Let me make this very plain to you! Adam was what I call a corporate man and as such was a pattern of the one to come who was Jesus the second Adam. By corporate I mean that he was a representative of all men. As this, when he sinned, all men sinned even though they did not disobey God as Adam did. Paul said here that death reigned from the time of Adam until the time of Moses even over them who did not sin by breaking a command or Law like Adam did.
Is Paul saying that no one sinned between the time from Adam to Moses? He said that sin was in the world but sin was not taken into account when there is no Law! If you don't ever tell your child what you want them to do then you cannot hold them accountable for something that they did not know. They may not be doing what you want them to do, or not to do, if you have not told them your will on the matter! Sin was in the world but there was no accounting for it because there was no Law and no instructions on what God wanted. However, when the Law came and was given through Moses, sin sprang to life and raised it's ugly head because the Law exposed it for what it was.
Paul talked a lot about this subject and I want to quote several passages in which he explains this subject of sin verses righteousness.
He said in 1 Cor. 15:55-57,
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Why would he make such a statement? He said that the power of sin is exposed by the Law! You see, we didn't know what the will of God was until the Law came and told us what we should do and what we should not do in order to be righteous in God's sight. This brought power to Satin because he had the Law to back him up when he accused God's people of sinning by not doing what God had instructed them. The Law listed all the benefits that came by obeying the Law in Deut. chapter 28 and also all the results that would come if you didn't obey the Law.
This put God's people in an impossible situation because they could not obey everyone of the Laws because of their flesh being weak. The Law was a good thing but because of the weakness of their flesh they could not be found pleasing in God's sight. However, when Jesus went to the cross, Paul said in Col. 2:13-15,
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him, (Jesus) having forgiven you all your trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Paul was here talking with people who had been born under the Law and telling them that they were dead in their sins and the uncircumcision of their flesh and that when Jesus died on the cross, because He was a corporate man, or the second Adam, God made them and us, together with Him, die on that cross and also be raised from the dead, together with Him, and all our sins were forgiven. How did He do this? By nailing the Law to the cross and by doing this He also disarmed the Principalities and powers because they no longer had anything to accused God's people with.
We are now living no longer under Law but under the grace of God because of what Jesus did and it's our faith in His righteousness that we are considered righteous in God's sight.
Paul said in Rom. 3:19-28,
"Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
I want to emphasize to you that Paul was talking to people who were alive at the time that Jesus went to the cross and as such he said that because of what Adam did (Rom. 5:12-14) all had sinned and come short of the glory of God. This was true to those who he was talking with at that time. However, it is not true today because those of us that have been born since Jesus died on the cross are not sinners because of what Adam did. We are righteous because we all have the seed of Christ in our spirits and when the Gospel is revealed to us and we believe and accept it, that seed springs to life and we began to grow as a son of God.
The carnal fleshly mind will say, "Well, if this is true then we can do whatever we want to and live the way we want to!!!" Well, this is true if you don't take into account what will happen to you if you do this. Paul said in 1 Cor. 6:12,
"All things are lawful (permissible) unto me, but all things are not expedient (beneficial or profitable): all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
He also said in Gal. 6:7-9,
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
There are great rewards for those of us who press on into the Kingdom of God and overcome the trails and temptations of this life and live a life pleasing to God. However, if you want to live your life by Law and sow to the wind you are going to reap the whirlwind. Hosea 8:12 says,
"For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind!"
Doing this puts you back in bondage and leaves you with a guilty conscious.
Paul said in Rom. 7:7-14,
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin."
Paul is talking about his life before Jesus came and died on the cross. However, after Jesus did this Paul said in Rom. 8:1-4,
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."
What about you? Are you walking after the flesh and listening to your carnal mind condemn you because you sometimes sin or are you walking after the Spirit in which there is no sin? Let me ask you a question! Do you consider yourself to be in Christ? Have you been baptized? Yes! Paul said in Gal. 3:27,
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ."
Well, then, if you have been baptized into Christ, you are in Christ. Then are you telling me that there is sin in the Body of Christ? That's an impossibility! Do you not know that John said in 1 Jn. 3:4-5,
"Whosoever commits sin transgresses also the Law: for sin is the transgression of the Law. And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin."
You see, the problem we still have is the full realization that we are spirit and we just live for now in this body of flesh which has a mind that wants to control us. It is governed by it's five senses and as such has to see, touch, feel, smell or taste something to believe. This is why there is conflict within ourselves that Paul described in the Seventh Chapter of Romans. He also talk about this conflict in Gal. 5:17-18,
"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law."
In the next chapter I want to ask you a very pointed question about this verse.