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those who had not
sinned in the
likeness of the
who is a
type of Him who was to
Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over
those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam
did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in
reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving]. [Ge 5:5;
7:22; Dt 34:5.] (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: they all died anyway—even though they did not disobey an
explicit commandment of God, as Adam did. What a contrast between Adam
and Christ, who was yet to come! (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: Nevertheless death, the complement of sin, held
sway over mankind from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sin was
quite unlike Adam's. Adam, the first man, corresponds in some degree
to the man who has to come. (Phillips:
Wuest: But death reigned as king from Adam to Moses, even over
those who did not sin in the likeness of the transgression of Adam,
who is a type of the One who is to come. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: but the death did reign from Adam till Moses,
even upon those not having sinned in the likeness of Adam's
transgression, who is a type of him who is coming.
Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
NEVERTHELESS DEATH REIGNED FROM
ADAM UNTIL MOSES: all ebasileusen (3SAAI) o thanatos apo adam mechri moseos: (Ro
5:17,21; Ge 4:8; 5:5-31; 7:22; 19:25; Ex 1:6; Heb 9:27)
Hold mouse pointer over
underlined links for pop up of Scripture which stays open and can
Donald Barnhouse notes that...
About a year before Paul wrote the
epistle to the Romans, he wrote his first letter to the Corinthians in
which he spoke of the Lord Jesus as “the last Adam,” and “the second
man” (1Cor. 15:45, 47). There he presented, in outline, the truth on
which he elaborates in Romans. “As in Adam all die; so also in Christ
shall all be made alive” (1Cor 15:22). He presents death as an enemy
to destroy (v. 26); and He presents Christ as reigning, and continuing
His reign until all things, including the subversive reign of death, are
put under His feet (1Cor 15:24, 25, 27). The first Adam is presented as a
living soul; the last Adam as a life giving spirit (1Cor 15:45). Now in
Romans, this theme is greatly enlarged and its implications made plain
in practical application to the Christian’s daily life and walk. Here,
in the argument of this epistle, we are at a turning point (Romans
5:12-21), for it concerns the active Christian life and the life of
Christ flowing through us, that we may know constant triumph in Him.
(Barnhouse, D. G.. God's Grace: Romans 5:12-21. Grand Rapids, MI.:
William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)
Hodge writes that...
men were subject to death before the
law of Moses was given, and consequently not on account of violating it.
Therefore there must be some other reason for their exposure to death.
Nevertheless - a strong
adversative. Paul is saying is that far from sin not being credited when
there is no law, nevertheless death reigned.
(thanatos) indicates the opposite of life and the absence of life
and in the NT is seen as the consequence and punishment of sin. Death
speaks of separation, physically of the soul from the body and
spiritually of the soul from God. Note that death does not signify
either annihilation or extinction.
Here Paul speaks not
of death in general but "the death", in a sense personifying
it as a "king" over mankind from the Fall of Man until the giving of the
Law at Mt. Sinai.
(basileuo from basileús = a king) means to rule as a king, with
implication of complete authority and right to control in an absolute
manner. It speaks of the dominating quality of death. This Death reigned as an
absolute monarch over all unsaved humanity, exhibiting undisputed,
rightful sway. In America, this picture might lose some of its impact.
But to those who were raised in a country ruled by monarchy, the picture
of a King whose decrees cannot be questioned is very real. So it was
with "King Death".
Remember that in
the beginning when man was created God looked and
"saw all that He
had made, and behold, it was very good." (Ge
It was very good
also for Adam was not a sinner and there was perfect fellowship with
God. But when Adam sinned all men became sinners and "the Sin" -- the
sin principle or the sin nature -- came into the world through Adam and
brought to fruition God's sure promise of death. And since death has
indeed reigned in every man after Adam, it is empirical (originating in
or based on observation or experience) proof that they were also
sinners, having inherited the sin nature from Adam. They were sinners
because they were all in Adam when he sinned and were thus made or
constituted sinners (see note
So death is personified as a king reigning. Just as men could not defeat
the rulership of "the Sin", similarly men could not usurp the power
of death and thus they all died.
Even believers die but there is a difference. Hebrews records..
Since then the
children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of
the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the
power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through
fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. (Heb
In other words,
yes believers die, but unlike unregenerate mankind, we no longer
are in bondage to the fear that we will die and the certainty that death is the
final hopeless chapter of their futile life. Not so with the believer for
he is safe in the "ark" of Christ and will be delivered from the wrath
to come. Paul echoed this triumphant cry for every believer of every age
"O DEATH, WHERE IS
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?"
Thus even without
the Law, death was universal. All men from Adam to Moses were
subject to death, not because of their sinful acts against the Mosaic
law (which they did not yet have), but because of their own inherited
sinful nature and the fact that when Adam sinned, they sinned.
EVEN OVER THOSE WHO HAD NOT SINNED IN THE LIKENESS OF THE OFFENSE OF
ADAM: kai epi tous me hamartesantas (AAPMPA) epi to homoiomati tes
parabaseos adam os estin (3SPAI) tupos tou mellontos (PAPMSG):
(Ro 8:20,22, Ex 1:22, 12:29, 12:30, Jonah 4:11 )
introduces a clause that shows there were no exceptions.
literally means to miss the mark (and so not share in the
prize). Hamartano means to act contrary to the will and law of God. To
commit a wrong. To be in error.
means to err (err is from Latin errare = to wander
or to stray!) which means to wander from the right way, to deviate from
the true course or purpose and so to violate an accepted standard of
conduct. To err is to miss the right way. To err means to deviate
from the path or line of duty. To stray by design or mistake. To err
is to stray from God and/or His commandments.
means to swerve from the truth, to turn aside from the straight course
charted by the Word of Truth. To swerve means to wander
from any line prescribed, or from a rule of duty; to depart from what is
established by law, duty or custom.
In short hamartano
means to miss the mark of God's perfect standard.
Dictionary has a "bibliocentric" definition of sin as...
The voluntary departure of a moral
agent from a known rule of rectitude or duty, prescribed by God; any
voluntary transgression of the divine law, or violation of a divine
command; a wicked act; iniquity. Sin is either a positive act in which a
known divine law is violated, or it is the voluntary neglect to obey a
positive divine command, or a rule of duty clearly implied in such
command. Sin comprehends not actions only, but neglect of known duty,
all evil thoughts, purposes, words and desires, whatever is contrary to
God’s commands or law.
discussion of the noun cognate -
Scriptural definitions of "sin"
1Jn 5:17 = unrighteousness
Jn 16:9 = do not believe in Jesus
Jas 4:17 = knows right thing to do &
does not do it
1Jn 3:4 = lawlessness
= falling short of the glory of God
Commenting on Jas 4:17 this passage
means that it is wrong for a man to do anything about which he has a
reasonable doubt. If he does not have a clear conscience about it, and
yet goes ahead and does it, he is sinning.
What does it
mean to commit sin? Any thought, word or action that fails to
conform to the law of God is sin. Evil is a complex phenomenon in
the Scriptures and the idea of sin is conveyed by a variety of
expressions like missing the mark, rebelling, going astray,
transgressing, stumbling, etc. Basically, “sin is lawlessness” (1Jn3:4),
referring to an inward attitude as well as to the breaking of written
Sin synonyms in
NT = hamartia, hamartema, parakoe, anomia, paranomia, parabasis,
paraptoma, agnoema and hettema.
TDNT notes that hamartano
from Homer and is also used
figuratively for “to fall short intellectually,” “to err,” or “‘to fall
short morally,” “to do wrong.” In the LXX the moral sense is
(summarized) - (1) To miss, miss the mark, "he missed the man on
purpose", "to miss the road". (2) To fail of doing, ail of one's
purpose, to miss one's point, fail, go wrong, "failed in hitting upon
the thought". (3) to fail of having, i.e. to be deprived of, lose
writes that hamartano...
was used in the Greek classics of a
spearman missing the target at which he aimed the spear. It was used in
the ethical terminology of the Greeks to mean “to fail of one’s purpose,
to go wrong.” In the NT, it speaks of sin as the act of a person failing
to obey the Word of God, failing to measure up in his life to the will
of God. Its use is excellently illustrated in Romans 3:28, “All have
sinned (missed the mark), and at present come short of the glory of
God.” The mark or target is the glory of God. Man was created to glorify
God. His attempt, where the attempt is made, to live a life pleasing to
God, falls short of the target, like a spear thrown by an athlete, falls
short of the target at which it is thrown.
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans
43x in 37v - Mt 18:15, 21; 27:4; Lk 15:18, 21; 17:3, 4; Jn 5:14; 8:11;
9:2, 3; Acts 25:8; Ro 2:12-note;
1Co 7:28, 36; 8:12; 15:34; Ep 4:26-note;
1Ti 5:20; Titus 3:11-note;
1Jn 1:10; 2:1; 3:6, 8, 9; 5:16, 18.
commit sin(1), committed...offense(1), committing(1), sin(11),
sinned(17), sinning(4), sins(8).
A few of the
notable uses of hamartano...
1John 3:6 No one who abides in
Him sins (hamartano =
no one who sins (hamartano =
has seen Him or knows Him. 7 Little children,
let no one deceive ( +
negative = stop being deceived.
Being taught that you can "accept Christ" and live any way you want,
that you never have to exhibit any change in lifestyle, that you can
continually live lawlessly. Wrong! This deceptive error has infiltrated
the modern evangelical church!) you; the one who practices (present
righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8 the one who
is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of
God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the
devil. 9 No one who is born of God practices (present
because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin (hamartano =
- He is not saying believers never sin. He has already stated no one is
without sin = 1Jn 1:8. What he is saying is that someone who claims to
be a believer and yet continually sins is not a true believer. In other
words, they have never had the experience Paul describes in 2Co 5:17-note),
because he is born of God. 10 By this the children of God and the
children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice (present
righteousness (What is the
opposite of not practicing righteousness?
cp 1Jn 5:17) is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.
Comment: As alluded to in the
notes interspersed in this verse, the accurate interpretation of this
section of 1John is critically dependent upon understanding the verb
tenses. Notice that of the verb hamartano, both uses being
which indicates not committing an occasional sin or even falling back
for a time into a pattern of sin. The in fact indicates that the person
described is in a state of continual sin. They live a lifestyle of sin.
They sin habitually. Such a description is clearly not a true believer.
that in classic Greek hamartia...
(Homer onwards) originally meant to
miss, miss the mark, lose, not share in something, be mistaken. The
Greek view of a mistake is intellectually orientated --
result of some agnoia, ignorance. The cognate noun is
onwards), mistake, failure to reach a goal (chiefly a spiritual one).
The result of such action is hamartema, failure, mistake,
offense, committed against friends, against one’s own body, etc. From
these was derived (in the 5th cent. B.C.) the adjective and noun
that thing or person that fails...
The root hamart-, with its meaning of fail,
produced many popular compounds, e.g. hamartinoos, madman...
In the LXX two words, hamartia
and adikia, represent between them almost the whole range of
Hebrew words for guilt and sin...
The NT uses (hamartano and cognates)
as the comprehensive expression of everything opposed to God. The
Christian concept of sin finds its fullest expression and its
deepest theological development in Paul and John...
Hamartia is always used in the
NT of man’s sin which is ultimately directed against God....
Jesus used the OT and Jewish
concept of sin that was familiar in the world around him. This
becomes clear from the fact that in the Synoptic Gospels the nouns
hamartia and hamartema are found almost exclusively in the
context of the forgiveness of sins. The verb is often used absolutely,
i.e. in its usual and familiar sense (cf. Mt 18:15; Lk 17:3, 4.). The
use of the nouns chiefly in the plural shows that the dominant idea is
that of individual faults committed against the law or one’s brother...
Paul almost always uses the
word hamartia in the singular. Sin is almost a personal power
which acts in and through man (Ro 5:12, 21; 6:6, 17; 7:9, 10, 11ff.)
The same is also true of
flesh (See Flesh "personified")
(Gal. 5:19, 24), and thanatos, death (Ro 6:9b).
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986.
Hamartano - About 340x in the
- Gen 4:7; 20:6, 9;
39:9; 40:1; 43:9; 44:32; Exod 9:27, 34; 10:16; 20:20; 23:33; 32:30f, 33;
Lev 4:2f, 14, 22f, 27f, 35; 5:1, 4ff, 10f, 13, 15ff; 6:2ff; 19:22; Num
6:11; 12:11; 14:40; 15:27f; 16:22; 21:7; 22:34; 32:23; Deut 1:41; 9:16,
18; 19:15; 20:18; 32:5; Josh 7:11, 20; Judg 10:10, 15; 11:27; 1 Sam
2:25; 7:6; 12:10, 23; 14:33f; 15:18, 24, 30; 19:4f; 20:1; 24:11; 26:18,
21; 2 Sam 12:13; 19:20; 24:10; 1 Kgs 8:31, 33, 35, 46f, 50; 14:22; 18:9;
2 Kgs 17:7; 18:14; 21:17; 1 Chr 21:8, 17; 2 Chr 6:22, 24, 26, 36f, 39;
12:2; 19:10; 22:3; 28:13; Neh 1:6; 6:13; 9:29; 13:26; Esth 4:17; Job
1:22; 2:10; 5:24; 7:20; 8:4; 10:14; 11:6; 15:11; 31:33; 33:9, 27; 34:8;
35:3, 6; 42:7; Ps 4:4; 25:8; 36:1; 39:1; 41:4; 51:4; 75:4; 78:17, 32;
106:6; 119:11; Prov 8:36; 12:26; 13:21; 14:21; 20:2; 28:24; 29:6; Eccl
2:26; 7:20, 26; 8:12; 9:2, 18; Isa 24:6; 29:21; 42:24; 64:5; Jer 2:35;
3:25; 8:14; 14:7, 20; 16:10; 33:8; 40:3; 44:23; 50:7; Lam 1:8; 3:42;
5:7, 16; Ezek 3:21; 14:13; 16:51; 18:4, 20, 24; 28:16; 33:16; 35:6;
37:23; Dan 9:5, 8, 11, 15f; 12:10; Hos 4:7; 10:9; 12:8; 13:2; Mic 7:9
Here are a few representative uses of
hamartano from the
translation of the
Genesis 39:9 "There is no one
greater in this house than I, and he has withheld nothing from me except
you, because you are his wife. How then could I do this great evil and
sin (Hebrew = chata = to miss, go wrong, sin; Lxx =
hamartano) against God?"
Numbers 32:23 "But if you will
not do so, behold, you have sinned (Hebrew = chata = to miss, go
wrong, sin; Lxx = hamartano) against the LORD, and be sure your
sin (Heb = chattath; Lxx =
will find you out.
1Kings 8:46 "When they sin (Hebrew = chata = to miss,
go wrong, sin; Lxx = hamartano) against You (for there is no man
who does not sin [Hebrew = chata = to miss, go wrong, sin;
Lxx = hamartano]) and You are angry with them and deliver them to
an enemy, so that they take them away captive to the land of the enemy,
far off or near
Job 1:22 Through all this Job
did not sin (Hebrew = chata = to miss, go wrong, sin;
Lxx = hamartano) nor did he blame God.
Job 2:10 But he said to her,
"You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept
good from God and not accept adversity?" In all this Job did not sin
(Hebrew = chata = to miss, go wrong, sin; Lxx = hamartano)
with his lips.
and do not sin (Hebrew = chata = to miss, go wrong, sin; Lxx
= hamartano); Meditate
in your heart upon your bed, and
Ecclesiastes 7:20 Indeed,
there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who
never (Lxx = ou = absolute negation) sins (Hebrew = chata
= to miss, go wrong, sin; Lxx = hamartano).
This was how Susannah Wesley
defined “sin” to her young son, John Wesley
If you would judge of the lawfulness
or the unlawfulness of pleasure, then take this simple rule: Whatever
weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures
your sense of God, and takes off the relish of spiritual things—that to
you is sin.
><> ><> ><>
The Power Of Sin - I was having lunch with a pastor-friend when the discussion sadly turned
to a mutual friend in ministry who had failed morally. As we grieved
together over this fallen comrade, now out of ministry, I wondered aloud, “I
know anyone can be tempted and anyone can stumble, but he’s a smart guy. How
could he think he could get away with it?” Without blinking, my friend
responded, “Sin makes us stupid.” It was an abrupt statement intended to get
my attention, and it worked.
I have often thought of that statement in the ensuing years, and I continue
to affirm the wisdom of those words. How else can you explain the actions of
King David, the man after God’s own heart turned adulterer and murderer? Or
the reckless choices of Samson? Or the public denials of Christ by Peter,
the most public of Jesus’ disciples? We are flawed people who are vulnerable
to temptation and to the foolishness of mind that can rationalize and
justify almost any course of action if we try hard enough.
If we are to have a measure of victory over the power of sin, it will come
only as we lean on the strength and wisdom of Christ (Ro 7:24, 25-notes). As His
grace strengthens our hearts and minds, we can overcome our own worst
inclination to make foolish choices. —Bill Crowder (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
The price of sin is very high
Though now it may seem low;
And if we let it go unchecked,
Its crippling power will grow. —Fitzhugh
God’s Spirit is your power source—
don’t let sin break the connection.
><> ><> ><>
ILLUSTRATION OF THE SUBTLE
CORRUPTING EFFECT OF SIN:
What happened to the great city of Ephesus?
Often mentioned in the New Testament, it was one of the cultural and
commercial centers of its day. Located at the mouth of the Cayster
River, it was noted for its bustling harbors, its broad avenues, its
gymnasiums, its baths, its huge amphitheater, and especially its
magnificent Temple of Diana.
What happened to bring about its
gradual decline until its harbor was no longer crowded with ships and
the city was no longer a flourishing metropolis? Was it smitten by
plagues, destroyed by enemies, or demolished by earthquakes?
No, silt was the reason for its downfall—silent and non-violent silt.
Over the years, fine sedimentary particles slowly filled up the harbor,
separating the city from the economic life of the sea traders. Little
evil practices, little acts of disobedience may seem harmless. (Song
2:15) But let the silt of sin gradually accumulate, and we will find
ourselves far from God. Life will become a spiritual ruin. In the book
of Hebrews we are warned of the danger of “the deceitfulness of sin”
James said that the attractive pleasures of sin are really a mask
covering death (Jas 1:15-note).God
forbid that we let the "silt of sin" accumulate in our lives!
Christian, walk carefully,
danger is near!
On in your journey with trembling and fear;
Snares from without and temptations within
Seek to entice you once more into sin. --Anon.
Little sins add up to big
><> ><> ><>
Sin Is Like An Insect! - It
was reported recently that an enormous pine tree in the mountains of
Colorado had fallen victim to a pine beetle and died. According to
locals, up to that point the tree was thought to be indestructible. It
had survived fourteen lightning strikes and many years of Colorado
winters, including avalanches and fires. But it was eventually brought
down from within by a tiny insect that did its work silently. That's the
way it is with sin in a person's life, be they a Christian or a
non-Christian. Watch over your heart with all diligence.
><> ><> ><>
Rousseau's "Self-Ruse" - The
deceitfulness of sin is vividly seen in the life of the French philosopher
Rousseau. He declared, “No man can come to the throne of God and say, ‘I’m a
better man than Rousseau.’” When he knew death was close at hand, he
boasted, “Ah, how happy a thing it is to die, when one has no reason for
remorse or self-reproach.” Then he prayed, “Eternal Being, the soul that I
am going to give Thee back is as pure at this moment as it was when it
proceeded from Thee; render it a partaker of Thy felicity!”
This is an amazing statement when we
realize that Rousseau didn’t profess to be born again. In his writings he
advocated adultery and suicide, and for more than 20 years he lived in
licentiousness. Most of his children were born out of wedlock and sent to a
foundling home. He was mean, treacherous, hypocritical, and blasphemous.
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
><> ><> ><>
SIN IS LIKE A BOA CONSTRICTOR! -
Are you being deceived by sin and
tolerating it like a pet? If you are, then you need to remember
the fate of the man with the pet boa constrictor (Do a Google
search - use the following three words in your search keeping the
quotation marks as written >> "pet boa" killed). After 15 years of
living with his owner, one day the "pet boa" would not let its "owner"
out of its grip resulting in the owner's tragic death. Wild animals
remain wild and so does
Do not be deceived (Stop being deceived)!
><> ><> ><>
Small Deviations in God's Economy! - In St. Louis there is a
railroad switchyard. One particular switch begins with just the thinnest
piece of steel to direct a train away from one main track to another. If
you were to follow those two tracks, however, you would find that one
ends in San Francisco, the other in New York. Sin is like that. Just a
small deviation from God’s standards can place us far afield from our
intended destination. Don't be deceived by the world, flesh or devil who
say "It's no big deal!" Wrong!
><> ><> ><>
Entanglement by the Cords of one's
own Sin - Not long after a wealthy contractor had finished building
the Tombs prison in New York, he was found guilty of forgery and
sentenced to several years in the prison he had built! As he was
escorted into a cell of his own making, the contractor said, “I never
dreamed when I built this prison that I would be an inmate one day.” (cp
Nu 32:23, Pr 5:22-note)
><> ><> ><>
According to sociologist Robert
One of our current psychological
gurus says that 98 percent of Americans are dysfunctional. No doubt he
is right. He has just discovered original sin, though he is mistaken if
he things 2 percent are without.
NOT TO SIN!
Just for "fun" take a moment to
review the following list of 20 reasons not to commit sins
1. A little sin leads to more sin.
2. Sin invites the discipline of God.
3. The time spent in my sin is forever wasted.
4. My sin never pleases but always grieves the God Who loves me.
5. My sin places a greater burden on my spiritual leaders.
6. In time, sin always brings heaviness to my heart.
7. Others, including my family, suffer consequences due to my sin.
8. My sin makes the enemies of God rejoice.
9. Sin deceives me into believing I have gained when in reality I have
10. Sin may keep me from qualifying for spiritual leadership.
11. The supposed benefits of sin will never outweigh the consequences of
12. Repenting of sin is a painful process.
13. My sin may influence others to sin.
14. My sin may keep others from knowing Christ.
15. Sin makes light of the Cross, upon which Christ died for the very
purpose of taking away my sin.
16. It is impossible to sin and follow the Spirit at the same time.
17. Others more earnest than I have been destroyed by just such sins.
18. God chooses not to hear the prayers of those who cherish their sin
19. My unwillingness to reject this sin now grants it authority over me
greater than I understand.
20. I promised God He would be the Lord of my life. (Source unknown)
Sin will take you farther than you
ever thought you’d stray
Sin will leave you so lost, you think you’ll never find your way
Sin will keep you longer than you ever thought you’d stay
Sin will cost you more than you ever thought you’d pay
homoios = similar) means resemblance or
similitude (correspondence in kind or quality = a visible likeness, a
thing or sometimes a person that is like or the counterpart of another).
Correspondence in details.
State of either
having a common experience (Ro 5:14, 6:5) or of being similar in
appearance (Dt 4:16).
writes that homoioma is
(1) that which has been made after
the likeness of something. (1a) a figure, image, likeness,
representation (as used in Ro 1:23, Rev 9:7). (1b) likeness i.e.
resemblance, such as amounts almost to equality or identity (as in Ro
5:14, 6:5, 8:3, Phil 2:7).
In the present
context the idea is that even they might not have broken a direct command, written or verbal, Paul
teaches that death
still reigned over them because of Adam’s transgression. In other words,
here Paul is using homoioma to describe a state of having a
common experience. Before there was even a written law, men were
disobedient to the "law" which God wrote on the heart of every man.
Though they might not have broken a direct written command, death still
reigned over them because of Adam’s transgression. Because Adam and Eve
were evicted from the Garden of Eden after they sinned, they had no more
opportunity to disobey God’s single prohibition. They no longer had
access to the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and
evil, nor have any of their descendants. Consequently, it has been
impossible for any human being, either before or after Moses, to have
sinned in the likeness of the initial offense of Adam.
In Romans 1:23-note
(men who had professed to be wise but
were fools) exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form (or likeness
- homoioma) of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed
animals and crawling creatures. (Ro 1:23)
Comment: Here Paul uses homoioma to describes the state of
being similar in appearance - the same idea is seen in the use of
homoioma in the
of Psalm 106:20 "Thus
they exchanged their glory for the image [homoioma] of an ox that
eats grass" referring to the Israel's making the idolatrous golden
calf in Ex 32:1ff. Aaron sought to present this golden calf to Israel as
the image, of the gods they left behind in Egypt
a. that which has been made after the
likeness of something, hence, a. a figure, image, likeness,
representation (Ps 105:20-note);
of the image or shape of things seen in a vision, Rev 9:7 (Ezek
b. “likeness i.e. resemblance” (inasmuch as that appears in an image or
figure), frequent such as amounts almost to “equality or identity”: Ro
6:5; 8:3; Php 2:7; eikonos, a likeness expressed by an image, i.e. an
image, like, Ro 1:23; in the same manner in which Adam transgressed a
command of God Ro5:14. — Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon
that homoioma is...
“what is made similar,” “copy.” The
word is rare in secular Gk.. It occurs in Plato, Aristotle, Epicur., and
occasionally papyrus., and always has the concrete sense of “copy”
rather than the abstract sense of likeness or correspondence. It is
thus synonymous to eikon. Eikon and homoioma are often used as
equivalents (but see Constable's note above)...(and) are in Plato
the earthly copies of the heavenly prototypes. But there is often a
distinction between the two words. This may be formulated as follows:
eikon represents the object, whereas homoioma emphasizes the similarity,
but with no need for an inner connection between the original and the
copy. (Kittel, G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W.
Theological Dictionary of the New
6x in 6v - NAS = appearance(1), form(1), likeness(4)
= an image in the form of corruptible man
= who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam
= we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death
= sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh
= being made in the likeness of men
= The appearance of the locusts was like horses
- 32x in the non-apocryphal
Septuagint (LXX) -
Ex 20:4; Deut 4:12, 15, 16, 17, 23, 25; 5:8; Josh 22:28; Jdg 8:18; 1 Sam
6:5; 2 Kgs 16:10; 2 Chr 4:3; Ps 106:20; 144:12; Song 1:11; Isa 40:18f;
Ezek 1:5, 16, 22, 26, 28; 8:2f; 10:1, 8, 10, 21; 23:15; Da 3:25For
example Moses records...
"You shall not make for yourself an
idol, or any likeness (LXX
= homoioma) of
what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under
the earth. (Ex 20:4)
"Then the LORD spoke to you from the
midst of the fire; you heard the sound of words, but you saw no form (LXX
= homoioma) --
only a voice." (Deut 4:12)
In Daniel we see a
usage that almost certainly refers to an appearance of the pre-incarnate
He (Nebuchadnezzar) answered and
said, "Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the
fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like (LXX
= homoioma) a
son of the gods!" (Da 3:25)
adds that homoioma
refers to that which is made to be
like something else, not just in appearance (cf. Php 2:7) but in
reality. Jesus was not a clone, a disguised alien, or merely some
reasonable facsimile of a man. He became exactly like all other human
beings, having all the attributes of humanity, a genuine man among men.
J. Philippians. Chicago: Moody Press)
It is important to
realize that the resemblance signified by homoíoma in no way implies
that one of the objects in question has been derived from the other. In
the same way two men may resemble one another even though they are in no
way related to one another.
Version (I utilize it much like a "mini-commentary" - remember
[brackets] signify clarifying words or comments not actually found in
the original text and (parentheses) signify additional phrases of
meaning reflecting the original words) helps understand this phrase
even over those who did not
themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. (Eerdmans)
This same section
in the New Living Translation (NLT) (which I also think can be a useful adjunct to your study if
used with discretion realizing it is a paraphrase albeit in my opinion a
relatively accurate paraphrase) (NLT
- Tyndale House)
they all died anyway—even though they
did not disobey an explicit commandment of God
Adam and Eve
disobeyed a very explicit commandment. God spoke directly to Adam
commanding him that...
from the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it
shall surely die." (Ge
Because Adam and
Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden after they sinned, and
prevented from returning, they had no more opportunity to disobey God’s
explicit commandment. Neither they nor their offspring any longer had
access to the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consequently,
became impossible for any human being to sin in the likeness of the offense of Adam.
It is indeed interesting to compare,
on Scripture authority, Adam as the root of sin and death to all, with
CHRIST, who is to all true Christians the root of holiness and life.
WHO IS A TYPE OF HIM WHO WAS TO COME:
os estin (3SPAI) tupos tou mellontos. (PAPMSG)
This final clause
introduces the reader to the Adam-Christ typology, as a preparation for
what is to follow in the next section.
(tupos from túpto = strike, smite with repeated strokes) (Click
word study on
means a "model" or "pattern" or "mold" into which clay or wax was
pressed, that it might take the figure or exact shape of the mold.
Type denotes the visible mark made by a striking some object (cf. "imprint
of the nails" John 20:25), an impression made by an object that is in
turn used to mould or shape something else (cf. "form" in
Thus, Adam is an example of Christ. It is proper to speak of him as the
First Adam and of Christ as the Last Adam (cf, 1Co 15:45). It is interesting
that the only Old Testament character
to be called explicitly a type of Christ is Adam.
comments that in regard to the "religious meaning" type was...
a designed pre-representation or
counterpart — either historically, as the Passover was a type or
significant commemoration of the passing over, by the destroying angel,
of the houses of the Hebrews in Egypt; or prophetically, as the
sacrifices of the Old Testament were types of the great sacrifice of the
Lamb of God. A type, therefore, in the religious meaning of the word, is
not a mere historical parallel or incidental resemblance between persons
or events but a designed resemblance — the one being intended to
prefigure or to commemorate the other.
It is in this sense that Adam was the
type of Christ. The similarity between them was not accidental. It was
predetermined and entered into the whole plan of God. As Adam was the
head and representative of his race, whose destiny depended on his
conduct, so Christ is the head and representative of his people. As the
sin of the one was the reason for our condemnation, so the righteousness
of the other is the reason for our justification. This relation between
Adam and the Messiah was recognized by the Jews, who called their
expected deliverer “the last Adam,” as Paul also calls him in 1
Corinthians 15:45. (Hodge,
Charles: Commentary on Romans. Ages Classic Commentaries or
And so the primary
likeness of Adam to Jesus was that each was the head of their offspring.
Christ is the head of all believers, even as Adam is the head of the
human race. Adam and Christ were similar in that each one's single act
affected their offspring. The first Adam affects his posterity for
death, while the Last Adam gives eternal life to His offspring (not
universalism but only to those who believe in Christ). Both Adam and
Christ are one with their people and thus represent two unities, which
are further explained in the following verses. This section serves as transition from the apostle’s discussion
of the transference of Adam’s sin (Ro 5:12-14a) to the crediting of Christ’s
righteousness (Romans 5:15ff).
Paul’s Jewish readers might have argued for their unique descent from
Abraham the righteous, but Paul points them instead to their common
descent with the Gentiles from the line of Adam the sinner. His argument
would have greater force to his Jewish readers than Genesis alone might
imply, because their traditions had made Adam much more prominent than
he had been in the Old Testament (which is interesting because he is hardly mentioned outside
Genesis). For example,
Jewish people in this period sometimes spoke of Adam’s immense size (he
filled the whole earth!), or more often of his glory, which he lost at
the Fall. They believed that his sin introduced sin and thus death into
the world, and that all his descendants shared in his guilt. Jewish
interpreters generally believed that Adam’s glory would be restored to
the righteous in the world to come.
To reiterate, the great truth of Ro 5.12-21 is that a representative acted, involving
those connected with Adam and those connected with Christ.
Paul brings in the subject of death to establish the principle
that one persons deeds can inexorably affect many other people. Paul’s
primary objective in this chapter is to show how one Man’s death
provided salvation for many, and to do so the apostle first shows the
reasonableness of that truth since one man’s sin produced condemnation
summarizes Romans 5:14 stating that Paul is showing...
"the eternal effect of two people. One is a creation, the other is the Creator,
Who became the God Man. That’s what we’ll see in the rest of chapter 5
as he says,
"Okay, here is what it means to be in Christ
and here is what it means to be in Adam. This is
what Adam did for you. This is what Christ has done for you."
Paul goes on in verse 14 and says Adam...
"is a type of Him who was to come."
What did Adam have that was in any
way a likeness to Jesus? There are significant differences, but there is
one likeness that stands out. Both of them were representative of the
human race. Adam made a selfish decision and cast the world into
sin. Jesus made a selfless decision, as Philippians 2 teaches us
"esteem others as highly as yourself, have this
attitude in yourself which was also in Christ Jesus when He emptied
Himself and thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
Christ made a selfless decision to come to this
earth and affect all humankind.
Adam affected all men, and Jesus can potentially
affect all men. The difference is that Adam’s penalty was imposed upon man
even though we were not even born. We had no choice in this matter. On
the other hand, you must put your faith into Jesus in order to receive eternal life.
Paul is not teaching universal salvation, but is saying that what Christ did
as representative has the potential of affecting the whole human race.
You are either in Adam or you are in Christ. What Adam did affected all
humankind. The question is, "Are you in Adam or are you in Christ?"
If you’re counting on your goodness and your good
deeds and your helping people to get you into heaven, you are still in
Adam. You have
to be born again by the Holy Spirit Who places you into the body
Christ. You must be taken out of Adam and put into Christ or you will
not be with and see God throughout eternity. Instead, you will see Him only at the
Great White Throne Judgment (see notes
and you will be banished from His presence throughout eternity.
Sin is not what you do.
It’s what you are. It’s evidenced by what you do. Sin is more
than just an act. It’s a nature or an attitude which came from Adam." (Romans 5:12-14
Need To Be Justified By Faith)
William Newell comments on Romans
Now comes the remarkable statement that although
sin was in the world during the first 2500 years, from Adam to Moses, it
is not put to account when there is no law (Ro 5:13-note)
. The Greek word (ellogeo)
"put to account" used here occurs only one other time- Philemon 1:18. It
signifies to charge up something to anyone as a due. (The wholly
different word "reckon" -
- in Ro 4:23
(note), Ro 4:24 (note)
regards the person; this word ellogeo
in Ro 5:13-note
regards some item put to one's account.) It was to Adam, not to us, that
"In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt
surely die." (Genesis 2:17)
It was to Israel through Moses that God gave the
ten commandments. The general argument of the apostle here is to show
the effect of a federal or representative sin, in which an Adam. acted,
bringing an effect upon the individuals connected with him. Paul is
about to prove that death passed to all men not because they sinned, but
because Adam sinned. He is also about to show (see note
that all men were condemned by Adam's act, were made to become sinners.
To understand, therefore, the force of the words,
sin is not put to account where there is no law, or, as Conybeare
enlighteningly paraphrases, "Sin is not put to the account of the sinner
when there is no law forbidding it, " we must remember:
1. That sin was in the world, between Adam and
2. That, according to Chapter One, the race had
rejected light and were without excuse; though they were "without law"
(anomos): for God's definition of sin is not "transgression of law"
(1John 3:4), but anomia, which means refusal to be controlled-self-will.
3. That there was a "work" (working) written in
their hearts (Ro 2:15-note),
to which their consciences bore witness, either accusing or else
excusing them; and that this working necessarily corresponded morally to
any law to be afterwards revealed by Jehovah.
4. That condign judgments, such as the Flood, and
the overthrow of Sodom, and the destruction of the Canaanites, followed
the "filling up of the cup of iniquity" at such times: for such sinners
both trampled on their own consciences, and inherited the previous
generations of guilt.
5. That, nevertheless, the sins between Adam and
Moses did not bring about the sentence of death upon humanity, however
much individuals or nations might hasten death's over- taking them. For
these people, though they sinned, had not sinned after the likeness of
Adam's transgression, which was a willful violation of a direct command
of a revealed God; as was Israel's making, through Aaron, the calf at
Sinai: evolving judicial consequences to others besides themselves. For
we read in Ex 32:34 of a set future "visitation" on Israel, because of
that sin at Sinai of their fathers: "In the day that I visit, I will
visit their sin upon them"; this will be in "the time of Jacob's
trouble, " in the Great Tribulation- long after the calf-worship;
indeed, still future!
6. We therefore must regard the human race as
under a sentence of death they did not bring upon themselves: death
reigned from Adam until Moses (Ro 5:14). Unlike Adam, and unlike Israel
after Moses, those who lived between the two had no positive outward
Divine law, the breaking of which would be a direct transgression and a
threatening of death therefor. Nevertheless "death reigned"-even over
them. Constantly before our eyes is the attestation to the same truth:
babes that know nothing of right or wrong, die. Every little white
coffin, -yea, every coffin, should remind us of the universal effect of
that sin of Adam, for it was thus and thus only that "death passed to
We see then, that from Adam until Moses, death
"reigned- as-king" (We say, "reigned-as-king, " because the Greek
word means that. Not the power of sin to hold in bondage, as in Chapter
Six, is here meant; but the royal word, basileuo, is used, denoting
sovereignty, not mere lordship) on account of Adam's sin. Paul has
said (Ro 4:15-note),
"Where there is no law neither is there transgression"; so that those
between Adam and Moses, not having direct commands of God, consequently
had not transgressed known commands as Adam had done. Nevertheless,
Adam's transgression had involved his whole race.
Here in (Romans 5:14) Adam is declared a
type of the One who was to come-that is, of Christ, the last Adam. We
cannot sufficiently urge the study of this great passage: until the mind
sees, and the heart understands-and that gladly, condemnation by the
one, and justification by the Other. It is just as necessary to see this
"by the one" doctrine regarding our spirits, as regarding our bodies. As
to the latter, Paul says, "As in Adam all die, so also In Christ shall
all be made alive"; "The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second
Man is of heaven...And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we
shall also bear the image of the heavenly" (1Cor 15:22,47,49). To
discover that we are even now no longer connected with that first Adam
in which we were born, but with the Risen Christ, the last Adam-this
will be our joy in Chapters Six to Eight. But the foundation of this
blessed truth is laid here in the Doctrine of the Two Men.
5:15 But the
gift is not
if by the
transgression of the
more did the
God and the
gift by the
grace of the
abound to the
(Grace permeates this verse!)
Amplified: But God’s free gift is not at all to be compared
to the trespass [His grace is out of all proportion to the fall of
man]. For if many died through one man’s falling away (his lapse, his
offense), much more profusely did God’s grace and the free gift [that
comes] through the undeserved favor of the one Man Jesus Christ abound
and overflow to and for [the benefit of] many. (Amplified
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And what a difference between our sin and God’s generous
gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many
through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness
to many through God’s bountiful gift. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: But the gift of God through Christ is a very
different matter from the "account rendered" through the sin of Adam.
For while as a result of one man's sin death by natural consequence
became the common lot of men, it was by the generosity of God, the
free giving of the grace of one man Jesus Christ, that the love of God
overflowed for the benefit of all men. (Phillips:
Wuest: But not as the transgression, thus also is the
gratuitous favor. For since by the transgression of the one the many
died, much more the grace of God and the gratuitous gift by grace
which is of the one Man, Jesus Christ, to the many will abound. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: But, not as the offence so also is the free
gift; for if by the offence of the one the many did die, much more did
the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the one man Jesus
Christ, abound to the many;
BUT THE FREE GIFT IS NOT LIKE THE
FOR (explains why they are "not like")
IF BY THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE ONE THE MANY DIED: all ouch os to paraptoma houtos kai to charisma
ei gar to tou enos paraptomati oi polloi apethanon
(Ro 5:16,17,20; Is 55:8,9; Jn 3:16; 4:10) (Ro 5:12,18; Da12:2; Mt 20:28;
But the free gift - Notice
that Paul begins with but, which denotes that he is drawing a
clear contrast. What is he contrasting? At the end of Romans 5:14 he
stated that Adam was a type of Him Who was to come referring of
course to Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam is a type of Christ but there are a
number of significant differences. His point therefore is to contrast
Adam with Christ and so in Romans 5:15, 16, 17 he explains how Christ is
not like Adam. (See
related discussion - Typology - Study of Biblical types)
Note that there are 3 major
contrasts in verses Romans 5:15, 16 and 17...
- Adam's Transgression versus Christ's Free Gift - what Christ gives
contrasts with what Adam did.
- Adam's Sin Brought Judgment and the verdict rendered was "Condemned".
Christ's Death Brought Justification - the contrast then is condemnation
in Adam and justification in Christ. When Adam sinned, he was declared
unrighteous and condemned. When a sinner trusts Christ, he is
justified—declared righteous in Christ.
- Because of Adam's Sin, Death reigned. Those Who Receive Christ Reign
MacArthur introduces this
verse commenting that...
Paul continues his analogy of Adam
and Christ, showing how the life that was made possible for all men by
Christ’s atoning sacrifice is illustrated antithetically by the death
that was made inevitable for all men by Adam’s sin. It is the truth the
apostle summarizes in his first letter to Corinth:
For as in Adam all die, so also in
Christ all shall be made alive (1Co 15:22). (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press
S Lewis Johnson in light of
the deep doctrinal teaching in this section which might "lose" some
The master-thought of the section is
the unity of the many in the one. In Adam's case it is the unity of the
many in a representative who fell. In Christ's case it is the unity of
the many in a representative who overcame, including in His victory all
who are in Him.
Spurgeon has an intriguing
introductory comment to his sermon entitled "Honey from a Lion" on
This text affords many openings for
controversy. It can be made to bristle with difficulties. For instance,
— there might be a long discussion as to the manner in which the fall of
Adam can justly be made to affect the condition of his posterity. When
this is settled there might arise a question as to the exact way in
which Adam’s fault is connected with ourselves — whether by imputation
of its sin, or in what other form; and then there might be further
dispute as to the limit of the evil resulting from our first parents’
offense, and the full meaning of the fall, original sin, natural
depravity, and so forth. There would be another splendid opportunity for
a great battle over the question of the extent of the redeeming work of
the Lord Jesus Christ; whether it covers, as to persons, the whole area
of the rain of the Fall; whether, in fact, full atonement has been made
for all mankind or only for the elect. It would be easy in this way to
set up a thorn-hedge, and keep the sheep out of the pasture; or, to use
another metaphor, to take up so much time in pelting each other with the
stones as to leave the fruit untasted.
I have, at this time, neither the
inclination nor the mental strength either to suggest or to remove the
difficulties, which are so often the amusement of unpractical minds. I
feel more inclined to chime in with that ancient father of the church
who declined controversy in a wise and explicit manner. He had been
speaking concerning the things of God and found himself at length
confounded by a certain clamorous disputant, who shouted again and
again, “Hear me! Hear me!” “No,” said the father, “I will not hear
you, nor shall you hear me; but we will both be quiet and hear what our
Lord Jesus Christ has to say.”
So we will not at this time listen to
this side nor to that; but we will bow our ear to hear what the
Scripture itself hath to say apart from all the noise of sect and party.
My object shall be to find out in the text that which is practically of
use to us, that which may save the unconverted, that which may comfort
and build up those of us who are brought into a state of reconciliation
with God; for I have of late been so often shut up in my sick chamber
that when I do come forth I must be more than ever eager for fruit to
the glory of God. We shall not, therefore, dive into the deeps with the
hope of finding pearls, for these could not feed hungry men; but we will
navigate the surface of the sea, and hope that some favoring wind will
bear us to the desired haven with a freight of corn wherewith to supply
the famishing. May the Holy Spirit bless the teaching of this hour to
the creation and nourishment of saving faith.
At this point what had been a
parallel comparison, now begins a contrast of the work of Christ
with that of Adam.
Sanday and Headlam
In both cases there is a transmission
of effects: but there the resemblance ends. In all else the false step
(or Fall, as we call it) of Adam and the free gift of God’s bounty are
most unlike. The fall of that one representative man entailed death upon
the many members of the race to which he belonged. Can we then be
surprised if an act of such different quality—the free unearned favour
of God, and the gift of righteousness bestowed through the kindness of
that other Representative Man, Jesus Messiah—should have not only
cancelled the effect of the Fall, but also brought further blessings to
the whole race? (Sanday,
W., & Headlam, A. C.. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the
Epistle of the Romans. Originally published 1897. T. & T. Clark
Cranfield explains that...
The purpose of Romans 5:15, 16, 17 is to
drive home the vast dissimilarity between Christ and Adam, before the
formal comparison between them is made in v. 18f, and so to preclude
possible misunderstanding of that comparison. (Cranfield,
C. E. B Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans. Vol 1: Ro
Volume 2: Romans 9-16)
Hendriksen agrees writing
In these verses Paul shows that the
parallel Adam-Christ is mainly one of contrast, in the sense that
Christ’s influence for good far outweighs Adam’s effectiveness for evil:
the free gift is “not like the trespass,” that is, is far more
effective than the trespass. (Hendriksen,
W., & Kistemaker, S. J. NT Commentary Set. Baker Book
(grace gift) (5486) (charisma
word study] from
word study on charis]
= grace + the ending --ma which indicates the result of
something, in this case the result of grace) is a gift of grace or an
undeserved benefit. It refers something given by God completely apart
from human merit.
Note that in 16 of the 17 uses in the NT
connected to God as the Giver and is always the word used to describe
the gifts of the Spirit.
In Romans, Paul uses
reference to the gift of salvation (Romans 5:15, 16; Ro 6:23-note), the blessings of God (Ro
Ro 11:29-note), and divine enablements for ministry
Every other use of the word by Paul, and the one by Peter (1Pe 4:10, 11,
relates it to the divine enablements for believers to minister in the
power of the Holy Spirit.
Vine writes that
a gift of grace, a gift involving
grace (charis) on the part of God as the donor, is used of His free
bestowments upon sinners (Ro 5:15, 16; 16:23; 11:29)
Denny remarks that
The gift which is freely provided for
sinners in the Gospel, i.e., a Divine righteousness and life. (Nicoll, W
Robertson, Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of print.
If by the transgression of the
one - If (could be rendered "since" or "if as is the
case") introduces a conditional statement that is assumed fulfilled
(Adam did have one transgression = the first one in Genesis 3). The
one is clearly Adam, who is not mentioned by name after Romans 5:14.
Note not it is not transgressions plural but the
(specific) transgression, the one sin referred to earlier.
The dictionary definition of the
English word transgression is "an act of “going beyond” or
violating a duty, command, or law."
You Can't Work For It - On
Wednesday evenings, the church my family attends becomes a busy place.
We give away a truckload of food to people who are struggling to get by.
We’re grateful to be able to help meet a physical need in their lives.
Another important part of this ministry is visiting these folks later
and sharing the gospel of Christ with them.
Understandably, we must have some guidelines for a ministry like this,
and one of them is: You can’t work for this food.
The church has already bought the food, so nothing anyone does can pay
for it. The only way a person can get the food is to accept it as a free
gift. No one is allowed to unload the food from the truck, pass it out,
or do anything else with the intention that such efforts will earn this
food. It’s absolutely free.
Sound familiar? It should. Jesus bought our souls with His death, and He
offers us salvation that is free and paid for (Ro 5:15; Ro 6:23). We
can’t earn it, no matter what we do (Ephesians 2:8, 9). All we can do is
reach out to Jesus by repenting of our sin and receiving His free gift
of eternal life.
Have you accepted the salvation Jesus offers? Please do. Reach out and
take it. It’s free. —J D Branon (Our
Is free to everyone;
But we must face our guilt,
And trust God's precious Son. —D. De Haan
was costly to God,
but it's free to us.
from parapipto = fall aside
from para = aside + pipto = fall) (Ro 4:25-note)
means a falling beside, deviation from a path or departing from the
norm. Note that even the root meaning of paraptoma implies The Fall of
Man. By extension, it carries the idea of going where one should not go,
and therefore is sometimes translated “trespass”. Here it refers to
the trespass of eating "from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil"
Genesis 2:17. The picture is that of one who stumbles or falls. The idea
behind transgressions is that one has crossed a line, challenging
God's boundary, whereas the idea behind sins (hamartia
is missing a mark, the perfect standard of God. Paraptoma is a very
fitting description for the "fall" of Adam in the Garden of Eden.
Ray Pritchard explains
transgression (trespass) noting that it...
means to go beyond the border.
You "trespass" when you enter someone's property illegally. It's what
happens when you deliberately break a rule. Someone may draw a line in
the sand and say, "If you cross that line, you'll be in trouble."
Trespassing is what you do when you say, "Oh yeah! You just watch me."
And you step across the line. That's what happened in Eden. God drew a
line in the sand and said, "Don't cross it." Adam said, "Watch me." And
he deliberately "crossed the line" when he ate the forbidden fruit.
(Read his full message -
Barnes writes that...
We use the word fall as
applied to Adam, to denote his first offence, as being that act by which
he fell from an elevated
state of obedience and happiness into one of sin and condemnation.
The many died - In context
the phrase the many identifies the totality of mankind.
Through the offense of Adam the many
(all of Adam’s descendants = all
mankind) incurred the penalty of death. Similarly, the many (i.e., all
the redeemed) have incurred the free gift of eternal life through the
Last Adam, Jesus Christ. The dissimilarity is seen in the phrase, much
more...the grace of God. The grace of God, which is the ground of our
justification, is contrasted with the sin of Adam, because it is greater
in quality and greater in degree than Adam’s sin. In Adam we got what we
deserved, condemnation and guilt. In Christ we have received much more
of what we do not deserve, mercy and grace.
Spurgeon observes that...
It Is Certain That Great Evils Have
Come To Us By The Fall. Paul speaks in this text of ours of the
“offense,” which word may be read the “Fall,” which was caused by
the stumbling of our father Adam.
Our fall in Adam is a type of the
salvation which is in Christ Jesus, but the type is not able completely
to set forth all the work of Christ: hence the apostle says,
“But not as the offense, so also is
the free gift. For if through the offense of one many be dead, much more
the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus
Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
It is certain, then, that we were
heavy losers by the offense of the first father and head of our race.
I am not going into details and particulars (Ro 5:12-note),
but it is clear that we have lost the garden of Eden and all its
delights, privileges, and immunities, its communion with God, and its
freedom from death. We have lost our first honor and health, and we have
become the subjects of pain and weakness, suffering and death: this is
the effect of the Fall. A desert now howls where otherwise a garden
would have smiled. Through the sin of
Adam we have been born
under conditions which are far from being desirable, heirs to a heritage
of sorrow. Our griefs have been alleviated by the bounty of God, but
still we are not born under such conditions as might have been ours had
Adam remained in his integrity and kept his first estate.
We came into the world with a bias
towards evil. Those of us who have any knowledge of our own nature
must confess that there is in us a strong tendency towards sin, which is
mixed up with our very being. This is not derived solely from faults of
education, or from the imitation of others; but there is a bent within
us in the wrong direction, and this has been there from our birth. Alas!
that it should be so; but so it is.
In addition to having this
tendency to sin, we are made liable to death — nay, not liable
alone, but we are sure in due time to bow our heads beneath the fatal
stroke. Two only of the human race have escaped death (Enoch and
Elijah), but the rest have left their bodies here to moulder back into
mother earth, and unless the Lord cometh speedily, we expect that the
same thing will happen to these bodies of ours. While we live we know
that the sweat of our brow must pay the price of our bread; we know that
our children must be born with pangs and travail; we know that we
ourselves must return to the dust from whence we are taken; for dust we
are, and unto dust must we return.
O Adam, thou didst a sad day’s work
for us when thou didst hearken to the voice of thy wife and eat of the
forbidden tree. The world has no more a Paradise anywhere, but
everywhere it has the place of wailing and the field of the dead. Where
can you go and not find traces of the first transgression in the
sepulcher and its mouldering bones? Every field is fattened with the
dust of the departed: every wave of the sea is tainted with atoms of the
dead. Scarcely blows a March wind down our streets but it sweeps aloft
the dust either of Caesar or his slave, of ancient Briton, or modern
Saxon; for the globe is worm-eaten by death. Sin has scarred, and
marred, and spoiled this creation by making it subject to vanity through
Thus terrible evils have come to us
by an act in which we had no hand: we were not in the Garden of Eden, we
did not incite Adam to rebellion, and yet we have become sufferers
through no deed of ours. Say what you will about it, the fact remains,
and cannot be escaped from. ("Honey from a Lion" Romans 5:16)
MUCH MORE DID THE GRACE OF GOD AND
THE GIFT BY THE GRACE OF THE ONE MAN JESUS CHRIST ABOUND TO THE MANY: pollo mallon
e charis tou theou kai e dorea en chariti te
tou enos anthropou iesou christou eis tous pollous eperisseusen
(Eph 2:8) (Ro 6:23; 2Cor 9:15; Heb 2:9; 1Jn 4:9,10; 5:11) (Ro 5:20; Is
53:11; 55:7; 1Jn 2:2; Rev 7:9,10,14, 15, 16, 17)
OF ROMANS 5
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall
be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the
death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be
saved by His life.
But the free gift is not like the transgression. 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
For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one,
much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the
gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
And the Law came in that the
transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded
all the more (KJV "did much more abound")
Much more - This introduces
Christ's work. His one act of
obedience was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation.
God's grace is infinitely greater for good than is Adam's sin for evil.
J Vernon McGee comments on
much more in Romans 5:12-21 writing that...
what Paul is (saying is) that we have
much more in Christ than we lost in Adam...Today we are looking
forward to something more wonderful than the Garden of Eden.
The force of this much more
seems to be bound up with the recurring use of "grace" and "gift,"
suggesting that the work of Christ not only cancelled the effects of
Adam's transgression so as to put man back into a state of innocence
under a probation such as their progenitor faced, but gives to man far
more than he lost in Adam, more indeed than Adam ever had.
John MacArthur writes
Christ’s one act of redemption was
immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation.
Constable adds that...
Much more here shows that
Jesus Christ did not just cancel the effects of Adam’s sin, but he
provided more than Adam lost or even possessed, namely the righteousness
of God! (Expository
Calvin explained the
more more this way...
Since the fall of Adam had such an
effect as to produce ruin of many, much more efficacious is the grace of
God to the benefit of many; inasmuch as it is admitted, that Christ is
much more powerful to save, than Adam was to destroy
Ray Pritchard explains
much more noting that...
when Jesus died on the cross, He
died for others. What Adam did was an act of total selfishness. He
didn't care that others would be hurt by his foolish decision. When
Jesus died, it was totally for others. He had no sin of His own, so He
couldn't be dying for himself. His death was self-sacrificing. That's
why Paul calls it "God's grace" and "the gift." Adam was thinking only
of himself. Christ was thinking of others. Thus in the very nature of
what these two men did, Christ's deed was greater than Adam's misdeed,
even as love is greater than selfishness. (Read his full message -
A T Robertson writes that
much more introduces...
Another a fortiori argument.
Why so? As a God of love He delights much more in showing mercy and
pardon than in giving just punishment (Lightfoot). The gift surpasses
Hodge has an interesting
thought writing that in regard to much more...
the idea is, “If the one dispensation
has occurred, much more may the other; if we die for one, much
more may we live by another.” The much more does not express
a higher degree of efficacy but of certainty: “If the one thing has
happened, much more certainly may the other be relied upon.” (Hodge,
Charles: Commentary on Romans. Ages Classic Commentaries
Denny writes that regarding
much more that...
the idea underlying the inference is
that God delights in mercy; if under His administration one man's
offence could have such far-reaching consequences, much more reasonably
may we feel sure of the universal influence of one Man's righteous
achievement. This idea is the keynote of the whole chapter: see Ro 5:9,
10, 17. (Ibid)
Spurgeon comments on
much more (this is a long note but is well worth reading slowly and
If all this mischief has
happened to us through the fall of Adam why should not immense blessing
flow to us by the work of Christ? Through Adam’s transgression we lost
Paradise, that is certain; but if anything can be more certain we may
with greater positiveness declare that the second Adam will restore the
ruin of the first.
If through the offense of one man
many be dead, much more the grace of God and the gift by grace,
which is by one man, Jesus Christ, shall abound and has abounded unto
Settle in your minds, then, that the
fall of Adam has wrought us great damage, and then be as much assured
that the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, in which we had no
hand whatever, must do us great service. Believing in Christ Jesus, it
becomes beyond all measure sure to us that we are blessed in Him, seeing
that it is already certain that through the fall of Adam we have become
subject to sorrow and death.
For, first, this appears to be more
delightful to the heart of God. It must be fully according to his
gracious nature that salvation should come to us through his Son. I can
understand that God, having so arranged it that the human race should be
regarded as one, and should stand or fall before Him in one man, should
carry out the arrangement to its righteous end, and allow the
consequences of sin to fall upon succeeding generations of men: but yet
I know that He takes no pleasure in the death of any, and finds no
delight in afflicting mankind.
When the first Adam transgressed it
was inevitable that the consequences of his transgression should descend
to his posterity, and yet I can imagine a perfectly holy mind
questioning whether the arrangement would be carried out. I can conceive
of angels saying one to another, “Will all men die through this
entrance of sin into the world? Can it be that the innumerable sons of
Adam will all suffer from his disobedience?”
But I cannot imagine any question
being raised about the other point, namely, the result of the work of
our Lord Jesus. If God has so arranged it that in the second Adam men
rise and live, it seems to me most gloriously consistent with his
gracious nature and infinite love that it should come to pass that all
who believe in Jesus should be saved through Him.
I cannot imagine angels hesitating
and saying, “Christ has been born; Christ has lived; Christ has died;
these men have had nothing to do with that: will God save them for the
sake of his Son?” Oh, no, they must have felt, as they saw the Babe
born at Bethlehem, as they saw Him living His perfect life and dying His
atoning death, “God will bless those who are in Christ; God will save
Christ’s people for Christ’s sake.”
As for ourselves, we are sure that if
the Lord executes judgment, which is His strange work, He will certainly
carry out mercy, which is His delight. If He kept to the representative
principle when it involved consequences which gave Him no pleasure, we
may be abundantly assured that He will keep to it now that it will
involve nothing but good to those concerned in it. Here, then, is the
“For if through the offense of one
many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which
is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”
This assurance becomes stronger still
when we think that it seems more inevitable that men should be saved by
the death of Christ than that men should be lost by the sin of Adam. It
might seem possible that, after Adam had sinned, God might have said,
“Notwithstanding this covenant of works, I will not lay this burden
upon the children of Adam”; but it is not possible that after the
eternal Son of God has become man, and has bowed His head to death, God
should say, “Yet after all I will not save men for Christ’s sake.”
Stand and look at the Christ upon the
cross, and mark those wounds of His, and you will become absolutely
certain that sin can be pardoned, nay, must be pardoned to those who are
in Christ Jesus. Those flowing drops of blood demand with a voice that
cannot be gainsaid that iniquity should be put away. If the voice of
Abel crying from the ground was prevalent, how much more the blood of
the Only-begotten Son of God, Who through the eternal Spirit offered
Himself without spot? It cannot be, O God, that thou shouldest despise
or forget the sacrifice on Calvary. Grace must flow to sinners through
the bleeding Savior, seeing that death came to men through their
I do not know whether I shall get
into the very soul of this argument as I desire, but to me it is very
sweet to look at the difference as to the causes of the two effects.
Look now at the occasion of our
ruin, — “the offense of one.” The one man transgresses, and you
and I and all of us come under sin, sorrow, and death. What are we told
is the fountain of these streams of woe? The one action of our first
parents. Far be it from me to say a word to depreciate the greatness of
their crime, or to raise a question as to the justice of its
consequences. I think no one can have a more decided opinion upon that
point than I have; for the offense was very great, and the principle
which led to our participation in its results is a just one, and, what
is more, is fraught with the most blessed after-consequences to fallen
men, since it has left them a door of hope of their rising by the same
method which led to their fall.
Yet the sin which destroyed us was
the transgression of a finite being, and cannot be compared in power
with the grace of the infinite God; it was the sin of a moment, and
therefore cannot be compared for force and energy with the everlasting
purpose of divine love.
If, then, the comparatively feeble
fount of Adam’s sin sends forth a flood which drowns the world in sorrow
and death, what must be the boundless blessing poured forth from the
infinite source of divine grace?
The grace of God is like His nature,
omnipotent and unlimited. God hath not a measure of love, but He is
love; love to the uttermost dwells in Him. God is not only gracious to
this degree or to that, but He is gracious beyond measure; we read of
“the exceeding riches of His grace.” He is “the God of all grace,”
and His mercy is great above the heavens. Our largest conceptions fall
far short of the lovingkindness and pity of God, for “His merciful
kindness is great towards us.” As high as the heavens are above the
earth, so are His thoughts above our thoughts in the direction of grace.
If, then, my brethren, the narrow
fount which yielded bitter and poisonous waters has sufficed to slay the
myriads of the human race, how much more shall the river of God
which is fall of water, even the river of the water of life, which
proceedeth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, supply life and
bliss to every man that believeth in Christ Jesus?
Thus saith Paul,
“For if by one man’s offense death
reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of
the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
That is the argument of the text, and
to me it seems to be a very powerful one, sufficient to dash out the
very life of unbelief and enable every penitent man to say,
“I see what I have lost in Adam, but
I also see how much I obtain through Christ Jesus, my Lord, when I
humbly yield myself to Him.”
Furthermore, I would have you note
the difference of the channels by which the evil and the good were
severally communicated to us.
In each case it was “by one,”
but what a difference in the persons! We fell through Adam, a name not
to be pronounced without reverence, seeing he is the chief patriarch of
the race, and the children should honor the parent: let us not think too
little of the head of the human family.
Yet what is the first Adam as
compared with the second Adam? He is but of the earth earthy, but the
second man is the Lord from heaven. He was at best a mere man, but our
Redeemer counts it not robbery to be equal with God. Surely, then, if
Adam with that puny hand of his could pull down the house of our
humanity, and hurl this ruin on our first estate, that greater man, Who
is also the Son of God, can fully restore us and bring back to our race
the golden age. If one man could ruin by his fault, surely an infinitely
greater Man in Whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily can
restore us by the abounding grace of God.
And look, my brethren, what this man
did. Adam commits one fault and spoils us; but Christ’s works and
achievements are not one, but many as the stars of heaven. Look at that
life of obedience: it is like a crown set with all manner of priceless
jewels: all the virtues are in it, and it is without flaw in any point.
If one sinful action of our first covenant head destroys, shall not a
whole life of holiness, on the part of our second covenant
representative be accepted for us?
But what is more, Adam did but eat of
the forbidden fruit, but our Lord Jesus died, pouring out his soul unto
death, bearing the sin of his people upon Himself. Such a death must
have more force in it than the sad deed of Adam. Shall it not save as?
Is there any comparison between the one act of rebellion in the garden
and the matchless deed of superlative obedience upon the cross of
Calvary which crowned a life of service? Am I sure that the act of
disobedience has done me damage? Then I am much more certain that
the glorious act of self-sacrifice must be able to save me, and I cast
myself upon it without question or misgiving.
The passion of God’s Only-begotten
must have in it infallible virtue for the remission of sin. Upon the
perfect work of Jesus my soul hangs at this moment, without a suspicion
of possible failure, and without the addition of the shadow of a
confidence anywhere else. The good which may be supposed to be in man,
his best words and holiest actions, are all to me as the small dust of
the balance as to any title to the favor of God. My sole claim for
salvation lies in that one Man, the gift of God, Who by His life and
death has made atonement for my sin, but that one Man, Christ Jesus, is
a sure foundation, and a nail upon which we may hang all the weight of
our eternal interests. I feel the more confidence in the certainty of
salvation by Christ because of my firm persuasion of the dreadful
efficacy of Adam’s fall.
Think awhile and it will seem
strange, yet strangely true, that the hope of Paradise regained should
be argued and justified by the fact of Paradise lost, that the absolute
certainty that one man ruined us should give us an abounding guarantee
that one glorious Man has in very deed effectually saved all those who
by faith accept the efficacy of His work.
Now, if you have grasped my thought,
and have drunk into the truth of the text, you may derive a great deal
of comfort from it, and it may suggest to you many painful things which
will henceforth yield you pleasure. A babe is born into the world amid
great anxiety because of its mother’s pains, but while these go to prove
how the consequences of the Fall are still with us, according to the
word of the Lord to Eve, “in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children,”
they also assure us that the second Adam can abundantly bring us bliss
through a second birth, by which we are begotten again unto a lively
You go into the arable field and mark
the thistle, and tear your garments with a thorn: these prove the curse,
but also preach the gospel. Did not the Lord God say, “Cursed is the
ground for thy sake; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to
thee.” Through no fault of ours, for we were not present when the first
man offended, our fields reluctantly yield their harvests. Well,
inasmuch as we have seen the thorn and the thistle produced by the
ground because of one Adam, we may expect to see a blessing on the earth
because of the second and greater Adam.
Therefore with unbounded confidence
do I believe the promise —
“Ye shall go out with joy, and be
led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth
before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their
bands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of
the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for
a name, for all everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”
Do you wipe the sweat from your brow
as you toil for your livelihood? Did not the Lord say, “In the sweat of
thy face shalt thou eat bread”? Ought not your labor to be an argument
by which your faith shall prove that in Christ Jesus there remaineth a
rest for the people of God. In toiling unto weariness you feel that
Adam’s fall is at work upon you; he has turned you into a tiller of the
ground, or a keeper of sheep, or a worker in metals, but in any case he
has made you wear a yoke; say you then to the Lord Jesus,
“Blessed second Adam, as I see and
feel what the first man did, I am abundantly certified as to what thou
canst accomplish. I will therefore rest in thee with all my heart.”
When you observe a funeral passing
slowly along the street, or enter the churchyard, and notice hillock
after hillock above the lowly beds of the departed, you see set forth
evidently before your eyes the result of the Fall. You ask, — Who slew
all these? and at what gate did the fell destroyer enter this world? Did
the first Adam through his disobedience lift the latch for death? It is
Therefore I believe with tile greater
assurance that the second Adam can give life to these dry bones, can
awake all these sleepers, and raise them in newness of life. If so weak
a man as Adam by one sin has brought in death, to pile the carcases of
men heaps upon heaps, and make the earth reek with corruption, much more
shall the glorious Son of God at His coming call them again to life and
immortality, and renew them in the image of God. How blessed are those
“Now is Christ risen from the dead,
and become the first fruits of them that slept, For since by man came
death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all
die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. The first man is of the
earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy,
such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are
they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the
earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
Is not this killing a lion, and
finding honey in its carcass? “Out of the eater cometh forth meat, and
out of the strong cometh forth sweetness,” when from the fact of the
Fall we derive a strong assurance of our restoration by Christ Jesus.
It seems certain that if from
the fall of Adam such great results flow, Greater Results Must Flow From
The Grace Of God, And The Gift By Grace, Which Is By One Man, Jesus
Brethren, suppose that Adam had never
sinned, and we were at this moment unfallen beings, yet our standing
would have remained in jeopardy, seeing that at any moment he might have
transgressed and so have pulled us down. Thousands of years of obedience
might not have ended the probation, seeing there is no such stipulation
in the original covenant. You and I therefore would be holding our
happiness by a very precarious tenure; we could never glory in absolute
security and eternal life as we now do in Christ Jesus.
We have now lost everything in Adam,
and so the uncertain tenure has come to an end, our lease of Eden and
its joys has altogether expired; but we that have believed, have
obtained an inheritance which we hold by an indisputable and
never-failing title which Satan himself cannot dispute;
“All things are yours, and ye are
Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
The Lord Jesus Christ has finished
the work, by which His people are saved, and that work has been
certified by His resurrection from the dead. There are no “ifs” in the
covenant now; there is not a “peradventure” in it from beginning to
end, no chances of failure caused by unfinished conditions can be found
in it. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” Do you say”
I believe he shall be saved if he — “? Do not dare to add an “if”
where God has placed none. Remember what will happen to you if you add
anything to the book of God’s testimony. No, it is written, “He that
believeth and is baptized shall be saved:” “He that believeth in Him
hath everlasting life.” “There is therefore now no condemnation to
them that are in Christ Jesus.”
Thus we have obtained a surer
standing than we could have had under the first Adam, and our hymn is
true to the letter when it sings-
“He raised me from the deeps of sin,
The gates of gaping hell,
And fixed my standing more secure
Than ’twas before I fell.”
Our Lord has not only undone the
mischief of the Fall, but He has given us more than we have lost: even
as the Psalmist saith,
“Then I restored that which I took
By the great transgression of Adam we
lost our life in him, for so ran the threatening — “In the day that
thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die”; but in Christ Jesus we live
again with a higher and nobler life, for the new life being the direct
work of the Spirit, and being sustained by feeding upon the person of
the Lord Jesus, is higher than the life of innocence in the garden of
Eden. It is of a higher kind in many respects, of which we cannot now
speak particularly, but this much we may say,
The first Adam was made a living
soul, the second Adam is a quickening Spirit.
The Lord Jesus has also brought us
into a nearer relationship to God than we could have possessed by any
other means. We were God’s creatures by creation, but now we are His
sons by adoption; in a certain narrow sense we were the offspring of
God, but now by the exaltation of the Man Christ Jesus, the
representative of us all, we are brought into the nearest possible
relationship to God. Jesus sits upon the throne of God, and Manhood is
thus uplifted next to Deity: the nearest akin to the Eternal is a Man,
Christ Jesus, the Son of the Highest. We are members of His body, of His
flesh, and of His bones, and therefore we share His honors and
participate in His triumphs. In Christ Jesus man is made to have
dominion over all the works of God’s hands, and the redeemed are raised
up together with Christ and made to sit in the heavenly places with Him,
above all principalities and powers, and all things else that be; for
these are the favourites of heaven, the beloved of the great King. No
creatures can equal perfected men; they rise superior even to the angels
who have never sinned; for in them the riches of the glory of God’s
grace is more fully seen than in pure, unfallen spirits.
O beloved, hath not the Lord Jesus
Christ done much for us, and ought we not to expect that it should be
so, for the grace of God, and the gift by grace by the man Christ Jesus,
are infinitely stronger forces than Adam’s sin.
There must be much more sap in the
Man, the Branch, than in that poor plant, the one man who was made from
the dust of the earth.
Oh the bliss which opens up before us
now. We have lost Paradise, but we shall possess that of which the
earthly garden was but a lowly type: we might have eaten of the luscious
fruits of Eden, but now we eat of the Bread which came down from heaven;
we might have heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in
the cool of the day, but now, like Enoch, we may walk with God after a
nobler and closer fashion.
We are now capable of a joy which
unfallen spirits could not have known: the bliss of pardoned sin, the
heaven of deep conscious obligation to eternal mercy. The bonds which
bind redeemed ones to their God are the strongest which exist.
What a joy it will be to love the
Lord more than any other of His creatures, and assuredly we shall do so.
Do not think that this is an unwarrantable assertion, for I feel sure
that it is the truth. Do you not read in the gospels of a woman who
washed the Savior’s feet with tears and wiped them with the hairs of her
head, and anointed them with ointment? Did not the Savior say that she
loved much because she had much forgiven. I take it that the same
general principle will apply to all places, to eternity as well as to
time, and therefore I believe that forgiven sinners will have a love to
God and to His Christ such as cherubim and seraphim never felt; Gabriel
cannot love Jesus as a forgiven man will do.
Those who have washed their robes and
made them white in the blood of the Lamb will be nearer and dearer to
Him, and He will be nearer and dearer to them, than all the ministering
spirits before the throne, for He took upon Him our nature and not
Glory be unto Thee, O Christ! As I
look into the awful deeps of Adam’s fall, I tremble, but when I lift up
my eyes again to the eternal heights whither Thou hast raised me by Thy
passion and Thy resurrection I feel strengthened by the former vision. I
magnify the infinite grace of God, and believe in it unstaggeringly. Oh,
that I had power to magnify it with fit words and proper speech, but
these are not with me. Accept the feeling of the heart when the language
of the lip confesses its failure. Accept it, Lord, through the
The transgression of Adam
brought death whereas grace brought life a far more dynamic power. Grace
not only did away with death, but restored what had been destroyed.
“the trespass of Adam brought death
once, the sacrifice and death of Jesus brings life a thousand times.”
word study of
charis) stresses the unmerited favor of
God and our inability to earn or deserve it.
Grace that is greater than all our sin.
The Grace of God (click
the 20 uses of this beautiful phrase) expresses the Source of the Grace, God Himself, "the God
of all grace" (1Pe 5:10-note)
Who reigns as sovereign on "the throne of grace" (Heb 4:16-note), and Who Alone "gives grace and glory"
from didomi = to
give) refers to a free gift and emphasizes the gratuitous character of
the gift. Dorea describes that which is given or transferred
freely by one person to another, without price or compensation.
Whereas dorea (gift) emphasizes freeness, charisma
(free gift) highlights the gracious aspect of what God has done.
By the grace of the one Man
Jesus Christ - "One Man" emphasizes that the saving work was
accomplished by Christ alone.
from perissós = abundant from peri = in sense of beyond) means to exceed a
fixed number or measure, to exist in superfluity and so to superabound,
to have an abundance, or to abound richly. The idea is to have enough
and to spare in the needs of daily life.
Denny writes that abound
is a word...
Prompted by Paul's own experience:
the blessedness of the Christian life far out went the misery of the
life under condemnation. (Ibid)
Barnes writes that it...
will be more than a counterbalance
for the ills which have been introduced by the sin of Adam.
John MacArthur writes
the gift by the grace of the one Man,
Jesus Christ, did more than simply provide the way for fallen mankind to
be restored to the state of Adam’s original innocence. Jesus Christ not
only reversed the curse of death by forgiving and cleansing from sin but
provided the way for redeemed men to share in the full righteousness and
glory of God... God’s grace is greater than man’s sin. Not only is it
greater than the one original sin of Adam that brought death to all men
but it is greater than all the accumulated sins that men have ever or
will ever commit. It might be said that Adam’s sinful act, devastating
as it was, had but a one-dimensional effect-it brought death to
everyone. But the effect of Christ’s redemptive act has facets beyond
measure, because He not only restores man to spiritual life but gives
him the very life of God. Death by nature is static and empty, whereas
life by nature is active and full. Only life can abound.
Jesus Christ broke the power of sin
and death, but the converse is not true. Sin and death cannot break the
power of Jesus Christ. The condemnation of Adam’s sin is reversible, the
redemption of Jesus Christ is not. The effect of Adam’s act is permanent
only if not nullified by Christ. The effect of Christ’s act, however, is
permanent for believing individuals and not subject to reversal or
nullification. We have the great assurance that once we are in Jesus
Christ, we are in Him forever. (Ibid)
The many - The use of
the many twice in this verse has the advantage of underscoring the
distinct differences of
Adam and Christ respectively. What one did, in each case, affected not
one but many. Notice that that the many speaks of
two distinct groups (Paul uses the term all with similarly
distinct meanings in Ro 5:18-note.)
In the case of Adam, the many means all mankind, but in the case
of Christ, the many means only to
those who by grace through faith have received the gift of God's righteousness (see
Ro 3:24, 25-note,
note v25) in Christ Jesus. In short, Paul
is not teaching universal salvation for the many.
EBC makes the point that...
The use of the many has this
advantage, that it underscores the importance of Adam and Christ
respectively. What one did, in each case, affected not one but many. (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
The many may be an allusion to
Isaiah 53 where we read...
As a result of the anguish of His
soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous
One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their
iniquities. 12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And
He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself
to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore
the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors. (Isaiah 53:11, 12)
Compare Jesus' words as He
inaugurated the New Covenant...
For this is My blood of the covenant,
which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins. (Mt 26:28)
(Compare Jesus' words) For even the
Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve and t give His life a
ransom for many. (Mark 10:45).
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