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It will be observed that although there is a marked division 5: 12, yet the succeeding
verses are connected with the earlier theme, the much more, the superabounding grace
and love of God. The question before us as to the cause of the permission of evil, and as
to the federal headship of Adam, receives a partial answer as we consider verse 12. This
verse is not isolated or disconnected from verse 11, but is most definitely linked to it by
the word "therefore" (Greek dia touto=="because of this"). Because of what? The
preceding verses have been emphasizing the great love of God and the reconciliation.
Scripture would have us link the entrance of sin, the passing through of the guilt and
penalty of one man's one sin to the many, with the superabounding love of God, and tells
us that Adam was a type of the coming One (verse 14). Verses 13-17 are parenthetical,
dealing with the difference observable between the act of judgment and the act of grace.
Verse 18 resumes the statement of verse 12, and verse 19 furnishes us with the real
answer to the introductory words "because of this."
"Hence then as through one offence (the sentence was) unto all men unto
condemnation, so also through one righteousness (the decree of grace was) unto all men
unto justification of life. For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many
were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the one, the many shall be
There are in these verses some statements which are hard for us to accept who have
been trained in the traditions of men. Supposing we had no theological views, supposing
we received God's word as little children, how should we understand Romans 5:? We
should see first of all that the sin and ruin of Adam and his race were somehow connected
with God's final purpose of reconciliation. We should believe, moreover, that when God
says "all men" in verse 12, He means "all men" without exception. And further on when
we read in verse 18 "all men," we shall believe the same words in the same verse (linked
as they are by the terms of comparison "as" and "so") to mean the same identically. It
will be seen that in verse 18 "all men" are mentioned, while in verse 19 "the many" are
found instead. Here is a difference, what does it mean?
In verse 18 "all men" are "condemned."
In verse 19 "the many" are "constituted sinners."
In verse 18 "all men" are given "a justification of life."
In verse 19 "the many" are "constituted righteous."
Verse 17 also differs from verse 18, but agrees more with verse 19. "Through the
offence of one, death reigned by the one." It then says that "those who receive the
superabounding grace and the free gift of righteousness shall reign in life by the one,
"Jesus Christ." In verse 18 "all" without exception are meant, and there is nothing said
about "receiving." In verse 19 "the many" are in view, while only those who "receive"
"reign" in verse 17. It does say that "all" in verse 18 "reign in life," but it does say that
they have a "justification of life." The reader should carefully read Ezek.34: and
37: in this connection, particularly noticing the emphasis on the word "graves" in
37: 11-14, and the character of those thus raised (36: 6-12 and 22-38).