The Berean Expositor
Volume 38 - Page 211 of 249
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"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God
through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6: 11).
This verse, however, is at the close of the revelation of a great truth, and so before we
can appreciate at anything like its true worth what this reckoning involves, we must go
back on our journey. Rom. 5: 12-21 reveals that a principle is at work. By reason of
one man's disobedience, we read, many were made sinners, and so, by the obedience of
One, shall many be made righteous. The one whose disobedience is in view, is Adam,
the One Whose obedience more than counterbalances is Christ (Rom. 5: 19). The verb
"to make" is used both transitively and intransitively in the English language.
Transitively it means "to cause to exist"; intransitively it means "to tend, to move in a
direction". These two definitions do not by any means exhaust the shades of meaning
that this word assumes, but it indicates the categories under which they must be ranged.
In Rom. 5: 19 the word "make" is intransitive. Moreover, the Greek word that is
translated "to make" more than anything else, is poieo. The word used in Rom. 5: 19
however is kathistemi, which is composed of kata an intensive and histemi "to stand".
This is a prolific Greek root and occurs in sixty-nine different forms and combinations in
the Greek N.T. From this root came stauros "the cross", and stauroo "to crucify" and
anastasis "resurrection".
When therefore the apostle spoke of the consequences of the sin of Adam upon his
children, he did not teach that his children were made sinners, or made to sin, he said they
were "constituted" sinners, even as by grace they could be "constituted" righteous. No
clearer mental picture can be made of the apostle's meaning than that which comes from
a literal translation:
"For as by one man's disobedience many were made to stand sinners, so by the
obedience of One shall many be made to stand righteous."
"Standing" is in view, not actual participation. The two headships, Adam and Christ,
are in view, not individual and personal sinners.  Paul many times speaks of the
"standing" of the believer. He stands "in grace"; "by faith"; "in the gospel"; and
"perfect and complete" (Rom. 5: 2; 11: 20; I Cor. 15: 1; II Cor. 1: 24; Col. 4: 12).
This standing either in the position of a sinner, or of a saint, is primarily a matter of
"reckoning" and Rom. 5: introduces us to Rom. 6:
Rom. 6: 1-14, which is a
complete section, uses the word "dead" and "death" fourteen times, which of itself is an
indication of its importance in the apostle's argument. These fourteen occurrences are
translations of four words, and it is essential that they should be distinguished in order
that their relationship may be perceived.
Sentence and State (Rom. 6: 3, 4, 5, 9).
Used only of persons (Rom. 6: 4, 9, 11, 13).
"To Die."
Death consummated (Rom. 6: 2, 7, 8, 9, 10).
Liable to death (Rom. 6: 12).