The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans

By G. Campbell Morgan

Chapter 10

2. Racial Values. Rom 5:12-21

a. The Trespass and the free Gift. Rom 5:12-15

The Comparison.

Sin entered. By one man.

The free Gift. Of one Man.

The Disparity. "Much more."

b. Judgment and Justification. Rom 5:16-19

The Comparison.

Judgment. Of one.

Justification. Through One,

The Disparity. "Much more."

c. The Reign of Death. The Reign of Grace. Rom 5:20-21

The Comparison.

As Sin reigned.

So might Grace reign.

The Disparity. "More exceedingly."

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2. Racial Values

Turning from the discussion of the personal to that of the racial values of justification, the apostle dealt with them by a series of remarkable contrasts, in a passage which is at once one of the most sublime, most difficult, and most debatable in the New Testament.

Broadly stated, it consists of one great contrast, that between Adam and Jesus, as to their race headship, and the results produced by each. That one contrast falls into three sections: the contrast between the trespass and the free gift; the contrast between judgment and justification; the contrast between the reign of death and the reign of grace. In each of these he made comparison between the two, and indicated a disparity.

The whole argument is based upon the literal accuracy of the account of the fall of man as it is found in Genesis, there being no less than nine references thereto in so short a passage. Evidently, unless that account be true, Paul's interpretation of the work of Jesus is at fault. The accuracy of Genesis, and the accuracy of Romans, stand or fall at the same moment.

The first contrast is between the trespass and the free gift. The comparisons are those between the one man through whom sin entered, and the one Man through Whom the gift of grace was provided; the entry of sin through the one man, and the provision of the gift through the one Man; the death sentence upon sin, and grace abounding. The disparity is indicated by the phrase "much more," in which the apostle shows that the free gift of righteousness was more than adequate for the correction of the trespass.

The second contrast is between the issue of the trespass and the free gift, and therefore between judgment and justification. The comparison is between the judgment that followed the sin of one, and the justification provided as the result of many trespasses, but "through the One even Jesus Christ." The disparity is again indicated by the phrase "much more"; and the super-abounding victory of justification is remarkably indicated by the fact that judgment means the reign of death over men, while justification means the ability of men to reign in life.

The final contrast is between the reign of death and the reign of grace. The comparisons are again between the one through whom the trespass came, and the One through Whom the free gift came; the sinners made by the one's disobedience, and the righteous made through the obedience of the One; the reign of sin in death, and the reign of grace through righteousness unto life. Again the disparity is marked by the phrase "more exceedingly," revealing the fact that in grace overwhelming provision is made for victory over sin.

Thus the three contrasts make the contrast between Adam and Jesus most vivid. While the comparisons reveal this, the disparity in each case makes it even more apparent. In the case of the first, disobedience issued in sin, judgment, condemnation, death for the race. In the case of the second, obedience issued in grace, justification, righteousness, life for the race. These are co-extensive. As far as the evil results of Adam's sin have spread, so far do the benefits of the work of Jesus extend. From this conclusion there is no possibility of escape. To read any smaller meaning into the statements used in the one case than in the other, is not only unfair, it is dishonest. If this great passage means anything, it clearly declares that it is now possible for every human being to escape from the result of the work of either by choosing relationship to the other. By faith in Jesus, man can be set free from all the results of the disobedience of Adam. By continuity in the disobedience of Adam man is excluded from the values of the work of Jesus.