Romans 5:16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. (NASB: Lockman)
Amplified: Nor is the free gift at all to be compared to the effect of that one [man’s] sin. For the sentence [following the trespass] of one [man] brought condemnation, whereas the free gift [following] many transgressions brings justification (an act of righteousness). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Nor is the effect of God's gift the same as the effect of that one man's sin. For in the one case one man's sin brought its inevitable judgment, and the result was condemnation. But, in the other, countless men's sins are met with the free gift of grace, and the result is justification before God. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And not as through one who sinned, was the gift, for the judgment, on the one hand, was out of one transgression as a source, resulting in condemnation. But the gratuitous gift, on the other hand, was out of many transgressions as a source, resulting in justification. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and not as through one who did sin is the free gift, for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of 'Righteous,'
|Romans — 3:21-5:21||Romans — 6:1-8:39||Romans — 9:1-11:36||Romans — 12:1-16:27|
Jew and Gentile
|Demonstration of Salvation|
|Power Given||Promises Fulfilled||Paths Pursued|
Restored to Israel
|Slaves to Sin||Slaves to God||Slaves Serving God|
|Life by Faith||Service by Faith|
Modified from Irving L. Jensen's excellent work Jensen's Survey of the NT
AND THE GIFT IS NOT LIKE THAT WHICH CAME THROUGH THE ONE WHO SINNED FOR ON THE ONE HAND THE JUDGMENT AROSE FROM ONE TRANSGRESSION RESULTING IN CONDEMNATION: kai ouch os di enos hamartesantos (AAPMSG) to dorema to men gar krima ex enos eis katakrima: (Ge 3:6-19; Gal 3:10; Ja 2:10)
S Lewis Johnson in light of some deep doctrinal teaching which might lose us, reiterates that...
J Vernon McGee adds this thought...
Recall that there are 3 major contrasts in verses Romans 5:15, 16 and 17...
Romans 5:16 is explains how Adam and Christ are not alike demonstrating that there is no comparison between the grace of God in Christ and the offense of Adam and its sinister consequences. In Romans 5:16 we see 4 contrasts as shown in the table below.
The (free) gift - Paul extends his first statement about the free gift that was just mentioned in the first clause of Romans 5:15 (note). What is the free gift? From the context it equates with the gift of righteousness (see note Romans 5:17 "the gift of righteousness will reign") in and through Jesus Christ. Adam's sin had consequences (his "gift") for the entire human race in that many died. Jesus provides a gift that also has consequences for the entire human race, but there is a difference.
Ironside explains that...
There is a difference as to the offense and the gift however. Adam's one offense involved his race in the consequences of his fall. Christ, having satisfied divine justice, offers the gift of life by grace to all who will believe and so it abounds to many.
MacDonald adds a note on this difference writing that...
The free gift of Christ dealt effectively with many offenses, not just one, and resulted in the verdict “Acquitted.” Paul highlights the differences between Adam’s sin and Christ’s gift, between the terrible havoc wrought by one sin and the tremendous deliverance wrought from many sins, and finally between the verdict of condemnation and the verdict of justification. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
Vine says that...
This second contrast is one of quality. Condemnation was passed as a result of one trespass; justification is declared in regard to many trespasses. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
S Lewis Johnson explains it this way...
The gift of God cannot be compared with the sin of Adam, Paul says. In the case of Adam there were many offences, and they led to judgment and condemnation. In the case of Christ there is the free gift of righteousness that has come from any offences and their satisfaction by the sacrificial blood of the Redeemer. The judgment came from one deed, but God's gift is His answer to a multitude of misdeeds, the accumulated sins of the centuries since Adam. (Romans 5:15-21)
John Murray notes that...
The one trespass demanded nothing less than the condemnation of all. But the free gift unto justification is of such a character that it must take the many trespasses into its reckoning; it could not be the free gift of justification unless it blotted out the many trespasses. Consequently, the free gift is conditioned as to its nature and effect by the many trespasses just as the judgment was conditioned as to its nature and effect by the one trespass alone” (The Epistle to the Romans Eerdmans, 1965)
Ray Pritchard adds a helpful note...
Think of it this way. How many sins did Adam have to commit in order to bring condemnation to the world? Only one. That's all it took. One sin and the world was plunged into darkness. One man, one sin, condemnation comes to the whole world. On the other side of the ledger, how many sins were forgiven in the death of Christ? Paul says "many trespasses." He doesn't mean "many versus all" but "many versus one." Which is greater? What Jesus did is far greater because His deed was "provoked" by many sins. What Adam did was his own fault, yet it affected the whole world. What Jesus did paid the price not just for Adam's sin but for the sins of the entire human race—from the time of Adam till the end of the world. Thus the power of Jesus' death is far greater than the power of Adam's single, solitary sin. (Read his full message - Paradise Regained)
Adam's single trespass brought in judgment, i.e., death. Adam trespassed once and brought death to all that were in him. Christ died once and, despite thousands of trespasses, brought justification to all that are in Him. That is the contrast. Adam trespassed once and brought death to all. Jesus died once and brought life -- despite thousands of trespasses.
What Paul is saying here is amplified before this in the repeated forgiveness of sin. One trespass brought death; the death of Jesus brought forgiveness for thousands of trespasses. All your life, as many times as you sin, you cannot out-sin the grace of God. No matter how many trespasses are involved in your record, there is freedom in Christ and forgiveness for all of them. (Read his full sermon Romans 5:11-21 Rejoicing In God )
This is the second point in which the effects of the work of Christ differ from the sin of Adam. The first part (see note Romans 5:15) 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. The point in this verse is, that the evil consequences flowed from one CRIME, one act of guilt; but that the favours 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. (Barnes NT Commentary)
Gift (1434) (dorema from dorea = free gift with emphasis on gratuitous nature + --ma = the result of giving [dosis]) is the thing given or that which is granted. Dorema is used only in one other passage...
Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift (dorema) is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation, or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
The one who sinned - Adam. One sin by this one man brought God's judgment and condemnation.
Sinned (264) (hamartano) means to miss the mark and so to miss God's will and purpose for one's life. The aorist tense means that at one point in time Adam sinned. Adam’s one transgression brought death. Jesus’ death brought forgiveness for thousands of transgressions. Clearly, Jesus’ work is far superior.
Morris comments that...
Sin is not the last word, for the gift alters the sinner’s entire situation. It points to the freeness of salvation; the believer is not required to strive heroically against Adam’s legacy as the price of acceptance with God. (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Judgment (2917) (krima from kríno = to judge; suffix –ma indicates result of judging) denotes the result of the action signified by verb krino and thus is a judicial sentence from the magistrate. It is the sentence pronounced, the verdict, the act of judging. Krima signifies judgment carried out.
Barnes writes that krima means...
One transgression - Transgression is added by the translators.
Condemnation (2631)(katakrima from katá = against, down + kríno = basic meaning was "to separate" from which the idea of discriminate, distinguish, and then to judge or pronounce sentence against) literally is judgment coming down on someone. Katakrima means to judge someone as definitely guilty and thus subject to punishment, which accounts for the literal translation of "adverse judgment and resultant punishment". It is a legal technical term for the result of judging, including both the sentence and the execution or the sentence followed by a suggested punishment (The suffix -ma makes it the result of judgment). Katakrima is always an adverse verdict. Stated another way, katakrima (condemnation) relates to the sentencing for a crime, but its primary focus is not so much on the verdict as on the penalty that the verdict demands.
The divine guilty verdict is the polar opposite of justification. The verdict refers to God’s sentence. The word for condemnation involves the ideas of “punishment” and “doom.” So we ask: Condemned to what? The answer is, to divine punishment and doom. The seriousness of this condemnation cannot be overstated.
Regarding condemnation MacDonald reminds us that...
BUT ON THE OTHER HAND THE FREE GIFT AROSE FROM MANY TRANSGRESSIONS RESULTING IN JUSTIFICATION: to de charisma ek pollon paraptomaton eis dikaioma: (Isa 1:18; 43:25; 44:22; Lu 7:47-50; Acts 13:38,39; 1Co 6:9-11; 1Ti 1:13-16)
But on the other hand - The UBS Handbook rightly observes that "At this point the analogy with Adam breaks down. After his one sin came the judgment of “Guilty”; but after so many sins comes the undeserved gift of “Not guilty!” In this way Paul demonstrates the superiority of God’s grace over Adam’s sin. Grace had a much more difficult road to travel than sin had. To use an illustration from everyday life, it is much easier for an infection to spread than it is to cure the infection once it has spread throughout the body." (Ref)
Free gift (grace gift) (5486) (charisma [see word study] from charis [see word study on charis] = grace + the ending --ma which indicates the result of something, in this case the result of grace) is a gift of grace or an undeserved benefit. It refers something given by God completely apart from human merit. Note that God is the Giver in 16/17 NT uses charisma
In Romans, Paul uses charisma in reference to the gift of salvation (Romans 5:15-16; note on Ro 6:23), the blessings of God (notes on Romans 1:1, Romans 11:29), and divine enablements for ministry (note on Romans 12:6). Every other use of the word by Paul, and the one by Peter (see note 1 Peter 4:10-13), relates it to the divine enablements for believers to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Vine writes that charisma is...
Many transgressions - This does not refer to the sins of Adam but to the sins of those who lived after Adam. As Morris says that Paul "sets the one sin over against many trespasses. The one sin was the direct cause of the judgment; it led to disaster. The many trespasses (transgressions) were not the direct cause of the blessing, but simply the occasion that called forth the divine mercy" (Ibid)
Lightfoot writes that...
The starting-point was not one act extending to many; but conversely many acts leading to one.
Transgressions (3900) (paraptoma from parapipto = fall aside from para = aside + pipto = fall) (see use in Romans 4:25) means a falling beside, deviation from a path or departing from the norm. By extension, it carries the idea of going where one should not go, and therefore is sometimes translated “trespass”. Here the trespass is eating "from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" Genesis 2:17. The picture is that of one who stumbles or falls. The idea conveyed by transgression is that one has crossed a line, challenging God's boundary, whereas the idea behind sins (hamartia 266) is missing a mark, specifically God's perfect, holy standard.
Now the contrast turns to condemnation in Adam and justification in Christ. Not only is our guilt derived from one man’s sin, but it is derived from only one sin of that man. It is not the sins of Adam’s lifetime that have been imputed to us, but only his original sin. That one sin brought condemnation. However, the righteousness which is imputed to us by Christ, through the free gift of God’s grace, covers not just that one offense but many offenses.
Justification (1345) (dikaioma from dikaióo = to justify <> díkaios = just, righteous <> dike = right) refers to what God has declared to be right and here referring to His decree of retribution which has the force of law. Dikaioma is used elsewhere in this Epistle with its other meaning of “righteousness” (see table below). Strictly speaking dikaioma is what God establishes as just. Dikaioma is used in this verse to signify the clearing of one of a violation as an act of justification and equates with the removal of guilt or granting of an acquittal.
Adam brought upon all men the condemnation for only one offense—his willful act of disobedience. Christ, however, delivers the elect from the condemnation of many offenses.
Morris comments that...
William Newell explains that Romans 5:16...
John MacArthur adds that Romans 5:16 has two very practical truths...
John Piper has a pragmatic comment on Romans 5:16...
Romans 5:17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (NASB: Lockman)
Greek: ei gar to tou enos paraptomati o thanatos ebasileusen (3SAAI) dia tou enos, pollo mallon o ten perisseian tes charitos kai tes doreas tes dikaiosunes lambanontes (PAPMPN) en zoe basileusousin (3PFAI) dia tou enos Iesou Christou.
Amplified: For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NLT: The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: For if one man's offence meant that men should be slaves to death all their lives, it is a far greater thing that through another man, Jesus Christ, men by their acceptance of his more than sufficient grace and righteousness, should live all their lives like kings! (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For in view of the fact that by means of the transgression of the one death reigned as king through that one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, in life will reign as kings through the One, Jesus Christ. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one -- Jesus Christ.
FOR IF BY THE TRANSGRESSION OF THE ONE, DEATH REIGNED THROUGH THE ONE: ei gar to tou enos paraptomati o thanatos ebasileusen (3SAAI) dia tou enos: (Ro 5:12; Ge 3:6,19; 1Cor 15:21,22,49) (Ro 5:20; Jn 10:10; 1Ti 1:14)
For (gar) - introduces an explanation.
Vine says that here Paul...
confirms verse 16, (and) introduces a third contrast, not as previously between one and many, but between the legal effects of the one trespass and the effect of the abundance of grace in the future destiny of the justified. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson or Logos)
If is first class conditional which means this declaration is assumed to be true, fulfilled or factual - "if as is the case by the transgression...". Paul once again argues from the "lesser" ("transgression of the one" Adam) to the "greater" (the One Jesus Christ), as he continues the reasoning of the preceding verse.
Transgression (3900) (paraptoma from parapipto = fall aside from para = aside + pipto = fall) (see use in Romans 4:25) means a falling beside, deviation from a path or departing from the norm. Adam fell aside when he ate "from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17) and thus began the Fall of man.
Death reigned - Paul has noted this earlier writing...
Death (2288) (thanatos) is the opposite of life and the absence of life and in the NT is the consequence and punishment (wages) of sin. Death speaks of separation, physically of the soul from the body and spiritually of the soul from God. Note however that death does not signify either annihilation or extinction. Here in Romans 5 Paul personifies death as a sovereign tyrant ruling over mankind as testified to by a world filled with cemeteries! No one escapes the rule of death, which is like the proverbial sword of Damocles, suspended over every person's head at every moment!
And Morris reminds us that Paul...
If you aren't convinced that death reigned then read Genesis 5 and note the solemn repetition of the key phrase and he died (8 times in chapter 5)...
Vine adds that thanatos in Romans 5 is primarily a reference...
Reigned (936) (basileuo from basileús = a king) means to rule as a king, with implication of complete authority and right to control in an absolute manner. It speaks of the dominating quality of death. This Death reigned as an absolute monarch over all humanity, exhibiting undisputed, rightful sway. In America, this picture might lose some of its impact. But to those who were raised in a country ruled by monarchy, the picture of a King whose decrees cannot be questioned is very real. So it was with "King Death".
Vincent commenting on death reigned writes that this is...
Adam’s sin brought universal death, exactly opposite the result he had been duped to expect by Satan, the Deceiver, who promised
On the other hand, Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe.
Adam transgressed God’s commandment that he must not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:17). This command was a test of man’s obedience to God. With the coming of sin into man’s experience, death also came. Death became king. It reigned supreme. Adam’s action brought the reign of death.
As the representative head of the human race, Adam’s offense dethroned him as the ruler of God’s creation. Consequently, death became the ruler of nature. Adam became the representative of a death-destined society. Every individual born into that society, shares that destiny of death as well. The "Last Adam", Jesus Christ, is also the representative of a society. Since all men and women are born into the society of death, the only way to enter Christ’s society, in which men are born unto justification of life, is to be born again (which is implied by the verb receive; i.e., those who receive implies some won't receive - see discussion of receive below). By the new birth experience we pass from our old relationship to Adam into a new and living relationship with Christ.
Ray Pritchard explains Romans 5:17...
MUCH MORE THOSE WHO RECEIVE THE ABUNDANCE OF GRACE AND OF THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: pollo mallon oi ten perisseian tes charitos kai tes doreas tes dikaiosunes lambanontes (PAPMPN): (Romans 6:23; Isa 61:10; Philippians 3:9)
THE MUCH MORES
Much more - This introduces the work of grace. On one hand sin got its just reward -- death. Grace doesn't work that way and it cannot be measured out in terms of strict equivalence. As Morris says "Grace is superlative generosity. Grace is overflowing abundance."
J Vernon McGee comments on much more in Romans 5:12-21 writing that...
Wiersbe explains much more in this passage this way...
I like the way Haldane explains much more in this verse...
Matthew Henry adds that...
Godet has an interesting comment on much more writing that...
Vine writes that...
S Lewis Johnson commenting on those who receive writes that...
In the words there is a hint of how the work becomes the possession of those for whom it was intended. They are to receive it. In other words, it becomes theirs by the appropriation of faith... (cf. see notes Ephesians 2:8; 2:9; Philippians 1:29, etc.). Incidentally, the expression, the gift of righteousness, makes it quite clear that justification is something that becomes ours by grace. It is not the product of works (cf. note Romans 4:5) (Romans 5:15-21)
William Newell offers a convicting comment on those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness writing...
Abundance (4050) (perisseia from peri = over and above from peran = beyond, over, on the other side) (see related noun in notes on Romans 5:15) is an exceeding measure, something above the ordinary and refers to a superabundance of anything. Here it refers to God's super abundant provision of grace and emphasizes the matchless, infinite generosity of His provision. He did not just give us a sample of His grace, but grace overflowing. Who can truly comprehend this statement! But oh how it should this foretaste cause us to break forth in heartfelt worship and humble thanksgiving for such an incomprehensible provision about which Paul speaks in his letter to the Ephesians declaring..
My grace is," not "was," and not "will be;" 'tis flowing
Grace (5485)(charis from chairo = to rejoice, be glad) is God’s generous favor to undeserving sinners and needy saints. The grace of God is undeserved, unsought, and unbought (except that it is made available by the precious blood of the Lamb of God).
Spurgeon has an interesting note on grace writing that...
Wuest says that grace
Gift of righteousness - If it is a gift, it is not something that we can earn. We could never have earned righteousness (right standing before God).
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains that...
Gift (1431) (dorea from didomi = to give) refers to a free gift and emphasizes the gratuitous character of the gift. Dorea describes that which is given or transferred freely by one person to another, without price or compensation. Whereas dorea (gift) emphasizes freeness, charisma (free gift) highlights the gracious aspect of what God has done.
Denny has a comment that speaks to our eternal security writing that...
Righteousness (1343) (dikaiosune [word study] from dikaios [word study] = being proper or right in the sense of being fully justified being or in accordance with what God requires) is the quality of being upright. In its simplest sense dikaiosune conveys the idea of conformity to a standard or norm. In this sense righteousness is the opposite of hamartia (sin), which is defined as missing of the mark set by God. In this sense righteousness is the opposite of hamartia (sin), which is defined as missing of the mark set by God.
Dikaiosune is rightness of character before God and rightness of actions before men. (Click here to read Pastor Ray Pritchard's interesting analysis of righteousness in the Gospel of Matthew).
The English word righteousness comes from a root word that means “straightness.” It refers to a state that conforms to an authoritative standard. Righteousness is a moral concept. God’s character is the definition and source of all righteousness. God is totally righteous because He is totally as He should be. The righteousness of God is all that God is, all that He commands, all that He demands, all that He approves, all that He provides through Christ the Righteous One.
Jesus Thy Blood and righteousness
This is the righteousness bestowed by God on the basis of faith (see notes Romans 1:17; 3:21, 22, 26; 5:17, 21; 9:30; 10:3). Christ gives to man far more than man lost in Adam—more indeed than Adam ever had! The blessing that comes from Christ is infinitely greater.
Barnhouse notes that...
Adam Clarke writes that...
MUCH MORE - A statement I heard at an Easter service stays with me: “More has been gained in the resurrection of Jesus than was lost in the fall.” More gained than lost? Can it be true?
Each day we experience the damage caused by sin entering our world. Greed, injustice, and cruelty all trace their origins back to Adam and Eve’s decision to follow their own path rather than God’s (Gen. 3). The legacy of their disobedience is passed down to every generation. Without God’s intervention, we would be in a hopeless situation. But Jesus overpowered sin through His cross and conquered death through His resurrection.
The victory of Christ is celebrated in Romans 5, often called the “much more” chapter of the New Testament, where Paul contrasts the devastation caused by sin with the restoring power of God’s grace. In every case, grace overpowers the consequences of sin. In a grand conclusion, Paul says: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Ro 5:20, 21).
No matter how much we have personally lost because of sin, we have gained far more through the resurrection victory of Christ. — David C. McCasland (Much More! - Our Daily Bread)
WILL REIGN IN LIFE THROUGH THE ONE JESUS CHRIST: en zoe basileusousin (3PFAI) dia tou enos iesou christou: (Romans 8:39; Mt 25:34; 1Cor 4:8; 2 Timothy 2:12; Js 2:5; 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 3:21; Revelation 5:9; 5:10; Revelation 20:4;20:6 22:5)
Will reign in life - This phrase has been understood two ways. Some commentators (Newell, Vine, F B Meyer, MacDonald, Constable, Wiersbe) see this reign as beginning in this present life and culminating in the believers reign as kings with Christ in His Millennial kingdom and forever. Others (Cranfield, S Lewis Johnson, John Piper) take the future tense of reign as referring not to our reigning in this present life but only referring to our reign in the future life. I favor the former interpretation. Some quote Paul's statement to the Corinthians ("you have become kings without us" 1Cor 4:8) as evidence to support the fact that believers don't reign in this life, but in that passage Paul was clearly using that phrase in biting irony. I would counter the Corinthians passage with the fact that Paul clearly states that God has "raised us up with Him (Christ) and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus". (see note Ephesians 2:6)
John MacArthur writes that...
Constable comment that will reign in life...
Morris notes that...
F Godet comments that reign in life is...
The UBS Handbook writes that will rule in life...
Reign (936) (basileuo from basileús = a king) means to rule as a king, with implication of complete authority and right to control in an absolute manner.
Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has, accomplished (and will complete) exactly what He intended for ...
To reign in life through Christ is also to have power over sin. Later in this letter Paul says,
D. Stuart Briscoe has an interesting discussion of what it means to reign in life writing that this phrase...
Through the one (Adam)...through the One (Christ) - These parallel phrases give added emphasis to the one real point of comparison between Adam and Christ, namely, the fact that each man's action is determinative for the life of the many to whom they are related.
Life (2222) (zoe) describes the state of one who is possessed of vitality or is animate. It means the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which alone belongs to God the Giver of life. In the Greek writings of Homer zoe meant ‘living’ referring to ‘substance or property’, without which there would not be life. After Homer it means existence as opposed to death.
Truly meaningful life, life on the "highest plane", life that really is worthwhile is found only in "the promise of life in Christ Jesus" (see note 2 Timothy 1:1) Who came so that we might have life and might have it abundantly (Jn 10:10). This life is "in Christ Jesus" and therefore is a life that is eternal, for He is eternal and our union with Him conveys eternality (right now...in this present age! - see Newell's comments below regarding the believer's reign in life).
Vine comments that...
This new quality of life then is the present possession of the believer because of his or her relationship with the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world and it is also our future hope when we will receive our glorified bodies, have every tear wiped away and be forever free from sin, sickness, sorrow, suffering, and death (see notes Philippians 3:20; 21).
Wayne Barber adds...
As believers, we know from experience as well as from Scripture that we are still affected by sin, still clothed in the sinful rags of the old self (see Chart contrasting in the flesh vs in the Spirit) But sin is no longer the dominant nature or the overbearing master of a believer. In Christ we are no longer victims of sin but victors over sin and we can exclaim...
William Newell expounds on the saint's reign in life writing that...
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F B Meyer (Our Daily Homily) comments on They which receive abundance of grace … shall reign in life-
All God’s dealings with us are on the same principle. As we received Christ Jesus the Lord, so we must walk in Him. Whether it be justification or sanctification; whether reconciliation or reigning in life that is under consideration — the same mighty principles underlie and control the Divine gifts and our participation in them. We receive reconciliation as a gift at the beginning of our Christian life, and we have to receive all else by the same medium to the end. For ever and for ever we have just to wait till God fill us, as the flower-cups that are now filled with sunshine and now with dew or rain.
You have already received the reconciliation (Romans 5:11). — Unable to earn it by your own endeavors, you were at last content to receive it as a free gift placed into your open hand; now you have to maintain the same position with respect to all the spiritual gifts that you need for the maintenance of a godly life, and to enable you to reign. Faith — simple, open-handed, heaven-regarding faith — is the one unchanging law of the holy life.
“Trusting Jesus, that is all.”
This reigning in life is not to be relegated to the unseen and future. — It is meant to be our present experience. He hath made us kings to God, even the Father. We are called to the royalty of men, the abundance, the freedom, the consciousness of power and victory, which we are wont to associate with those who reign. To reign in the ordinary life of the home, the shop, the counting-house — such is our high calling in Christ Jesus. And it may be ours if we receive “abundance of grace” of the one Man, Jesus Christ.
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F B Meyer (Our Daily Walk) - REIGNING IN LIFE - IT WOULD take a lifetime--nay, it will demand eternity--to explore the treasures of this paragraph from which our text is taken. Let us not, however, stand gazing into heaven, but avail ourselves of the privilege offered us during our earthly life of reigning through the One, even Jesus Christ. Do not postpone the fulfilment of this promise! We may have to wait for the future life to unfold depths of meaning which now transcend our thought; but any fair reading of this radiant verse compels us to appropriate it for here and now.
But, "how can these things be?" He, a master in Israel asked that question of Christ! This blessed life of victory is only possible to those who have been born from above. By nature we were born from below into the first Adam, who was "a living soul." We must be born from above, into the second Adam, who becomes to all who trust in Him a Life-giving spirit (1Co 15:45). That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and cannot of itself rise into the Spirit; the Holy Spirit must stoop to lift it into union with Himself. But He will do this for you, if only you will lift your heart to Christ in simple faith and surrender.
The difference it will make! Each life has been planned by God with the intention of training it for high service here and beyond; and whatever happens in life, there is always an abundance of grace awaiting our use. But how often we are as blind to it as Balaam was to the Angel that stood on the wayside! We make our plans! We lie awake half the night in a fever of anxiety! We go to this friend or that! But we do not claim that abundance of grace which is intended to meet the need of the hour. It is only as we receive it by a childlike faith that we can reign in life. That word "abundance" in its Latin original speaks of ocean-waves. Stand on the shore and look out on that infinite expanse, and do not be content with Scooping up enough to fill an oyster-shell!
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the trials and pains that are ever working for my good, and making me a partaker of Thy holiness. May I receive the abundance of Thy grace, and reign in life here and hereafter. AMEN.
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F B Meyer (Our Daily Walk) - LIFE ABUNDANT: GRACE ABOUNDING - NOTICE THAT word Receive! We first receive forgiveness, or reconciliation, then abundance of grace (Ro 5:11-17). We cannot merit or earn either one or the other; all that we have to do is to take what God offers, by an act of the will which accepts and appropriates. If men are lost, it is because they refuse to receive the grace and love of God, secured to us, in spite of our failure and sin, through the second Adam. We must believe that we have received, even when we are not conscious of any new experience (John 1:12). It is a blessed thing, when our emotional life is at a low ebb, and we feel out of sorts, to receive, to inbreathe, to drink in the abundance of grace, and to know that He is working in us in power.
There is no limit to the abundance of God's supply--it abounds! The Apostle keeps using that word, which really means "running over" (see notes Romans 5:15, 5:17, 5:20). And the result of receiving more and more out of God's fullness, is that we reign, not in the future life, but in this. Ours becomes a royal, a regnant, a triumphant life.
This glorious life in which we are daily victorious over sin, daily using and scattering the unsearchable fiches of Christ, daily helping others up to the throne-life, is within the reach of every reader of these words. God wants you to enter upon it; He has made every provision for it, and is at this moment urging you to enter upon it. The only thing for you to do is to receive the abundance of His grace and of the gift of righteousness. Open your heart and life and He will fill it; dare to believe that He has filled it, even though you don't feel it; and go forth to live a royal life, distributing the largess of His royal bounty!
But we must pour out as God pours in! Only so will He be able to trust us with His fullness. Our love to others, our willingness to help them, our forgivingness and patience must go to the point of self-exhaustion, if we would know the abundant life and the grace that flows over.
PRAYER: For souls redeemed, for sins forgiven; For means of grace, and hopes of heaven, Father, what can to Thee be given, Who givest all? AMEN.