top of page
  • Chad Werkhoven

Romans 5:12-15 - Original & Ongoing

You already know what a mess this world is... now find out why.


Romans 5:12-15 (NIV)

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!


Listen to passage & devotional:


Belgic Confession of Faith, Article 15: The Doctrine of Original Sin

We believe

that by the disobedience of Adam

original sin has been spread

through the whole human race.

It is a corruption of all nature—

an inherited depravity which even infects small infants

in their mother’s womb,

and the root which produces in man

every sort of sin.

It is therefore so vile and enormous in God’s sight

that it is enough to condemn the human race,

and it is not abolished

or wholly uprooted

even by baptism,

seeing that sin constantly boils forth

as though from a contaminated spring.


it is not imputed to God’s children

for their condemnation

but is forgiven

by his grace and mercy—

not to put them to sleep

but so that the awareness of this corruption

might often make believers groan

as they long to be set free

from the “body of this death.”

Therefore we reject the error of the Pelagians

who say that this sin is nothing else than a matter of imitation.



For the next two weeks we we have the unhappy task of understanding the concept known as original sin. That term can be misleading, as if 'original' refers to the very first sin, as it's recorded in Genesis 3. Certainly that 'O-G' sin in which Adam and his wife ate the forbidden fruit is the origin of every sin that followed, but the theological term original sin describes your nature more than it does your history.

Original sin, as one dictionary puts it, is "that, as a result of Adam’s fall, all mankind are sinners by nature, having a propensity to sin that underlies every actual sin."

Paul explains this in today's opening verse. When Adam broke God's command, "sin entered the world." In other words, Adam's transgression did not just make him a sinner, rather it infected the entire world (literally: kosmos). A few chapters after today's passage, Paul writes that "the creation was subjected to frustration..." and is in "bondage to decay (8:20-21)." Everything that God had declared to be good upon its creation was now smeared and tarnished.

Understanding the doctrine of original sin helps make sense of the frustrated mess we see in our own lives and everything around us. We know this is not the way God created things, and we also get how things became the way they are. But all of these problems pale in comparison to the primary issue Adam's disobedience unleashed: death. "Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned."

Dig Deeper

This doctrine is miserable. It was way more fun digging deeper into God's providential care, or coming to understand exactly what it means to be an image bearer of God. It's tempting just to skip over these next couple of weeks and just dive into the details of how it is that Jesus saved us.

But that's just the thing; if you want to fully understand the wonderful details of your salvation, you have to first understand the miserable implications of the condition caused by "Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come (v14)." The better you come to know Adam and the original sin he unleashed, the better you will appreciate all of the wonderful complexities that Jesus accomplished in His life, death and resurrection.

Jesus fulfilled every expectation that He had placed on that first man which He formed out of the dust. But He kept the command that Adam broke, and His perfect obedience became the perfect antidote for the sin and death resulting from original sin.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who makes grace possible for those infected by original sin;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the patience and endurance to understand ugly doctrines like original sin so that you can better appreciate the wonderful doctrines of grace and providence;



Read the New Testament in a year! Today: Matthew 18


Questions or comments?

Recent Posts:

bottom of page