God makes us his friends
1-2 So we believe in Jesus now, and God says we are all right, and he will not punish us. God is really good to us. Jesus Christ, our leader, did all that for us. Now we can be happy and think about how good it will be for us later, when we will be with God. God will show us how great he is, and he will make us great too. We can be happy now too, even if things go wrong for us and we get trouble. We know that God lets us get trouble to make us strong, so that we will learn how to keep on believing, even if we have problems. And after we learn to keep on believing, then we will become better people. And after we become better people, we can think about the time that will come, the time when everything will be good for us. And we can be sure that God will be good to us then, because he already gave us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is in us, so we know that God loves us.
Jesus Christ died for us while we were still really weak. At that time, we didn’t care about God at all. But Jesus came, just at the right time, and he died instead of us. You know, people don’t usually agree to die instead of somebody else, not even instead of a good person. Maybe there is somebody that would die to save a really good person. But Jesus Christ died for us while we were still really bad people. That shows that God really loves us very much.
And that’s not all. Jesus Christ bled and died instead of us, so now God tells us, “You are all right,” and he will not be angry with us when he judges everyone. 10 It is like this. We were God’s enemies, then his son Jesus died for us, so now we are God’s friends. And that’s not all. Now that we are God’s friends, Jesus lives in us and saves us. 11 So we are really happy now, because Jesus saved us and made us good friends with God.
Jesus Christ is different from Adam
12 Think about the story about Adam. God told him, “If you eat any fruit from that tree, you will die.” Then Adam did the wrong thing, he ate that fruit, so he died. And it’s the same for everybody now. We are all from Adam. We are all in his family, and we all do wrong things, so we all die.* 13-14 You see, before God gave Moses the law, it was like this, everybody did wrong things, so they died. They didn’t have the law to show that what they did was wrong, but they all died. So that shows us that they all did wrong things. Yes, all the people from Adam did wrong things, even though they didn’t break a rule, like Adam did.
At first Adam came, and Jesus came later. I will talk about them both now.
15 Jesus Christ did something very different from the wrong thing Adam did. Adam did a bad thing, so lots of people have to die. But Jesus Christ did a good thing, so that God can give lots of people new life. Yes, God is very good to us, even though we are not good. So, you see, Jesus does a better thing for us than Adam did. 16 That new life that God gives us is a lot different from the trouble we got from Adam. Adam did one bad thing, and God said that he was guilty. And he died. So now we all do bad things, and we get trouble. But we get something really good from Jesus. Even though we did bad things, God says we are all right. 17 That one man, Adam, he did something bad, so now lots of people die. But that other man, Jesus Christ, he did something good, so now lots of people will live with God for ever. God is really good to them now, and he makes them good too. Yes, Jesus did a much better thing for us than Adam did.
18 Adam went wrong, and after that, everybody did bad things. So God had to punish everybody. But then Jesus did something really good, so after that, God will not punish us, but he will let us live with him for ever. 19 That one man, Adam, did something wrong. He did something God told him not to do, so now lots of people do wrong things. But that other man, Jesus, he did something good. He did everything God told him to do, so now he will make lots of people good.
20 You see, the law came and showed people that they did wrong things. But that didn’t stop them. They still did wrong things. Yes, people kept on doing more bad things, but at the same time God kept on being good to people, more and more. 21 It was like this. We couldn’t stop ourselves doing bad things, so we all had to die. But now, nothing will stop our leader, Jesus Christ, from being really good to us. He did a really good thing for us, so now God says that we are good too, and we will live with him for ever.
* 5:12 Genesis 3:6