Justification of Life

Romans 5:17-21 For if by one man’s offence 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. Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. 

‘They which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ’ The ones who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life by Jesus Christ.

‘The free gift’ eternal life is a free gift (Eph. 2:8-9; John 10:28). People merit hell, but not eternal life. Jesus Christ alone procured it and gives it freely to all who believe (John 3:16; 6:27; Rom. 3:24).

‘By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous’ through Adam’s sin, a sentence of death – without a promise of resurrection – passed upon all men; so, by the obedience of Christ taking man’s place, the sentence was completely cancelled and original dominion restored. One is constituted a sinner through Adam, not by his personal sins; so one is constituted righteous through Christ, not by his personal acts of righteousness.

‘Obedience’ the obedience unto death (Php. 2:8). This was the righteous act of Romans 5:18.

‘Entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound’ the law with its many statutes entered to condemn the many kinds of offenses and make man know in detail what sin was. It was added until the seed should come (Gal. 3:19-25). Those who accept Christ receive free pardon of all offenses and grace abounds and reigns in life (Rom. 5:20-21; 1Jn. 1:9; Rev. 1:5). If one sin was too great and heinous for grace to pardon, then grace would cease to reign in righteousness and sin would be more powerful than Jesus Christ and His power.