Romans 5: The Contrast Between Adam and Jesus
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?