In verse 12, Paul states that “Adam brought sin and death to the world”.
12Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned
And the reason death came to all men was because they all sinned.
What Type of Sin Brought Death
What type of sin caused this death, which is described as being “spread to all men because all sinned”?
- Was it an act of individual sins, therefore causing death?
- Was it an act of sin by Adam, in which we are guilty by being in Adam as our representative head?
- A sin that came before the law, but not like a sin against a law because those sin are not counted (not punished) since there was no law (v.13)
2. A sin that still resulted in death, as seen in the period between Adam to Moses (v.14)
14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
What was unique in the period between Adam and Moses?
1. Paul cites the period between Adam and Moses because there wasn’t any explicit law (like God speaking to Adam or the Mosaic Law), and generally there’s no death or penalty due to sin, when there’s no explicit law, thus the type of sin that created death in v.12 didn’t come from an explicit law.
2. At the end of verse 14, Paul sees an objection that the sin and death in verse 12, was a result of individual sin resulting from a transgression against an implicit law in the heart (general revelation, Rom. 2:29). To counter this view, Paul uses the phase “not like the transgression of Adam” to state that this sin and death wasn’t like Adam’s sin, in which, he had possession of both explicit and implicit laws.
14Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come
Conclusion: The “all sinned” in verse 12, that resulted in death is not a sinful act people do (not like Adam's transgression) based on the internal law (v.14) or through a revealed law (v.13), but a sin and death that is resulted from Adam, our humanity representative or federal head (imputed sin or original sin) (v.15-19).