Romans 5:18-19 Commentary



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Romans 5:18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Ara oun os di' enos paraptomatos eis pantas anthropous eis katakrima, houtos kai di' enos dikaiomatos eis pantas anthropous eis dikaiosin zoes; 
Amplified: Well then, as one man’s trespass [one man’s false step and falling away led] to condemnation for all men, so one Man’s act of righteousness [leads] to acquittal and right standing with God and life for all men. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (Vincent writes "correctly, one act of righteousness")
NLT: Yes, Adam’s one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ’s one act of righteousness makes all people right in God’s sight and gives them life. 19 Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: We see, then, that as one act of sin exposed the whole race of men to God's judgment and condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: So then, therefore, as through one act of transgression, to all men there resulted condemnation, thus also through one act of righteousness, to all men there resulted a righteous standing that had to do with life.  (
Young's Literal: So, then, as through one offence to all men it is to condemnation, so also through one declaration of 'Righteous' it is to all men to justification of life;


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Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work Jensen's Survey of the NT

SO THEN AS THROUGH ONE TRANSGRESSION THERE RESULTED CONDEMNATION TO ALL MEN: ara oun os di enos paraptomatos eis pantas anthropous eis katakrima: (Ro 5:12,15,19; 3:19,20)  

Notice in the translations above how the KJV rendering leads to an interpretation slightly different than the other translations (including Young's Literal). Remember translations no matter how literal can have some interpretative bias which is why it is always good to go back to the original languages!

So then (ara oun) is a phrase indicating a conclusion is being drawn. Most commentators also feel that this conclusion section completes the thought that Paul broke off at the end of Romans 5:12.

And so here Paul summarizes the contrast between Adam and Christ. What is the conclusion/summary? There are two results  - in verse 18 all men experience either condemnation (in Adam) or justification (in Christ) and in verse 19 all men are either made sinners (in Adam) or made righteous (in Christ).

A T Robertson notes that this is the

Conclusion of the argument. Cf. Romans 7:3, 7:25; 8:12, etc. Paul resumes the parallel between Adam and Christ begun in Romans 5:12 and interrupted by explanation (Romans 5:13f) and contrast (Romans 5:15; 5:16; 5:17). (Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Guzik observes...

From this passage, Adam and Jesus are sometimes known as the two men. Between them they represent of all humanity, and everyone is identified in either Adam or Jesus. We are born identified with Adam; we may be born again into identification with Jesus.

The idea of Adam and Jesus as two representatives of the human race is sometimes called Federal Theology or Adam and Jesus are sometimes referred to as Federal Heads. This is because under the federal system of government, representatives are chosen and the representative speaks for the people who chose him. Adam speaks for those he represents, and Jesus speaks for His people.

Again, someone may object: “But I never chose to have Adam represent me.” Of course you did! You identified yourself with Adam with the first sin you ever committed. It is absolutely true that we were born into our identification with Adam, but we also choose it with our individual acts of sin. (
Romans 5)

James Montgomery Boice has a superb introduction to this summary section...

I do not know when or where it happened, but somebody was sitting in his apartment, getting ready to go to bed, when he heard his neighbor drop a shoe on the floor above him. The upstairs neighbor was obviously getting ready for bed, too, and the man below him waited for the thud of the other shoe. Afterward he must have talked about it, and the expression “waiting for the other shoe to drop” became an expressive figure of speech in our language.

Now we come to what we have been waiting for ever since we started to study Romans 5:12–21. Our expectation arose because Paul began this great passage with a contrast: “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. …” But just when we were expecting the second half of that thought, he broke it off, and everything we have been studying since has in a sense been a digression, or parenthesis.

In fact, there have been two major digressions, which it might be helpful to review before proceeding.

First, Paul explained the sense in which “all sinned.” He did not mean that all have become sinners and have therefore sinned, though we would naturally think this, but rather that each of us was declared a sinner because of Adam’s original sin or transgression. It is true that we also sin and should be condemned for that, if there were nothing more to be said. But that is not Paul’s meaning. He meant that all have been accounted sinners in Adam, so that those who were going to be saved could be accounted righteous in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Since this digression finished at the end of verse 14, we again expected the other shoe to drop. But instead of completing the contrast introduced by verse 12, Paul worked in another long parenthesis to show the differences between our union with Adam, on the one hand, and our union with Jesus Christ, on the other. This second digression started at verse 15 and occupied the next three verses.

It is only when we get to verse 18 that the second shoe finally falls and we get the full impact of the contrast. Paul backs up to give it, restating the first part again, although in slightly different words: “[1] Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, [2] so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.”
There we have it!

But then, lest we have fallen asleep in the meantime and have somehow missed the point after this long wait, Paul makes it again in verse 19, adding: “[1] For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, [2] so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” (Boice, J. M. Romans. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House)

The 4 major contrasts are seen in tabular form...

IN ROMANS 5:18-19
One Act
of Righteousness
Effect Condemnation to all
Justification of life to all
of One
of One
Effect Many Made
Many Made

At first glance this chart suggests all men will be justified (made righteous) but the context of Romans and the NT clearly indicates the reference is all men who are justified by faith alone. Paul is not teaching universalism or that all men will be justified (saved). Recall that in Romans 5:17 (note) Paul speaks of life for those who receive it. The point is that you don't have to do anything to be condemned. Condemnation is Adam's "gift" to you. But if you want to be justified, you must receive God's free gift by grace through faith.

McGee sums up Romans 5:18 as descriptive of...

the underlying principle of the imputation (act of crediting or laying responsibility upon) of sin and the imputation of righteousness. This is the doctrine of the federal headship of the race in Adam and Christ.

One (1520) (heis) is the cardinal number one and in this case refers to Adam's first transgression in eating from the fruit God clearly commanded he not eat. One transgression is all it took to "infect" the entire human race (for all originate from Adam) with a deadly "virus" called "sin".

One transgression - One man Adam committed one act of selfish disobedience resulting in condemnation for "all men." Now because of Adam's one transgression, all men are born condemned and are all guilty before God, fully deserving the eternal flames of hell. Paul says that the condemnation is universal, coming to "all men" without exception. Apart from Jesus Christ, the whole human race stands condemned by Almighty God.

Transgression (3900) (paraptoma from para = aside + pipto = fall) is literally a falling aside and describes a deviation from living according to what has been revealed as the right way to live. Paraptoma conveys the idea of a false step and so is translated a transgression (transgress in English means to to go beyond or overstep a limit or boundary and is from Latin  trans- across + gradi = to step). There is a subtle distinction between sin and transgression -- The idea behind transgression is that we have crossed a line, challenging God's boundaries. The idea behind sin  is that we have missed a mark, God's standard that calls for perfection, every time!

Adam took one "false step" and thus crossed over the line God had clearly given him in Genesis 2:17...

from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die.

Condemnation to all men - The entire human race without exception stands condemned.

Condemnation (2631) (katakrima from katá = against, down + kríno = judge and so pronounce sentence against) appears only in Romans 8:1, 5:16; 18. The idea literally is of judgment "coming down" on someone. Paul says God’s judgment is going to come down upon all men because of Adam's sin.

Katakrima means to judge someone as definitely guilty and thus subject to punishment. Katakrima relates to the sentencing for a crime, but its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands. As Paul has already declared, the penalty, or condemnation, for sin is death (see note Romans 6:23)

All men...all men - Paul is using all men with two different meanings for the sake of parallelism, a common practice in the Hebrew Old Testament, which is similar Paul's repetition of the phrase the many in Romans 5:15 (note). The first all covers all humanity who are born into Adam. The second all refers to that part of the first all who by grace through faith are reborn into the Last Adam, Christ (Paul repeatedly emphasizes righteousness and faith -  see notes Romans 1:16; 17; 3:22; 3:28; 4:5; 4:13. To reiterate - Paul is not teaching universal salvation.)

EVEN SO THROUGH ONE ACT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS THERE RESULTED JUSTIFICATION OF LIFE TO ALL MEN: houtos kai di enos dikaiomatos eis pantas anthropous eis dikaiosin zoes: (
Ro 3:21,22; 2Pet 1:1) (Jn 1:7; 3:26; 12:32; Acts 13:39; 1 Cor 15:22; 1Ti 2:4-6; Heb 2:9; 1Jn 2:20)

One act of righteousness - This refers not to Jesus' perfectly righteous life but to His obedient submission to the Cross. When Christ died, He died for "all men" without exception and without distinction. In some mysterious sense, His death paid the price for the sins. However, the effect of that wondrous death will never be made real in one's life until one personally by a conscious choice receives God's gift by simple faith.

Righteousness  (1345) (dikaioma from dikaióo = to justify <> díkaios = just, righteous <> dike = right) refers to what God has declared to be right.

Vine adds that dikaioma

is rightly rendered “act of righteousness.” It refers to that which Christ accomplished at His death, and stands in contrast to dikaiosune, righteousness simply as a quality.

Justification (1347) (dikaiosis from dike = right, expected behavior or conformity, not according to one’s own standard, but according to an imposed standard with prescribed punishment for nonconformity) denotes the act of pronouncing righteous -- justification, acquittal. Dikaiosis in this passage refers to justification which results in life, the life He gives us through His resurrection and the sharing of His life with us.

Regarding the somewhat difficult to understand phrase justification of life Kenneth Wuest writes that...

The words of life are genitive of description in the Greek text, describing the quality of the righteousness bestowed upon man. It is a righteousness which is connected with the impartation of spiritual life. In itself, this righteous standing is a purely legal matter and does not impart life nor change character. But it is accompanied by the life that God is, imparted to the believing sinner in regeneration. (Wuest, K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Eerdmans or Logos)

All men does not mean all men will be saved, because Scripture amply attests to the truth that salvation is only for those who exercise faith in Jesus Christ (see notes Romans 1:16-17, 3:22, 3:28, 4:5, 4:13; cp similar phrase the many in Romans 5:15 [note])

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Our Daily Bread - Through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life (Romans 5:18).

At noon on January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln received the final draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Twice the president picked up his pen to sign it, and twice he laid it down. Turning to Secretary of State William Seward, he said, "I have been shaking hands since 9:00 this morning, and my right arm is almost paralyzed. If my name ever goes into history, it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it. If my hand trembles when I sign the proclamation, all who examine the document hereafter will say, `He hesitated.— The president then took up the pen again and slowly but firmly wrote, "Abraham Lincoln." That historic act endeared Lincoln to the world as the Great Emancipator.

One greater than Lincoln and with even surer resolve brought free­dom to the human race. Jesus signed our liberty with His own blood by dying on the cross to release us from the awful slavery of sin. Oswald Chambers wrote, "Never tolerate the idea of martyrdom about the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken. [Jesus Christ]...made the redemp­tion the basis of human life, that is, He made a way for every son of man to get into communion with God."

Having trusted the Savior, we are free from sin's condemnation. By His Spirit we have the power to turn from sin and live for Him. And doing so is the only way to honor Christ—our Great Emancipator.—D J De Haan (
Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

The empty tomb assures a full salvation.


Romans 5:19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: hosper gar dia tes parakoes tou enos anthropou hamartoloi katestathesan (3PAPI) oi polloi, houtos kai dia tes hupakoes tou enos dikaioi katastathesontai (3PFPI) oi polloi.
Amplified: For just as by one man’s disobedience (failing to hear, heedlessness, and carelessness) the many were constituted sinners, so by one Man’s obedience the many will be constituted righteous (made acceptable to God, brought into right standing with Him). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Because one person disobeyed God, many people became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many people will be made right in God’s sight. (
NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips:  One man's disobedience placed all men under the threat of condemnation, but one man's obedience has the power to present all men righteous before God. (
Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were constituted sinners, thus also through the obedience of the One, the many will be constituted righteous.  (
Young's Literal: for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.

FOR AS THROUGH THE ONE MAN'S DISOBEDIENCE  THE MANY WERE MADE (constituted, declared) SINNERS: hosper gar dia tes parakoes tou enos anthropou hamartoloi katestathesan (3PAPI) oi polloi: (Isa 53:10-12; Da 9:24; 2Cor 5:21; Eph 1:6; Rev 7:9-17)

For (gar) emphasizes that this verse is an explanation of the former verse and not a mere repetition. But you may be asking what would be confusing about what he has just stated? Why does it need an explanation?"

Barnes addresses this question noting that...

By the former statements it might perhaps be inferred that men were condemned without any guilt or blame of theirs. The apostle in this verse guards against this, and affirms that they are in fact sinners. He affirms that those who are sinners are condemned, and that the sufferings brought in, on account of the sin of Adam, are introduced because many were made sinners. Calvin says, "Lest any one should arrogate to himself innocence, [the apostle] adds, that each one is condemned because he is a sinner." (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)

Newell notes that...

There is no more direct statement in Scripture concerning justification than we find in Romans 5:19.

Again Paul refers to Adam's disobedience in the Garden of Eden.

Disobedience (3876)   (parakoe from para = aside, amiss + akoúo) = hear, sometimes with the accompanying sense of hearing and thus very near the meaning "obey") is literally "hear amiss" and was originally used of flawed hearing, then what might be called half–hearted listening, and finally the attitude of purposefully filtering out what the hearer did not want to hear. It is about closing one’s ears to God’s voice, as Adam did to God's command...

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die." (Genesis 2:17-18)

Parakoe thus describes active disobedience which follows this inattentive or careless hearing (although one cannot imagine Adam did not clearly hear God's command!)

Marvin Vincent notes that

"Bengel remarks that the word very appositely (= appropriately) points out the first step in Adam’s fall — carelessness, as the beginning of a city’s capture is the remissness of the guards." (Vincent's Greek Word Studies)

William Barclay explains that parakoe...

"begins by meaning imperfect hearing, as, for instance, of a deaf man. Then it goes on to mean careless hearing, the kind which through inattention either misunderstands or fails to catch what has been said. It ends by meaning unwillingness to hear, and therefore disobedience to the voice of God. It is the deliberate shutting of the ears to the commands and warnings and invitations of God." (Barclay, W: The Daily Study Bible Series, Rev. ed. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press)

In its strictest sense (parakoe) means a failing to hear or hearing amiss, with the notion of active disobedience which follows this inattentive or careless hearing. Paul's point is that Adam's sin was deliberate and he was not simply 'deceived" (cp Ge 2:16,17 and 1Ti 2:14).

The many - Every descendent of Adam without exception. Earlier Paul had used this same phrase...

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 the many. (See note Romans 5:15)

Were made sinners - Adam’s one act of disobedience made all sinners—not just possessors of a sin nature, but guilty of the act of sin.

Regarding the phrase many were made sinners, Newell makes an interesting comment...

We were so connected with the first Adam that we did not have to wait to be born, or to have a sinful nature; but when Adam, our representative, acted, we acted...The great truth of Romans 5.12-21 is that a representative acted, involving those connected with him (Romans 5) (Ed note: This is what theologians refer to as "original sin")

Made (2525) (kathistemi from kata = down + histemi = cause to stand) means literally to set down and so to set, place or put. It was used with the meaning to set one over a thing or in charge of it (eg, Mt 24:45). The idea of set down in other contexts means to constitute or to make someone something and this is the intended meaning in Romans 5:19 where it is used twice.

It means that as a result of Adam's disobedience, descendants were made sinners by nature and constitution. In next section, Paul writes that in the same way, but with a diametrically different effect, Christ’s obedience causes those who believe in Him to be made righteous by nature and constitution.

Morris makes an important distinction noting that made sinners...

does not mean that sinless people were compelled to become sinners, but rather that Adam’s sin constituted them as sinners. They were born as members of a race already separated from God.

Sinners (268) (hamartolos from hamartano = to miss the mark) is an adjective (that is sometimes used as a noun as in the present passage) that describes one who errs from the prescribed way.

Barnes explains it this way...

All who are condemned are sinners. They are not innocent persons condemned for the crime of another. (Ibid)

Spurgeon comments...

It is a happy circumstance for us that we did fall and were condemned in the bulk in our representative, because had we been individually put on the like probation, we would to a certainty all have fallen. But then it must have ended finally and fatally, for when the angels fell by sinning individually, there was no hope of restoration for them. But we, happily, had fallen through a representative, and therefore we could be restored by another representative.

EVEN SO THROUGH THE OBEDIENCE OF THE ONE THE MANY  WILL BE MADE RIGHTEOUS: kai dia tes hupakoes tou enos dikaioi katastathesontai (3PFPI) oi polloi: (Php 2:8, Heb 5:8, 10:5-9) (Ro 5:9, 10,15,16,17,19) (Isa 53:11 Da 9:24 2Cor 5:21)

The many will be made righteous - In this verse Paul asserts that Christ’s obedience encompasses all those affected by Adam’s disobedience. Paul does not teach that all men will be saved but only those who "receive the abundance of grace" will be appointed or designated righteousness.

Obedience of the One - a reference to Jesus' death as the ultimate act of obedience rather than to His life of obedience since it is His death that saves us. Christ’s saving work is done in obedience to the Father (see verses from Hebrews below) and thus stands in stark contrast to Adam’s disobedience.

Matthew Henry writes that...

The disobedience of the first Adam ruined us, the obedience of the second Adam saves us

Paul speaks of Jesus' obedience in his letter to the Philippians writing...

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (see note Philippians 2:8)

The writer of Hebrews adds...

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered (What Jesus knew by omniscience, He "learned" by experience. This does not suggest that Jesus was ever disobedient!). And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey (faith alone saves but genuine faith is not alone and is shown to be genuine by one's obedience initiated and enabled by the indwelling Spirit, realizing that in this life no one other than Jesus will manifest perfect obedience) Him the source of eternal salvation (see notes Hebrews 5:8; 5:9,

Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY THOU HAST PREPARED FOR ME; 6 IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN THOU HAST TAKEN NO PLEASURE. 7 "THEN I SAID, 'BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE ROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO THY WILL, O GOD.' 8 After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN THOU HAST NOT DESIRED, NOR HAST THOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law),9 then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO THY WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second." (See notes Hebrews 10:5; 10:6; 10:7; 10:8; 10:9)

Obedience (5218) (hupakoe from hupó = under + akoúo = hear) (Click word study of hupakoe)  literally means "hearing under", that is, listening from a subordinate position in which compliance with what is said is expected and intended.  Hupakoe speaks of the one hearing as being under the authority of some one else. Thus, hupakoe comes to mean compliance (disposition to yield to another) with the demands or requests of someone over us. Obedience is submission or hearkening to a command. Obedience is the carrying out the word and will of another person, especially the will of God.

Hupakoe conveys the picture of one listening and following instructions. Submitting to that which is heard involves a change of attitude, forsaking the tendency of the fallen nature to rebel against Divine instructions and commands and seeking God's will, not self will. Someone has said that a "proof" that we are of the elect is not an empty prating about how secure we are once we believed, but rather how sensitive we are to the principle and practice of obedience to Jesus.

Paul describes our Lord's obedience in his letter to the Philippians...

5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient  to the point of death, even death on a cross.
9 Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth (See notes
Philippians 2:5; 2:6; 2:7; 2:8; 2:9; 2:10)

Made (2525) (kathistemi from kata = down + histemi = cause to stand) means literally to set down and so to set, place or put. It was used with the meaning to set one over a thing or in charge of it (eg, Mt 24:45). The idea of set down in other contexts means to constitute or to make someone something and this is the intended meaning here in Romans 5:19.

Vincent  writes that kathistemi is...

Used elsewhere by Paul only at Titus 1:5 (note), in the sense of to appoint to office or position. This is its most frequent use in the New Testament. See Matt. 24:25; Acts 6:3; 7:10; Heb. 5:1, etc.

The primary meaning being to set down, it is used in classical Greek of bringing to a place, as a ship to the land, or a man to a place or person; hence to bring before a magistrate (Acts 17:15). From this comes the meaning to set down as, i.e., to declare or show to be; or to constitute, make to be. So 2Pet. 1:8 (note); Jas. 4:4; 3:6.

The exact meaning in this passage is disputed. The following are the principal explanations:

1. Set down in a declarative sense; declared to be.

2. Placed in the category of sinners because of a vital connection with the first transgressor.

3. Became sinners; were made. This last harmonizes with sinned in Ro 5:12. The disobedience of Adam is thus declared to have been the occasion of the death of all, because it is the occasion of their sin; but the precise nature of this relation is not explained. (Romans 5: Greek Word Studies)

Righteous (1342)(dikaios) (Click word study of dikaios) describes that which is proper, right, fitting, fair, righteous, just (acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good). From a religious viewpoint dikaios is one who is rightly related to God. In simple terms righteous describes being in accordance with what God requires. The righteous man does what he ought. He is the person who conforms to the standard, will or character of God. For example, Luke describes Zacharias and Elizabeth (John the Baptist's parents) as

"both righteous (dikaios) in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord." (Lu 1:6)

They were rightly related to God and because of that right relationship, they walked accordingly. Again we see righteous character is associated with righteous conduct. That's what Paul is calling for in those men who would lead God's church.

Guzik observes that...

Only a sinless person acting on our behalf can save us, and it is fair for Him to act on our behalf because another man put us in this mess by acting on our behalf... The person who says, “I don’t want to be represented by Adam or Jesus; I want to represent myself” doesn’t understand two things. First, they don’t understand that it really isn’t up to us. We didn’t make the rules, God did. We simply have to deal with it. Secondly, they don’t understand that our personal righteousness before God is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). To God, our personal righteousness is an offensive counterfeit; so standing for yourself guarantees your damnation. (Ibid)

Wiersbe draws a practical application noting that...

our justification is the result of a living union with Christ. And this union ought to result in a new kind of life, a righteous life of obedience to God. Our union with Adam made us sinners; our union with Christ enables us to “reign in life.” (Wiersbe, W: Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor or Logos)

Because of Adam’s disobedience, the many were appointed by God to be sinners. They were put down in the category of and constituted to be sinners. Because of Christ’s obedience, the many will be appointed to be righteous. Amazing grace that saved wretches such as we!

John MacArthur draws a practical conclusion from this passage commenting that...

The person who genuinely belongs to Jesus Christ will reflect that same spirit of obedience, because he has Christ’s own life within him. When a person places his trust in Christ, he not only is declared righteous forensically but is actually made righteous, that is, given an inward righteousness that must and will bear fruit. As long as a believer is in the flesh, he will have the shortcomings and weaknesses of the flesh, and his righteousness will not be manifested perfectly. But if a person’s life is characterized by sin and shows no fruit of the Holy Spirit (see notes Galatians 5:225:23), that person has no legitimate claim on Christ. The person who is made righteous by Christ will live righteously. (MacArthur, J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press or Logos)

The Lord Our Righteousness
Nov 18, 1834, Robert Murray McCheyne

"I once was a stranger to grace and to God,
I knew not my danger, and felt not my load;
Though friends spoke in rapture of Christ on the tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu was nothing to me.

"I oft read with pleasure, to soothe or engage,
Isaiah’s wild measure, and John’s simple page;
But e’en when they pictured the blood-sprinkled tree,
Jehovah Tsidkenu seemed nothing to me.

"Like tears from the daughters of Zion that roll,
I wept when the waters went over His soul;
Yet thought not that my sins had nailed to the tree
Jehovah Tsidkenu—’twas nothing to me.

When free grace awoke me, with light from on high
Then legal fears shook me, I trembled to die;
No refuge, no safety, in self could I see, —
Jehovah Tsidkenu my Savior must he.

"My terrors all vanished before the sweet Name;
My guilty fears banished, with boldness I came
To drink at the fountain, life-giving and free—
Jehovah Tsidkenu is all things to me.

"Jehovah Tsidkenu! my treasure and boast;
Jehovah Tsidkenu! I ne’er can be lost;
In Thee I shall conquer, by flood and by field—
My cable, my anchor, my breastplate and shield!"

The Adam Legacy - Our new grandson Jackson had fine features, soft blemish-free skin, and ten tiny fingers and toes on two little hands and feet. How could any proud Grampa not see him as a “perfect” baby? He certainly was a miracle of divine formation (Psalm 139:13, 14).

The apostle Paul gave us a broader view of such “perfect” little infants when he wrote,“ Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin . . . . Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam” (Romans 5:12, 13, 14). In other words, every child is born with a tendency to sin. But that’s not Paul’s final word. He also wrote about Jesus, the “last Adam,” who became a “life-giving spirit” (1Corinthians 15:45).

Long after man’s first sin, a baby was born who was God incarnate (John 1:14). God made Christ,“ who knew no sin to be sin for us” (2Corinthians 5:21). When we trust Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit creates within us a new desire to do what is pleasing to God. The flesh still has its pull, but the pull of the Spirit is stronger.

In the “first Adam” we’re all sinners. But let’s concentrate on who we are in the“last Adam.” — Dennis J. De Haan
(Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

One with Adam are we all,
One with Adam in his fall;
But another Adam came—
Fallen sinners to reclaim. —D. De Haan

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away. —2 Corinthians 5:17-Commentary

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Last Updated February 21, 2015