What Does Romans 5:17 Mean?

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:17(NASB)

Verse Thoughts

Adam was the federal head of the human race, but his single sinful act brought condemnation upon the entire human race. Because of his one offense, all his offspring are born in sin, and that single transgression separated every one of Adam's descendants from fellowship with God and sentenced each one of us to death. Adam's one offense placed every member of the human race under the fierce condemnation, and justified judgement of God. "For... by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one..."

While humanities collective condemnation resulted from one man's sinful disobedience, God in His grace designed a glorious plan of salvation whereby one single act of obedience, carried out by the one sinless Man, would not only bring justification to those who believe in Him and the forgiveness of their sin, but so much more! Paul wrote: "For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, MUCH MORE those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

Some people feel aggrieved that we should have to be identified with Adam's sin and be labelled 'a sinner' because of his transgressions. But when you consider the plan of salvation that God has designed, we can only wonder at His goodness and grace in sending Jesus, His only begotten Son, to pay the price for the sin of the world, so that whoever will trust in His name is identified with HIM and declared righteous through faith in Him.

Adam's sin caused death to reign over the human race, and there is nothing that we can do to get back into fellowship with God, but God's gracious response provided life - a full, abundant, satisfying, productive life in this world, through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit working through us, and in the world to come life everlasting. And although our sinful nature is incapable of keeping God's perfect Law or of producing meritorious acts... by faith, we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to carry out good works, which God ordained that we should do through the power of the Holy Spirit!

We are born in sin; by nature we sin; and we all fall short of God's glory. And because of the sin of one man, every one of us is under God's condemnation, with no escape from the consequences of our sin. But God graciously dealt with this act of rebellion and provided something so much better - the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reigning in our lives through the One, Lord Jesus Christ.

Sin and death may have come upon the whole human race through ONE act of sin which placed the whole of mankind under God's condemnation, but God in His grace provided salvation for the human race through ONE act of righteousness - Christ's death, burial, and resurrection from the dead... so that whosoever believes on His name would not be condemned and perish - but would be forgiven and receive eternal life. Just as we were imputed with Adam's sin-nature when we were born into the old creation - so we are imputed with Christ's righteousness through rebirth into the New Creation; and there is NO condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. For as many as received Him - as many as believed on Him, He gave the right to become sons and daughters of God.

Faith in Him not only provides those who believe with the forgiveness of sin, but He gives us so much more. Through His ONE act of obedience, He justifies all who believe; clothes us in His righteousness; returns us into sweet fellowship with Himself; removes us from the kingdom of Satan and places us into the kingdom of His dear Son; makes us His children; provides access into the throne-room of God; promises us an eternal inheritance and bestows on us the privilege of reigning with Him - not only in this life but in the millennial kingdom and the ages to come. AND there is SO MUCH MORE!

Christ's perfect obedience, sinless life, and sacrificial offering of Himself on the cross enable those who believe to reign over death - spirit, soul, and body. He identified with our humanity and took upon Himself the justified punishment for sin and it is by grace, through faith in HIM that those we receive this abundance of grace, the gift of righteousness, and the privilege to reign in life through the One Lord, Jesus Christ.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father, it is most wonderful to realise that You have done so much to bring the lost and fallen race of mankind back into fellowship with Yourself - and Father there is so much more that You have graciously bestowed on those that love and trust You. Thank You for the abundant grace, the amazing gift of righteousness, and the incredible promises that all who are Your children may reign in life through Jesus Christ, Who identified with my sin and paid the full penalty that I justly deserve and clothed me in His perfect righteousness - so that in this world I may have abundant life and in the ages to come life everlasting. Thank You, in Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.

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