Representative Acts

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 5:12-18

One man’s trespass led to condemnation for all . . . one man’s act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. (v. 18)

I grew up during the Vietnam era. Some of my friends were being shipped off to war halfway across the world. They had no choice in the decision to go to war. How could the actions of one man, our president, affect the lives of so many people for ill? That didn’t seem fair. But that’s the way it was!

Similarly, the act of the first man, Adam, who sinned against God’s command in the Garden of Eden, has affected the entire human race. Because of what he did, we are all under a cloud of sin, condemnation, and death. That may not seem fair either, but whether fair or not, that’s the way it is.

But then there’s another representative whom God sent, Jesus Christ! He chose to obey God perfectly, and he followed through even to death on a cross. The amazing message of the Bible is that his act of righteousness and his loving sacrifice are even more powerful than Adam’s sin. They lead to justification and life. We have no choice about Adam’s representative act. But for Christ’s righteousness to be ours we must claim it by faith.


God, I thank you that you work through representatives, for that gives me hope in the name of Jesus. Amen.