For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.Romans 5:19(NASB)
There is much confusion about the consequences of Adam's sin as it relates to the Law of Moses - until one accepts that the root of all sin is traced back to Adam's one, original sin which brought death into the world. People generally believe that man is basically good, while the doctrine of original sin teaches that man is inherently bad - because of our identity with sinful Adam.
To believe that humanity is fundamentally flawed based on Adam's sin in the garden, is not accepted by the philosophy of the world and yet the Bible teaches that we are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. We are sinners through our association with Adam's sinful race and death is the terminal outcome for all.
Adam brought sin into the human race and where there is sin there is death. Indeed, the cemetery is the greatest witness to man's sinfulness. Death has not... and cannot be cured as far as our humanity is concerned. Death reigned from Adam to Moses because of Adam's single transgression - and not only because of man's sinfulness, for all are BORN in sin. All are born 'dead in trespasses and sin'. As members of the human race, we are imputed with sin from our association with Adam and that sin nature is passed on from one generation to the next.
We are imputed with sin, we inherit a sin nature, and it was the one offence of Adam which brought death into the entire human race. Death was in the world long before the Mosaic Law was given. Before God's law was given to Israel, there was no spoken or written law for man to break and yet death continued to reign in the lives of all mankind.
As the federal head of the human race, only Adam broke God's law by eating the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge. None of his progeny could justifiably be charged with breaking God's law, because there was no law to break! And yet ALL suffered the consequences of sin, which is DEATH. ALL were born dead in sin and at enmity with God because 'in Adam ALL die' because sin and death was passed from Adam to all his descendants.
The Law came in under Moses to teach fallen man about sin. The Law was given so that sinners would KNOW that they were sinners. The Law was a tool that God used to show us what sin is. The Law was not the means to forgive sin but to identify sin in our lives. God implemented the Law to instruct us about sin and to show that we are all sinners who need a Saviour - and later Paul tells us that the Law is a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ.
The Law came in so that transgression would be identified in our hearts and lives. And the more man realised he was a sinner and estranged from God, the more sin was recognised, and the more sin increased. It was the Law that caused Paul to recognise that he was a sinner with a heart of jealous envy. And so with the increase of sin, it was necessary for God's grace to increase. The more sin abounded, the more grace also abounded and overflowed.
God's grace was there all along - but only when man began to understand the destructive nature of his sinfulness through the giving of the Law, did we recognise that we are sinners in need of salvation. Only when our lives are lined-up against God's perfect Law, can man understand the depth of our depravity and the immensity of God's grace towards us - in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, so that the power of sin and death could be broken in the lives of all who believe.
As we reflect on the fact that one man (Adam) caused all men to be born in sin because of his one sin, we realise the depth of the riches of the goodness and grace of God which enables anyone who believes in the one Man (Christ) to be declared righteous. It is through the action of the one perfect Kinsman-Redeemer - on Calvary's Cross, that many are made righteous - by faith.
Because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man. How amazing to realise that the abundant overflow of grace and the amazing gift of righteousness can reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. So then... as through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone, so also through one righteous act there is life-giving justification for everyone. "For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so also through the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous."
How we praise and thank our Heavenly Father that through the Law, we are able to recognise our sinfulness and turn to Christ as Saviour, for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting. Praise Your holy name.
Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the riches of Your goodness and abounding grace, which is mine in Christ Jesus my Saviour. Lord, I know that I am a sinner because of my identity with Adam. Thank You that by Your grace I have the privilege of being identified with Christ's righteousness - by faith. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.