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It is a teaching in many churches that each person born in this world is contaminated with the sin of Adam. In a discussion on Romans 5, this comment is made: “But this universal state [of sin] must have had a cause. It did. The consequence of Adam’s sin was that the ‘many were made sinners’ (vs. 19)” (Scofield Bible, p. 1557).

Romans 5:19 does not teach this at all. Read Romans 5:12-19 and note the following: a) the action of Adam brought a result: death (5:17a). The action of Christ brought a result: life (5:17b). With death as with life there is judgment (5:18). Romans 5:19, therefore, is saying this: as one was brought into the realm of sin, one is also brought into the realm of life. We choose which realm to be in by our actions. “Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:16-18, ESV).