words "justified", even "make righteous", but have you ever asked yourself, what really changed in my life as a result of it?

Tim Lundy: [00:02:31] And I think especially for those of us, maybe you've been around the church your whole life and kind of get so used to it, maybe things we take for granted. But we all love those stories of radical conversions, and you see people, I mean, don't you love the story when the person is like, you know, I was mainlining drugs, and I was in debt, and I was in prison, and then Christ comes in and their life turns around and you're like, whoa, that's a story. Or stories of people that there's a radical thought that was changed, like, I was a virulent atheist, man, I discovered Christ.

Tim Lundy: [00:03:05] One of the wildest stories in history is the author, Theodore Dostoyevsky. I love Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment, Brothers Karamazov, he's a 19th-century Russian author. And when he was a young man, he was kind of a rebel. He would get together with a group of thought leaders, they would kind of rebel against the czar of Russia was the leader at the time. And they would have these writings, they weren't really doing anything too dangerous, but the czar had determined they were a threat to the Empire, Czar Nicholas. And so he had them, ultimately, he sent them to prison, but before he sent them to prison, he had them brought to the firing squad. He literally dressed all the young men in white, tied their hands up, put them at the firing squad where executions happened all the time, put the blindfold on them, and the guns were raised. They said, ready, aim, and at the last second, he had a horseman come in, and the czar has determined you won't be killed. And then he put him on a train to exile to Siberia, so he did send him to prison. But in that moment, Dostoyevsky, literally...I mean, can you imagine? You're up there waiting for the bullets and then your life spared. And when he's on the train, the only book that was allowed in the prison was the Bible. And a little old Russian woman handed him a New Testament, and for the next ten years in prison, he poured over the words of it. And he would say my life wasn't just changed because of the experience there before the firing squad, it changed even more with the truth that I discovered in the words of the New Testament of Jesus Christ.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:57] Now I read a story like that, and I go, whoa, that's a life change story. I mean, I can see the radical change. But I'll be honest, I mean, when I committed my life to Christ, I was six years old. You know, I wasn't really into virulent atheism, I wasn't mainlining Skittles or anything on the side, I mean, you know...And I kind of look at it and I go, I've grown up around it all the time, and what really changed that I've been justified by Jesus? Maybe you're like me if you've been around church for a long time, or maybe you've just been around Christianity, or maybe you hear people use religious language, and as you're exploring it, you go, what difference does this stuff really make? That's where Paul is so great in this chapter in Romans 5, because he's not only described what God did even though he didn't deserve it, he's not only described that it's only accomplished through faith, now he wants to really hammer home to every one of us, let me tell you what is different because of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:06:00] Look at chapter 5 verse 1, let's just read through this first section verse by verse really lays out the impact of it. He says, "Therefore...". So as a result, "...since we've been justified by faith...". Since God declared us right with Him through faith, "...we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. 3Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.".

Tim Lundy: [00:06:49] Now, let's look at the categories of the things that we've received. What are the results of the good news? Look at the first one, he says here, the first result is, we have peace with God because we're right with him. I mean, right out of the gate there, therefore, since we've been justified, since we're right with God, now we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. Now we may take that and kind of go, okay, you have peace with God. Just stop for a minute, do you realize the radical change of what it means that we could actually live in peace? That's why the angels, when Jesus was born, remember the first thing they said? They said, there is now peace on earth, that there's now the opportunity. And when you look at that word, peace, it's funny, when we put it in church, I say, oh, you can have peace with God. We go, oh, yeah, that's a good thing. What if you just walked out of here and I just said this week you could experience peace, instead of living every day in the anxiety that you're feeling all the time, instead of living every day feeling like you're getting chewed up in it, instead of living every day, like you just don't know what's next and it's growing, and you feel it all over our culture.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:01] Have you ever asked yourself, why are we struggling with that so much out there? Why do we not feel the peace the way we want to? Could it be that all peace starts really at a spiritual level? And so when this first gift that God wants to make sure that we have, this first announcement of the angels when Jesus came, when he's declaring why you need this so bad, so that I and you and me, all of us, we could actually live lives of peace. Because now we're right with God, and we can live our lives aligned with the way he designed it.

Tim Lundy: [00:08:44] You know, Tim Quinn tells a story, he had a Mac program that he was struggling with. And this program had worked well on his Mac, but it kept giving him more trouble, he kept getting more frustrated with it, and he kept working on it. Finally, his wife said, why don't you call the manufacturer? And like a good man, he said, I can fix it myself, and he just kept getting more frustrated. Finally, he broke down and he called the manufacturer, and they said, oh, we got the perfect person for you to talk to, and they gave him the name, here's his extension. And he's dialing it in, and he's like where have I heard this name? And then he looked at the program, it's the guy that designed it. And he gets the designer on the phone and the designer is like, oh, yeah, let me tell you what you're doing wrong, and he gives some instruction. And he puts the instruction in according to the designer, and he's like, aha, it works right now.

Tim Lundy: [00:09:45] As Tim talked about it, he says as I step back from that, isn't that exactly what God offers us? Guy's the reason we don't have peace, the reason we live in this all the time, is we're not living life the way it was designed to be lived. And so the opportunity through the gospel we have, the opportunity this good news is, the designer of life himself says, hey, we can be right, and I could actually give you instruction that would make life run the way it was supposed to, the way it was designed to, this peace that comes to Christ.

Tim Lundy: [00:10:28] You combine that with the next thing, you get grace from God to live every day. He says, we have peace, and then notice, through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace. And I love the way he puts it, into which we stand. So we're talking about grace, grace is this undeserved favor. Grace is you're not getting what you deserve, you actually get benefits you didn't deserve. And so the whole concept of what Jesus brings is, it is based on grace, it was God's idea, it was God's sacrifice, it was God's plan, it was God's action. We didn't deserve any of it, it's just this grace that's poured out to us.

Tim Lundy: [00:11:03] But we often think of grace as just that moment, you know, I was a sinner and by grace, he forgave me, that's usually when we apply grace. That's not what he's talking about here, though, he's talking about not just the forgiveness in the moment, he's talking about grace for everyday life. Notice he says the grace in which we stand, the grace in which you do every day, this environment that you live in, where someone is for you all the time, someone is willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, someone is willing to do for you what you can't do for yourself.

Tim Lundy: [00:11:42] I mean, I just started thinking about it, the environment that we live in every day out there. And probably the best picture of it is social media. Is there any grace on social media? Honestly, is there any grace at all? I mean, if you do one thing wrong, what does everybody do? Oh, man, it is posted in every way possible, it's picked apart. If you stumble it all in life somebody's making sure that they pointed out. And what happens in that environment, do you ever find yourself, people are scared, I'm scared to say something, I'm scared to do something, I'm scared because somebody's watching it all the time, somebody's picking apart all the time, there's no grace there. And if you ever make a mistake, man, let's cancel you as quickly as possible, we are done with you. It's like the perfect picture of what happens in a graceless world. And I don't say that to pick on one, all sides are guilty of it out there. And yet, Paul says that's not how God operates, though. God doesn't want you operating everyday living that I'm afraid I can make a mistake. He says, we have a God who loves to forgive our sins. We have a God who's already paid for that. We have a God who loves to strengthen you as you take those steps. We have a God who's actually for you.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:09] You know, I love the story, there's a basketball team down in Texas, and it's the Gainesville Tornados in Gainesville, Texas. And this team has no fans, no one ever shows up for their games because it's a team for the correctional, it's a juvenile correctional facility. And so the parents usually don't come, nobody at the school, the correctional facility is allowed to go to the game, it's always away games. And they always play other private schools, usually Christian schools, like Vanguard Prep and others. And one day, two students at Vanguard Prep, they knew that the Tornadoes were coming, and they played them every year. And they thought, you know, it is a shame that we come, and we have our fans and we're cheering and man, these guys, they never hear one cheer for them. So these two students went to the student body, and they said, hey, in the next game, we want you to do this, we want half of you to sit on the other side, we want you to wear their colors, we want you to cheer for them like they're your team. And the Tornadoes, these guys in this juvenile correctional facility, as they walked into the gym, they didn't know what to think because, for the first time, there was a crowd cheering for them. And when they'd go down in score, everybody started cheering. In fact, it was supposed to be half, before it was all over, the whole gym, they were Gainesville fans. And they said you could literally watch the demeanor of the guys change, of realizing what it means to have this kind of encouragement. They even said a couple of the players, one of them said, when I'm an old man, I'll still be thinking about this. I mean, every time they scored the gym just lit up, it was cheering and clapping, it showed me the impact of encouragement and support.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:13] Steve Hartman was a journalist that covered it. Listen to his words, he says, "We all need someone to believe in us. We all need someone who knows our mistakes and loves us anyway. And for that, the Gainesville players can't thank the boys enough." That was the line that jumped out to me, it's just, that we all need someone who knows our mistakes and they cheer force anyway, they love us anyway, they're for us anyway. And we look at that, that's just a basketball game. Here's what Paul is saying, in Christ, God gives you the opportunity that every day of your life is in that environment. And the person cheering for you is the person who knows your mistakes the best, God, but he's also the one who's willing to pay for them, and that's why he can extend that grace. So what has changed? Man, I have peace with God, I can actually experience peace. I have grace in God.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:21] The third thing, I have hope in God for this life and beyond. I have hope. I love the way he puts it, and we rejoice, and there are two forms of hope that he's pointing out here. The first one is, that we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. When you see that in Scripture, the hope of glory, it's talking about in eternity, it's talking about in the end. That for those of us who know Christ, we know when we die, I have the hope of glory, I have the hope that the moment I die to be absent from this body, I'm going to be present with Jesus, and so there's this hope of what that means for eternity.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:59] And that's a big thing, by the way, guys, we can kind of pass over it if you've known it all your life. But I'm just telling you, as a pastor, I've been in a lot of hospital rooms. I've been to a lot of funerals. I've been there when the diagnosis came. And whether you're a Christian or not, it's always painful, but I've seen the difference of those who have that hope. I've seen the difference it's made in their life; I've seen the difference it's made in their family's life, of just having a hope that you can rest in, that I'm not living every day and wondering what is on the other side, and wondering what happens to me when I'm buried? That I have that hope and I know that, and it's a hope that doesn't just impact eternity, it really does impact how you live now.

Tim Lundy: [00:17:55] But Paul says it's not just eternal hope, notice what he says, "And not only that, but we rejoice..." He says you can have hope right now, no matter what you're going through, "We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope." He says it's not just...Because sometimes people accuse us as Christians, well, you have hope, yeah, okay, you've taken care of it when you die, but does it do any good right now? Paul says, oh, it does absolute good right now. Because even if you're going through suffering right now, even if you're going through hard times right now, man, there's this chain that God works in our life that produces real hope.

Tim Lundy: [00:18:35] Now, we often want to fast forward through the chain, and sometimes even as Christians, we miss it. That's why it's important, if you look at it, he says, we rejoice in suffering. Why? Because we love suffering. No, nobody likes suffering. But we know this, look what he says, "Suffering produces endurance, suffering produces that persistence in you, that resilience. And then out of that resilience, that endurance produces character, it starts changing you. And then as you see your life changed, look what happens, that character produces hope. And we could do a whole message on that one line, I would just say this believer or not, suffering is going to impact you one way or another. Suffering either makes you better or it makes you bitter. It either changes you and God uses it in a way that you go, man, I'm actually better from it because of what God's doing, or even as believers, you can get bitter from it. And almost invariably, it comes back to this word, endurance. Because we face suffering, and when suffering happens, we go, wait, this isn't how life was supposed to go, and we immediately want God to fix it, fix it right now. Do something right now. God. Come on, I don't deserve this, God. And the more we want to rush that, the more open we are to actually getting bitter at God, that he's not doing it in our timeframe.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:11] And I'd just encourage you, if you read through the Bible, the people of faith, the people that lived these unbelievable...If you go through Hebrews 11, this whole hall of fame of faith, almost all of them went through long seasons where God didn't do it according to their time frame. Where Abraham was promised, he was going to have all of this land and heirs, and for about the next 25 years he walked around and he didn't own one plot of land, and he keeps waiting for a baby to come. Moses who's promised that he's going to be this great leader, he can point to two 40 year stretches of his life in the desert, one when he was alone as a shepherd, and one when he had to lead rebellious people around to a land of promise he didn't get to go into, he only got to see, because of the sinfulness. If you look at Joseph, who's promised you're going to be this great leader, and he would go, man, the best years of my young adult life were spent in a prison, for a charge that wasn't true. If you look at, John, this faithful man of the faith who finally reaches the end of his life, a time when you should be rewarded the most, and he finds himself an exile on an island alone as an older man, with no friends, nobody around. And he lives through those years, all different seasons, all different ways. But in the endurance, the character is changed.

Tim Lundy: [00:21:43] And I would just challenge you if you find yourself in one of those seasons, the temptation is we want God to shorten it and do it according to our time frame and we lose out on the opportunity. See, when you try to force God's plan to fit into your calendar, you lose out on the opportunity for him to shape your character. And so Paul tells us, man, we have hope, hope even in the hard times, but it's hope that comes through a process that when I face suffering, do you know what to do? Instead of saying, God, you got to fix it right now. I go, okay, God, teach me persistence, teach me to endurance, teach me to trust you in this. And then as you do that, you start watching your character change, and then it's amazing thing when your character starts changing is probably the most hopeful thing in my life. When I start to see God actually changing me, I believe in Him the most because I know how hard it is to actually change me and it gives me hope for now and for eternity.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:48] [Inaudible] these gifts from God, you get peace from God, you get grace from God, and you get hope from God. And then the fourth thing he says, the love of God that is given to us in us and through us, "Hope does not put us to shame." It's not the hope that ever disappoints. Why? Because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who's been given to us. Because God literally just pours out His love over and over again, this whole thing is grounded in love, when all else fails, there is love. The love of God that you experience, that you can have that kind of grace that we talked about.

Tim Lundy: [00:23:24] You know, Michael Gerson was a speechwriter, a presidential speechwriter. He worked in the White House for a number of years, but he struggled with depression, deep struggles, and eventually was hospitalized for it. And in a message, he's a Christian, in a message, I love his openness about it. He said, "Like nearly one in ten Americans, and like many of you, I live with this insidious chronic disease. Depression is a malfunction in the instrument we use to determine reality. The brain experiences a chemical imbalance and wraps a narrative around it, so the lack of serotonin in the mind's alchemy becomes something like everybody hates me. And over time, despair can grow inside you like a tumor. He says you can reach a breaking point. He said I did, but through God's intervention, through good counseling, and through good medicine, I was able to reach a day where I could see hints and glimmers outside that sadness." Now listen to his words, I love how he applies his condition. He says, "I think that this medical condition works as a metaphor for the human condition. All of us, whatever our natural serotonin level, look around us and see plenty of reasons for doubt, anger, and sadness, a child dies, a woman is abused, a schoolyard becomes a killing field, a typhoon sweeps away the innocent. I mean, just look at the news today, you can find something to lead to this despair. If we knew or felt the whole of human suffering, we would drown in despair. The answer to the temptation of nihilism is not an argument, though philosophy can clear away a lot of intellectual foolishness, it is the experience of transcendence we cannot explain or explain away. There is a difference for the Christian believer, at the end of all of our striving and longing, we find, not a force, but a face. God's promise is so different, that even when strength fails, there's perseverance, and even when perseverance fails, there's hope." And then I love this line, And even when hope fails, there is love, and love never fails."

Tim Lundy: [00:25:47] Paul is showing us, that when you get made right with God, when you're justified by him, it's not just kind of this spiritual label, it's not just this spiritual exercise, it's not this thing you do because you're part of the church, he goes, guys, it's revolutionary, it's groundbreaking, it literally changes everything about your life. You now have peace with God, you now have an environment of grace you live in every day, you now have hope no matter what you're going through, and you know that because it's all rooted in God's love.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:18] And if you have any doubt about God's love, look at verse 6, read with me. In case you doubt this at all, look what he says in verse 6, "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation." He says the reason you can know that you have love is because of what God did. If you look at it, the proof of this, God acted in love toward us while we were still weak, sinful enemies of God. He says, we have peace with God.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:22] I remember the old Israel premier, Yitzhak Rabin, he says, "You don't make peace with your friends, you make peace with your enemies. And so when God comes to us and he says, I want to make peace to you, you've got to recognize our position in this. And this is what Paul said, it wasn't just like we were, you know, a little disobedient, we were a little bad. He goes, no. Do you realize we were weak, literally impotent; we were sinful, and we were enemies? And I love though, this line, "But God." Despite what we were, this is what God did, "He shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." And I love how he puts it, he says, "You know, somebody might die for a good person, but who does for their enemies?" And as I thought about it, not just that Christ would die for his enemies, who sends their son to die for their enemies. Guy's, I've got four sons, now I'll just be dead honest with you, I would not put their life up for one of you, I wouldn't, and you're not even my enemies, you're my friends, you're people who love me, and we do life together. And I'm sitting here thinking about it, I thought about it yesterday, I don't have the capacity to love like that, I just don't. And it's one of those times that we start realizing, God is so much bigger than us, he's able to love in ways we can't even fathom, and so we have to be careful that we don't try to just reduce him to what we could do. It's in those moments you step back that I go, I would never sacrifice like that. And then I go, Man, I guess that's what it means to be God, God loves like that. That while we were still enemies, God paid the price of our punishment through Jesus' sacrifice, and since we have been made right in God’s sight, behold he saved us from God’s condemnation.

Tim Lundy: [00:29:28] In just a few minutes, we're going to take communion. And the key part of that, we're going to recognize, Jesus' body was broken, we're going to recognize his blood was poured out. And the reason we remember that it's in that moment that we go, man, condemnation, the punishment that should have been mine, he took, he paid for, that's how much God loves us. And then not only this, I love this, God restores our relationship with him through Jesus' life. Look what he says in this, "If, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! This is the part we leave out a lot of times, we often think about the fact he died on the cross, and because he died on the cross, I'm right with God, he restored me, so his death was applied to me. Paul says, Yeah, but it wasn't just his death that was applied to you, it was also his life. It wasn't just that he died on the cross and sin is forgiven, all the good stuff Jesus did, all the people he loved, all the miracles He did, all the things He continues to do, his ongoing life goes on our credit.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:48] You know, I've got kids that we're applying for colleges, and you know you meet with the admissions counselor. Could you imagine if you sat down with an admissions counselor and they pull out your transcript and they go, whoa, this is impressive? Man, I see here that you took all honors classes in high school, and your GPA is actually a 5.0, and you're the president of the student body, oh, you're the head of the debate club, oh, you starred in all the plays, you lettered in three sports, this is the most impressive resume I've ever seen. And you're listening to it all, and you go, that is great, but that is not my resume. I've yet to take an honors class, I flirted with an A once, I can't play an instrument, I've never been in a play. I mean, you're listening to all of it and you just go, that's not mine. And they go, no, no, look right here, here's your name, all of it, it's yours. Guy's, that's what Paul is saying, it wasn't that you got forgiveness and you got brought up to ground zero. Okay. I'm not a sinner anymore. He goes, no, you get Jesus' resume. you get all the stuff he did. And you look at it and you go, well, that's not me, I didn't do that, I couldn't do that. And he goes, of course you couldn't, remember this whole concept of grace. This is why it's so mind-blowing, I would get Jesus' resume, I would get that applied to me. Are we starting to get that concept a little bit, of how incredible it is to actually be justified by God, of what really changed for all of us? And maybe some of us that we've been around it all our life, we kind of take it for granted and you go, whoa, this is radical, this is unbelievable.

Tim Lundy: [00:32:41] In fact, at the end of the chapter, the last ten verses of this chapter, Paul just wants to pull way back and he goes, I just want to give you a big picture of the two realms, you're in one or you're the other. He's told us how radical is, and then he wants to pull back and he goes, man, where are you living? Are you living here, or are you living here? And if you study systematic theology and others, the end of chapter 5 is one, it's debated, it's a deep chapter, we could do all that, I just want you to get the big picture of it. In fact, just read it with me and I'll explain it, some of these terms in it that you go, wait, I don't know what he's saying. I just want you to finish out because I think Paul does such a great job of, he's told us what's changed, and then he puts it back in our lap and he goes, hey, what are you going to do with it?

Tim Lundy: [00:33:28] Read with me starting in verse 12, "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— 13for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14Yet 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. Now he's going to compare it, he compared it to Adam, "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. 16And 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. 17For 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. 18Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19For 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. 20Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

Tim Lundy: [00:35:02] Now, as you hear that, again, part of it, there's a value in just reading through this, because that's hard, these are hard passages. And these are passages, by the way, I mean, people study them and break them apart. Let me give you the big picture of what Paul's saying here because it really is a pretty simple snapshot. He's basically saying that two men, Adam, and Jesus, represent every single one of us. There are two representatives, one is Adam, and one is Jesus. And so Adam represented all humanity. And if you're like me, you go, can we have a recall vote? That is not the knucklehead I would have chosen to represent us. I mean, literally, he had one thing he wasn't supposed to do, and he did the one thing. Surely, we could have done better there, God, you picked Adam. Here's what we need to recognize, whether you liked him better or not, Adam's actually the best of us, he had the best environment, the best genetics, the best relationship with God, the best of everything, and even he made that choice. And as much as I might look at him and go, I wouldn't have done that. I look at all the things I have in my life that Adam didn't have, all the things I know about human history, all the things I know about Christ, all the things I have with the Holy Spirit within me, and I still make willful, sinful choices. He represented all of us, and in him, all of us sinned as well, that's the bad news.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:34] The good news, though, is that God himself was willing to come down into human time and space and be our representative and do what Adam couldn't do. And he didn't just face one thing, he faced every temptation that any of us have ever faced, anything you've ever struggled with in your life, Jesus faced that temptation, and he never gave in. And so Paul says, there's really kind of two worlds you can live in, you can live in this domain or that domain, and you pick your representative. Now, the one representative, Adam, when he sinned, what happened? It led to a kingdom of sin and punishment of death. That's this world's domain, it's full of sin that all of us, whether we want to admit it or not, we all struggle with said. It's a world that demands punishment, remember, we looked at those first chapters of Romans because of this, God has to punish it, he can't pretend like it doesn't exist, he's too right and good to just turn a blind eye to it, his character demands it.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:47] And ultimately, because Adam sinned, that word death, I'm not just talking about the day they put you in the ground, I'm talking about everything that is wrong up until that moment. When you look at the death of the war that's happening right now in the world. When you look at the death of children's childhood because they've been hurt and abused. When you look at the death of disease as you walk the hospital ward. When you look at the death of a marriage. When you look at the death of a relationship. You look at it. all of that, it goes back to that representative, and it represents this world.

Tim Lundy: [00:38:22] But here's the good news, that other representative, Jesus. Jesus' actions lead to a kingdom of grace, forgiveness, and life. He does the opposite of all those, where there's death, there's now grace. Where there's death, there's now life. Where there's sin, there's now grace. Where there was judgment, there's now forgiveness. And Paul ultimately looks at all of us and he says, where do you want to live? What world do you want to do life in? That's what Jesus said when he showed up, remember he said, repent, get right because the new kingdom is here. And he's talking about this passage, repent because you don't have to live under the old way of doing things, you can live under this new world and this new life.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:23] You know, I love the way Dallas Willard describes it. He says in his childhood, he grew up in rural Missouri, and he said there wasn't electricity. I mean, he was young enough, there was no electricity, especially out in the country. And then they had the Rural Electrification Act, where the federal government came and they put in power poles and they went down every street and to every home and they said, hey, you have the opportunity to literally change your household and change your life. Instead of kerosene lamps, instead of an icebox where you have to put a chunk of ice in it, you could have a refrigerator. Instead of washing your clothes by hand, instead of having battery-powered lights and all the different things you do, your life, your world, can change, here it is, it's available, will you receive it? Now, most people looked at it and they said, of course, I'll receive it, look at the radical change. But, you know, there were a lot of neighbors, that they looked at it, uh, I don't know if I want to change like that, I don't know if I trust that. And so even though the kingdom of electricity was there and available, they chose to stay in the dark, and the hard way, and the old way.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:37] See, that is exactly what Paul is presenting here, he said, there is a world that is stuck in sin, there's a world that's stuck in punishment, there's a world that's so graceless, we know this, a world full of anxiety, we know this. And then there's this kingdom that Jesus offers, that you can only experience by faith. But when you experience it, do you know what it brings? It brings a world of peace, grace, hope, and love, that's only found through Jesus. Which world are you living in? And maybe you're here today and you go, yeah, I hear that, but it's a little scary to receive that. Just like the people that didn't want to receive electricity, you do have to change your life, it changes your world. But hear me. the change is what your heart and your life is longing for.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:45] In fact, I want everybody to just bow your heads, just bow your head for a moment. And as you do so, just ask yourself, which world are you live in? Are you living in that world that Adam represents, that world where you are stuck maybe in your sins, maybe you're stuck in your life as you're trying to do it, you're stuck knowing you don't have the kind of hope we're talking about? And if that is you today, here's what I would encourage you, right now, tell Jesus that. Tell him, I know I'm there and I don't want to stay here, confess that you actually believe he came to change your life through his death on the cross, and receive his gift, and receive his kingdom right now.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032