“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” (Rom. 5:18-19). What contrast is presented here to us? What hope is offered us in Christ?
As humans, we received nothing from Adam but the sentence of death. Christ, however, stepped in and passed over the ground where Adam fell, enduring every test in humans’ behalf. He redeemed Adam’s disgraceful failure and fall, and, thus, as our Substitute, He placed us on vantage ground with God. Hence, Jesus is the “Second Adam.”
“The second Adam was a free moral agent, held responsible for His conduct. Surrounded by intensely subtle and misleading influences, He was much less favorably situated than was the first Adam to lead a sinless life. Yet in the midst of sinners He resisted every temptation to sin, and maintained His innocency. He was ever sinless.” – Ellen G. White Comments, The SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6, p. 1074.
How are Adam’s and Christ’s acts contrasted in Romans 5:15-19?
Look at the opposing ideas here: death, life; disobedience, obedience; condemnation, justification; sin, righteousness. Jesus came and undid all that Adam had done!
It is fascinating, too, that the word gift occurs five times in Romans 5:15-17. Five times! The point is simple: Paul is emphasizing that justification is not earned; it comes as a gift. It is something that we don’t merit, that we don’t deserve. Like all gifts, we have to reach out and accept them, and in this case, we claim this gift by faith.
|What was the best gift you ever received? What made it so good, so special? How did the fact that it was a gift, as opposed to something you had earned, make you that much more appreciative of it? Yet, how could that gift even begin to compare with that which we have in Jesus?|
Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons