12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— 13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, 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! 16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sin is such a really depressing subject, and Paul starts this section saying when Adam sinned, sin entered the world. And not only did sin enter the world, but because of Adam’s sin, death also spread to everyone, which is also depressing. And how many times have you tried to speak to someone about sin, and all they see or say is that it is Adam’s fault, or specifically, not their fault? Like we are being punished for something we didn’t do, or that we would have done things differently if it was us in the garden, not Adam?
But when Paul talks about sin here, the focus is not sin, instead, over and over again, Paul refers to “God’s gracious gift” and “God’s wonderful grace” which is the opposite of depressing, its positively uplifting, full of hope and joy at what God has done for us through Christ. Yes, through Adam, death came to all, but through Christ, we have life, we have forgiveness of sins, we receive the gift of righteousness, we have right standing with God resulting in eternal life! There is new life for everyone.
Yes, death is bad, but life in and through Christ is so much better! I can feel the excitement that Paul has in the gracious gift and can see in myself that I need to focus on that more than I do and allow God’s wonderous grace to renew its work in me every day.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for doing for me what I could not. Through your sacrifice I have forgiveness of sins, a right relationship with God, and everlasting life!
Written by Andrew Martin