What Does Romans 5:15 Mean?

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

Romans 5:15(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Men do not become sinners by sinning... but as members of the human race, we are sinners by birth. We were born in sin and the wages of sin is death. We are born with a sin nature because we are of the ancestry of Adam. It was because of his one transgression that death entered the world, causing death to be passed on to all humanity.

Adam sinned, and where there is sin there is death. It was this one sinful act in the garden of Eden that brought death upon the entire human race. Adam is the federal head of the human race and his one transgression placed deadly condemnation upon all men. We are able to recognise that we are sinners, because the Law of God exposes our sinfulness... but it was Adam's SINGLE transgression, his ONE act of disobedience, his FIRST transgression, that brought the sentence of death upon you and on me.

In this passage, Paul wants to make it crystal clear that it was Adam's one transgression through which sin entered the world. It was that one single sin by which the whole of the human race was condemned to death. We are all imputed with sin because of his one sin. God's judgement on Adam's one trespass was passed to ALL men. Everyone is born a sinner. We are all born with a sin nature. All are all born, "dead in trespasses and sin," because of his one act of disobedience in the garden of Eden... such that all his offspring, including you and me, are condemned to death simply by being born!!

On the face of it, this seems very unfair. Why should I be condemned because of Adam's one transgression? Why should I pay the price for Adam's fall? Why can't I be accountable for my own sin and pay my own debt? Why could I not have the opportunity to try to live a sinless life so that I will not be subject to the consequences and outcome of Adam's ONE transgression? Why should I receive the death penalty because of Adam's transgression?

But when viewed from God's perspective, we find a very different picture emerging and see an outflow of His mercy, grace, goodness, and kindness. God alone is good and His law is perfect... but to try to live a perfect life in an increasingly sinful world would inevitably fail. The Law of God makes it painfully obvious that sinless perfection in a fallen world is utterly impossible... and the inevitable result would be sin, death, and hell, for each of Adam's progeny.

However, by God's amazing grace, we have the opportunity to identify with the actions, consequences, and outcome of another Man - a PERFECT MAN, a GOOD Man, the Man Christ Jesus!!

God in His grace gave His only begotten Son to be born into the human race and take upon Himself the punishment that fallen man deserves. As the second Person of the Trinity, He was GOOD. And as the God the Son in human form, He lived a perfect, sinless life. He came to fulfil God's perfect Law and live a perfect life on our behalf - taking upon Himself the punishment for sin that we justly deserve.

He came to identify with our humanity! He came to pay the full price for all sin! He came to be made sin for us! He came to take upon Himself the curse of the Law that we justly deserve... which proclaims each of us as 'guilty', and sentences each of us to death. The unattainable Law proclaims its deadly condemnation on all of us. Jesus came to present Himself as the ONE perfect Sacrifice on behalf of all men. By paying for our sin, we can be declared righteous by faith. His redemption is therefore available to everyone, by faith. All we have to do is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of our soul.

Jesus Christ came as our sinless Kinsman-Redeemer to die ONCE for ALL upon the Cross. He came so that by His ONE act of righteousness ALL who believe in Him would be identified with HIS righteousness - and be released from the consequences of our sin and sinfulness. He came to offer each one the free gift of salvation, which by God's grace becomes ours by faith in Him. He came so that by grace through faith, ALL who believe on His name might be set free from the actions, consequences, and outcomes of our sin-filled lives!!

The transgression of Adam, which caused death to be passed onto all men, is very different from the amazing, abundant, glorious, and eternal life that is offered to all men as a free gift of grace. By faith in Jesus, we have been made a new creation. By faith in Him, we are born into the family of God. By faith in Him, we are made children of God, and by faith in Him we have become joint-heirs with Christ.

We have transferred from being IN ADAM to being IN CHRIST. We have changed from being dead in sin to being alive in Him. We have been given the indwelling Holy Spirit and have access to the throne of grace for help in time of need. By faith, we are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God's own possession, so that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him Who has called us out of darkness into His marvellous light. All that is needed is faith in Christ Jesus for the forgiveness of our sin - to Whom be all praise and glory, not only in this life but in the ages to come.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, as I come to reflect on Your plan of salvation and consider my own sinfulness and Your glorious gift of grace, whereby my sin has been forgiven and debt has been paid, I lift my hands in awe, wonder, and praise, for Your goodness and grace. Thank You that Christ's own resurrected life has been breathed into me and I am clothed in His own perfect righteousness. I marvel at Your loving kindness to me and all the children of men, and pray that I may live to Your praise and glory. In Jesus' name, AMEN.

Choose a Verse from Romans 5