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Romans 5:12-21 Death Through Sin

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Death Through Sin

The consequence of Sin entered the world through Adam when he and Eve ate the apple. Sin spread throughout the world. His sin spread to everyone.

Romans 5:12-21

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

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12. We are “sinners…in four different ways:

  1. We are sinners because we commit acts of sin.
  2. We’re sinners by nature (sin doesn’t make us sinners, but we sin because we have that nature).
  3. We are in the state of sin. God has declared the entire human family under sin.
  4. You and I are also sinners by imputation.
    1. That is, Adam acted for the human race because he was the head of it.”
      (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 678)

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

“Was it fair for God to condemn the whole world just because of one man’s disobedience?…By condemning the human race through one man (Adam), God was then able to save the human race through one Man (Jesus Christ)!” (Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. [Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004], 528)

“Death is the natural consequence of sin.” (Mounce, Robert H, The New American Commentary, Volume 27, Romans. [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995], 141)

Saturated with sin

13. “From Adam to Moses sin was in the world, but at that time sin was not a transgression; it was merely rebellion against God.” (McGee, 679)

The “generation that was destroyed at the Flood was saturated with sin.” (McGee, 679) Genesis 6:5

“They were judged because they were sinners. And, friend, that answers the question about the heathen being lost who haven’t heard the gospel. The answer is that all men belong to a lost race. It may be difficult for you and me to accept this fact, but you and I have been born into a lost race.” (McGee, 679)

“You and I belong to a lost race, and we need to be redeemed. Even the very thoughtlife of man is alienated from God.” (McGee, 679)

14. “But even without the law, death was universal. All people from Adam to Moses were subject to death, not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic Law (which they did not yet have), but because of their own inherited sinful nature.” (MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005], 1521)

Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the likeness of Adam’s transgression. He is a prototype of the Coming One. (HCSB)

KJV says who is the figure of him that was to come.

“Both Adam and Christ were similar in that their acts affected many others. This phrase serves as transition from the apostle’s sin to the crediting of Christ’s righteousness.” (MacArthur, 1521)

Death: A threefold way in Scripture

McGee tells us that “death is used in a threefold way in Scripture.

Physical death This refers only to the body, it means a separation of the spirit from the body.

Spiritual death Separation from and rebellion against God.

Eternal death Eternal separation from God.

Unless man is redeemed, eternal death inevitably follows (Revelation 21:8). (679)

The Gift by Grace

15. Offence and free gift

“The ‘many’ who die must refer to all Adam’s descendants. Much More. Christ’s one act of redemption was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation.” (MacArthur, 1521)

“Adam’s sin led to the death of the entire human race. Since that is so, what should be said about the gift of God given freely in Jesus Christ? ‘How much more’ indicates that its effect is vastly greater for all humans. God’s grace is infinitely greater for good that Adam’s sin is for evil’…The grace of God transforms for eternity the life and destiny of all who are in Christ (and all who turn to him in faith are).” (Mounce, 143)

16. “All this section means is this: one transgression, plunged the race into sin; and one act of obedience and the death of Christ upon the cross make it possible for lost man to be saved.” (McGee, 680)

“When Adam sinned, he was declared unrighteous and condemned. When a sinner trusts Christ, he is justified—declared righteous in Christ.” (Wiersbe, 529)

The free gift resulted from many trespasses and brought justification [the release from sin’s penalty for those who believe]. Amplified Bible (AMP)

Justified means to declare righteous.

17. “In Adam we lost our kingship, but in Jesus Christ we reign as kings. And we reign ‘much more’! Our spiritual reign is far greater than Adam’s earthly reign, for we share ‘abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness’” (Wiersbe, 529)

Adam committed the original sin.

Paul is presenting another kingdom which is superior to the kingdom of death.

It is the kingdom of life.

It is offered to the subjects of the kingdom of death through the superabundance of grace.

Man has only to receive it.

The king of the kingdom of life is Jesus.

This gift comes through Him.

Condemnation for Everyone

18. Adam brought condemnation for everyone.

The righteous act of Jesus brought justification for everyone.

Adam’s disobedience made many sinners.

The obedience of Jesus Christ many are made righteous.

19. “Adam’s one act of disobedience made all sinners—not just possessors of a sin nature, but guilty of the act of sin. Christ’s obedience—His death and resurrection—makes it possible for God to declare righteous the sinner who believes in Him.” (McGee, 680)

“Our justification is the result of a living union with Christ. And this union ought to result in a new kind of life, a righteous life of obedience to God. Our union with Adam made us sinners; our union with Christ enables us to ‘reign in life.’” (Wiersbe, 529)

20. The law “made people more aware of their own sinfulness and inability to keep God’s perfect standard (7:7; Galatians 3:21-22, and it served as a tutor to drive them to Christ (Galatians 3:24).” (MacArthur, 1522)

“Grace was not an addition to God’s plan: grace was a part of God’s plan from the very beginning.” (Wiersbe, 529)

“God has given the human race, a lost race, an opportunity to be delivered from the guild of sins—not the nature of sin. You and I will have that old sin nature throughout our lives.” (McGee, 680)

21. “Man is alienated from God; he has a sin nature. Now God offers salvation to a lost race.” (McGee, 680)

“The believing sinner now has eternal life by being united to the last Adam, the raised and glorified Savior: This makes possible the sanctification of the saved sinner, which is the theme of the next chapter.” (McGee, 680)


In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville Tennessee. All rights reserved.

McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume IV. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983
MacArthur, John, The MacArthur Bible Commentary. Nashville, Thomas Nelson Inc., 2005
Mounce, Robert H, The New American Commentary, Volume 27, Romans. Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1995
Wiersbe, Warren W, The Bible Exposition Commentary New Testament Volume 1 Matthew-Galatians. Colorado Springs: David C Cook, 2004

Peace with God                                                                                               Dead to Sin; Alive in Christ

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