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Romans 5:14

Death and separation reigned on earth even before the law was given to Moses.

Sin brings death, just as God told Adam it would. Death is separation, and the world is full of many divisions where there should be harmony. When God creates a cause-effect relationship, it is dependable. Even though there was no Mosaic law after Adam fell, there was still sin in the world, and therefore death. This death reigned over the world the entire time from Adam until Moses. Death was the sentence we inherited from Adam, which spread to all men.

Death reigned on the earth all that time, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam. In other words, even though the sins of all of Adam’s children were not like the sin of Adam death reigned. Adam had the ability not to sin but fell. Adam was also a type of Him who was to come, the second Adam, which is Jesus. For Jesus, born of a virgin, did not inherit Adam’s fallen nature. Even though Jesus was tempted in all the ways that we are tempted, Jesus did not sin (Hebrews 4:15). The first Adam had the ability not to sin but fell when he sinned. The second Adam, Jesus, had the ability not to sin and did not sin. When we believe on Jesus, we are placed into the same position Jesus has when standing before God.

Paul will now demonstrate another reason his gospel is superior to that of the competing Jewish “authorities,” in that he explains what happens to all the people who came before Jesus.

Biblical Text

14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.