“For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”  – Romans 5:17


We live in a messed up sinful fallen world. Politically as a nation we’ve degenerated from a constitutional republic to a banana-republic-like government where the legal system and government agencies are used to suppress political opponents. [1] Sin and rejection of God lead to corruption.

On Friday April 19th, an apparently mentally deranged Barack Obama / Bernie Sanders’s supporter Max Azzarello self-immolated himself a few blocks from the Trump trial. [2] He was of the belief that President Trump and President Biden were both in cahoots to impose a fascist takeover of the country. [3] Sin and rejection of God lead to confusion.

We have Russian television allegedly sharing how Russia could incapacitate the United States with just a few well-placed nuclear bombs over the country to cause an EMP effect knocking out all electronics. President Putin of Russia has affirmed he is willing to use a nuclear option if he feels it necessary. [4] sin and rejection of God lead to calamity.

At Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, 78k died from initial blast of an atomic bomb that was dropped and detonated, but by the end of 1945, 90k to 120k people died from radiation poisoning.

The Adam Bomb. Some are under the mistaken notion that Hiroshima was the first bomb to change human history. But there was a bomb that had a far worse effect long before that. Shortly after the creation of the universe and this world, there was an Adam Bomb that dropped and all the human beings from Genesis 3 onward have been the sinful fallout.

The power of one. Romans 5 speaks of the powerful influence one person can have. Two options regarding two people and your choice of which to follow will determine your eternal destiny. Those two individuals are Adam and Jesus Christ.

The word “one” occurs 11 times in Romans 5. The word “reign” occurs five times, and the phrase “much more” occurs five times. In this chapter we will see how the power of one person’s actions can affect one’s eternal destiny, and we will see how the grace of God can produce “much more” good than any bad produced by sin.

Someone has said, “One man with a backbone can do more than a thousand men with a wishbone.” In a message by Pastor Skip Heitzig he quotes a leadership source as saying, “One smile can start a friendship. One word can end a fight. One look can save a relationship. And one person can change your life.” [5] the most important One is Jesus. Jesus is the One Person who can change your life.

The first eleven verses of Romans 5 show us that it is possible to have peace amidst all the calamity of this fallen world. But how did we get to this confused, corrupt, calamitous state? Why are we the way we are, sinful? When we look at the origins of sin we must go back to the first book of the Bible, Genesis. And when we go back to this book we must take into account God as the Creator of all things. You may be a proponent of Evolutionary Theory which requires you believe nothing somehow created something, but teleologically speaking, the world we live in has a design that only an intelligent Creator could compose. We need to be familiar with the origins of sin for Romans 5.

Sin originated in the early chapters of the Genesis account of creation. God creates Adam and Eve and gives them free reign in the Garden of Eden. He gives only one prohibition – And the LORD God commanded the man, saying ‘of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17). This prohibition was not tyrannical but protective. Adam and Eve weren’t suited for the knowledge of good and evil, at least not yet. So God put them in the Garden and gave His instruction. It was a test to see who Adam and Eve would obey and be loyal too.

Of course, Adam sinned. In Genesis 3:1-19 we have the temptation of Eve by the serpent. The serpent says, “Has god indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” Eve pauses in her response. The door is opened a crack. The serpent barges through with the follow up statement, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’” (Genesis 3:1 and 4-5). Eve chooses to disobey her Creator. Ever wonder why Adam gets all the blame for something Even did? If you look closely at the passage it states, “She also gave to her husband with here, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). Adam, who had been directly instructed by God, said nothing, did nothing to prevent his wife from succumbing to the serpent’s temptations. And so began the age-old sinful deficiency of husbands who fail to step up and communicate with and protect their wives.

I like what commentator Jon Courson says here:

There are those who, at this point in the discussion, say, “Can a single occurrence truly have repercussions two thousand years later for all of humanity? Can one act done by one Man in one place really alter world history?”

In answer to that, I think of another event that altered world history. On August 6, 1945, one man, Harry Truman, ordered the atom bomb dropped over Hiroshima. And the death, the devastation, and the destruction that followed were unparalleled in history. The atom bomb changed the entire course of geo-political events, as every building within 4.7 miles of the epicenter was leveled instantly, as ninety-three thousand people died immediately, as three hundred thousand died eventually from the fall-out.

One event, at one moment, ordered by one man resulted in devastation and destruction beyond comprehension. But that is not the atom bomb Paul was talking about. No, he wrote not of the atom bomb that fell in Hiroshima in 1945, but of the Adam bomb that fell when Adam bombed out in the Garden of Eden at the beginning of history—for when Adam bombed out, the fallout and aftershocks affected all of humanity even to this day.[6]

“The Adam Bomb” of the first man Adam’s sin has had far more devastating consequences of any other manmade action throughout history. Humanity is lost in sin because of Adam’s sin. Paul describes the terrible effects and consequences of the first sin, but also provides God’s gracious, loving, and merciful solution provided in Christ.

As we study through what some refer to as the most theologically complex portions of scripture in the entire Bible, let us not lose sight of the fact that there are two Adams. There is the first Adam who we see in Genesis, and there is the Second Adam, Jesus, who we see in the Gospels and here in Romans 5. Who you choose to follow will determine whether you continue to suffer the fallout of the Adam Bomb or experience the healing touch of spiritual birth and eternal life.

Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” 

There are some who teach a Moral Government theory of salvation in which humankind is seen as innocent at birth and sin is the result of each person’s own sin. It states that God didn’t know whether a person would sin and then when a person did sin, God became very disappointed. This doctrine puts the blame and emphasis on human responsibility. It has the ultimate consequence of making the death of Christ unnecessary because theoretically a person could be born, live and die without sin. Furthermore, they teach that if one man’s sin could not make us all sinners, then one Man’s righteousness cannot make us all righteous. The only way a person can be righteous is by living a sinless life in one’s own strength. This leads to frustration, failure, and no hope. (E.g., Islam does not believe in original sin nature of humanity.)

To the contrary, Paul teaches here that Adam was the representative man and by sinning, sin entered the entire world and humanity from that point on. All humanity is guilty and born in sin as a result of Adam’s sin.

The Bible teaches that after the fall of man, man was no longer begotten in the pure sinless likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), but in the sinful likeness of Adam:

Genesis 5:3 – “And Adam lived one hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.”

Therefore, from this point on the bible states humanity is born in sin:

Job 14:4 – “Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? No one!”

Job 15:14 – “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?”

Psalm 51:5 – “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.”

Psalm 58:3 – “The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.”

Ecclesiastes 7:20 – “For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”

Ephesians 2:1-3 – “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.”

Therefore, considering these verses it is clear that sin was imputed to humanity as the result of one man’s sin (Adam). Because of Adam’s sin spiritual and physical death entered the world. If you want to disprove that, don’t die. The fact that we all die is proof that Adam’s sin was passed on to all humanity.

Romans 5:13-14 – “(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.” 

Apart from the Law, sin does not have the transgressive nature that it has under the Law. However, this doesn’t mean humanity did not sin. Death confirms the presence of sin in humanity before the Law as well as the testimony of the Bible which states:

Genesis 4:8 – “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.”

Genesis 6:5-7,11-13 – “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.6 And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.7 So the Lord said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” . . . 11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.12 So God looked upon the earth, and indeed it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth.13 And God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”  (See also Babel – Genesis 11; Lot; Laban; Joseph’s brothers; et.al.)

Sin was still bad enough to lead to God’s judgment as in the circumstances of the Flood. Adam only had one law, and he sinned. That is the sinful nature of humanity.

“Who is a type of Him who was to come” – Adam was a type of Jesus in that he is representative man. When Adam sinned, we all sinned in him, and such sin is imputed to all humanity. In a similar way, Jesus came as a Man, died on the cross in our place, and His righteousness can be imputed to the one whose faith is placed in Him. If you remove the capability of Adam sinning for all humanity, you also remove the possibility of Jesus bringing justification to humanity.


Let me summarize:

15 – In Adam many died because of one man’s trespass. In Jesus grace abounds to many by one Man Jesus.

16 – Adam brought judgment & condemnation. In Jesus, many trespasses dealt with via justification.

17 – Adam’s sin = death reign. Jesus = righteousness reigns in life.

18 – Adam’s one offense = condemnation for all. Jesus’ act (cross) = righteousness offered all

19 – Adams’ disobedience = all sinners. Jesus’ obedience = righteousness

21 – Sin reigns in death. Grace reigns in eternal life through Jesus.

The KJV Bible Commentary states:

“The grace of God, which is the ground of our justification, is contrasted with the sin of Adam, because it is greater in quality and greater in degree than Adam’s sin. In Adam we got what we deserved, condemnation and guilt. In Christ we have received much more of what we do not deserve, mercy and grace.” [7]

Romans 5:15-16 – “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.16 And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.” 

One sin made us all sinners. But all of the sins were taken care of by the one Man Jesus on the cross. Sin leads to death. But God’s gracious redemption offered in Christ leads to life for the one who receives it by faith. one leads to condemnation, the other to justification. The choice is up to you.

Romans 5:17 – “For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” 

Death reigned over humanity because of the one man’s offense; but “much more” will people reign (as kings) in life through faith in Christ because of His one act. The life offered to us in Christ is “much more” than the death we suffer because of Adam.

Romans 5:18-19 – “Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” 

Judgment and condemnation came through Adam, but through Jesus one righteous act leads to possible justification for all who trust in Him.

The Peace “of “God

Romans 5:20-21 – “Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more,21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

The Law removed any excuse or claim to ignorance of the sinful man. One act led to the sin of all humanity; one act of Jesus on the cross led to the justification of those who put faith in Christ.

“But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” – It is one thing to have peace with God; it is another thing to have the peace of God. Not only does God provide peace with Him, but He also provides His peace to help us live in this life now. There is a distinctive difference to notice here. Some have peace with God but are still plagued by the trails and circumstances of life. The peace of God is that steadying force, that inner sense that God is in control no matter what. The peace of God is that settling effect that guards the believer’s heart from being overwhelmed by trusting hopefully in God to be faithful in all of life. How can we receive the peace of God?

First, the peace of God is received as we commit all things to Him in prayer. Paul speaks of this to the Philippians when he is inspired to write:

Philippians 4:6-9 – “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

The peace of God permeates the believer to the depths of their being and takes up residence in the mind and heart. By prayer in all things, we declare our dependence upon God who comes to us in our time of need to guard and quiet our anxieties and fears. Fear is the foe of faith and is overcome by prayerfully putting faith in God. That is what the peace of God does.

Second, the peace of God is fueled by the word of God and worship. Paul was inspired to write to the Colossian church:

Colossians 3:15-17 – “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Now notice how this passage starts. Paul says, “Let.” This is an exhortation that implies God wants to give you His peace and all we need do is let Him give it to us. The peace of God is from Him received by us by faith. Paul tells us to let God’s peace rule our hearts and be thankful for it. And then we see the fuel of the peace of God. The word of God fuels the peace of God in us because the word of God testifies to the faithfulness and provision of God.

One of the best ways to counter anxiety and fear is to consume the word of God, read it, meditate on it, and study it prayerfully. Paul points us to the psalms in particular. I always find the psalms comforting to read during times of trials or difficulties.

Paul also points us to worship as a means of bring the peace of God into our lives. If you’re having a hard time of it, worship the Lord. Turn off the TV and turn on the praise and worship. Worship in the Spirit and the peace of God will come upon you and settle your heart and mind.

God doesn’t only provide the opportunity to have peace with Him, but “much more,” He provides His peace to help us through life now.

I’ll end this chapter with a story I came across. The author is unknown, but it’s worth our time and expresses well how peace with God and peace of God brings stability and strength to the turbulent times of our life.

Years ago, I was enthralled as I listened to a pastor who for several years had faithfully served the church. His executive responsibilities had taken him all over this country. As he concluded his message, he told of one of the most frightening yet thought-provoking experiences of his life.

He had been on a long flight from one place to another. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on:  Fasten your seat belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, “We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened.”

As he looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive. Later, the voice of the announcer said, “We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us.”

And then the storm broke. The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightening lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.

The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, “As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous, and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.

Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and everything within her small world was calm and orderly. Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid.”  The minister could hardly believe his eyes.

It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time. Having commented about the storm and behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.

The sweet child replied, “Sir, my Dad is the pilot, and he is taking me home.”

There are many kinds of storms that buffet us.

Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about in a darkened sky.

Let us remember:  Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home. Don’t worry. [8]

When God is your Pilot, the fear of the turbulence is calmed and your hope of reaching your destination safely is assured. All of this is a product of God’s grace, love, and hope.

So the choice is yours, do nothing and live as a mere son or daughter of Adam. Choose to do nothing, and you will end up separated from God and tormented for eternity. But choose faith in Christ as Savior and everything changes. Choosing to trust Jesus as Savior leads to regeneration, salvation, and forgiveness for all your sin. Choose to accept the gracious provision of the gospel of Jesus Christ and you will never be the same; all the old will pas away and everything will become new for you. God is giving you a choice. Indecision is decision. Who will you choose to follow, the first Adam or the Second Adam? Two paths are before you. Stay on the one you presently walk on, the path of Adam, or turn from your sinful fallen life to the Savior of the world, Jesus. the choice is yours.

If you decide to choose Jesus, the following will help you:

Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). The word “know” here is translated from the Greek term ginosko. The idea of this word “know” in the original language meant to become aware, perceive (as in “seeing is believing”), to understand, to be conscious of, to see something or someone as it/they truly are (not merely opinion or speculation).

When this word is used in the sense of knowing someone it means:

  • To know someone personally
  • To be personally acquainted with someone
  • To trust someone
  • To have a friendship with someone
  • To have an intimate personal relationship with someone

It is possible to know personally the only true God and His Son Jesus Christ. In light of this the question arises, do you know Jesus?

The Good News is that we can have a personal relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ. Entering into such a relationship is as simple as ABC: Admit/Ask, Believe/Receive, and Confess/Call.

First Admit your sin and ask God’s forgiveness for them. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). And we all have sinned and fall short of what it takes to enter heaven (Romans 3). We need to admit this truth before God. Once we admit our sin before God we need to ask God’s forgiveness for our sins. This implies turning from our sins to God (i.e., repentance). This is humbling but necessary. We come to Him on His terms not our terms. We come humbly before God who is Awesome and Holy.

Second, believe in Jesus and His atoning work. Jesus and Jesus atoning work on the cross alone, not our efforts or works, is the basis for God’s forgiveness of our sins. The wages or consequences of our sin is death. Jesus died on the cross in our place, paying our punishment for sin. God offers us salvation from our sins freely as a gift of His grace through Jesus’ death on the cross (Romans 6:23). We are saved from our sins because of His work not our work. To believe, trust, or put our faith in Jesus as Savior is not a “work,” it is God’s grace working in us (Ephesians 2:8-9). Once we believe in Jesus and His atoning work, we believe and receive forgiveness for our sins based on Jesus and His work. God has a just basis to forgive our sins because of Jesus justifying work on the cross on our behalf. Jesus paid our death penalty on the cross for us. He’s the only One qualified to do that. Jesus took our sins on Himself on the cross and when we trust in Him and His work, He offers us His righteousness to be put to our account (cf. Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:21). God did this for us in Christ because He loves us. God is Love with a capitol “L” (e.g., John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8 and 16).

Lastly, Confess and call. We confess our sins to God and receive His forgiveness (1 John 1:9). But we also confess Jesus to those around us; we tell others about Jesus; we call others to follow Jesus too. These are not a works that lead to salvation. This is a fruit or evidence that salvation has genuinely taken place in us. The Bible states, “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9-10).

Look up these verses and pray over them. “So, then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

A Salvation Prayer:

Heavenly Father I come to You in Jesus’ name. I admit my sins before you and repent (i.e., turn from them). I ask Your forgiveness not because of any work I have done, but because I believe Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sins on the cross. I believe Jesus rose from the dead to show He defeated death and that His sacrifice was acceptable to You. I ask in faith believing You will honor Your word and forgive my sins as I trust Jesus as my Savior. Holy Spirit please regenerate me, give me spiritual life, give me the second birth of being born again.. Please help me to live for You for the rest of my life and on into eternity. I praise You for Your salvation, a gift of Your grace. May You be glorified in me and through me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


[1] https://www.theepochtimes.com/us/trump-arrives-in-court-in-new-york-fraud-trial-5502128?utm_medium=GoogleAds&utm_source=PerfmaxM&utm_campaign=PM_max_Maga_20240103&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI_PPHj5_ThQMVsV9HAR1imA2QEAAYAiAAEgJaDfD_BwE

[2] https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2024/04/report-man-who-set-himself-fire-outside-trump/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=report-man-who-set-himself-fire-outside-trump

[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/19/nyregion/max-azzarello-man-fire-trump.html

[4] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEnEyYWNlyg

[5] Skip Heitzig A One Man Show A One-Man Show – Romans 5:12-21 – Skip Heitzig (youtube.com)

[6] Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 913). Thomas Nelson.

[7]Jerry Falwell, executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.

[8] Author unknown

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