The Imputation of Sin and Righteousness Romans 5:18-19 <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>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.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Paul’s purpose is to draw the parallel between Adam and Christ, and show the security of righteousness in Christ. V. 18 completes the thought begun in v. 12 that was interrupted by a digression. V. 19 probably elaborates on v. 18, clarifying the same basic truth. The difference between v. 18 and v. 19 1. The initiating acts of Adam and Christ: Transgression/Righteousness vs. disobedience/obedience – a “destiny determining action”—Moo; The first half of each verse focuses on the sin (v. 18, 12, 15,17); the second half focuses on the aspect of obedience. The contrast is the obedience of Christ (Phil 2:8). 2. The results: condemnation/were made sinners vs. justification of life/will be made righteous. The emphasis is on the forensic nature of the word. To be “righteous” is to be judged acquitted, cleared. It is a legal term, not a moral one. The justification is that that results in life. It is not merely the restoration to neutrality, a state that never existed. (Man was never neutral toward God [Rom 3:10-17; Eph 2:1-3].) Death is not ascribed to the individual’s acts but to Adam’s; so righteousness is not ascribed to the individual’s acts but to Christ. Who will be made sinners? All who are in Adam (all humanity). Sin is not ascribed to simply imitating Adam’s acts (as Pelagius [c. 360-420]) taught. He denied original sin. He saw “sin basically as an outward act transgressing the law and regarded man as free to sin or desist from sin” (EDT, p. 1013). He would hold that people were sinners by imitating Adam (cf. Schreiner). He asserted that man cooperated with God in salvation. Grace was “purely an external aid provided by God, … the free will itself or the revelation of God’s law through reason, instructing us in what we should do and holding out to us eternal sanctions … This grace is offered equally to all … By merit alone men advance in holiness. God’s predestination operates according to the quality of the lives God foresees men will lead” (EDT, p. 834). For him sin was not inborn; it was the choice of man because of his surroundings that could theoretically be resisted. This was condemned in 431 at the council of Ephesus. His most famous opponent was Augustine, the bishop of Hippo, whom Pelagius met in 410 after fleeing from Rome. In contrast the biblical picture of sin is “not just a transgression of the law but a debilitating ongoing state of enmity with God” (EDT, p. 1012). If Pelagius’ view were correct, then “Paul could scarcely say that all people are condemned and destined to die by virtue of Adam’s sin if human being sin merely by imitating what Adam had done. … People would die solely because of their own sin, not Adam’s, and bringing Adam into the equation would be extraneous to the topic at hand” (Schreiner, p. 289). This is the doctrine of the imputation of Adam’s sin. Scripture teaches a federal headship vs. a seminal headship. We are sinners because Adam, as the head of the human race, sinned. We can be made righteous because Christ as the head of the human race (the second Adam) was righteous. Just as people are sinners in solidarity with Adam, so they become righteous in solidarity with Christ. Who will be made righteous? Universalism – Same all as in Adam. This would contradict Paul’s teaching elsewhere. Potential – Christ provided the basis for justification (Christ won the sentence of justification for all and it is now freely offered to all who will receive the gift [Moo’s explanation in rebuttal]). However, "justification" is never used of the atonement in Paul; it is always used of the status actually conferred on the individual. Furthermore, the point of the passage is that justification can be as sure as condemnation, some hardly compatible with “possibility.” Actual – “Paul’s point is not so much that the groups affected by Christ and Adam, respectively, are coextensive, but that Christ affects those who are his just as certainly as Adam does those who are his” (Moo, p. 343). The all who are made righteous are clearly qualified in the context by v. 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.) Conclusion: The one is contrasted with the many. Sin and righteous are completely removed from human instrumentation. Just as sin is sure in Adam, so righteousness is sure in Christ. I post this to address the fallacy that the "all"s in v. 18 is not "all" without distinction. It is "all" who are in Adam (which is everyone) and "all" who are in Christ (which is those who are saved). To use this passage to argue for "available righteousness" through Christ is contrary to the words Paul uses (justification) and the argument Paul makes (just as sin is sure for those in Adam, so righteousness is sure for those who are in Christ). The point is the modus operandi -- namely imputation.