The Book of ROMANS
James J. Barker

Lesson 19


Text: ROMANS 5:12-21


  1. Romans 5:12-21 is a continuation from the earlier part of the chapter -- "Wherefore..." (5:12). Paul's thought remains unbroken.
  2. We see here a contrast between Adam and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the results of their actions.
  3. Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and brought sin into the world and death to all humanity (5:12-14).
  4. The Lord Jesus Christ, the second Adam, obeyed and brought life to all who repent and put their trust in Him (5:15).
  5. First Corinthians 15:21, 22 says, "For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive."
  6. 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).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. All the evils of the human race have sprung from Adam, and all the blessings of redemption have come from the Lord Jesus Christ.
  10. In addition to Adam and Christ, other contrasts found here in our text include death and life, condemnation and justification, disobedience and obedience, and sin and grace.
  11. 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. Romans 5 is not referring to the origin of sin, but to the entrance of sin into the world (5:12).
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. The apostle Paul refers to the fall of man in Romans 5:12 – "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world…"
  5. Paul refers to Adam's sin, and not Eve's, because when the Lord gave the commandment not to eat from of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve had not yet been made (cf. Gen. 2:15-25).
  6. Adam was given the headship, not Eve. Paul says elsewhere, "For Adam was first formed, then Eve" (I Timothy 2:13).
  7. Adam’s disobedience brought sin into the human race. And from then on, the entire race has been contaminated with the stain of sin.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. And ever since the fall of Adam, man has been a rebel against God – wicked, corrupt, and depraved. Many examples could be given.
  11. 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).
  12. 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!
  13. Most of you have probably seen the chart with a monkey on the far left crawling on all fours, then a monkey to his right walking upright, etc.
  14. This chart is called "The March of Progress," and it a popular illustration promoting evolution. It pictures a parade of apes, with an ape-like man on the far right leading the way.
  15. This is secular man's concept of man -- a brute beast who has evolved into modern man!
  16. We can see this "march of progress" on every hand: radicals advocating that cops get killed, Muslims chopping off heads, 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 deadly diseases, immoral politicians sending pictures of their privates to young girls, etc.
  17. Apart from the Bible doctrine of the fall of man, there is no logical explanation for the course of human history.



  1. "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 will be preaching a memorial service here Friday evening, and two funerals on Saturday morning.
  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. W.H. Griffith Thomas said, "Although sin and death are ours in Adam, righteousness and life are ours in Christ, and these are infinitely more" (St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans).
  2. We are saved by God’s grace – it is a "free gift" (5:15; cf. 6:23).
  3. Paul refers to this free gift six times in these next four verses (5:15, 16, 17, 18).
  4. 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.
  5. Whatever we have inherited from Adam, we have received "much more" from Christ (5:9, 10, 15, 17, 20).
  6. We have much more in Christ than we lost in Adam. "Much more" is the key phrase in this chapter (5:9, 10, 15, 17, 20).
  7. I heard of a preacher who was going through a very 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."
  8. The great hymn-writer, Ira Sankey, wrote these words:

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!

  1. 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).
  2. By Christ and His righteousness, we have more and greater privileges than we lost by the offence of Adam.



  1. In his commentary on the book of Romans, John Phillips tells of a man who liked to cut out beautiful pictures from postcards or magazines, and then add a poem or Scripture.
  2. He would then give these away as gifts.
  3. One day this man came across a beautiful picture of Niagara Falls. He cut it out but he could not find an appropriate poem to add to it. Then one day he heard Ira Sankey sing, "Have You on the Lord Believed?"
  4. Now he knew he had the right words -- "More to Follow."

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