Summary: Because of Adam's sin, we all become sinners and face the condemnation of God. But because of Christ, we can be born again and receive God's grace and Christ's righteousness. The choice is ours!
A. Today we return to our series on Paul’s Letter to the Romans called “Pursing Righteousness From God” and we will focus our attention on the second half of chapter 5.
B. One day a little girl was flipping through the old family Bible, when a leaf, that someone long ago had pressed between its pages, came fluttering out.
1. As the little girl watched the leaf fall, she exclaimed with delight, “Oh, look! Adam's clothes!”
2. As amusing as that little girl might be, the legacy of Adam that we do find between the pages of the Bible is anything but funny.
3. Our original ancestors were wearing those pitifully inadequate fig leaves because they were ashamed of the guilt of their sin, with a shame that could never be covered by their makeshift wardrobe.
C. Just think of the unwelcome heritage we have as a direct result of the disobedience of Adam.
1. Our first forefather, through the calamity of his sin, left us a bitter birthright.
2. Thanks to Adam we live in a fallen world, with all its disappointments, diseases, despair, decline, and death.
3. Once mankind’s parents were booted out of their earthly paradise, mankind was forced to struggle along without the physical presence of a loving Father.
4. From the days of Cain and Abel this world has known nothing but centuries of ceaseless strife, bloodshed, and war.
5. Ever since Eden the human race has groaned under the weary burden of toil and trouble.
6. And worst of all, once sin entered our world, in all its ugliness and malignancy, it has reigned supreme.
D. If you have any question about the sinfulness of the human race, all you have to do is go anywhere in the world and pick up any newspaper you want, in any language, and read about what human beings are up to.
1. What we discover in any place and any time, not just in our present place and time, is selfish, sinful existence – murder and adultery, abuse and exploitation, corruption and crime.
2. The details change, the faces come and go, but the story is always the same.
3. Something has gone wrong with the human race.
4. Something evil lurks inside the heart of every person – no one is immune, no one is exempt, and no one is truly innocent.
5. People might call it different things – a twist, a taint, a bent to do wrong, but we know what it is – it is sin.
6. The hymn writer of the 18th century, Robert Robinson who wrote the famous hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” powerfully captured our challenge in the words: “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
E. In our text today, Paul surveys the grim landscape of a fallen world with a series of somber phrases that emphasize the far-reaching consequences of Adam's actions.
1. Look at them with me and see if you detect a pattern:
• Verse 12: “…sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all people, because all sinned.”
• Verse 15: “…by the one man’s trespass the many died…”
• Verse 16: “…because from one sin came the judgment, resulting in condemnation…”
• Verse 17: “…by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man…”
• Verse 18: “…through one trespass there is condemnation for everyone…”
• Verse 19: “…through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners…”
2. Do you notice the pattern? ONE man, ONE trespass, ONE wrong decision opened the door to sin and death for every human being!
3. We live in a world that has been completely contaminated by sin.
4. When Adam and Eve sinned, it not only affected them personally, all of creation fell with them.
F. Most of us are familiar with the account of the fall of Adam and Eve.
1. As a result of their sin, God cursed the snake, who had tempted the couple – then He pronounced the judgment for Adam and Eve, taking away the tree of life, and expelling them from the Garden of Eden, and then the Lord also put a curse on the ground.
2. The result of that last penalty is painfully plain to all of us: from then on, life would be hard.
3. Before the fall, the first family had enjoyed an effortless bounty from the earth, but forever afterwards, the ground would give up its gifts grudgingly.
G. Apologists, evangelists and Bible teachers often talk about the “argument from creation” as they try to prove God’s existence.
1. Their point is that in the beauty and design and order of our world we can see the handiwork of God.