Lesson 44 - Chapter 5 verses 16-18

Lesson 44 - Chapter 5 verses 16-18

The “Much More” of Sanctification

Verse 16

And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned begins with the Greek word for gift “dorema and it refers to the Lord Jesus Christ as the last Adam.  The gift is the Lord Jesus Christ.  In other words, the last Adam is not like the first Adam.  The first Adam committed one sin and the entire human race came under condemnation because of that one sin.  The last Adam was judged for all sins and the entire human race is eligible for justification. This sets up A Fortiori in the context.  Because of one man’s work on the Cross the entire human race is eligible for justification. 

For on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation sets up a contrast between the gift, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the first Adam.  The Greek word for judgment is “krima,” which usually means the action or the function of a judge, but here it means a judicial verdict (for on the one hand the judicial verdict came by one transgression resulting in condemnation). In other words, the judicial function of the justice of God produced the verdict.  The verdict came as the result of one transgression and it led to the condemnation of the entire human race.  We possess the origin or the source of our condemnation, Adam’s sin.

But on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.  Justification and condemnation are two functions from the same source: the justice of God.  The human race is condemned for one sin but salvation is provided for all sins.  If one man’s sin brings condemnation to the human race (and it does) much more one man being judged on the Cross brings justification to the human race (and it does).  One transgression condemned man in the Garden.  Many transgressions condemned Christ on the Cross.  The justice of God judged one transgression in the Garden bringing condemnation to the human race.  The justice of God judged many transgressions on the Cross bringing salvation/justification to the human race. Therefore, justification is much more than condemnation because justification deals with all the sins of the world, while condemnation dealt with only one sin, Adam’s.

Verse 17

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one.  One man’s transgression in the Garden resulted in the justice of God condemning the entire human race with spiritual death.  Furthermore, the justice of God cannot make provision for sin in salvation until the justice of God first condemns sin. Therefore, the justice of God had no relationship with man in the Garden until man sinned.  Then man entered into a relationship with the justice of God.  It was a relationship of condemnation (spiritual death).  Spiritual death rules in the human race through the fall of Adam.  Satan is the ruler of this world but the ruler in mankind is the sin nature.  This was the function of the justice of God.  

Much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.   Here is the beginning of a fortiori logic meaning with stronger reason or to a greater degree. Here’s the logic: if the greater function of the justice of God has occurred the lesser will not be withheld.  If God can do the greater it follows (a fortiori) that God can also accomplish the lesser.   If God did the just thing in condemning Adam and the human race, it follows (a fortiori) that God can do the just thing in rewarding from His justice blessing in time and blessing in eternity.  If we have received the greater in imputation and justification it follows that God’s justice will not hold back the lesser: blessing in time, eternal blessing and reward for the mature believer.

When a believer cracks the maturity barrier, he has a surplus of grace in the sense of increased blessing.  This is a reference to those direct blessings from the justice of God to those who reach spiritual maturity.  The integrity of God is composed of divine righteousness and justice. Justice is the guardian of the attributes of God as well as the believer’s contact with God.  There must be no compromise in the function of the attributes of God.  Divine justice can bless only divine righteousness.  Therefore, the justice of God, the source of all direct blessing from God, is free to provide such blessing where perfect righteousness resides.   Therefore, imputed righteousness is the primary potential for all blessing from the justice of God.  While righteousness imputed is the potential, doctrine perceived through the function of learning and applying Bible doctrine is the capacity for blessing.  We call this Experiential Sanctification.  

If the justice of God provided in life the greater, namely the gift of righteousness and direct blessing from the justice of God to the maturing believer, it follows (a fortiori) that He can do the lesser, which is reward in eternity.   We call this Ultimate Sanctification.  If God can bless the mature believer in this life, it follows that He can reward and bless the same believer in eternity.  The more difficult is blessing from the justice of God in time because in eternity there is no opposition from Satan, from the sin nature and from false doctrine.

Verse 18

So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men.

Human birth consists of physical life and spiritual death occurring simultaneously.  Life begins when the fetus emerges from the womb and God imputes human life to the divinely prepared home, the soul.  This is a real imputation since God prepared that home for human life. The soul is later corrupted by the sin nature. The sin nature is in the body not in the soul but it corrupts the soul.  All real imputations have a home or a place to go.  God prepared the soul as the home for human life, but He did not prepare the sin nature.  The sin nature is not a part of the soul and it is not from God.  It is genetically formed.   While the sin nature influences the soul, it is not a part of the soul.  The source of the sin nature is Adam’s original sin at the fall.  Adam received a sin nature as a result of his original transgression and spiritual death.

At physical birth the justice of God imputes Adam’s original sin to its genetically formed home.  Spiritual death is a combination of Adam’s sin and Adam’s sin nature.  The sin nature is acquired genetically, while Adam’s sin is acquired by imputation.  The impurity is transmitted by the man sinned in cognizance in contrast to the woman’s original sin which was ignorance.

Even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.  It was the single act of righteousness by Jesus Christ on the Cross that completely satisfied (propitiated) the justice and the righteousness of God.  Righteousness, in the New Testament, means adjusting to God’s integrity, first in thought, followed by action.  This is exactly what Jesus Christ in His humanity did for us on the Cross.  Christ’s righteous act was substitionary spiritual death for the sins of the entire human race.  Once God’s justice and righteousness were satisfied, He was justified in declaring anyone that would believe in Christ to be righteous.  At faith in Christ, the believer is said to be freely justified by His grace.  Justification, like righteousness, is a grace function of God, which means we cannot earn it nor do we deserve it.  We call this Positional Sanctification.  (Romans 5:8-9; 9:30-32; I John 2:2)

The Greek word for justification is “dikaiosis’ and means “to declare righteous” or “to be acquitted from guilt”.  Justification is one half of God’s holiness (integrity), righteousness being the other half.  Justification is the function or action of God’s integrity and righteousness is the principle or standard of God’s integrity.  God’s justice carries out the judicial sentences pronounced by God’s righteousness. 

At the moment of salvation, we are justified by God because His righteousness is credited to our account.  Justification means vindication.  Because of the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ, the believer is vindicated or set free from all charges against him.  

The penalty for personal sins and Adam’s original sin was paid by Jesus Christ so that the believer’s debt is now paid in full.  The obligation that God’s righteousness (the standard of God’s integrity) demanded, with regard to sin, was satisfied by the justice of God (the action of God’s integrity) at the Cross. (Romans 3:28, 5:1; Galatians 3:24)

Justification is the provision by God to solve the problem of man’s sinful condition.  God’s justice had to find a way to deal with Adam’s original sin, the inherent sin nature and personal sin without compromising His perfect character.  God’s love provided the answer in the Person and work of Jesus Christ.  Since Christ had no sin of His own to pay for, He was qualified to pay the penalty of sin (spiritual death) for the entire human race. (II Corinthians 5:21)

It is the imputation of God’s righteousness to the believer that guarantees him an eternal relationship with God and qualifies him to spend eternity in Heaven.  Imputation means that God credits to your account something that properly belongs to another.  In this case, God credits the righteousness of Christ to your account because at salvation you were justified and placed in union with Him by means of the baptism of God the Holy Spirit. (Romans 3:22; I Corinthians 12:13; II Corinthians 5:21)