Term 2 – Week 07

Big Idea – The death of Jesus on the cross completely overcomes the effects of Adam’s sin.

Romans 5:12-21




In Romans 5:1-11, Paul assured believers that they have peace with God and the hope of glory in eternity because of their justification by faith in Jesus, and now in Roman 5:12-21, Paul explains the reason why believers can have this certainty:

 because Christ has completely overcome the effects of Adam’s sin.

Paul does this by comparing and contrasting the two “Adams”[1]. The first Adam brought death into the world through the one act of sin.[2] The second Adam, Jesus Christ, through his righteous act of obedience to the Father on the cross, overcame the disastrous results of Adam’s sin.[3]

Paul makes this argument by using four “just as…….. so also” comparisons:

#VerseJust as…… so also
1v.12Just as sin and death came via Adam——–[4]
2v.18Just as Adam brought condemnationSo also Christ brought justification and life
3v.19Just as Adam made many sinnersSo also Christ made many righteous
4v.21Just as sin reigned in deathSo also grace reigns, leading to life.

Paul makes some aside comments in vv.13-14 and vv.15-17 before he finishes his ‘just as…… so also’ comparisons.

Verses 13-14

Paul asserts that the coming of the law didn’t change the sin and judgment situation, but made the situation worse because the law puts a big neon sign over our sin. Sin existed before the law was given, and those who died between the time of Adam & Moses, died for sinning against the general revealed will of God. Those who died after Moses, died for sinning against God’s specific commandments.

Then Paul resumes the main course of his argument in the last phrase of verse 14, ‘Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come’ (14b). In a sense Adam is a type of Christ; the universal impact of his one act prefigures the universal impact of Christ’s act.[5] This is like a summary verse for Paul’s whole argument in vv.12-21. However, before he draws out the exact nature and implications of this pattern with his ‘just as… so also’ comparisons, he pauses again in verses 15-17 to note some of the differences between Adam & Christ.

Verses 15-17

Paul makes two contrasts:

  1. The gift is not like the trespass (v.15a), because the effects of Adam’s sin is our due, but the work of Christ, is an act of God’s grace that cancels out the effects of Adam’s sin (v.15b)

The gift is not like the one who sinned (v.16a), because Adam’s sin brought condemnation and death, but the work of Christ brought justification and life (vv.16b-17).

[1] The Hebrew word adam means ‘human being’

[2] Adam is the representative figure whose actions affect all who “belong” to him. As the representative of all human beings, Adam’s sin is at the same time the sin of all human beings. Because of Adam’s sin, we all sin and will all die.

[3] Douglas J. Moo, Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey, (Baker Academic: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2002), 103.

[4] The first comparison is incomplete. Paul only gives the “just as” side in verse 12.

[5] Douglas J. Moo, ‘The Epistle to the Romans’, The New Testament Commentary on the NT, (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1996), 334.

Memory Verse

Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed – a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith.’

Leaders PDF

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Dundonald Kids

Dundonald Kids is the team led by our Children's Minister Natasha Small that aims to partner with parents in growing young disciples of Christ.

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