Romans 5:15-19 – But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
There are only two perfect men who have ever walked on the earth.
The first perfect man was our father Adam who was without sin until he committed the original human sin. In his choice was our death. That death is spiritual as we live without God, physical and we cease to live, and then eternal where we live forever separated from God and suffering for sin. We are all born in Adam.
The second perfect man was our Savior Jesus Christ who was without sin and died for all human sin. In His choice was our life. The life He gives is spiritual as we live with God in this life, rise from death after this life, and enjoy eternal life.
In Adam In Christ
Makes sinners Makes righteous
Trespass Free Gift of Grace
Theologically, this is the doctrine of double imputation. Adam’s sin was imputed to us by his choice as our covenant head. Jesus’ righteousness was imputed to us by His choice as our covenant Head. This is why in 1 Corinthians 15:45, Paul compares and contrasts the “first Adam” with Jesus Christ the “last Adam”:
Adam turned from the Father in a garden; Jesus turned to the Father in a garden.
Adam was naked and unashamed; Jesus was nearly naked and bore our shame.
Adam’s sin brought us thorns; Jesus wore a crown of thorns.
Adam substituted himself for God; Jesus was God substituting himself for sinners.
Adam sinned at a tree; Jesus bore our sin on a tree.
Adam died as a sinner; Jesus died for sinners.
Some will argue that we have free will. The truth is, only God has a will that is truly free. God alone has no bias or prejudice and can literally do whatever He pleases. The rest of us have limitations to our choices, and our sinful nature means we are not free but rather slaves to our deepest desires which are dark. Adam had some measure of free will until he sinned. For the Christian, once we are born again with a new nature and the Holy Spirit, we are not yet perfect, but we are new with a will that is freer than before to choose God and holiness.
We are not good. We all sin by nature and choice. Thankfully, we are justified and declared righteous in Christ.
We are not free. Sin and the curse have limited our choices. Thankfully, we are set from sin by Jesus to live in the freedom of the Spirit.
We are not independent. Just like we have a boss, investment broker, or power of attorney who makes decisions for us, we are all under either Adam or Jesus. Thankfully, our new covenant Head treats us better than we treat ourselves and never runs out of grace.
What would your life honestly look like had Jesus not jumped in and put you on His team?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the Real Faith app.