Sunday: Where Sin Abounded

(Rom. 5:12-21)

Though it points out sins, the law is powerless to save us from them. That very powerlessness, however, shows us our need for Jesus, the only solution for sin.

Read Romans 5:12-21. In what way is the message of God’s grace revealed in these texts?

Image © Lars Justinen from

Image © Lars Justinen from

Notice in this passage the constant association between sin and death. Time and again they appear in immediate relationship with each other. And that’s because sin, the violation of God’s law, leads to death.

Now read Romans 5:20. When the law entered, sin abounded, in the sense that the law clearly defined what sin was. However, instead of bringing in the natural result of sin, which is death, Paul says this: But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (NKJV). In other words, no matter how bad sin is, God’s grace is sufficient to cover it for those who claim His promises by faith.

Influenced by the translation of 1 John 3:4 in the King James Version (sin is the transgression of the law), many restrict sin to the violation of the Ten Commandments alone. However, a more literal translation is: sin is lawlessness (NKJV) (anomia). Anything that goes against the principles of God is sin. Hence, although the Ten Commandments had not yet been formally revealed when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he violated a command of God (Gen. 2:17) and was consequently guilty of sin. Indeed, it is through the sin of Adam that the curse of death has affected all generations of humanity (Rom. 5:12, 17, 21).

In contrast to Adam’s unfaithfulness, Jesus’ loyalty to God’s law resulted in the hope of eternal life. Although tempted, Jesus never yielded to sin (Heb. 4:15). Here in Romans, Paul extols Jesus’ righteous obedience, which has resulted in eternal life (Rom. 5:18-21) for those who accept it. As the Second Adam, Jesus kept the law fully and broke the curse of death. His righteousness can now become that of the believer’s. A person condemned to death by inheriting the sin of the first Adam can now embrace the gift of life by accepting the righteousness of the Second one, Jesus.



Sunday: Where Sin Abounded — 22 Comments

  1. I like how the author explained about sin. Many feels because what we do, the did not see in the ten commandments is not a sin. But sin is lawlessness. Anything that goes against God is sin. That is why when David sin that terrible sin and tried to cover up he was reproved. In Psalm 51:1-19 David spoke about sin, transgression and iniquities. Three different things but leads us to the same place-HELL

  2. Thanks be to God for the second Adam, the man Jesus Christ! I am now free from the tormenting fear of eternal destruction

  3. As stated in Rom 6:23 wages of sin is death. and what is sin. The transgression of the law. most people keep law more holy than Jesus grace or death or vice versa. Question which one will enable us to enter Heaven, keeping the law only? or accepting Jesus death alone? or both? Any one there please help me out.

    • No one will enter the kingdom o God except through christ.when we accept jesus keeping the law becomes part of us. I like how some brother put it. He said its like going in a store and you find rules like do not touch items, don't try on etc. Even if you follow all those rules that the store will set, you are not entitled to leave with any item if you haven't paid. Therefore payment in this case is christ who died on the cross that we may live. I hope I've helped to answer your question.

      • Kalima you have explain it all. In addition to that I can easily look at the law like a mirror, when you look in to the mirror it shows us our perfection and what we need to do. But that mirror can not perfect us. The choice is ours.

    • Brother Lucas Kano,
      I would want to refer you to John 3:16. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life".
      Tell me Lucas, How could you believe in Jesus and not keep His holy commandments?

  4. Lucas- Jesus is the law. The law and Jesus' death cannot be seperated. We cannot keep the law on our own we need the holy spirit to aide us. The law is the standard of Christ. We either accept the law and salvation or we don't. You cannot accept one and not the other.

  5. Romans 2:28,29 its the spirit of the law not the letter who praise is not of men but of God. We Christian call Him Jesus the Christ the son of God.

  6. God's "aggressive forgiveness" called "grace" is available to cover all our sinfulness and sinning. Jesus gave us that grace to show us that where Adam failed, we can be successful through Jesus.

  7. As in todays lesson, it is often stated that Jesus was tempted.

    Is this really the case, or did satan make an attempt to tempt Jesus, of which he failed to do?

    This with regards to what is written in James 1:14

    • he was tempted in all points just as we are (Hebrews 4:15). He did not "yield" to temptation for the temptation is not the sin but the thinking on it and what would I do with it and finally acting on it, that is the sin. Jesus didn't give temptation a chance to plant its seed. He immediately refused to give in.

    • Or is it that we will be tempted at the moment we are "... drawn away by his (our) own desires and enticed", while Jesus was tempted because it was Him?

    • Eve was tempted and yield to temptation. Temptation is not sin but yealding to temptation is sin. Jesus also was tempted but never yielded to the temptation. He overcame the temptations by calling on his father for help. We can also do the same.

  8. [Moderator's note: please use full names when commenting. Thank you.]

    please help me understand this vs, "But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more" (NKJV). how in somply language can i explain this vs??

  9. By Gods grace and mercy His only begotten son life show what true love is and where Grace and Mercy abound. Its in Jesus Christ. I hope that helps you brother Mandla read in your bible John3:16

  10. If we understand the law as the mirror in our wash rooms and Christ's grace as the water that removes dirt we will get it right. The mirror shows you the dirt on your face but can never remove it. But the water will surely remove the dirt in presence of the Mirror. Christ is both the mirror and the cleansing water. He puts the law in our hearts so that we can see the dirt in us and by accepting His grace, he cleanses us of the dirt and we are free of sin (that dirt)

  11. Steps to Christ, p. 59 can also help us. "He who is trying to become holy by his own works in keeping the law, is attempting an impossibility. All that man can do without Christ is polluted with selfishness and sin. It is the grace of Christ alone, through faith, that can make us holy."

  12. lets pray for the holy spirit to guide us each and every step and allow the spirit to control our lifes as well because without the holy spirit we can't keep the law

  13. The last line on Sunday's lesson talked about us inheriting Adam's sin. I am not sure where that is found in scripture. The inheritance of Adam's sin sounds more like the catholic doctrine of 'original sin' which states that we have inherited sin from Adam and to have remission of sins, the church baptizes tiny infants(Catechism of the Catholic Church, Article 1, Paragraph 7, Section 403). The Bible however speaks about every one having to face the consequences of his own sin (Ezekial 18:7-21, especially verse 19-20). This world is indeed tainted, but we are not going to be punished for 'Adam's sin', the same a police officer won't arrest you for breaking the speed limit if your great-great-great grand son/daughter was the one speeding many, many years later. If we inherited Adam sin, what does that say about Jesus when HE came to earth, did HE inherit Adam's sin who knew no sin?

    • Hi, Kim, we inherited Adam's propensity or desire to sin. The desire to sin goes down to our DNA. We can not help ourselves. Last week's lesson pointed out " that we were conceived in sin and shaped in inquiry. Adam's sin of disloyalty/distrust of God may not be our particular sin but we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Thus we are not committing Adam's original sin. We have the power of choice even as Adam did and the only help we have is that power of choice is Jesus and the Holy Spirit giving us the power to make that choice. The choice is ours to make. We need daily commitment and daily power to continually make that choice. That's why we have nothing to boast about. It is the power that comes from our redeemer.

      • Yes Kathryn, we definitely inherited propensity and desire, and as Romans 5:12 says, death was passed to all men. Indeed we inherit a lot from our parents, both from the genetic standpoint all the way through to the spiritual. I just don't see where in scripture we inherited his actual sin. Its just important to be more clear in our publications on wordings (but then again, praise to God we have The Word and can all study for ourselves). Praise be unto the Second Adam, Christ Jesus! Amen, we need to daily be rooted and grounded in Him and His plain 'it is written' 🙂

    • Here is my understanding on the Inheritance:
      in simple inheritance is the passing of something valuable, rights, obligation from one to another. in most usual cases generation to generation.
      using the example the example you provided, when you are expected to abide by the speed limit today, it is because something happened in the past which necessitated for speed to governed. one inherits the obligation to abide by the rules governing speed as a result of negligence or omission by someone in the past.
      by the time you get in your car to drive, there is an obligation to meet already, it becomes your choice how to react to that.

      take the inheritance of sin-Psalm 51:5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
      Job 15:14 "What are mortals, that they could be pure, or those born of woman, that they could be righteous? this inheritance (if I may) makes sinfulness our 2nd nature, one is inclined to sin than do right. amid all these, you still have a choice to transgress or not to.

      Jesus was born of a woman, inherited this too. what matters the most is, What have you done, are you doing with this inheritance?


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