Romans 5:17

17 For if by one man's[a] offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

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Romans 5:17 Meaning and Commentary

Romans 5:17

For if by one man's offence death reigned by one
It may be rendered, "by one offence death reigned by one"; for it was the single sin of Adam, the first sin that was committed by him, which gave death its reigning power over the sons of men:

``Adam, say F6 the Jewish doctors, transgressed, (atyyrwad dx adwqp le) , one commandment of the law,''

and was the cause of death to himself, and to all the world. These words are a repetition, with a further explanation, of ( Romans 5:15 ) ; there it is said, "through the offence of one many be dead"; here "by one man's offence", or "by one offence, death reigned by one"; in which death is represented as a mighty monarch, a powerful king; and designs not only corporeal death, which has mounted the throne by sin, and is supported in its dominion by an ordinance of heaven; but also a moral or spiritual death, which has seized on all mankind, and reigns in every power and faculty of the soul of man; and likewise an eternal one, which will have power over all those, who have no part in the first resurrection: in ( Romans 5:15 ) , "the grace of God, and the gift by grace", are said to "abound unto many"; here they are said to

receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness:
by abundance of grace is designed, either something distinct from the justifying righteousness of Christ; such as the abundant grace and mercy of God, in regeneration and conversion; the various graces of the Spirit then implanted; the many things then wrought in the heart; the large discoveries! of pardoning grace, and the abundance of the love of God shed abroad in the soul by the Spirit: or rather the same with "the gift of righteousness", because of the large display of the grace of God in it; by which "righteousness" is meant, not righteousness or holiness infused into us; but the righteousness of Christ, which is a free grace gift, and is enjoyed in a way of receiving; which denotes the act of faith, and supposes giving; and hence there is no room for boasting, but great reason for thankfulness: now such persons who have received this abundant grace and free gift,

shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ;
in corporeal life, they are not now subject to death as a penal evil, as other persons are, and though they die this death, they will triumph over it in the resurrection morn, they will rise again to everlasting life; they reign now in spiritual life over sin, Satan, and the world; and they will reign in eternal life, they will sit on thrones, wear crowns, and possess a kingdom of glory for ever and ever; and all by and through one, Jesus Christ, and not on account of any works, or merits of theirs.


F6 Zohar in Num. fol. 52. 1. Vid. Caphtor, fol. 102. 1. supra citat.

Romans 5:17 In-Context

15 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 by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
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.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. by one mans...: or, by one offence
The King James Version is in the public domain.