Romans 5:12-17 | Whose Act Was Greater, Adam or Jesus?

by | Oct 31, 2020

READ Romans 5:12-17

If by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

We can pinpoint the origin of sin to one particular moment and person. We can identify exactly who initiated this destructive cycle that sin has caused throughout human history. Romans 5 makes it clear that humanity has inherited their sin from Adam. Paul tells us “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12). And this is why so many people have a bone to pick with Adam! But is Adam the only one to blame for everything that’s gone wrong? The last part of verse 12 says “death spread to all people, because all sinned” (5:12). We’re equally as guilty as Adam, because we do the exact thing Adam did over and over again. So, at the end of the day, we all got ourselves into this colossal mess.

But we know it doesn’t end there. Paul goes into this unique parallel between Adam and Jesus by referring to them both as the “one man” (5:15-19). We learn that through Adam both sin and death came, but also through Jesus both grace and life came. So which one’s more powerful? Which one’s gonna have the greatest impact in the end? Adam or Jesus?

Not even the most colossal world changing sin is bigger than what Jesus has done on the cross! Adam’s sin was great, our sin is great, but Jesus’ grace is greater, both to forgive and restore. Jesus came to clean up our dreadful mess and make us right with God (5:16).

This is why following Jesus is seriously the best. You don’t have to fake it with him. You can be unashamedly honest, because his grace is greater than your sin. His forgiveness and grace always, always, always, covers your sin. In him, there’s an “overflow of grace” (5:17). This is why Paul in the upcoming chapter will tell us that it seems tempting to sin, since grace abounds. But this grace sets you free from sin! So right now, go to Jesus with your sin and ask for his great grace to work powerfully in you to change.

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