As in Adam; so in Christ
A Sermon on Romans 5:12-21
12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned— 13for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not counted against anyone when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the violation committed by Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15But the gracious gift is not like the offense. For if by the offense of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many. 16The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one offense, resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the gracious gift arose from many offenses, resulting in justification. 17For if by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18So then, as through one offense the result was condemnation to all mankind, so also through one act of righteousness the result was justification of life to all mankind. 19For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20The Law came in so that the offense would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21so that, as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: 13(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. 15But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 18Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
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.