Many Offences Unto Justification

Romans 5:16 – And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift:  for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

In Romans 5, Paul the apostle delineates the security of the “hope” that we have in Christ.  Having expounded the fundamentals of “the gospel of Christ” and its reception by faith, Paul caps the teaching of “justification” by pointing to the provisions of God contained therein which make it sure to us.  Here we learn of our new judicial standing in God’s sight as those “justified by faith”, and we are made to see the “much more” love of God that has been commended toward us now that we are “justified by his blood” (Rom. 5:2, 9).  We find our “hope” to be sure in the face of all the “tribulations” brought against it, and we are made to rest in the glory of the knowledge that our full salvation from wrath is “through him” and secured “by his life” (Rom. 5:2, 9-10).

Furthermore, we are caused to “joy in God” through the knowledge that “we have now received the atonement” (Rom. 5:11).  The completion of our “at one” status has been secured through Jesus our Lord and is fully ours by identification in Him.  Our at odds status “in Adam” has been done away, and through “the gift of righteousness” we have the “life” that “reign[s]…by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17). 

All of this is wonderful news! It is too wonderful to many who do not see the truth of the steadfast position that the saints possess in the Son of God from the moment of justifying faith forward, but such is the grace of God!  When we fully understand what it means that we are “without strength” in view of God’s requirement for perfect righteousness, and we comprehend the depth of our ungodliness in view of God’s holiness, we can then understand how all things related to our salvation must be “of him, and through him, and to him” (Rom. 5:6, 11:36).  And if these be things contingent upon His integrity, they therefore are sure to us!

One of the components given for our “hope” in this regard is delivered to us by a comparison in the execution of God’s justice against sin. 

“Wherefore as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Rom. 5:12). 

“…through the offence of one many be dead…” (Rom. 5:15).

“…for the judgment was by one to condemnation…” (Romans 5:16).

“…by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation…” (Rom. 5:18).

“…by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…” (Rom. 5:19).

How sure was the judgment of God’s justice against sin in the first place!  By one man’s one offence, “death passed upon all” (Rom. 5:12)!  This is evident, for even in a scenario in which there was no “law” whereby men might have sin “imputed” to them, “death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression” (Rom. 5:14).  Therefore, it is apparent that “through the offence of one many be dead” and the justice of God against our Adamic identity surely receives the death it merits.  An at odds status with God accrues to us by virtue of being “in Adam” and it will inevitably yield its bitter fruit ending in corruption and death.

“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift” (Rom. 5:15). 

Thankfully, however, there is a contrast in view through Christ Jesus.  By Him, a “free gift” has been put in place in which the legal status of our “in Adam” designation is fully matched, and also supplies a further capacity to do “spiritual things” for us that supersede that whereby “death was passed upon” us (Rom. 5:12)! 

“…for the judgment was by one to condemnation…” (Romans 5:16).

We see then that God’s justice was executed as a matter of surety against one sin, and “death reigned by one” (Rom. 5:17).

“…but the free gift is of many offences unto justification” (Rom. 5:16).

That which Christ Jesus provided to redeem us from our “in Adam” condemnation by a “free gift” required more than just a perfect life.  It demanded more than simply succeeding where Adam failed, for after having been “made in the likeness of men” and “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”, He must give Himself to pay for the “many offences” that summoned “the wrath of God” against us (Rom. 5:16; Phl. 2:7; Heb. 4:15)!  In this He propitiated “his blood” to “justify” His Father “for the remission of sins that are past” and provided for Him to be “the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus” from henceforth (Rom. 3:25-26).  Jesus fully satisfied God’s justice against our “many offences” and in Him all sin was judged!  Those “justified by his blood” have not only been “reconciled” unto God on par with the former state of the “one man”, but we have also been ‘at-oned’ with God having our “many offences” justly paid “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24; 5:9-10). 

It is therefore that “we have now received the at-one-ment” (Rom. 5:11).  The only means whereby those “in Him” may be taken back into our former at odds status is if we can be found guilty of some sin for which Christ did not pay on the cross, and seeing that “he died for all” and that God’s justice was fully satisfied for all time by the offering up of Himself, it is therefore impossible that we should ever be at-odds with Him again (2Cor. 5:15)!“We have now received the at-one-ment” (Rom. 5:11)!  We are secure in Him; only in Him; and forever in Him!  Let us therefore “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” for “the free gift [that] is of many offences unto justification (Rom. 5:11, 15).

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