Romans 5:12-21, Psalm 48


Paul compares the results of Adam's transgression and Jesus' sacrifice to show the superiority of our salvation to the fall of humanity. These comparisons, however can be difficult to comprehend. In vs. 15 where we are told that “many died by the trespass of one man”, Paul immediately follows with this statement “how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (Romans 5:15) On the face of it, if this were a sheer numerical comparison, then the number of people that die because of Adam's sin is greater than the number of people that receive the benefits of Jesus' crucifixion. For the way to be saved is believe in our hearts and declare that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10). Everyone dies, but not everyone finds life in Christ. So how does this comparison work? One point of comparison is that only one sin led to condemnation for all, but the the gift, on the other hand overcomes many sins (Romans 5:16). Since Jesus' death brings a declaration of innocence where there is guilt, that is a far superior work than one that leads to guilt for evil deeds. Also, the blessings offered to the recipients of Jesus' grace is superior to the death brought by Adam. For life in Jesus is eternal (Romans 5:17). Death came from Adam, but our eternal death comes for rejecting God's grace in Jesus. So Jesus' work ultimately is greater in power and effect than Adam's work. This is good news for those that everywhere see the marks of Adam's rebellion in the death of loved ones, the hostility amongst peoples, and the futility of our work. Let the faithful say, “Amen, the work of the new Adam is stronger than the misdeeds of the first Adam!”