“But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift of grace, which is by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.”–Paul now sets out to describe the difference between Adam and Christ; and that much more directly and expressly than the agreement between them. Now the fall and the free gift differ,
1.      In size (v. 15).
2.      He from whom sin came, and He from whom the free gift came, termed also the gift of righteousness, differ in power (v. 16).
3.      The reason of both is presented (v. 17).
4.      The offence and the free gift are compared, with regard to their effect (v. 18), and with regard to their cause (v. 19)

“But not as the offence
Literally:  “But not like the deviation”–This is the first point of contrast between the effect of the sin of Adam and the work of Christ. 

          OFFENCE:   (Grk.--paratōma)--Literally meaning, “a falling alongise; a deviation from the right path,” where we stumble over any living thing lying in our way.  It means sin or crime in general.

Having called Adam the type (image) of Christ, it was natural that Paul should show that there is not a likeness in all respects between Adam and Christ; or between the evil which comes through the one, and the good which comes through the other. In several respects there is a difference; some of which he proceeds to mention. Many be dead; there is a difference in the kind of extent of influence. That of Adam works death, while that of Christ brings to all who receive Him super abounding grace and life.

“so also is the free gift”
Literally: “but also the free gift”– The favor, benefit, or good bestowed gratuitously on us. The gift is not in its nature and effects like the offence.    It refers to the favors bestowed in the Gospel by Christ. These are free; i.e. without merit on our part, and bestowed on the undeserving.

         FREE GIFT:  (Grk.–charisma)–Meaning:  “a gift of grace; a favor which one receives without merit of his own.”  Or “the gracious gift, the gift of grace.”   The two cases present points of contrast as well as resemblance.

It is evident that in this and the two following verses, Paul is running a parallel, or making a comparison between the offence of Adam and its consequence; and the opposite gift of God and its consequences.  And, in these three verses, Paul shows that the comparison will not hold good in all respects, because the “free gift,” bestows blessings far beyond the consequences of the “offence,” and which, therefore, have no relation to it.  This was necessary, not only to prevent mistakes concerning the consequence of Adam's offence, and the extent of Gospel grace; but it was also necessary to Paul’s main purpose, which was not only to prove that the grace of the Gospel extends to all men.

“for if through the offence of one”
Literally:  “for if by the deviation of the one”–Because of the actions of one. His main point is to show that greater benefits have resulted from the work of the Messiah than evils     from the fall of Adam. 

This simply concedes the fact that it is so. Paul does not attempt an explanation of the mode or manner in which it happened. He neither says that it is by imputation, nor by inherent depravity, nor by imitation. Whichever of these modes may be the proper one of accounting for the fact, it is certain that Paul states neither one. His object was not to explain the manner in which it was done, but to argue from the acknowledged existence of the fact.

            OFFENCE:  (Grk.– paraptōma)–Literally:  “the slip; fall to one side; stumbling.”   This word comes from the Latin for “stumbling,” and is so used here. 

         “many be dead”
         Literally:  “The many died.”  Evidently meaning all; the whole race;
Jews and Gentiles  alike. That it means all here is proved in (v. 18).

If the inquiry be, why Paul used the word “many” rather than all, we may reply, that his purpose was to express an antithesis, or contrast to the cause–one offence. One stands opposed to many, rather than to all.  The entire race is under the dark and gloomy reign of death. This is a simple fact which Paul assumes, and which no man can deny.

“much more”– The reason for this “much more” is to be found in the abounding mercy and goodness of God.  If a wise, merciful, and good Being has suffered such a train of     woes to be introduced by the offence of one, have we not much more reason to expect that His grace will superabound?

“the grace of God”–The favor or kindness of God. We have reason to expect under the administration of God, more extensive benefits than we have ills, flowing from a  constitution of things which is the result of His appointment.

         “and the gift by grace”
         Literally:  “And the gift in grace.”  The gracious gift; the benefits flowing from that grace. This refers to the blessings of salvation.

                    GIFT:  (Grk.– charisma)–Paul is referring to the gift of eternal life.

is by one man”
Literally: “Which {is} of the one Man.”  Notice that the definite article, “the” is supposed to be with “one”–“the one Man.”  Standing in contrast to Adam.  His appointment was the result of grace; as He was constituted to bestow favors, we have reason to expect that they will superabound.

                  ONE:  (Grk.–tou henos)–Literally: “the one;” meaning the transgression “the one,  referring to Adam.

         “hath abounded”          
         Literally:  “did abound.” To those who embrace Christ has gone beyond the mere removal of the evil which comes upon them through Adam.

Giving them good which is more safe, more abundant, more glorious than he or they ever lost, or could in any way, except through faith in him, ever have enjoyed (John 10:10). The evil which one offence of Adam brought on him and his posterity, shows in a wonderful manner the evil nature and destructive tendency of sin, and the great guilt and danger of committing it, and should lead all to hate and at once forsake it. 

“unto many”
Literally:  “To the many.” Life has been given to the many. All will be raised at the last day. The second use of, “the many” may imply Paul’s thoughts of, “the reset of man.”  This is the same as, “all men” in v. 12.

“And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift:  for the judgment was by one to condemn-ation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.”
This verse is a continuation of the difference between the gift of grace and the consequence of the fall.  A second difference between Adam and Christ is pointed out. One offence of Adam caused condemnation to be sent on Adam and all his race. All have been under death.

“And not as it was by one that sinned”
Literally:  “and not {be} as through one having sinned”–Through the one disobedient act      of the first sinner. This is the second point in which the effects of the work of Christ differ from the sin of Adam.

1.      The first part (v. 15) was, that the evil consequences flowed from the sin of one man, Adam; and that the benefits flowed from the work of one MAN, Jesus Christ.
2.      The point in this verse is, that the evil consequences flowed from one crime, one act of guilt; but that the favors had respect to many acts of guilt.
         The effects of Adam's sin, whatever they were, pertained to the one sin; the effects of the work of Christ to many sins.

“by one that sinned”
Literally:  “through one having sinned”–Because of one man sinning; evidently meaning by one offence (v. 15), or by one act of sin.

          BY ONE:   (Grk.–ex henos)- Literally:  “of one.”

        Bringing about the sentence of death .  That is, the judicial act that followed Adam's sin (the sentence of death pronounced upon him, and his expulsion from paradise) took its rise from his one offence alone, and terminated in condemnation; but the free gift of God in Christ takes its rise also from the many offences which men, in a long course of life, have personally committed; and the object of this grace is to justify them freely, and bring them to eternal life.
        One offence, by which sin entered. The evil, expressed by the words judgment, death, and condemnation, came through and were made sure by one sin; but the grace of God in Christ pardons and triumphs over many sins, and bestows an exceeding and eternal weight of glory upon those who have committed numerous offences.

“so is the gift”
Literally:  “and the gift”–

         THE GIFT:  (Grk.–to dorema)–The unmerited favor, by the work of Christ.  The gift of grace.  The benefits resulting from the work of Christ.  Christ  not  only pardons the connection of our race with Adam's sin, but provides a way for the pardon.

         “for the judgment”
         Literally:   “For indeed the judgment.”–That is, the sentence; the declared penalty.

          JUDGMENT:  (Grk.–krima)–The sentence; the declared penalty. This Greek word refers to the sentence which is passed by a judge. Here it means the sentence which God passed, as a Supreme Judge, on Adam for the one offence, involving himself and his posterity in ruin, (Gen. 2:17; 3:17-19).

“is by one to condemnation”
 Literally:  {Was} of one to condemnation.”–By one offence; or one act of sin. The judgment brought the sentence of death to pass upon Adam, which, by consequence, overwhelmed his posterity. 

The judgment, verdict, or sentence from a single case ends in, or in other words takes the form of, condemnation; whereas, on the other hand, the free gift, starting from or prompted by many sins, ends in, takes the form of justification. In the former of these cases the verdict is “Guilty,” while in the other case it (or, rather, the free act of grace which takes its place) is a verdict of acquittal.

“is of many offences”
Literally: {is} of many deviations.”–In relation to sins.  Thus, it differs from the condemnation. That had respect to one offence; this has respect to many crimes. 
Grace therefore abounds. all our offences, so as to secure justification. One sin of Adam destroyed ALL, but the atonement of Christ provides conditions for forgiveness of all sins.

“unto justification”
Literally: “To justification.”  See study of 3:24.  The work of Christ is designed to have reference to many offences so as to produce pardon or justification in regard to them all. 

                     JUSTIFICATION:  (Grk.–dikaiôma)–Act of righteousness, result, ordinance (1:32; 2:26; 8:4), righteous deed (v. 18), verdict as here; (acquittal).

Note what it is that the believing ones receive
1.      Abundance of Grace
The cross, having met righteously all the claims of God, and God’s judgment against  sinners, He now has spoken to us as He is, in abounding grace and love; for God is love.
2.      Gift of Righteousness.
Those that receive this abundance of grace have therewith. The work of Christ is designed to have reference to many offences, so as to produce pardon or justification in regard to them all. But Paul here does not intimate how this is done. He simply states the fact of it, without attempting, in this place, to explain it.  To simplify this verse, all this means is that one transgression plunged the human race into sin; and one act of obedience and the death of Christ upon the cross makes it possible for lost man to be saved.


“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”

“For if” —Question assumed to be true; not a question of doubting or wondering.  Further confirmation of the contrast between the effect of Adam’s sin and the atonement of Christ.

This verse contains the same idea as presented before, but in a varied form. It is condensing the whole subject, and presenting it in a single view.

         “by one man’s offence”
         Literally: “The deviaton of the one.”–If, under the administration of a just and merciful
God, it has occurred, that by the offence of one,
death has exerted so wide a dominion; we have reason much more to expect, under that administration, that they who are brought under His plan of saving mercy shall be brought under a dispensation of life.  As a result of Adam's one offence, death reigned over men.

         “death reigned by one”
         Literally: “Death reigned through the one.”–By means of one man; that is,
Adam.  Paul has previously stated (v. 14) that
death reigned as king.

REIGNED:  (Grk.–basileuō)–Literally:  “become like a king; reign;” (I Cor. 1:6).  This is the Greek word used in both instances of “reigned.” 

         It means that they shall be exalted to a glorious state of happiness in heaven; that they shall be triumphant over all their enemies; that they shall gain an ultimate victory; and shall partake with the Captain of their salvation in the splendors of his dominion above, (Luke 22:30; Rev. 3:21).
 Death s here being personified, and is represented as reigning over the human race; he is known as reigning, by the destruction of his subjects.  The word “reign” is often applied to the condition of saints in heaven, (II Tim. 2:12)–“If we suffer, we shall also reign with him;” (Rev. 5:10; 20:6; 22:5).

           “much more”–We have much more reason to expect it.  It evidently accords much more with the administration of a God of infinite goodness.

“they which receive abundance of grace”
Literally: “­The {ones} receiving the abundance of the grace.” The abundant favorjustification; the mercy that shall counterbalance and surpass the evils introduced by the sin of Adam.

That favor shall be more than sufficient to counterbalance all those evils. This is particularly true of the redeemed, of whom the apostle in this verse is speaking. The evils which they suffer in consequence of the sin of Adam bear no comparison with the mercies of eternal life that shall flow to them from the work of Christ.    

“the gift of righteousness”–This is what Paul has been talking about in this chapter—Justification by Faith.   Grace as opposed to the offence; the gift, to death, being the gift of life. 

This stands opposed to the evils introduced by Adam. As the effect of his sin was to produce condemnation, so here the gift of righteousness refers to the opposite–to pardon, to justification, to acceptance with God.  To show that men were thus justified by the gospel, was the leading purpose of Paul; and the argument here is, that if by one man’s sin death reigned over those who were under condemnation in consequence of it, we have much more reason to suppose that they who are delivered from sin by the death of Jesus and accepted of God, shall reign with Him in life.

“shall reign”
Literally:  “Will reign. —It means that:

1.      They shall be exalted to a glorious state of happiness in heaven.
2.      They shall be triumphant over all their enemies.
3.      They shall gain an ultimate victory.
4.      They shall partake with the Author of their salvation in the splendors of His domain above (Rev. 3:21; Luke 2:30).

“in life”–This stands opposed to the death that reigned as the consequence of the sin of Adam.  It denotes complete freedom from the condemnation; from temporal death ; from sickness, pain and sin.  It is the usual expression to denote the complete bliss of the saints in glory.

                     LIFE:  (Grk.–ê)–Literally:  “living thing” (Rev. 16:3); “life.”   
Those who receive, retain, and improve the abundant grace offered by Jesus Christ, shall be redeemed from the empire of death, and exalted to the throne of God, to live and reign with Him forever, world without end. See Rev. 1:5,6; 2:7,10,11; 3:21.

         Notice Paul’s balanced use of wording of contrasts in this verse: 
1.      “offence”  (paraptōmati)  to “grace” (charitos); and,
2.      death  (thanatos)  to “life” (êi).     

“by One, Jesus Christ.”
Literally:  “Through the One, Jesus Christ.”–As the consequence of His work. Paul is comparing the results or consequences of the sin of the one and of the work of the other.