17. For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) 1
17. Si enin unius delicto mors regnavit per unum; multo magis qui exuberantiam gratiæ et doni justitiæ acceperunt, in vita regnabunt per unum Iesum Christum.)
But the parts of this comparison do not correspond; instead of adding, "the gift of life shall more fully reign and flourish through the exuberance of grace," he says, that "the faithful shall reign;" which amounts to the same thing; for the reign of the faithful is in life, and the reign of life is in the faithful.
It may further be useful to notice here the difference between Christ and Adam, which the Apostle omitted, not because he deemed it of no importance, but unconnected with his present subject.
The first is, that by Adam's sin we are not condemned through imputation alone, as though we were punished only for the sin of another; but we suffer his punishment, because we also ourselves are guilty; for as our nature is vitiated in him, it is regarded by God as having committed sin. But through the righteousness of Christ we are restored in a different way to salvation; for it is not said to be accepted for us, because it is in us, but because we possess Christ himself with all his blessings, as given to us through the bountiful kindness of the Father. Hence the gift of righteousness is not a quality with which God endows us, as some absurdly explain it, but a gratuitous imputation of righteousness; for the Apostle plainly declares what he understood by the word grace. The other difference is, that the benefit of Christ does not come to all men, while Adam has involved his whole race in condemnation; and the reason of this is indeed evident; for as the curse we derive from Adam is conveyed to us by nature, it is no wonder that it includes the whole mass; but that we may come to a participation of the grace of Christ, we must be ingrafted in whim by faith. Hence, in order to partake of the miserable inheritance of sin, it is enough for thee to be man, for it dwells in flesh and blood; but in order to enjoy the righteousness of Christ it is necessary for thee to be a believer; for a participation of him is attained only by faith. He is communicated to infants in a peculiar way; for they have by covenant the right of adoption, by which they pass over unto a participation of Christ. 2 Of the children of the godly I speak, to whom the promise of grace is addressed; for others are by no means exempted from the common lot.
1 This verse, according to the usual manner of the Apostle, whose style is that of the Prophets, includes the two main ideas of the two preceding verses, in another form, and in an inverted order, as it refers first to the one offense and then to the one man, in the first clause; and the same order is followed in the second; "the exuberance of grace" is to cover the many offenses before mentioned, as opposed to the one offense, and to one man is opposed one Christ Jesus.
2 The original is, "Habent enim in fœdere jus adoptionis, quo in Christi communionem transeunt." -- Ed.