I have to say first off that I absolutely LOVE this chapter! I think it is one of my very favorite chapters out of the entire Bible.
I love the message and I think Paul did a bang up job with all his many examples.
1 man’s sin = condemns all
1 man’s sacrifice = can save all
They are similar but different.
This is how I read this:
Adam knew God. Walked with God. Had an understanding of God that we, here today, can only dream about and hope for. Even with this absolute knowledge of God, Adam disobeyed God and introduced sin into the world which separated us all from our Creator.
The next time you believe you’ve failed in life, think of Adam and Eve and see your miniscule little failure for what it truly is.
Anyway, God so desires a relationship once again with us but He could not be in the presence of such sin now. So He made a plan. He, Himself would come down to earth, and offer a piece of Himself as a perfect sacrifice. The blood of which would cover sin and create a bridge of reconciliation for us, through Christ, to Him.
And so He did.
God didn’t wait for us to desire Him. God didn’t wait for us to try and live perfectly first. God didn’t say, “Once you do this, then I’ll think about it.” God just loved us…right where we were… as we were… in our sins and our “dirty rags”…He said, “I love you.” Period. Not, “I love you when…” or “I love you if…” Just, “I love you”.
And God gave us Himself, a bridge of reconciliation, made out of the perfect sacrificial blood of Christ our Savior.
And God waits for us to accept His loving gift and seek Him.
And those that do accept His gift exult in the Hope He has given us. We praise Him through our trials and tribulations knowing that the bridge is there for us.
Was there sin prior to the Law?
12 Therefore , just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned – 13 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 until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Rather than retyping a whole bunch of what I just read:
Go there and to read through many commentaries regarding these verses.
These verses have been debated back and forth a lot.
Anyway, one thing I took away from reading some of the commentaries on that link is this:
One of Paul’s reason’s for bringing up that until the Law sin was in the world but sin is not imputed when there is no law..death reigned from Adam until Moses…and so on…
Paul wanted to make sure it was known that ALL were sinners. The proof is that death reigned over them too, even before the Law. You have to remember Paul was speaking to Jewish Christians, many of whom were still following the Law and Christ.
So it was important for Paul to show that ALL were sinners even those not under the Law given to Moses. For the ones prior were under the Law of Nature… following a Law written on their hearts maybe…but obviously following other Laws. Adam sinned because he disobeyed a Law and death reigned. Those between Adam and Moses also sinned and death reigned. And from Moses on…all sinned and death reigns.
All (from Adam to present day) could be saved through faith… but the fact is…when Paul is speaking of the Law and making statements about those prior to the Law (of Moses) he isn’t saying that those prior had NO law…just different laws than what was given to Moses.
Anyway that’s my take on it.