Read This Week’s Passage: Romans 5

Chain Reactions

Sometimes a single action can unleash a chain reaction of devastating consequences. Think of the driver waiting at a stoplight, minding her own business, when suddenly she is struck from the rear by another car whose driver wasn’t paying attention. That one action unleashes a chain reaction of consequences. The ambulance is called, work and school are missed, bills pile up, family events are suddenly transformed as the injured strives to recover.

In Romans 5, Paul explores the dreadful consequences unleashed upon humanity when Adam sinned. Through Adam’s failure, sin came into the world, and death came right along with it (Romans 5:12). Adam’s sin didn’t only affect him. It brought catastrophic consequences for all humanity. Adam’s sin brought death, judgment, and condemnation for all people (Romans 5:15, 16, 18). His disobedience transformed all humanity from saints to sinners (Romans 5:19), and death became the tyrannical ruling power on earth (Romans 5:17).

In the same way that a single sinful action can unleash a chain reaction of evil, a single right action can trigger a chain reaction of good. In place of humanity’s disobedience, Jesus obeyed perfectly. His obedience unto death unleashed a chain reaction of righteousness (Romans 5:19). In place of death and condemnation, Jesus’ actions unleashed justification and life (Romans 5:18).

The world Adam bequeathed to his children is caught up in a never-ending chain reaction of sin, pain, suffering, loss, and death. Jesus triumphed over these by His faithfulness. All who put their faith in Him are a part of a new legacy, a new chain reaction of justification, righteousness, and life. Which will you embrace?