Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Romans 5:12-21 in the English Standard Version (ESV). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The second half of Romans 5 looks at Paul’s contrast of the first created human being, Adam, with the last "Adam," Jesus Christ.
One of the things I like to do is look for similarities between Old Testament characters and Jesus. Jesus Himself claimed that the prophets point to Him and that all the laws are fulfilled in Him. I think we can have a better understanding of Scripture if we study to discover what He was talking about.
Since Paul contrasts the first Adam and the second Adam, I’d like to spend our opening Daily Walk on this portion of Scripture also comparing and contrasting the first Adam with the last Adam, Jesus.
With time and study, these comparisons and contrasts can go on and on. Paul uses the first Adam (man) and last Adam (God) to contrast the two spiritual powers struggling to take our lives in two different directions—one to wrath and death, the other to joy and eternal life. The curse of death from the first Adam affected all humans. The blessing of the last Adam also affects all of humanity.
Praise Jesus that He, the last Adam, offers His grace to “all men.”
Recalibrate: How do you think the first Adam will react when all is made well and he is reunited with the last Adam?
Respond: As you pray, recognize that Jesus’ grace has covered you and included you with a seat at His table.
Research: Read The Great Controversy (pg. 647) describing the meeting of the two Adams.
Remember: “As one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men” (Romans 5:18, ESV).
Mark Witas is the lead pastor at Pacific Union College Church in Angwin, CA. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Mark has served as a youth pastor, Bible teacher, college and academy chaplain, and lead pastor in the United States and Canada for the last 33 years. He has also authored four books: Born Chosen, Live Out Loud, Portals, and Just Jesus.
The Bible tells us that we have sin in our world because Adam sinned. Take some time to think of the things you inherited from your family. Genetically, these will be things like eye color, hair type, height, etc. Socially, they will be mannerisms—the way you speak, your sense of humor, etc. What are the really good things? What are the really bad things? What are the things you hope you pass on to your children and what are the things you hope don’t get passed on? Pray and thank God for creating us in His image and allowing us to pass that on to our kids.
Did you know that since Adam and Eve were the first parents on earth you are related to them? They are your great, great, great, great, great, great— times a lot more greats—great-grandparents. The Bible tells us that when Adam and Eve sinned, their sin was passed on to the rest of the world. What are some things that your parents have passed on to you? Maybe you have your mom’s eyes or your dad’s laugh. The Bible also tells us that we are made in God’s image. Sin tried to mess up that image, but someone fixed it. Who was that? That’s right, the Bible tells us that just like Adam passed on sin to all of us, Jesus died to fix all of us!
I didn't get the chance to meet my dad until I was 16 years old. I always wondered what he looked like, how he talked, and what his personality traits were like. After meeting him it was crazy to realize that we were so alike! We have similar voices, we have similar ways of moving our hands and arms, and to top off the list of similarities, we even have the same walk. How weird is that? What I realized is that even though I never knew him, I still inherited many things from him. Adam and Eve are our first parents. The Bible says they were the first to sin. Each of us has inherited this sinful nature. Yet here is the good news: Jesus came to fix it. When we ask Christ into our lives, He has the ability to give us His character and traits. Remember that you belong to Jesus. Ask Him to replace the sinful nature you inherited from Adam and Eve with the loving nature of Jesus.