As in Adam; so in Christ
A Sermon on Romans 5:12-21
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)
Sin destroys everything. It ruins relationships, perverts what is pure and undoes the underpinnings of society. In this passage, the Apostle Paul explains the effect of sin on the world and the salvation that Christ has brought from sin. Because of Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, we all have sinned because we are all descendants of Adam. That guilt and condemnation is on all people. However, just as we are all related to Adam, we are all related to Jesus Christ! Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues that Romans 5:12 is one of the most important verses in the whole Bible in terms of theology. This verse confronts us with two facts: the universality of sin and the universality of death. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then goes on to explain the biblical and non-biblical view of this passage. It would be easy to create excuses for sin or to become angry that we are all guilty because Adam is guilty, but the passage clearly points out that sin is active and so now there is death by sin. Instead of condemning our sin that Adam passed to us, we should be rejoicing that Christ’s work on the cross has also passed to all of us!