One Grand Act
Sep 24, 2015 992
Just as the result of one man’s trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men (Rom. 5:18).
Here the apostle compares Christ and Adam, as he did in verse 12 of this chapter of Romans. While Adam’s sin resulted in death for all men, Christ’s death on the cross provided salvation for all men.
Adam was the father of the entire human race. No matter what our gender, skin colour or nationality, we are all children of Adam. It was Adam’s one offence that brought condemnation, not just to him, but to all people. As Adam’s offspring we are all born outside of God’s eternal kingdom—every one of us. Because we are born without God’s Spirit, we are born without any protection from sin. We are natural sinners from birth.
On the other hand, the result of a single grand act of righteousness—Jesus’ death on the cross—has atoned for all our sin. Through his one act of self-sacrifice, he paid the penalty for our wrong-doing. On the cross he took our sins upon himself and gave us the free gift of his sinless life in exchange (2 Cor. 5:21). By faith, we are “constituted righteous”—that is, we are pardoned, justified, and sanctified. This is how God sees us.
Though we have no perfect righteousness of our own to plead, we can still confidently stand before God and claim our reward. When God looks upon those who have put their faith in Jesus, he sees not unforgiven sinners, but people clothed in the perfect righteousness of his Son.