Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. Romans 5:18
“Therefore” – because of what has been presented we can now make the following conclusions. “As through one man’s offense” is speaking of Adam and his disobeying the Lord. Because of this offense, “judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation. This is universal in scope. No human being born of a man is exempt from this statement. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves that the death which occurred because of Adam’s offense was initially spiritual in nature. Physical death was a result of the spiritual death.
If this point is overlooked or ignored, then the fallen state of man is suddenly presented as something not inherited by conception, but is inherited by circumstance. What is proposed then is that we aren’t truly “in Adam” in the fullest sense; physical death is inherited, but spiritual death isn’t. This is contrary to the entire premise of Scripture, but it is a tenet which theologians cling to because of emotional responses to the world as they perceive it.
Paul says it is otherwise. All men are condemned through Adam, without exception. However, the good news is given in this same verse. “Even so” indicates “in the same manner.” Just as happened through Adam will now happen through Christ. “Through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men.” This Man is Jesus. His righteous act, His death on our behalf, is now available to all men, “resulting in justification of life.” This is also universal in scope, however, it is universal potentially, not actually. In other words, Jesus’ work is available to all, but it will not be realized in all. One must choose Jesus. In 1 Corinthians 15:22, Paul says –
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
One must move from Adam to Christ (be “in” Christ) for the change to be realized. All are in Adam and all die; all are offered Christ and shall be made alive if they are in Christ. This understanding of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is accurate because elsewhere the Bible makes it clear that condemnation remains for those who are apart from Christ.
Understanding this, we can see that there are three types of imputation being spoken of in this one verse –
1) The imputation of Adam’s sin to all humanity (with the caveat that sin transfers through the male, thus Christ did not inherit Adam’s sin).
2) The imputation of man’s sin to Christ, which occurs by faith in Him. This includes all sin, both that imputed from Adam and that which is committed by the individual.
3) The imputation of Christ’s righteousness to man who has demonstrated faith in God’s provision through Christ.
Life application: One sin resulted in condemnation for man. If this could be repeated after coming to Christ, it would be repeated continuously until our death. The good news is that receiving Christ is a one-time event. The efficacy of Christ’s work is absolute, complete, and eternal. Stand fast in this. You are saved despite yourself.
Heavenly Father, you alone know the dark thoughts which arise in my mind and the black recesses of my heart. Search me, O God, and purify me from my secret faults. Cleanse me and make me a vessel worthy of the precious contents I possess – the Gift of Your Spirit. May my life and my actions be pleasing to You and edifying to others. Amen.