Daily Devotions

Death reigned from Adam — who prefigured Christ!

Romans 5:12f

‘By one man, sin entered into the world; and death by sin…. Death passed upon all men — for all have sinned…. Death reigned from Adam…. If through the offence of one, many be dead — much more the grace of God…which is by One man Jesus Christ, has abounded!’ Romans 5:12-15.

Calvin comments: “The purpose of Christ’s coming, was to redeem us from the calamity into which Adam had fallen…. Realization of what we possess in Christ, can come only when we have been shown what we have lost in Adam….

“Sin has spread, to all who suffer the punishment of sin…. All Adam’s posterity are subject to the dominion of death…. Adam at his first creation had received for his posterity as well as for himself the gifts of divine grace (divinae gratiae dotes)…. By falling from the Lord, in himself he corrupted…; and ruined our nature. We have therefore all sinned, because we are all imbued with natural corruption….

“‘Death reigned from Adam…, even over them that had not sinned…after the likeness of Adam’s transgression’…. Infants are also…included in the universal catalogue….

“(Yet) Adam was a type of Christ!… We are all lost through Adam’s sin, and restored through Christ’s righteousness (or sinlessness)!… Christ is much more powerful to save, than Adam was to destroy!…. Christ surpasses Adam!…. The sin of Adam is overcome by the righteousness of Christ…. It is necessary…to be a believer, in order to enjoy the righteousness of Christ!”

Calvin also says in his Institutes II:1:6,8 & II:13:4 & III:5:4: “By one man, sin entered into the world… So, death passed upon all men…. Romans 5:19-21…. The righteousness of Christ and thereby life, is ours by communication. It follows that both of these were lost in Adam — so that they might be recovered in Christ…. The Apostle most distinctly testifies that ‘death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’ (Romans 5:12)…. Even infants bringing their condemnation with them from their mother’s womb, suffer not for another’s but for their own defect…. They have the seed implanted in them….

“‘As by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin — even so by the righteousness of One, the free gift came’…. (Romans 5:12,18)…. We do not hold Christ to be free from all taint merely because He was born of a woman unconnected with a man, but because He was sanctified by the Spirit so that the generation was pure and spotless such as it would have been before Adam’s
fall…. The grace of Christ was poured out in such rich abundance, as far to exceed all the power of sin (Romans 5:15).”

Calvin further says in his Treatises III:194-95,118: “He (man) is pressed by hunger, thirst, cold, heat, pain, disease — and is at last overcome by death itself. For by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…. The inheritance of eternal life, is obtained by faith (Romans 5:14)!” Death reigned from Adam — who, however, also prefigured Christ the Second Adam!