Romans 5:12-21 / Death in Adam – Life in Christ (Sermon – Notes and Audio)

Posted on September 5, 2013


This is the twenty-third in a series of verse-by-verse expositions of the book of Romans. This message was delivered at Hillcrest Baptist Church on the morning of September 1, 2013. This message deals with the impact that the works of both Adam and Christ had on humanity. This post contains an audio recording of my message, along with my sermon notes and a study outline. Please note that the sermon notes are not a full transcript.

AUDIO – Listen Now:


Rom 5_12-21


Rom 5_12-21 Outline


Romans 12-21

This portion of Scripture brings out the headship of Adam, as well as Christ.

Adam, being the first man and the father of the human race, was the head of the human race.

Adam represented all humanity, and had dominion over all the earth.

We are so vitally connected to Adam, that we all inherited his sin.

That which Adam did, we do. We would have done no better in his situation.

And because of Adam’s one act of sin, death was introduced to the world, and we are all affected.

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Moreover, because of Adam’s dominion over all creation, his sin brought the entire creation under a curse.

Genesis 3:17-18

Romans 8:22

Adam’s sin brought death, and in Adam all die. Man was not created to die, but this was God’s prescribed penalty for sin.

And because Adam rebelled against God and yielded to Satan, Adam gave over man’s dominion of the earth.

From the time Adam sinned, even before the law was given, sin was in the world.

The word imputed (counted) is in the general sense that sin is not listed where there is no law.

It’s like saying that just because sin was not enumerated, doesn’t mean it didn’t exist.

Man was born with an innate knowledge of right and wrong.

Romans 2:14-15

Because it was not written down is no excuse, the consequences still apply.

Death (the consequence) still reigned, even without a specific list of laws.

It doesn’t matter that people didn’t do what Adam did, they still sinned in some way.

We have all inherited both the nature and the consequence of sin.

So, if Adam brought sin and death, how is he a type of Christ (Him who was to come)?

The answer is that they both represented the entire human race, and their actions both affected all of humanity.

Here, the contrast is drawn between the works of Adam and Christ.

They are starkly different. Adam brought offense, and Christ brought grace.

Adam’s offense brought judgement and condemnation, which resulted in death.

However, the gift of Christ results in justification. Notice both here and v. 15, it is called a gift.

Adam’s offense was imposed on us whether we wanted it or not. We have no choice in the matter.

A gift, on the other hand, must be accepted. It is our choice whether we will receive or reject a gift.

John 3:16

Romans 10:13

“Whoever believes” – “whoever calls” This tells us that not everyone will.

Adam’s sin brought universal death—exactly opposite the result he expected and Satan had promised

Genesis 3:5

Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has—and will—accomplish exactly what He intended.

Philippians 1:6

When death reigns we become victims. When Christ reigns, we share in His glory.

Romans 8:17

Jesus Christ stepped down from His throne in heaven, and poured Himself into a human body.

By doing so, Christ became representative of the human race. As such, His representation brings life, not death.

Unlike Adam, Christ was not disobedient, He never sinned, He kept the law perfectly.

2 Corinthians 5:21

He was the Perfect Lamb of God

John 1:29

Because the law added to man’s knowledge of sin, in effect, it caused sin to increase.

It made men more aware of their own sinfulness and inability to keep God’s perfect standard.

Galatians 3:24

The good news is that Grace is greater than any sin. There is no one who is too bad, or has strayed so far away, that they are out of reach of God’s saving grace!

As a sinner, separated from God, you see his law from below, as a ladder to be climbed to get to God.

Perhaps you have repeatedly tried to climb it, only to fall to the ground every time you have advanced one or two rungs.

Or perhaps the sheer height of the ladder seems so overwhelming that you have never even started up.

In either case, what relief you should feel to see Jesus offering with open arms to lift you above the ladder of the law, to take you directly to God!

Once Jesus lifts you into God’s presence, you are free to obey—out of love, not necessity, and through God’s power, not your own.

You know that if you stumble, you will not fall back to the ground. Instead, you will be caught and held in Christ’s loving arms.

Posted in: Sermons