555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

504. What Is the Parallel between Christ and Adam?

"As by the offense of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life" (Rom. 5:18). In this passage, Paul is comparing the influence of Adam and Christ His argument begins with verse 12: "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." (Dr. Denny says: "By Adam the race was launched upon a course of sin.") Paul goes on to state that sin was in the world before the written law was given, but declares that sin is not counted as sin where there is no law. God does not condemn a man for breaking a law of which he is ignorant. But even where sin was not imputed, death reigned, because death had come into the world as the result of Adam's sin, and became a universal experience, affecting even those who broke no specific and plainly stated command, as Adam did. But the grace that comes from Christ is even greater than the doom that came through Adam. One man sinned, and many were condemned; grace, through Christ, pardons many sins. Death reigned because of one man; now abundance of life and grace reign by one, Jesus Christ (verse 17). Verse 18 (quoted above) sums up what has gone before. Adam's disobedience made many men sinners; Christ's obedience shall make many righteous (verse 19). The law was given so that sin might be revealed. Sin was in the human heart, but men did not realize what it was till the law came. The law showed them that they were disobeying God. "But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound;" there was sin for everybody, there is grace for everybody—and more grace than sin. The reign of sin brings death; the reign of grace brings eternal life.