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Sermon #3076

As in Adam; so in Christ

A Sermon on Romans 5:12-21


Romans 5:12-21 ESV KJV
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 …

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Sermon Description

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, all have sinned because all are descendants of Adam. That guilt and condemnation is on all people. However, just as all are related to Adam, all who are saved are related to Jesus Christ! In the sermon on Romans 5:12–21, “As in Adam, So in 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 with two facts: the universality of sin and the universality of death. Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the biblical and non-biblical view of this passage. It would be easy to create excuses for sin or to become angry that all are 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 the sin that Adam passed on, the Christian should be rejoicing that Christ’s work on the cross has also passed on.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by reviewing the context of Romans 5:12-21 and how it connects what came before and after. Dr. Lloyd-Jones says this passage is the "turning point" and "center" of the epistle that states the "great essential message" of the whole letter.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones then gives a "general analysis" of the scope and structure of Romans 5:12-21. He notes how verse 12 begins a comparison that is not completed until verses 18-19. Verses 13-17 are a "parenthesis" that provides explanation and elaboration. Verses 20-21 are a "postscript" addressing potential objections about the law.

  3. Dr. Lloyd-Jones focuses in on verse 12, calling it one of the most important verses in the Bible for understanding theology and God's ways. It deals with the "universality of sin" and the "universality of death" and provides the biblical explanation for these realities.

  4. Dr. Lloyd-Jones contrasts the "non-biblical view" and the "biblical view" in their explanations of sin and death. The non-biblical view sees sin as a lack of development and death as natural. The biblical view sees sin as an invasion and death as punishment.

  5. Dr. Lloyd-Jones examines several key phrases in verse 12. "Sin" is personified, showing its active and reigning power. "Entered into the world" shows sin invaded where once there was no sin. "Death by sin" shows death came as punishment for sin, not naturally. "Death passed upon all men" means death spread to all people. "By one man" emphasizes that one individual, Adam, caused this, not humanity in general.

  6. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes that verse 12 teaches that both sin and death entered through Adam's one act of disobedience. This is the teaching of the whole Bible.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.