The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 173 of 207
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reckons sin against men. Adam, the Apostle asserts, as a "figure", or type of Christ, and
elsewhere he designates Him as `the last Adam' and `the Second Man' (I.Cor.xv.45,47).
The typological relation between them was one of contrast, rather than resemblance, for
Christ was sinless, which was essential if He was to become the bearer of human sin.
The Apostle proceeds:
"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one
man, how much more did God's grace and the gift by the grace of the One Man Jesus
Christ, overflow to the many!" (verse 15, N.I.V.).
It is important to note the definite article before the words "many" and "all" which are
unfortunately omitted by the A.V. It is "the many" and "the all", the two phrases
representing the "true wheat", the "true seed", who are united to Christ in His headship as
the Second Man and last Adam. The Apostle uses three words to denote sin. One is
hamartia, which represents sin in itself (verses 12, 13, 16 verbal form).  Another,
parabasis, means disobedience to a revealed command (verse 14, "transgression"). The
third is paraptoma with a meaning similar to parabasis. It is the act of sin.
Over against this act of sin on Adam's part stands the great act of grace (charisma)
performed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and these are not exact equivalents. The Lord's act
of grace in the giving of Himself on Calvary's cross does not just balance the act of sin;
it overbalances it. Hence the "much more" in the argument of the verses before us:
"Again, the gift of God is not like the result of one man's sin. The judgment followed
one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought
justification. For if, by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man, how
much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of
righteousness reign in life through the one Man, Jesus Christ. Consequently, just as the
result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of
righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the
disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience
of one Man the many will be made righteous" (verses 16-19, N.I.V.).
The Apostle piles up words to emphasize the greatness, the freeness, and the
graciousness of the gift of Christ and His righteousness. This not only undoes all that
Adam did, but goes far beyond. Adam brought in death; Christ brings in life eternal.
Adam brought condemnation; Christ brings in justification of life and acquittal. Adam
puts death on the throne, "death reigned" (verse 14); Christ puts His people on the throne
with eternal consequences (verse 17). And just as surely as by the disobedience of Adam
were all the true seed "constituted sinners", so by the obedience of Christ they finally are
all "constituted righteous". Where once the believer fell "in Adam" he now stands "in
Christ" forever and in grace.
What joy this should bring to everyone who fully trust in the Lord Jesus! The believer
should continually rejoice in the Lord as he realize this with its tremendous implications.
The climax comes in verses 20 and 21: