Lesson 7:
In Adam
Bible reading
Please pray over these verses. 

Romans 5:12, 17, 19
12 Therefore just as through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin, death; and thus death passed on to all men because all have sinned.
17 For if, by the offense of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be constituted righteous.


The crucial point in chapter 5 is “in Adam.” In Adam we were born sinners, we were constituted sinners, and we inherited sin and death (v. 12). The contrast to being in Adam is to be in Christ. In Christ we receive righteousness versus sin and life versus death. In this life we can reign as kings (v. 17). These are the main aspects of this crucial point. (Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles, ch. 2, section 3)

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

All children inherit certain things from their parents. As those who are the sons of Adam and who are in Adam, we have inherited primarily two things—sin and death (Rom. 5:12; 1 Cor. 15:22). Sin is under the condemnation of God, and it always brings in death (Rom. 6:23). Because we are sinners and are sinful, we are under death and are doomed to eventually die. Not only so, the Bible tells us that we are dead already (Eph. 2:1, 5). Hence, as those who are the descendants of Adam and who are in Adam, we are sinners and we are sinful. Moreover, we are under death, we are dead, and we are going to die. The two main items in our inheritance from Adam are sin and death.

Just as in Adam we receive a certain inheritance, in Christ we also gain an inheritance. Christ is versus Adam. Accordingly, our inheritance in Christ is versus our inheritance in Adam. While in Adam we inherit sin, in Christ we inherit righteousness (Rom. 5:12, 19); and while in Adam we inherit death, in Christ we inherit life (1 Cor. 15:22; Rom. 5:18). Righteousness is versus sin, and life is versus death. Righteousness brings us redemption, and life brings us deliverance from the sinful nature. We are now redeemed by Christ as our righteousness and delivered by Christ as our life. We must realize that we are not redeemed by the righteousness of Christ; rather, we are redeemed by Christ Himself as our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30; Jer. 23:6). In like manner, we are delivered by Christ as our life. In Christ, we inherit righteousness and life. (The Believer’s Experience of Transformation, ch. 6, section 2)


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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of Romans, msg. 10
Life-study of Romans, msg. 11, section 1
Life-study of Romans, msg. 33

Radio broadcast links:
Broadcast 11, The Gift in Christ Surpassing the Heritage in Adam (Start at the 13:00-minute mark)
Broadcast 12, Identification with Christ (Start at the 4:14-minute mark)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
Romans 5:12, footnotes 1-2
Romans 5:14, footnotes 3-4
Romans 5:17, footnotes 3-4
Romans 5:18, footnote 2
Romans 5:19, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:

References in brackets indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • How does the gift in Christ surpass our heritage in Adam? Can you identify five items reckoned in the ‘debit column’ of what we have inherited in Adam, and five items that we receive as a gift in Christ in Romans 5:12-21? (Broadcast 12, please listen to the selected portions detailed above; Life-study of Romans, msg. 11, section 1)
  • Explain how Paul develops the line of life and the line of death in Romans 5, and particularly throughout chapters 58 in a detailed way. (Romans 5:12, footnote 1; 5:14, footnote 1; 5:17, footnote 4, Recovery Version)
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Works Cited

Lee, Witness. The Believer's Experience of Transformation. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 2003.

---. Elders’ Training, Book 6: The Crucial Points of the Truth in Paul’s Epistles. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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