Romans5:12 – 19 (I am going to put verses 20 & 21 into the first lesson from chapter 6, as that’s where I think they best relate.)
Romans 5:12 (HCSB) Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, in this way death spread to all men, because all sinned. Our first word prompts us, once again, to consider what was previously said. What is the point Paul previously made that he is pulling to our attention here? (We were ungodly enemies of God when we were reconciled to Him. We were sinners in need of His righteousness.) Therefore, death spread to all men because all have sinned and because all are in Adam by nature. Death got its start when Adam sinned and the earth was cursed because of his sin (Gen 3:17). And though people are by design made in the image of God, that image was broken and since the Fall we also carry the image of Adam (Gen 5:3). Sin spreads to all the children of Adam through our DNA. We are NOT sinners because we commit various types of sin. We are sinners by nature – that is why we sin. David knew this and that’s why he said he was conceived in iniquity; he was sinful from his beginning, just as you and I were. No longer does Paul divide people according to the flesh – Jew and Gentile. He moves in this argument just as he did in his own life, noting in his letter to the Corinthian church that he no longer regarded or considered anyone according the flesh, even though he once did so with Jesus. But he no longer does so and ties this to being a new Creature in Christ (2 Cor 5:16 & 17). Paul’s major dividing line is one we can more readily relate to: the two groups of people are represented by Adam and by Jesus, respectively. As Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15:22, in Adam all die and in Christ are we made alive. This contrast is the basis for this passage, with Paul’s emphasis on the supremacy of Christ.