Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

Bible Study Notes

Romans: 5:12-21

By Dr. Richard J. Krejcir
Our heredity of sin!
Two Adams, Two Results

General Idea: Our heredity of sin! This is the passage that tells us about the universal sinful nature of humanity: Original Sin. We placed ourselves under sin, if anyone who has ever lived was there in the Garden, they, that means you and I, would have disobeyed and sinned. Yet though God's love, a plan of redemption comes about to save us. The world and frustrated Christians will object to our fallen nature, as it goes against our pride, self-determination and will. They do not see His plan, only their views. Perhaps you wondered that this is totally unfair! Adam sinned not me. I was not at the Garden of Eden; I did not disobey God, so why do I have to suffer under his punishment. This is liberal thinking that sin is an idea and/or is unfair. And this passage agrees! But not in the liberal sense or by the objection of the world; rather in the realty of God's love and redemptive plan is at our hand. Sin is more than an idea and yes it is unfair. That sin entered in the world by one man that affected all people by Adam; but the grace of God, which justified us, comes in the world by one man/God. All of humanity deserved it, Christ did not; thus, yes it is unfair- to God, but not to us (2 Sam. 11:1-27; and Psalm 51)! He takes us from our old creation under Adam and places under the new creation under Christ (2 Cor. 5:17).

1. Adam by nature passes sin that leads to death to us all; all of his posterity, but Christ by grace communicates His righteousness unto His people for life. All have sinned all would have sinned!

a. Therefore means Paul is continuing his argument and phases into an illustration to prove his point. When you ever see therefore in Scripture, ask why is it there? The answer is the context!

b. Just as, death was not God's original plan. His plan became corrupted by our sin (Gen. 2:17).

c. Adam's offense is contrasted to Christ's free gift and obedience.

i. One man brought sin in, One took it away.

ii. One brought condemnation, One brought justification.

d. When we belonged to sin and death (Gen. 2:17) we were part of the old creation under Adam (Psalm 51:5).

e. Adam was the first man who represented all of humanity, and was the one who brought sin into the world. Jesus represented all of humanity by bringing redemption.

i. Thus, everyone who was ever born is born into/ with sin.

ii. Sin is the right and the claim to myself, that I am my own boss; our self-realization that resulted from Adam. And one man took it away, the last Adam (Heb. 9:26).

f. We cannot escape our sin from birth; no baptism can wash it away.

i. Only through redemption does our sin nature go away.

ii. Self-realization is the enemy of the cross, and what keeps Christ away with the explanation that I am my own God (John 2:25; 3:19).

g. Sin is no excuse to cover our wrong doing and just say the Devil made me do it! Not at all! We still have personal responsibility!

2. Now we belong to Christ, the new Adam and new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), we are reigning in new life.

a. Christ takes on Adam's role as the representative of all humanity (1 Cor. 15:45-49; Eph. 2:1-7; Heb. 2:14-18 1 Pet 1:3).

b. Many refers to an aspect of the "elect" as a reference to Isaiah 53:11 and the Suffering Servant who will redeem them, a prophecy of our Lord. Christ is our head spiritual leader, Lord and God, where our hope and life come from.

i. We are kings and queens by the grace of God.

ii. Beware that condemnation and justification results from our actions; first by sin, second experience a second birth that will put us in Christ and away from death (John 3:7).

3. Regeneration happens by Christ's work and through the Holy Sprit, and hits us when we have a sense of our need and futility (Gal. 4:19).

a. The miracle of redemption is that the Spirit places in us a new nature, and our reward and response is a new life.

b. The miracle is that we cannot touch or remove our sin, we cannot even hide it, and we can't even see it. He does and He removes it from His sight.

c. Redemption is that we are delivered from the heredity of sin.

d. We have a picture of God' redemptive plan in the lives of Adam and Noah from Genesis and its fullness in the Gospel (Gen. 5:29; 9:1-2; 7). God was at work to restore humanity from the beginning!

God did not just punish all of humanity for one person's sin. This would be contrary to His character. It is the nature of the sin that corrupts and punishes. It affects everything and everyone, from the soil to the sky to our lives and relationships. Everything has been distorted from God's plan. Yet, in the mist of the sin, God is weaving His redemptive threads though it and though us. These redemptive treads become our covering, the atonement of Christ's work on the cross our new garments declaring us sin free and pure before our Lord. Our tendency is to remain in the sin, we relish it and desire it and help fuel its growth (John 3:19). The incredible news is our sin is covered! Has this hit you so your life shows the change Christ made for you? That your heredity of sin has changed to His heredity? That Jesus has formed and renewed you (Gal. 1:15-16; 4:19)? If not, why?


  1. Have you ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar so to speak?

  1. If so how did you react as a child? As an adult? Before being a Christian?

  1. After being a Christian? How would you react now?

  1. Has covering up sin ever backfired in your life, if so how and why?

  1. Have you ever been told that Adam's sin was unfair to us?

  1. How does this passage answer the objection that original sin is unfair?

  1. Have you ever wished that you would be free from sin?

  1. What would your life be like if it was?

  1. Do you believe that the world is getting worse as far as 'depravity' and people's general bad behavior, or is it worse because there are more people?

  1. Some liberal Christian churches teach that there was/ is no original sin. Why do you suppose they do that when Scripture such as this passage is so clear?

  1. Is there such a thing as a victimless crime/ sin?

  1. How can a baby who has not even opened it's eyes yet, be a sinner?

  1. How does it make you feel that Christ entered the world to pay your price of punishment when He did not have to or deserve it?

  1. People accuse God of being unfair, such as if a relative was killed by a bandit or by an accident by someone else's fault. Why do we do that?

  1. How is it unfair to God, if a loved one is injured or killed by someone else's sin?

  1. How can you explain the contrast from Adam's offense is to Christ's free gift? List what is similar and what is different?

  1. How can you take comfort in what Christ has done for you?

  1. Do you have a grasp on the magnitude of God's sacrifice on our behalf, if so how, if not what is blocking you?

  1. What can you say to a person who is upset over original sin and says that God is unfair? 

  1. What does justification mean to your daily life and walk? At work, at school, at the grocery store…?

  1. Read II Sam. 11:1-27; Psalm 51 How many times and ways did David sin?

  1. What was David's reaction?

  1. David was full of arrogance and contempt at this time, what did God do to put him back in his place?

  1. What does God do now when we sin?

  1. How did David approach God after his sin?

  1. How do you approach God after your sin?

  1. What does God feel in David's situation versus yours?

  1. Psalm 51:4 seems to be saying sin is an act against God only, even though David's sin affected a lot of people around him. Why does the Bible say this then? (Keep in mind the other verses that deal with sin's relationship to others, see theological note on sin from Bible study 9)

  1. How did David escape God's total wrath (that is God did punish, but not as the law required. Death was the penalty of adultery and murder, Duet 22:22)?

  1. How do we escape His wrath today?

  1. Since we have grace, does that give us opportunities to sin, since He will forgive anyway?

  1. How and why did God restore David?

  1. How would you define sin?

  1. What does baptism do? What does it wash?

  1. How do we remove sin from our lives?

  1. What keeps Christ away from people, from you?

  1. What can you take away from this passage to help you better understand grace?

  1. If you are having difficulties trusting God, or know people who do, what can you/ they do to build their trust?

  1. How does it excite you that you belong to Christ?

  1. What are you doing in your life right now (this week) to reflect what the new Adam has done for you, how are you reigning in new life?

  1. How does your life reflect that Christ is our head spiritual leader, Lord and God, where our hope and life come from?

  1. On your own write a thank-you letter to Jesus and list all that you can remember that He has done for you. Keep this letter in a safe place and add to it when new things come up. Then use this letter to help build your relationship by reflecting on what He has done, answered prayers, salvation, maturity, opportunities and your growth, especially when you are feeling down.


Theological Thought:

"Baptism" means a ceremonial cleansing and purification: a sign that tells God that we repent and seek His forgiveness and desire to accept a new life (Acts 22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; l5: 25-27; Col. 2:11-12; Titus 3:5). It is a symbol of our union and covenant with our Lord (1 John 5:11-12). It is a sign of our commitment to be His disciple (Matt. 28:19). Baptism is not a magic "get into Heaven card" or to receive His blessings and riches, nor is it even mandatory; hence why some Christian groups do not practice it (Salvation Army for example). Baptism does not have a specific mode, such as to immerse, dunk, sprinkle, or to hose off in the parking lot (or hold you down until you really repent!). Baptism means to be cleansed, and Christians have no basis to fight over which mode, since no specific mode is required or even taught in Scripture. We are just called to do it, to show our faith publicly and identify ourselves in Him!


© 1998, 2002, 2004 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries

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