21. That as sin--Observe, the word "offense" is no more used, as that
had been sufficiently illustrated; but--what better befitted this
comprehensive summation of the whole matter--the great general term
hath reigned unto death--rather, "in death," triumphing and (as it were) revelling in that complete destruction of its victims.
even so might grace reign--In Ro 5:14, 17 we had the reign of death over the guilty and condemned in Adam; here it is the reign of the mighty causes of these--of SIN which clothes Death a Sovereign with venomous power (1Co 15:56) and with awful authority (Ro 6:23), and of GRACE, the grace which originated the scheme of salvation, the grace which "sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," the grace which "made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin," the grace which "makes us to be the righteousness of God in Him," so that "we who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness do reign in life by One, Jesus Christ!"
through righteousness--not ours certainly ("the obedience of Christians," to use the wretched language of GROTIUS) nor yet exactly "justification" [STUART, HODGE]; but rather, "the (justifying) righteousness of Christ" [BEZA, ALFORD, and in substance, OLSHAUSEN, MEYER]; the same which in Ro 5:19 is called His "obedience," meaning His whole mediatorial work in the flesh. This is here represented as the righteous medium through which grace reaches its objects and attains all its ends, the stable throne from which Grace as a Sovereign dispenses its saving benefits to as many as are brought under its benign sway.
unto eternal life--which is salvation in its highest form and fullest development for ever.
by Jesus Christ our Lord--Thus, on that "Name which is above every name," the echoes of this hymn to the glory of "Grace" die away, and "Jesus is left alone."
On reviewing this golden section of our Epistle, the following additional remarks occur: (1) If this section does not teach that the whole race of Adam, standing in him as their federal head, "sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression," we may despair of any intelligible exposition of it. The apostle, after saying that Adam's sin introduced death into the world, does not say "and so death passed upon all men for that Adam "sinned," but "for that all sinned." Thus, according to the teaching of the apostle, "the death of all is for the sin of all"; and as this cannot mean the personal sins of each individual, but some sin of which unconscious infants are guilty equally with adults, it can mean nothing but the one "first transgression" of their common head, regarded as the sin of each of his race, and punished, as such, with death. It is vain to start back from this imputation to all of the guilt of Adam's first sin, as wearing the appearance of injustice. For not only are all other theories liable to the same objection, in some other form--besides being inconsistent with the text--but the actual facts of human nature, which none dispute, and which cannot be explained away, involve essentially the same difficulties as the great principle on which the apostle here explains them. If we admit this principle, on the authority of our apostle, a flood of light is at once thrown upon certain features of the divine procedure, and certain portions of the divine oracles, which otherwise are involved in much darkness; and if the principle itself seem hard to digest, it is not harder than the existence of evil, which, as a fact, admits of no dispute, but, as a feature in the divine administration, admits of no explanation in the present state. (2) What is called original sin--or that depraved tendency to evil with which every child of Adam comes into the world--is not formally treated of in this section (and even in the seventh chapter, it is rather its nature and operation than its connection with the first sin which is handled). But indirectly, this section bears testimony to it; representing the one original offense, unlike every other, as having an enduring vitality in the bosom of every child of Adam, as a principle of disobedience, whose virulence has gotten it the familiar name of "original sin." (3) In what sense is the word "death" used throughout this section? Not certainly as mere temporal death, as Arminian commentators affirm. For as Christ came to undo what Adam did, which is all comprehended in the word "death," it would hence follow that Christ has merely dissolved the sentence by which soul and body are parted in death; in other words, merely procured the resurrection of the body. But the New Testament throughout teaches that the salvation of Christ is from a vastly more comprehensive "death" than that. But neither is death here used merely in the sense of penal evil, that is, "any evil inflicted in punishment of sin and for the support of law" [HODGE]. This is too indefinite, making death a mere figure of speech to denote "penal evil" in general--an idea foreign to the simplicity of Scripture--or at least making death, strictly so called, only one part of the thing meant by it, which ought not to be resorted to if a more simple and natural explanation can be found. By "death" then, in this section, we understand the sinner's destruction, in the only sense in which he is capable of it. Even temporal death is called "destruction" (De 7:23; 1Sa 5:11, &c.), as extinguishing all that men regard as life. But a destruction extending to the soul as well as the body, and into the future world, is clearly expressed in Mt 7:13; 2Th 1:9; 2Pe 3:16, &c. This is the penal "death" of our section, and in this view of it we retain its proper sense. Life--as a state of enjoyment of the favor of God, of pure fellowship with Him, and voluntary subjection to Him--is a blighted thing from the moment that sin is found in the creature's skirts; in that sense, the threatening, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was carried into immediate effect in the case of Adam when he fell; who was thenceforward "dead while he lived." Such are all his posterity from their birth. The separation of soul and body in temporal death carries the sinner's destruction" a stage farther; dissolving his connection with that world out of which he extracted a pleasurable, though unblest, existence, and ushering him into the presence of his Judge--first as a disembodied spirit, but ultimately in the body too, in an enduring condition--"to be punished (and this is the final state) with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." This final extinction in soul and body of all that constitutes life, but yet eternal consciousness of a blighted existence--this, in its amplest and most awful sense, is "DEATH"! Not that Adam understood all that. It is enough that he understood "the day" of his disobedience to be the terminating period of his blissful "life." In that simple idea was wrapt up all the rest. But that he should comprehend its details was not necessary. Nor is it necessary to suppose all that to be intended in every passage of Scripture where the word occurs. Enough that all we have described is in the bosom of the thing, and will be realized in as many as are not the happy subjects of the Reign of Grace. Beyond doubt, the whole of this is intended in such sublime and comprehensive passages as this: "God . . . gave His . . . Son that whosoever believeth in Him might not PERISH, but have everlasting LIFE" (Joh 3:16). And should not the untold horrors of that "DEATH"--already "reigning over" all that are not in Christ, and hastening to its consummation--quicken our flight into "the second Adam," that having "received the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, we may reign in LIFE by the One, Jesus Christ?"
The Book of Romans
Romans 1:20 - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.
Romans in The New Testament - A Brief Overview
Introduction to The Epistle to the Romans
Brief Summary. Paul's message in his profound epistle to the Romans 1-8 is that a man is justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law. Righteousness is by Christ alone, and when a man believes in Christ, he becomes dead to sin and the law and alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer and empowers him to live a holy life. A relationship with Christ brings adopted sonship and the assurance of salvation from sin. The question about the Jews and their fate is answered in Romans, they were chosen to possess the oracles of the Lord. Romans 9-11 reveals that the Jews failed to recognize Christ as the fulfillment of the Law and rejected their own Messiah. Therefore God rejected Israel, yet, this rejection is not total or final. Paul makes it abundantly clear that God will show mercy to those Jews who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. In Romans 12-16 Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome regarding the practical aspects of the new life in Christ.
Summary of The Book of Romans
Purpose. Paul was called by God to bring Christianity to the gentile world, and to establish churches for worship and ministry. Rome was the capital of the gentile world, and a church had developed there. Paul no doubt knew the strategic value of strengthening the body of believers by laying a strong doctrinal foundation. There is also indications that Paul had desired to preach the Gospel in Spain, and it would have been wise to create a solid base in Rome. Paul was continually challenged by the Jews regarding the Gospel of Christ and the Law of Moses. Paul obviously wanted to clear up any confusion by creating a strong doctrinal statement in his epistle. He addresses the same issues as in his other epistles, false doctrine, false teachers, and troublemakers who would stir up dissension in the church. In the epistle to the Romans Paul also introduces the deaconess Phoebe, he petitions the church at large to pray for the Roman brethren, and to greet the believers in Christ at the church in Rome.
Audience. The epistle begins with "to all God's beloved in Rome" and this would clearly indicate that Paul was addressing the Christian church in Rome. Throughout the book of Romans it is clear that in the church at Rome there were many Jews and gentiles.
Authorship. Paul the apostle is universally accepted as the author of the epistle to the Romans. Throughout the entire letter it is easy to see Paul's sincerity, his unique insights in the teachings about God, the Jews, Jesus and salvation to all mankind. Statements in the epistle indicate that Paul was going to Jerusalem with the collection for the poor which he had gathered (Romans 15:25-27).
Date. The epistle to the Romans appears to have been written near the end of Paul's third missionary journey, probably around 57 or 58 AD. One of the main reasons for this date is because 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians refer to this collection and this would indicate that Romans was written just after 1 and 2 Corinthians, toward the end of Paul's third missionary journey. Most scholars date the epistle near AD 58 and name Corinth as the city of its origin.
Outline of the Book of Romans
Doctrine and Theology - Chapters 1-8
God's Plan for Israel - Chapters 9-11
The New Life in Christ - Chapters 12-16
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".
- Some ancient manuscripts omit the word, "Rome," scholars generally agree that the epistle was addressed to the Christian church in Rome.
Map of the Roman Empire (14 AD) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 AD) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)
Map of Paul's Voyage to Rome (61 AD) - This map reveals the journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome in 61 AD. Paul had appealed to Caesar in Caesarea (Acts 24-25), his goal was to spread the Gospel of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire all the way to her great capital, Rome. He demanded that his case be heard by the Roman Emperor. According to the Book of Acts, after his shipwreck on the Island of Malta (Acts 28) he came to Italy and was put on house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30). (Color Map)
Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)
Map of New Testament Italy - This map reveals the cities
within Italy during the first century A.D., the time of the New
Testament. The map includes the principle cities of Italy like
Neapolis and Rome. Follow the path of the Apostle.