16. And not as it was by one that sinned, 1 so is the gift: for the judgement was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offenses unto justification.
16. Et non sicut per unum qui peccaverat, ita donum; judicium enim ex uno in condemationem, donum autem ex multis delictis in justificationem.
16. This is especially an explanation of what he had said before, -- that by one offense guilt issued in the condemnation of us all, but that grace, or rather the gratuitous gift, is efficacious to our justification from many offenses. It is indeed an expansion of what the last verse contains; for he had not hitherto expressed, how or in what respect Christ excelled Adam. This difference being settled, it appears evident, that their opinion is impious, who have taught that we recover nothing else by Christ but a freedom from original sin, or the corruption derived from Adam. Observe also, that these many offenses, from which he affirms we are freed through Christ, are not to be understood only of those which every one must have committed before baptism, but also of those by which the saints contract daily new guilt; and on account of which they would be justly exposed to condemnation, were they not continually relieved by this grace.
He sets gift in opposition to judgment: by the latter he means strict justice; by the former, gratuitous pardon. From strict justice comes condemnation; from pardon, absolution. Or, which is the same thing, were God to deal with us according to justice, we should be all undone; but he justifies us freely in Christ.
1 Many copies have
And not as through one sin, is the free gift -- (
It is the character of the Apostle's style to change his words, while the same idea is often intended. he comparison here is between the one sin which issued in condemnation, and the many trespasses or offenses, from which a justification is the favor obtained. -- Ed.