Summary: In Romans 5:12-21 the apostle Paul contrasts the work of Adam with the work of Christ. This sermon examines the contrast between two men, two acts, and two results.

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Years ago my daughter’s third grade teacher started worshiping at our church. Before she started teaching, however, she used to work as a representative for Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF)—a ministry that reaches children with the good news of God. Lauren’s teacher used to visit scores of pastors to introduce them to CEF and, along the way, heard many stories and jokes about pastors.

One of my favorites was about a couple who visited a church for the first time. They enjoyed the sermon and told that to the pastor as they greeted him at the door when they left.

The couple decided to visit the church again the following week. They were a little surprised when the pastor repeated exactly the same sermon. But, they said nothing to the pastor and just thanked him for the message.

You can imagine their surprise when they visited the church for the third week and heard the same sermon again! They decided to ask the pastor about it at the conclusion of the service.

“Pastor,” they said, “we have been here three weeks in a row, and we have heard the same sermon three weeks in a row. Why?”

“Well,” said the pastor, “I will preach a new sermon when you put this present sermon into practice!”

I tell you this story because you may feel a little like that couple after you hear today’s sermon! I plan to repeat what I have preached the past two weeks. The reason I am doing that is not because I think you are not putting the sermon into practice but, rather, the truths in Romans 5:12-21 are so important, I want to be sure that you understand what the apostle Paul is teaching.

In Romans 5:12-21 the apostle Paul presents Adam and Christ as two “representative figures” whose acts determine the destiny of all who belong to them. Let’s read Romans 5:12-21:

"12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

"15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

"18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:12-21)

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George Box

commented on Jul 27, 2016

On page 6 of this sermon, right after the illustration of paying taxes the author included this statement: "God also created Christ to be the federal representative of all redeemed humanity." I hope this was simply a typo or misstatement. Christ was not created, His is eternal, God of God. You might consider revising this statement.

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