Lesson 1 – The Fall of Man

 The Fall of Man

Lesson Aim:     To show how through Adam’s offense sin and death came into this world and to reveal the general consequences for mankind.

Scripture:         Rom.  5:12-21.


Our text presents a contrast between the problems “in Adam” in the world realm and the blessings for the man with the nature of Adam “in Christ.”  Therefore, we will present two lessons from this text, one on each side of the dichotomy of “Adam who was a type of the One to come.”  Rom. 5:14.  Please note we have studied two lessons from these scriptures in lessons two and three of the preface to Romans in Part One.  Please review these lessons in conjunction with this and our next lesson.  The ‘Adam as a type of Christ’ concept with their inherent problems and blessings were presented in these previous lessons; therefore, we will approach this lesson, The Fall of Man, with these points in mind.

Paul begins this series of thought with the word “therefore.”  This literally means “based upon what has been said.”  Just how much of this letter the writer has taken into consideration in his “therefore” is perhaps debatable.  However, he appears to mean all that has been said from Romans 3:21 to our text.

The first two words after “therefore” is “just as.”  They definitely set up a dichotomy with comparative scenarios.  It is a comparison between the development “in Adam” because of his transgression and the blessings of God “in Christ.”  In verse 17 the blessing is disclosed, it is a gift of God’s righteousness.  A long discourse on the subject of God’s righteousness was thoroughly set forth by the Paul in Romans 3:21 through 5:11.  This gift becomes vital to us because of our problems as a result of Adam’s fall.

We can conclude the words “therefore, just as” in verse 12, mean Paul has already set forth the righteousness of God “in Christ.”  Just as this sublime gift is available to Christians through Christ, sin and death came into the world and upon us through one man.  His name was Adam.  Adam was a type of “Him who was to come” (V. 14).  Just as sin entered the world through Adam and death through sin God’s righteousness is now manifested through Jesus Christ (V. 12).  This grace was sorely needed “because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  Rom. 3:23.

Our scripture text reveals how the fall of all mankind is because we relate to Adam in the flesh (Acts 17:26).  It compares these problems with God’s intervening grace through Christ because of our relationship to Him “in Christ.”  This is how Adam was a type of Jesus.  We relate to one, or the other, according to the nature of our last birth.

Again, note how the words “just as” suggest a contrast.  In our previous lessons about God’s righteousness we have presented the side of this contrast in which God’s grace came to us through Christ.   In this lesson, we will show the other side.  The other side is how we all became sinners; therefore, mature people still in the world are dead to God because of Adam’s transgressions.


Referring back to verse 12, we see a time when sin and death were not a part of this world.  Then it happened; Adam sinned and death followed sin upon all men.  In verse 13, we understand there was a time when man was free from law (such as the Law God gave to Moses).  This was the time from Adam to Moses.  Then God gave the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  The Law was a schoolmaster over God’s people from Moses until Christ’s death on the cross (Gal. 4:2).  It was the way God dealt with man.

Christ now reigns over God’s people and we have been freed from all of the problems that developed before the “in Christ” realm was established by God in the name of Christ.  The following diagram will give us a look at the different ways God has dealt with man since the beginning of creation.

Note: Justification by faith was a doctrine of grace from the fall until this present time.

Let us examine each of the above periods of time and the program of God for man in each.

Garden of Eden: 

A study of the first three chapters of Genesis is all that is necessary to learn of this blissful age.  The laws of nature were activated by God with man in command of all creation (Psalms 8).  God visited with Adam and Eve because sin and death were unknown.  The Tree of Life was there.  The mental/spiritual environment could be described as an age with no fear, no death and God was there. 

They did not have the knowledge of good and evil; however, there was a tree in the Garden called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  God told Adam and Eve to refrain from eating of the fruit on this tree.  They disobeyed God.  They became covenant breakers.  All people born after Adam have the knowledge of good and evil because Adam and Eve got it.  Mankind became aware; therefore, we need to be trained how to be aware of what is good and evil (Rom. 16:20; Heb. 5:14).  We cannot stick our heads in the sand and expect our life to work its self out somehow.

The  reason death spread to all men was because at a certain point of maturity all people will choose evil, become sinners, and die spiritually (V. 12).  Physical death comes to all men because, like Adam and Eve, we are separated from the Tree of Life.  To view the cycle of life in the Bible please read Gen. 3:22-24 and Rev. 22:12-15. 

Adam to Moses: 

There was no law like the Law of Moses during this time.  Still death was a reigning power.  They did not sin like Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying a direct command.  After the fall of mankind all people sin because we have the knowledge of good and evil.  We cannot avoid choosing evil.   Adam chose to go against God’s command and became a sinner.  All other people have or will become a sinner without choice (V. 14).  Many died as a result of Adam’s transgression because many were born with the knowledge of good and evil.  After they matured in mind, heart and conscience many lived their lives under God’s condemnation as a sinner (Vs. 15, 16).  During this period the sins of people were not imputed because there was no law of the category that imputes or convicts the sinner; however, death was still the result of sin (Rom. 5:13, 14).  There was the law of life but it does not convict (Gen. 26:5; I Cor. 6:12; 10:23). 

Moses to the Cross:

And the Law came in that the transgression might increase.  Rom. 5:20

Now we know whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.  Rom. 3:19, 20.

Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.  Gal. 3:24 

A more thorough discussion of the Law of Moses will be discussed in a later study of Romans 7.   However, it should be noted in verse 13 that without the Law there is no imputation, that is, conviction, of the sinner.  The category of the Law received by Moses convicts, it is the power of sin (I Cor. 15:56).

The Last Days:

This is our own age.  It will be the topic of our next lesson.  Let us sum up this lesson by looking at verse 21.  “Sin reigned in death.”  This is the general condition of the man “in Adam” who does not walk by faith.  You will notice from our chart people have been counted as righteous who walked by faith from Adam until now.  Please read Hebrews chapter eleven.  The unfaithful were counted as they really were – as sinners.  They cannot help being sinners but they could walk by faith.  The final summation is; all who do not walk by faith are dead (separated from God), and their sin is their master.  Christians have the commission of our king to help these millions of people “in Adam” who are without Christ.

Questions for Discussion 

  1. In Romans 5:12 we find the word “therefore.”  How far back into the previous part of the letter does this word have reference?
  2. What is the significance of the words “just as?”
  3. What is the main subject under consideration from Rom. 3:21 – 5:11?
  4. What came into this world through Adam?  Through Christ?
  5. Why is the fall of all mature people in Adam inevitable?
  6. How was Adam a type of Christ?
  7. Why was the Law of Moses given?
  8. Summarize the situations “in Adam” from our lesson text.






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