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Title:CONDEMNATION AND SALVATION
Author:BILL PARKER
Date:01/01/2010
ID#:979
Article:Printer Friendly Version

Romans 5:12 – Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
In Romans 5:12-21, God the Holy Spirit by the Apostle Paul reveals God's way of justifying sinners based on the ONE ground of salvation, the imputed righteousness of Christ.  He does this by comparing the role of Adam, the first man, in the fall of all whom he represented with the role of the Lord Jesus Christ in the redemption of all whom He represented. Sin came by ONE man, Adam, and the whole human race, all whom he represented, sinned, not personally, but in the person of our representative, Adam. Sin came into the world through the first man Adam, and death (spiritual, physical) passed, or literally, "spread to all men" because "all sinned" in Adam. This means the whole human race, each individual, were legally constituted sinners on the ground of Adam's one sin. In what sense did each individual participate in Adam's sin? The whole human race in Adam became guilty by REPRESENTATION. Adam was the federal head and representative of the whole human race, so that when he sinned, all of his posterity sinned, again not personally, but in the person of our representative Adam. According to the covenant of works all men represented by and born of Adam stand under death and cannot be saved.  All who are born of Adam also in time receives from Adam a sinful fallen human nature. Death passed through from father (Adam) to son (the whole human race).
 

Romans 5:13-17 is a parenthesis that explains how that just as condemnation and death is the fruit and effect of Adam's sin, justification and life (salvation) are the fruit and effect of Christ's obedience unto death (His righteousness). This sets forth one of the most profound, vital, and unique truths of Christianity -- JUST AS ADAM'S SIN BROUGHT DEATH UPON ALL WHOM HE REPRESENTED, CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS (the merits of His obedience and death) BROUGHT JUSTIFICATION AND ETERNAL LIFE OF ALL WHOM HE REPRESENTED. In other words, our personal sinning is merely the fruit and evidence of our connection with Adam, and it only evidences our death in and by him. By the same principle, we do not become justified by personal obedience or anything that proceeds from our persons. We become justified by Christ's righteousness imputed, or legally charged, to us. Our personal obedience is merely the fruit and evidence of our connection with Christ.
 

Romans 5:18 -- Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. {19} For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
 
The term “all men” here must be qualified because “all men” without exception are not condemned to eternal death.  Some have been chosen by God unto salvation.  Also, “all men” without exception do not receive the “free gift” of “justification” and “eternal life.”  Some perish eternally without Christ.  However, the method of condemnation and justification are the same in principle. Sinners are justified through the imputation of Christ's righteousness just as they were guilty through the imputation of Adam's guilt. Just as the whole race of humanity was lost through the representative act of the first Adam, God's elect are saved through the representative act of the last Adam – the Lord Jesus Christ –
1 Corinthians 15:21 – For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. {22} For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
 
We can conclude then from God's Word that sinners are saved in the same manner in which they were lost – THROUGH THE ACT OF A SUBSTITUTE AND REPRESENTATIVE.  As Adam, by his one transgression, brought guilt to all who were connected with him, so Christ, by His act of righteousness (His sinless life and substitutionary death), brings justification and life to all who are connected with Him. This is why we must insist that to deny the doctrine of total depravity and to promote universal notions of the atonement is to deny the Gospel – God's promise of salvation and final glory based on the righteousness of Christ.  Many believe that a person can be saved believing such God-dishonoring, Christ-denying, man-exalting doctrines, but in reality herein lies one of the main evidences of total depravity as we consider what actually happened in the fall of mankind through Adam.

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