Romans 5: The Contrast Between Adam and Jesus


Key Verses:

Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
— Romans 5:7–8
For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might rein through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
— Romans 5:19–21

Daily Message:

Every chapter of Romans is robust in its foundational theological attestations. Paul is communicating to the Roman Jews and Gentiles alike at a time when many surely doubt the divinity of Christ and wonder how He fits into God’s overall plan, if at all.

In Chapter 5, once again, Paul harmonizes the Old Testament with the New. He draws a comparison between Adam, who brought sin and thus death to the world, with Jesus, who brings redemption and everlasting life, along with the gift of righteousness.

Sin is associated with spiritual death, while righteousness is associated with spiritual life. It is through our faith in Jesus that we achieve a new life that will be justified and declared righteous by God and that we can be live righteously in the present.

Chapter 6 provides those assurances for righteous living in the present.

A Moment to Reflect:

You may wonder at times how the Old Testament characterization of God seems to differ from the New Testament characterization. We believe that Jesus is God incarnate. It says in Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” How do you feel about this apparent paradox? The God of the Old Testament at times seems vengeful and threatening, while the God of the New Testament is loving and gracious. Do the historical context of Romans Chapter 5 and the roles of Adam and Jesus begin to resolve this issue for you? Why or why not?