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Romans 5:12-21 - Exposition

(b) From consideration of the blessed effects on believers of faith in the reconciliation through Christ, the apostle now passes to the effects of that reconciliation as the position of the whole human race before God. His drift is that the reconciliation corresponds to the original transgression; both proceeded from one , and both include all mankind in their results; as the one introduced sin into the world, and, as its consequence, death, so the other introduced righteousness, and, as its consequence, life .

It may be observed that in Romans 1:1-32 also he has in one sense traced sin backward through the past ages, so as to show how all mankind had come to be under condemnation for it. But the subject was regarded from a different point of view, the purpose of the argument being also different. There he was addressing the heathen world, his purpose being to convince the whole of it of sin, on the score of obvious culpability; and, suitably to this design, his argument is based, not on Scripture, but on observation of the facts of human nature and human history. It did not fall within his scope to trace the evil to its original cause. But here, having shown Jew and Gentile to be on the same footing with respect to sin, and having entered (at Romans 3:21 ) on the doctrinal portion of his Epistle, he goes to Scripture for the origin of the evil, and finds it there attributed to Adam's original transgression, which implicated the human race as an organic whole. This is the scriptural solution of the mystery, which he here gives, not only as accounting for things being as they are, but also, in connection with the stage of the argument at which he has now arrived, as explaining the necessity and the purpose of the atonement for the whole guilty race, effected by the second Adam, Christ.

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