Not too long ago, my brother took one of those DNA tests to learn more about his ancestry. There were a few surprises. We found out we weren't as German as we thought we were, and he learned that he is slightly less Neanderthal than the average American. Nothing in our gene pool really seemed to stand out. As far as we know, there are no ancestors of noteworthy significance.
You and I -- and I hate to break it to you -- come from a long line of scoundrels. And there's nothing we can do about it. Paul calls it 'death from Adam'. We're all part of the same clan of rebellious, foolish, sinful people. That's not the way it was meant to be, but things took a turn for the worse when the image of God in us what corrupted by Adam's choice. Consequently, he was cast out of the Garden into the wilderness where we've been wandering ever since. Generation after generation has compounded this curse, and I, too, am a son of Adam. I don't have a bloodline worth bragging about.
In Romans 5:6-16, Paul compares the first Adam with the second Adam (Jesus). Here's how Paul describes our corrupted state: powerless, ungodly, sinners, objects of wrath, God's enemies, trespassers, dead and condemned. Yikes! Thank you very much, Adam.
But Paul does a great job talking about our old nature in the past tense: "that's who you WERE." There is a huge difference between who we were and who we are. We need to know the difference. One keeps us wandering in the wilderness and cut off; the other leads to life. In Romans 5:17-19, Paul writes about God's abundant provision of grace, a grace powerful enough to turn us from ungodly, condemned enemies of God to righteous friends of God who are reconciled and restored.
Death came to us through our corrupted nature; life has come through Jesus. While I am a son of Barb and Jerry, I am also a child of God -- redeemed and restored. The abundant provision of grace through Jesus is powerful enough to wipe out that generational curse going all the way back to Adam. That's a lot of sin. If God's grace is that abundant, is there anything in our story that is out of the reach of God's grace?
The first miracle of Jesus was performed at a wedding in the village of Cana. He was attending with his disciples and his pushy mother who insisted he spare the wedding couple public humiliation by turning some water into wine. Jesus gave into mom's pressure and ended up turning 180 gallons of water into premium wine. It was the best stuff -- and more than enough. With Jesus it's always more than enough (think of the leftover loaves and fish).
Whatever we've been handed through our bloodline as we roam this wilderness, know that the grace of God has the power to cancel the curse. Who we were is not who we are in Christ. God's abundant provision of grace is more than enough to restore and redeem our story and take us back to Eden again.