The Offence of Adam and the Gift of Jesus Rom. 5 :12-24 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
This lesson deals with the similarities between the offence of Adam and the gift of Jesus. When you read the last verse of this passage, you see what Paul is trying to accomplish by comparing Adam and Jesus. He is showing us that the sin of Adam allowed sin to reign unto death [Rom 5:21] whereas the gift of Jesus allows grace to reign through righteousness unto eternal life [Rom 5:12]. Now to do this Paul starts out by explaining how sin entered the world through Adam.
Sin entered the world through the offence of Adam – Rom 5:12-14 – sin entered the world by Adam. In fact, iniquity was first found in the devil [Ezek 28:15-16]. Before creation, when the devil was the covering cherub [Ezek 28:14], his heart was lifted up and he corrupted his wisdom [Ezek 28:17-18]. He sinned. He wanted to be God [Is 14:13-14].
When Adam was created, he was forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil [Gen 2:17]. The devil tempted Eve to eat the fruit of this tree and she gave it to her husband to eat [Gen 3:6]. Thus, he sinned against God. They were tempted by the same thing that tempted the devil; they wanted to be “as gods,” [Gen 3:5-6].
When Adam sinned, the consequence was death [Gen 2:17]. And his sin not only affected him, but it also affected his offspring. Everyone born to Adam and his descendants died [Gen 5:5-27]. And death continues to pass to all men because “all have sinned,” [Rom 5:12, 3:23].
Paul explains that death reigned from Adam to Moses [Rom 5:14] because sin was in the world. They died even though they were not under the law [sin is not imputed where there is no law, Rom 5:13] and they had not sinned the same way Adam sinned [“after the similitude of Adam’s transgression,” Rom 5:14].
Then Paul says that Adam “is the figure of him that was to come,” [Rom 5:14; 1 Cor 15:45]. This sets the stage for the comparisons between the offence of Adam and the gift of Jesus that follow. As you can see below, Adam typifies Jesus Christ in many respects:
- They are both sons of God [Lk 3:38].
- They are both given dominion in the earth.
- They both had a body prepared by God [Heb 10:5].
- They both had to “die” to get their wives [Gen 2:21].
- They were both pierced in the side [Gen 3:21].
- Their brides come forth from their bodies.
- Their brides are of their bones and of their flesh [Eph 5:30].
Then Paul begins explaining the similarities and disparities between them.
As it only took one man’s sin for many to die, so it only took one man’s death for the free gift of God’s grace to abound unto many [Rom 5:15]. Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have a free gift sufficient to cover the transgressions of every single human being.
Though judgment to condemnation is the result of only one sin, yet justification covers many sins by the free gift [Rom 5:16]. In this comparison we see the great contrast between Adam’s condemnation and Christ’s justification. We are all condemned because of Adam’s sin [Jn 3:18]. Yet because of Christ’s justification, even the sins we commit after we are saved are covered.
As by only one man’s sin death reigned, so by only one man’s gift can we reign in life [Rom 5:17]. Death reigns over all men [1 Cor 15:22, 26]. Yet when we “receive abundance of grace” and “the gift of righteousness” by Jesus Christ, we reign in life. Death may get our bodies temporarily, but it can’t hold them forever [1 Cor 15:55-57; Jn 11:25-26]. And the life we receive when we are saved is the eternal life of Jesus Christ over which death has no dominion [Rom 6:9].
As one man’s offence caused judgment to come upon all men to condemnation, so one man’s righteousness caused the free gift to come upon all men to justification of life [Rom 5:18]. When God judged Adam, he condemned him and all his offspring to death. When God sent Jesus Christ he gave us a free gift whereby all condemned men could be justified and live.
As one man’s disobedience made many sinners, so one man’s obedience made many righteous [Rom 5:19]. It only took the disobedience of Adam to bring sin into the world and to make us all sinners. Likewise, it only took the obedience of Christ [Heb 5:8] to bring righteousness into the world and to make us righteous when we receive him [2 Cor 5:21].
Finally, Paul concludes with a brief comparison between sin [Adam’s] and grace [Jesus’].
So that sin might abound, God gave the law [Rom 5:20]. Once again, Paul makes it plain that the law was not given to justify men but rather to point out, in abundance, our sin [Rom 7:12-13]. Then he says, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.” In other words, in spite of the fact that sin is exceeding sinful, grace is greater than sin.
Therefore, as sin has reigned unto death, so grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ. [Rom 5:21].
Conclusion: as death came upon us because of the sin of Adam, so eternal life is freely given to us because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.