Paul had been listing the many benefits of justification. He added one more.
Romans 5:11 (KJV)
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
We, believers, rejoice in God through Yeshua by whom we have received the atonement (reconciliation). Sinful man, as enemies of God, are reconciled to Him. We belong to Him and He belongs to us!
With so many benefits already mentioned, it is possible that God has more for us? Paul then began an extremely important passage in Romans 5:12-21 where Yeshua and Adam are compared. Whereas Adam wreaked such havoc on the human race, Yeshua is demonstrated as the solution.
Romans 5:12 (KJV)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
Sin entered into the world through one man. This one man was Adam, the very first person created by God. Although, the Genesis account of the fall of man reveals that it was Eve, Adam's wife, who first ate of the forbidden fruit and then gave some to Adam, it is Adam who is held primarily responsible for the act. It was not only in the act of eating the fruit that Adam sinned. The eating of the fruit was the outcome of Adam's choosing to rebel against God's Word, his pride, and his desiring to be like God.
There was no sin in the world before Adam. Although Satan and the other fallen angels had committed sin prior to Adam's, the human race was without sin until Adam.
When sin came into the world, death came in as the penalty or consequence of sin. Prior to Adam there was no death. After Adam all human kind would die as a result. This is the final consequence to which Paul will prove Yeshua is the answer!
But before we go on, we need to look at the last phrase of verse 12 that says, "for that all have sinned:" This phrase has caused a great deal of confusion, misunderstanding, and pages of written theology, that go far beyond the scope of this post. This phrase is where the ideas of original sin come from. Historically, there are about six different theological views regarding original sin. Suffice it to say that without looking at various views, the phrase simply seems to imply that once Adam had sinned God and man were estranged. In this condition, every human being now sins.
Stay tuned for part 2!