So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Message: The Obedience of the One
Time: The Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans from the Greek city of Corinth in AD 57, just three years after the 16 year old Nero had ascended to the throne as Emperor of Rome. Persecution of Christians wouldn't begin until AD 64. The church was experiencing times of relative peace. From where he wrote, Corinth, was a hotbed of sexual immorality and idol worship.
What the Lord is Saying:
These are somewhat difficult passages. I studied this four verses in these 2 lessons: Constituting Us Righteous and The Reign of Grace. I was reminded recently of a verse from Mark in the story of the paralytic and how the focus often in the gospels is on the Jewish scribes and I think Paul is also speaking to them here, answering their potential questions as we all look at Jesus and who He is and what He truly offers - helping them see it is through righteousness (obedient acts of good works) that we are made right with God and it is God that makes us righteous (declared good).
As mentioned in the previous lesson, Paul does a contrast of righteousness and condemnation in Romans 5:12-21. The previous lesson looked at man's condemnation or a human's inability to be worthy before God. Now let's look at the contrast or the solution to this.