The Pattern of the One to Come—Romans 5:14
"Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come" (Romans 5:14)
Do you find it curious that the result of sin brought death even when sin wasn't credited to the accounts of men? Why did death reign during this time period if God didn't impute transgressions to the human race before the Law was given? The Bible teaches that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23) and death is a result of sin, but wages cannot be earned if the account is not credited. If sin wasn't taken into account on behalf of God's mercy with humankind, why did they still suffer death at the hand of sin?
This is a fair question that must be answered to fully understand the power of God's grace. Since God was not holding mans sin against them, it also meant that there was no punishment for sin during this time. However, the effects of sin were obviously present, because death abounded. Paul said that death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even void of God's punishment for sin. This gives us amazing insight to the effects of sin upon our lives. Even when God doesn't judge sin, as is the case with the New Testament believer today, sin is deadly. Paul adds clarity to this in Romans 6 when he says, "Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey-whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?" (Romans 6:16). So death reigned during this time from the effects of sin and not according to the punishment for sin.
The same principle is true for the born again believer today. When we open ourselves up to unresolved sin, it gives Satan and inroad into our lives. God does not reject us or punish us for sin because Jesus took the full weight of God's wrath for our sin upon the cross. Sin has been completely paid for and completely forgiven. However the effects of sin are still evident in the world in which we live. Problems arise when we expose ourselves to Satan because of continuing on in sin. He is called the accuser of the brethren and he will not think twice about using it to destroy you. So just as the effects of sin claimed lives during the period of grace in which the Patriarchs lived, the effects of sin play a part in our lives today, even though we are not held captive to it.
When Adam transgressed, he plunged mankind into sin, shame and into the control and dominion of Satan. With that, came death, disease and everything the corrupted God's perfect creation. This passage clearly teaches that Adam was a type and a shadow of the One who was to come. Adam was a foreshadowing of Jesus. Hebrews 2:14 says, "Since the children have flesh and blood, he [Jesus] too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death-that is, the devil" Jesus came in the flesh to regain dominion and control from Satan and to conquer the power and effect of sin once for all. Because of this, we also live in a state of grace, where to God does not hold sin against us.
Today I am thankful for what Jesus did. I am thankful to be born again and rescued from the power of Satan. I belong to the Son and share in victorious inheritance with all the saints. Today, if you have made Jesus your Lord and Savor then the same is true for you! Amen!
Original article published October 9, 2009.