SUBJ: Death in Adam and life in
Christ Jesus our Lord compared and contrasted in that the actions of
each had a profound effect on all that proceed from them.
AIM: That we might realize and
meditate on the grace of God and the fact that by it righteousness
reigns in us through Christ our Lord.
INTR: Having established the fact
that we have reconciliation with God and so much more, Paul would
retrace the steps that brought us to the present state of our
relationship with Christ and particularly to note the active role of
grace in our lives as a result.
1. The events that led brought about
the fall of man are well known. Not so well known are the far-reaching
effects of that fall.
2. It has been the tendency of men to excuse
sin and try to distance themselves from Adam and his disobedience. The
fact of their personal continuance in sin betrays those efforts and
leaves them still condemned.
3. Often the conditions of an undesired
consequence lend themselves to demonstrating the very opposite – compare
and contrast. Such is the manner of Paul here in considering Adam and
THESIS: It is not only
that God reigns supreme in all the universe generally, but that He
reigns with vested interest in the hearts of His people. Furthermore, He
does so in the manner He has chosen; it is the way that we are most
satisfied, and He is most glorified.
I. The universal fall of man
1. The fact that sin entered the world by way of Adam is
conceded by all and most admit to sensing the effects.
it is a matter of fact,
2) And the consequence is death.
some they simply refuse to take it that they are feeling the effects of
Adam’s sin and yet their distancing of themselves from God is
incontrovertible among the unregenerate.
3. In fact, all have sinned.
That is, they have, because of having Adam’s fallen nature, actively and
consciously sinned and continue to do so – all that they do is corrupted
by their fallen nature.
II. An explanatory parenthesis (vv.
1. This is obviously added to give further explanation to the
conclusion that Paul draws concerning how God has dealt with the sins of
1) First regarding the Law and
2) Then regarding
sources of both sin and righteousness
2. The declaration that until
the law sin was in the world was made in order to show that sin has been
identified in reference to the holiness of God and that it may be known
that sin is sin even when it is not called out as such.
3. The fact
that death reigned shows the opposite of sin that is not imputed because
of the absence of a stated law: even though their sin was not like
4. Adam, will be a figure of Christ is declaring the
imputation of righteousness.
5. In verses 15-17 the comparisons are
1) V. 15. Through the offence of Adam many died; by the grace
of God by Jesus Christ has abounded to many.
2) V. 16. Judgment and
condemnation came by Adam; through Christ, many offences were removed
leaving the offenders justified.
3) V. 17. By one man’s offence,
death reigned by one; the contrast is that they which receive the
abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by
one, Jesus Christ.
III. The declaration resumes (vv. 18-21)
A summary thought is given in v. 18 – By the offence of one came
judgment upon all to condemnation; by the righteousness of One came the
free gift unto justification of life!
2. As to sin not imputed: by
one man’s disobedience (we note the active component and the fact that
sin is against God, many were made sinners. It is by the obedience of
One that many are made righteous.
3. The function of the Law – it
entered that sin might abound
1) It did not add anything either to
the promise or to the righteousness of God that was already an issue
with men (remember Abraham).
2) It did codify those precepts and
issues so that men were without recourse and so were discovered by it to
be guilty – not made guilty since they already were.
4. It magnified
the grace of God in that sin made to appear what it is discovered, as
well, the greatness of grace. GRACE ABOUNDING
5. And so, sin is
deposed and grace reigns in the lives of the Lord’s people “unto eternal
life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”