What does this verse mean: by one-man’s sin death entered the world and by one-man’s sacrifice life entered the world (Romans 5:18,19)?

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Romans 5:18,19

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”

The effects of sin and the effects of redemption

In this passage, Paul is saying: “As by one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men because all men sinned; so also by one man, Jesus Christ, righteousness entered into the world, and life through righteousness, so that all, being justified by faith, might be saved.”

All people die because they share the consequence of Adam’s transgression. Life was lost by sin. Adam could not transmit to his children life which he did not have. It is in this sense that “in Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). It is because of this virus of sin that came from Adam, that people must be born again (Romans 3:23; 5:1).

The plan of Salvation

The good news is that Christ died for the whole human race (2 Corinthians 5:14, 15; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2). And the offer of salvation is available to all people (Matthew 11:28, 29; John 7:37; Revelation 22:17).

Had it not been for Christ’s sacrifice, the consequence of Adam’s sin would have been eternal death. But through Christ, the human family, whether good or bad, will be brought forth from their graves (Acts 24:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22) from the first death. At that time, it will be clearly seen by all that those who are to be eternally lost are in such a state only because of their own transgression. And they will not be able to blame Adam for their death.

Those who have “done good,” and by faith received the righteousness of Christ, will come forth to “the resurrection of life” (John 5:29). “On such the second death hath no power” (Revelation 20:6). But the evil doers who have rejected the righteousness of Christ, and have not received forgiveness through repentance and faith will come forth to “the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29). These will be judged for the final “wages of sin” (Rom. 6:23) which is “the second death.”

Children don’t get punished for their parents’ sin

It is expected that children must suffer from the results of parental evil, but they are not punished for their parents’ sin, except if they share in their sins. Unfortunately, children often imitate their parents. Evil nature, corrupted appetites, and wrong morals, as well as sickness are  generally transferred from parents to their children, to the third and fourth generation.

Salvation is available to all but benefit only the receivers

Though the partaking in Adam’s sin is collective, the partaking in the righteousness of Christ is restricted to those that choose to believe. All men are sinners, but even though the righteousness of Christ is equally universal in power, not all accept it. The gift of righteousness is of no good unless it is received by faith (John 3:16), and not all people choose to believe. Though everything has been done to save all people, only relatively few people accept it (Matthew 22:14).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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