Romans (12): One Man's Sin and One Man's Sacrifice
Romans 5: An Exposition (12) -Through One Man’s Sin - Through One Man’s Sacrifice
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * August 31, 2008
Romans 5:12 So it comes to this then: just as through one man sin entered the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned . . . 5:13 for before Torah was given, sin was in the world, but there is no reckoning of sin when there exists no Law. 5:14 However, death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam - who is a type of the coming One - transgressed. 5:15 But the grace gift is not like the transgression. For if the many died through the transgression of the one man, how much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the One man Jesus Christ multiply to the many! 5:16 And the gift is not like the one who sinned. Judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many transgressions and brought justification. 5:17 For if, by the transgression of the one man, death reigned through the one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ! 5:18 So then [as I said before], [literal trans.] ‘as through the trespass of the one unto all people unto condemnation, so also through the righteous act of the one unto all people unto acquittal of life.’ 5:19 For just as through the disobedience of the One man “the many” were made sinners, so also through “the obedience” of One man “the many” will be made righteous. 5:20 But Torah came in so that the transgression may increase, but where sin increased, grace multiplied all the more, 5:21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to the life of the age [to come] through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom. 5:12-21)
The Fall of Adam and _________________________________________________
This passage moves from the Fall to the Future, from Creation to New Creation, from Death to Life (comp. Rom. 8). It starts with sin reigning and ends with the life “of the age to come.” Paul explains that “just as sin entered the world through one man [Fall of Adam] ... so death spread to all people because all sinned” (5:12). All sinned in Adam because we are included in the Adamic covenant of death. Without finishing the parallel, Paul explains that “before the Torah [of Moses] was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no Law.” When he recaps this he says, “Now Torah came in so that the transgression may increase.” Torah was not a device for a Treasury of Merit, but a taxonomy of sin and a bulldozer to excavate and dig it up from the cursed ground. Hence, Paul refutes the Judaistic view of Torah as the “final solution” to sin. There was a darker purpose of Torah, to reveal and magnetize sin and then to forecast the One Savior, the One faithful sacrifice.
The Call of Abraham and ______________________________________________
Just under the surface of the water here is Isaiah 53. The Suffering Servant “Israel” will “make many righteous, and bear their iniquities” (Is. 53:11ff). Some only see in Rom. 5 Adam, then Christ in the types here. However, two other figures arise, Abraham and Moses. Paul references the Law of Moses and the purpose of the Law. Through God’s Abrahamic restoration covenant, Israel would show the way and make the world right again. But Chosen all failed, except the One Israelite. “But the gracious gift is not like the transgression” - Rather the “obedience of the One” brought something beyond the fall, namely glorification. There is an unequal effect from the obedience of Jesus. He undid Adam’s deed and more. He fulfilled the restorative/resurrection role of Israel. “Through the obedience of one man many will be made righteous.” “Grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” This justification is overwhelming in the vindication of the righteous through the Resurrection.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more