by Darrel Cline (darrelcline biblical-thinking.org)
Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 2 Study # 9 June 27, 2006 Lincolnton, NC
18 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.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
1901 ASV Translation:
18 So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation; even so through one act of righteousness the free gift came unto all men to justification of life.
19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one shall the many be made righteous.
I. Paul's "So then...".
A. The ASV is better than the Authorized Version because there are actually two words in this transition phrase.
1. The Authorized Version implies a single transition term -- "therefore".
2. But, it seems that Paul, using two words together to make his transition, wanted to draw attention to the legitimacy of his conclusion. He uses "consequently therefore" because the first word (which I have translated "consequently") is used when a certain conclusion is fundamentally necessary, and the second word is the old standard "therefore" which typically signals the drawing of a conclusion. The two words together signal the fact that Paul is summing up with a necessary conclusion.
B. Paul has argued that sin's presence in the world is attributable to the one act of the one man, and that the gracious willingness of God to justify is attributable to the justification that comes by the one Man. Thus, there is this inescapable and necessary conclusion: the issues both rest upon the activity of one -- condemnation arose from one man; justification arose from his Counterpart (antitype). Men are not condemned because they sin; they are condemned because they are sinners. Men are not justified because they do righteousness; they are justified because they believe in the Justifier Who is free to justify because Justice has been satisfied.
II. Paul's "...as...so...".
A. On the foundation of one "offence", condemnation [was imposed] upon all men.
B. On the foundation of one "accomplishment of righteousness", Life by righteousness is the grace-grant unto all men.
C. As Adam's action brought condemnation upon his seed, so Christ's action brought Life into His seed.
III. Paul's "...all men...".
A. It cannot be established that the "all men" phrases refer to the same group. Everywhere in Paul's teaching there is a distinction made between the justified and the condemned. The point of Paul's doctrine is that there are two "humanities": there is the "humanity" that arises from the physical generation of men by men from Adam to the present; and there is the "humanity" that arises from spiritual re-generation of men by God from Adam to the present.
B. Paul's point is not that the same group is affected. His point is that two distinct humanities exist on the foundations of a very similar issue: the action(s) of the heads of those distinct groups.
IV. Paul's Explanation (...for...)
A. He repeats himself in general terms.
1. He changes from "offence" to "disobedience" and from "accomplishment of righteousness" to "obedience".
2. He changes from "condemnation" to "were constituted sinners" and from "justification of Life" to "shall be constituted righteous".
B. He is, thus, emphatic. The fact is that "men" are what they are by the action(s) of the individual from whom they came, not by their own personal, conscious choices.