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I. Righteous

II. Gracious

III. Victorious

Romans 5:12-19 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when 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 was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our perfect Savior, dear Christian friends,

Video game aficionados know what it means to create the perfect adventurer or athlete or avatar, depending on what game is being played. Will the adventurer be especially smart or incredibly strong? Will the athlete be a great defender or an offensive machine? Will the avatar have a smile or a scowl? The final decision is in the mind and hands of the video game controller.

If you were to construct the perfect Savior, what characteristics would he or she have? Would he or she be extremely attractive or only mildly so? Would he or she have the highest IQ or something average in order to better relate to the people? Would he or she live in a million dollar mansion or in a quaint bungalow?

Obviously, you and I will not have the opportunity to fashion our own Savior. He already exists. God the Father made sure he had all the right characteristics so that he could be our perfect Savior.

Even though he may not have been the Savior we wanted, he is the Savior we need. Over the next six Sundays in Lent, we will follow the theme: “The Jesus We Want Need”. Today in the Gospel we saw he is “someone to withstand temptation”. That may not have been a feature we would have even thought about or chosen for him, but it was desperately needed.

So, today, let’s think about some other features of Jesus that allowed him to be “someone to withstand temptation” and let’s CHERISH THE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHRIST! I. Righteous II. Gracious III. Victorious.

When you think of the greatest tragedies in history, what comes to mind? Is it September 11, 2001? Is it one of the great wars like the Civil, or World Wars I or II? Is it the sinking of the Titanic or the explosion of the Hindenburg?

Much worse and much more widespread than any of those is the one the Apostle Paul mentions here and which we heard about in the first lesson for today: sin entered the world through one man. The fall of Adam (and Eve, as well) into sin will never be equaled when it comes to listing the top tragedies of all-time! Any of those tragedies that came to mind for you a few minutes ago is a direct result of this one.

Its impact is unequaled and universal. Not only did sin come into the world and ruin daily living for Adam and Eve when they answered the alluring appeal of Satan instead of listening to and obeying the command of God, but this also happened: sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned.

Their sin became our sin as it was passed down from Adam and Eve to their children, who then passed it to their children, and eventually it made its way into our lives to bring tragedy and turmoil, conflict and controversy, sadness and sickness. It not only ruined our daily living, but it brought an end to our living on earth forever. Sin brought with it death, both physically and, for those who die without trusting in the Savior they need, eternally. The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation.

Our perfect God demands perfection from his created people and when he doesn’t get it, he punishes them. People die physically, and some die eternally as unbelievers, because they sin. Even if they do not know what God’s law says, even for those who lived before it was written down, death is proof th