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THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS - Chapter 5 - Verse 21

Verse 21. That as sin hath reigned. See Barnes "Ro 5:14".

 

Unto death. Producing or causing death.

Even so. In like manner, also. The provisions of redemption are in themselves ample to meet all the ruins of the fall.

Might grace reign. Might mercy be triumphant. See Joh 1:17, "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ."

Through righteousness. Through, or by means of God's plan of justification. See Barnes "Ro 1:17".

 

Unto eternal life. This stands opposed to "death" in the former part of the verse, and shows that there the apostle had reference to eternal death. The result of God's plan of justification shall be to produce eternal life. The triumphs of the gospel here celebrated cannot refer to the number of the subjects, for it has not actually freed all men from the dominion of sin. But the apostle refers to the fact that the gospel is able to overcome sin of the most malignant form, of the most aggravated character, of the longest duration. Sin in all dispensations and states of things can be thus overcome; and the gospel is more than sufficient to meet all the evils of the apostasy, and to raise up the race to heaven.

This chapter is a most precious portion of Divine revelation. It brings into view the amazing evils which have resulted from the apostasy. The apostle does not attempt to deny or palliate those evils; he admits them fully; admits them in their deepest, widest, most melancholy extent; just as the physician admits the extent and ravages of the disease which he hopes to cure. At the same time, Christianity is not responsible for those evils. It did not introduce them. It finds them in existence, as a matter of sober and melancholy fact pertaining to all the race. Christianity is no more answerable for the introduction and extent of sin, than the science of medicine is responsible for the introduction and extent of disease. Like that science, it finds a state of wide-spread evils in existence; and like that science, it is strictly a remedial system. And whether true or false, still the evils of sin exist, just as the evils of disease exist, whether the science of medicine be well-founded or not. Nor does it make any difference in the existence of these evils, whether Christianity be true or false. If the Bible could be proved to be an imposition, it would not prove that men are not sinners. If the whole work of Christ could be shown to be imposture, still it would annihilate no sin, nor would it prove that man has not fallen. The fact would still remain—a fact certainly quite as universal, and quite as melancholy, as it is under the admitted truth of the Christian revelation—and a fact which the infidel is just as much concerned to account for as is the Christian. Christianity proposes a remedy; and it is permitted to the Christian to rejoice that that remedy is ample to meet all the evils; that it is just fitted to recover our alienated world; and that it is destined yet to raise the race up to life, and peace, and heaven. In the provisions of that scheme we may and should triumph; and on the same principle as we may rejoice in the triumph of medicine over disease, so may we triumph in the ascendency of the Christian plan over all the evils of the fall. And while Christians thus rejoice, the infidel, the deist, the pagan, and the scoffer, shall contend with these evils, which their systems cannot alleviate or remove, and sink under the chilly reign of sin and death; just as men pant, and struggle, and expire under the visitations of disease, because they will not apply the proper remedies of medicine, but choose rather to leave themselves to its unchecked ravages, or to use all the nostrums of quackery in a vain attempt to arrest evils which are coming upon them.

{e} "grace reign" Joh 1:17

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