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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 5 - Verse 18

Verse 18. Therefore. Wherefore, (ara oun). This is properly a summing up, a recapitulation of what had been stated in the previous verses. The apostle resumes the statement or proposition made in Ro 5:12; and after the intermediate explanation in the parenthesis, Ro 5:13-17, in this verse and the following sums up the whole subject. The explanation, therefore, of the previous verses is designed to convey the real meaning of Ro 5:18,19.

As by the offence of one, Admitting this as an undisputed and everywhere apparent fact, a fact which no one can call in question.

Judgment came. This is not in the Greek, but it is evidently implied, and is stated in Ro 5:16. The meaning is, that all have been brought under the reign of death by one man.

Upon all men. The whole race. This explains what is meant by "the many" in Ro 5:15.

To condemnation. Ro 5:16.

Even so. In the manner explained in the previous verses. With the same certainty, and to the same extent. The apostle does not explain the mode in which it was done, but simply states the fact.

By the righteousness of one. This stands opposed to the one offence of Adam, and must mean, therefore, the holiness, obedience, purity of the Redeemer. The sin of one man involved men in ruin; the obedience unto death of the other Php 2:8 restored them to the favour of God.

Came upon all men. (eiv pantav anyrwpouv). Was with reference to all men; had a bearing upon all men; was originally adapted to the race. As the sin of Adam was of such a nature in the relation in which he stood as to affect all the race, so the work of Christ, in the relation in which he stood, was adapted also to all the race. As the tendency of the one was to involve the race in condemnation, so the tendency of the other was to restore them to acceptance with God. There was an original applicability in the work of Christ to all men—a richness, a fulness of the atonement fitted to meet the sins of the entire world, and restore the race to favour.

Unto justification of life. With reference to that justification which is connected with eternal life. That is, his work is adapted to produce acceptance with God, to the same extent as the crime of Adam has affected the race by involving them in sin and misery. The apostle does not affirm that in fact as many will be affected by the one as by the other; but that it is fitted to meet all the consequences of the fall; to be as wide-spread in its effects; and to be as salutary as that had been ruinous. This is all that the argument requires. Perhaps there could not be found a more striking declaration anywhere, that the work of Christ had an original applicability to all men; or that it is, in its own nature, fitted to save all. The course of argument here leads inevitably to this; nor is it possible to avoid it without doing violence to the obvious and fair course of the discussion. It does not prove that all will in fact be saved, but that the plan is fitted to meet all the evils of the fall. A certain kind of medicine may have an original applicability to heal all persons under the same disease, and may be abundant and certain, and yet in fact be applied to few. The sun is fitted to give light to all, yet many may be blind, or may voluntarily close their eyes. Water is adapted to the wants of all men, and the supply may be ample for the human family, yet in fact, from various causes, many may be deprived of it. So of the provisions of the plan of redemption. They are adapted to all; they are ample, and yet in fact, from causes which this is not the place to explain, the benefits, like those of medicine, water, science, etc., may never be enjoyed by all the race. Calvin concurs in this interpretation, and thus shows that it is one which commends itself even to the most strenuous advocates of the system which is called by his name. He says, "He [the apostle] makes the grace common to all, because it is offered to all, not because it is in fact applied to all. For although Christ suffered for the sins of THE WHOLE WORLD, (nam etsi passus est Christus pro peecatis totius mundi,) and it is offered to all without distinction, (indifferenter,) yet all do not embrace it." See Calvin's Comm. on this place.

{1} "the offence", or "by one offence" {1a} "by the righteousness", or "by one righteousness" {b} "all men" Joh 12:32

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