12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned

Beginning in the summer of 2018, the Congo experienced the second worst outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in history. As of January 2019, 730 cases and 459 deaths had been reported. On the severity of the disease, Erin Blakemore reports: “Highly contagious, Ebola can spread rapidly and be difficult for health officials to contain. In 2014 and 2015, more than 28,000 cases were reported throughout West Africa, and 11,310 people died. The Ebola outbreak in the Congo is so serious that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November warned that it is possible the deadly virus cannot be brought under control there. Instead, he said, Ebola will have to be viewed as an entrenched disease.”[1]

In Romans 5, Paul described sin in a manner similar to these reports of Ebola in the Congo. Following the fall of humanity through the sin of Adam and Eve, sin spread immediately to all who followed them. Similar to the report on Ebola, after the fall, sin was now the “entrenched” condition of all people. Unlike Ebola or other highly infectious diseases, none of us have ever known the experience of living apart from sin in our lives. This is a bleak outlook indeed.

However, neither the Bible nor Paul in this passage end on this hopeless note. In Romans 5:15, Paul moved to the hope for all who have experienced the reality of sin: “For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.” This is our hope. We are all sinful, yet we have great hope because Christ came that we might experience the grace of salvation in Him.

• How have you experienced the “entrenchment” of sin in your life?

• Where have you experienced victory over a specific sin in your life because of Christ?

• Pray and confess your sinfulness before God. Thank God that He has not left us in our sin, but has sent Christ to save us from our sin.

[1] Blakemore, Erin. "The Facts about Congo's Frightening Ebola Epidemic." The Washington Post. February 02, 2019. Accessed February 20, 2019. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-facts-about-congos-frightening-ebola-epidemic/2019/02/01/2eea133e-24a4-11e9-ad53-824486280311_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e716122f1740.