Pastor James J. Barker

Text: ROMANS 5:12-21


  1. The passage before us contrasts the actions of two men, and the results of their actions.
  2. Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and brought sin into the world and death to all humanity (5:12-14).
  3. The Lord Jesus Christ, the second Adam, obeyed and brought life to all who repent and put their trust in Him (5:15; cf. I Cor.15:20-22).
  4. Therefore, because of original sin we are all one with Adam in sin. But if you are saved you are one with the Lord Jesus in righteousness (cf. Rom. 5:19).
  5. Adam, the first man, is pictured here as the federal head or representative of all those who are in the old creation. The Lord Jesus Christ is presented as the federal head of those who are in the new creation.
  6. The entire human race was on trial that day in the garden of Eden, and when Adam sinned we all sinned because He was our representative, our federal head.
  7. Even before we were born, we were sinners in Adam. Some people have a problem with this but this is a principle found throughout the Bible (cf. Heb.7:9,10; Ex.20:5).
  8. Even many scientists have recognized this; and the scientific name for it is "preformationism."
  9. But it is not my intention to get scientific. I want to stick to Bible doctrine. The great doctrines of the Bible – themes that go all the way back to the Garden of Eden – are explained here in Romans 5, the entrance of sin into the world, the entrance of death into the world, and the entrance of grace into the world.



    1. I am not speaking now of the origin of sin. We will have to leave that for another message. Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 both vividly describe the fall of Lucifer, and it is through Lucifer, in the form of the serpent that sin entered into the world.
    2. The devil deceived Eve and she did eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She then gave also unto her husband "and he did eat" (Gen.3:6).
    3. The apostle Paul refers to this sad story in Romans 5:12 – "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world…"
    4. Some might object and say that it was Eve and not Adam who committed the first sin. This is true but Adam was given the headship not Eve. Paul says elsewhere: "For Adam was first formed, then Eve" (I Timothy 2:13).
    5. Remember that when the Lord gave the commandment, Eve had not yet been made (cf. Gen.2:15-25).
    6. Adam’s disobedience brought sin into the human race. And from then on, the entire race has been contaminated with the stain of sin.
    7. The Bible teaches that man is condemned because Adam’s sin is imputed to him. Sinning does not make us sinners – we sin because we are sinners. We are sinners by nature.
    8. Adam sinned on behalf of all his posterity because he was our federal head. He not only acted for himself but he acted for all of us as our representative.
    9. And ever since the fall of Adam, man has been a rebel against God – wicked, corrupt, and depraved. Many examples could be given.
    10. For example, the Bible speaks of the descent of man, i.e. man is going down, he is getting worse and worse (cf. Rom.1:18-32).
    11. But rather than accept what the Bible says about the descent of man, wicked men have replaced it with the ascent of man – to them man is getting better and better! To these ungodly rebels, man has evolved from chimpanzees and is progressing quite well!
    12. We can see this progress on every hand: maniacs pushing young women in front of subway cars, mothers murdering their babies, drug addicts sticking needles into their veins, drunkards vomiting all over themselves, homosexuals spreading AIDS and other diseases, adulterous politicians terrified of being exposed , etc.
    13. Apart from the Bible doctrine of the fall of man, there is no logical explanation for the course of human history.



    1. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom.5:12).
    2. Death is not a popular subject and yet we are reminded of it every day. I went to the funeral home one night. While driving in my car I heard that they sentenced a cop-killer to life in prison. There have been some horrific fires here in NY and a number of people died.
    3. We all have to deal with death. The chief characteristic of death is separation. Death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body. When life ends, the soul leaves the body, taking the spirit with it, and the body begins to decay.
    4. The Bible also speaks of the second death. Whereas physical death is the separation of the soul and spirit from the body, the second death is eternal separation from God (cf. Rev.20:6,14,15).



    1. We are saved by God’s grace – it is a "free gift" (5:15; cf. 6:23). Paul refers to this free gift six times in these next four verses (5:15,16,17,18).
    2. I have heard people say, "Oh, if only Adam had not sinned! How wonderful things would be!" Beloved, we are far better off in Christ than Adam was in the Garden of Eden. We have been brought into a more safe and exalted state than that from which we fell in Adam.
    3. Notice those words in Rom.5:15, "much more." We have much more in Christ than we lost in Adam. "Much more" because of Christ’s shed blood (5:9,10).
    4. I heard of a preacher who was going through a difficult time financially. Some anonymous brother sent him some money with a brief note saying, "Much more coming." Then a week later another letter came with money and the same note, "Much more coming," and then another the next week and so on. That is a picture of the grace of God – much more.
    5. The great hymn-writer, Ira Sankey, wrote these words:
    6. Have you on the Lord believed?

      Still there’s more to follow.

      Of His grace have you received?

      Still there’s more to follow.

      Oh, the grace the Father shows,

      Still there’s more to follow;

      Freely He His grace bestows,

      Still there’s more to follow.

      More and more and more and more,

      Always more to follow;

      Oh, His matchless, boundless love,

      Still there’s more to follow!

    7. If it seems strange to you that the Bible says we are better off now as redeemed saints of God than Adam was in the Garden of Eden, then consider this: We have not been placed in a state of trial as Adam was, but we are justified forever and have received eternal life (5:15-21).
    8. By Christ and His righteousness, we have more and greater privileges than we lost by the offence of Adam.



  1. One hundred years ago, the most famous preacher in Brooklyn was Dr. DeWitt Talmage. One day he was travelling in a horse-drawn carriage with three other men. They were all strangers to him, and the most robust and healthiest looking man of the group sat next to Dr. Talmage.
  2. They were following a casket to the cemetery, where Dr. Talmage was to conduct the burial service; and as they slowly crept their way along the street, a man was heard from a side street, shouting at the top of his voice, "Who will be the next? Who will be the next?"
  3. He was a vendor selling fruit and what he meant was, "Who will be the next to buy my fruit?" But at first the men in the carriage thought he meant, "Who will be the next to be buried?"
  4. The appropriateness of it took hold of these men in the carriage, and the man sitting next to Dr. Talmage nudged him and said, "You know that is a very striking word that is coming from that vendor – Who will be the next? Now I am thinking and wondering who will be the next in this group to be carried to the cemetery. I am wondering, which one of us?"
  5. Dr. Talmage asked the man, "Are you ready, if it should be you?"
  6. The man replied, "No, I am not." Dr. Talmage soon discovered that the man was not saved and urged him to get right with God. "Would it not be a sad thing, then, if you should be the next?" he asked.
  7. "Yes, but I certainly do not look like I would be the next, do I?" They reached the cemetery and their conversation ended.
  8. The next morning at 2:00 A.M. some one rang Dr. Talmage’s door bell. Dr. Talmage’s servant answered the door and brought the news to Dr. Talmage. It was a message from the wife of the man in the carriage. She requested that Dr. Talmage come immediately. Her note said: "My husband is very ill. He is calling for you every moment, and he keeps saying over and over, ‘Who will be the next? Who will be the next?’"
  9. Dr. Talmage hurried over to the man’s house. When he walked into the man’s bedroom, the man started weeping and cried out: "I am the next! I am the next!" And he was the next. He died before the sun arose.
  10. Let me ask you today, "Who will be the next?" Could it be you?

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