Romans 5:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

New Living Translation
So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God's wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

English Standard Version
so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Berean Study Bible
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Berean Literal Bible
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

New American Standard Bible
so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

King James Bible
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

International Standard Version
so that, just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord.

NET Bible
so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

New Heart English Bible
that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
That as sin reigned by death, in this way grace shall reign by righteousness to eternal life by our Lord Yeshua The Messiah.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
As sin ruled by bringing death, God's kindness would rule by bringing us his approval. This results in our living forever because of Jesus Christ our Lord.

New American Standard 1977
that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jubilee Bible 2000
so that in the same manner as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus, the Christ, our Lord.

King James 2000 Bible
That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

American King James Version
That as sin has reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

American Standard Version
that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Douay-Rheims Bible
That as sin hath reigned to death; so also grace might reign by justice unto life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
in order that, even as sin has reigned in [the power of] death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

English Revised Version
that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Webster's Bible Translation
That as sin hath reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Weymouth New Testament
in order that as sin has exercised kingly sway in inflicting death, so grace, too, may exercise kingly sway in bestowing a righteousness which results in the Life of the Ages through Jesus Christ our Lord.

World English Bible
that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Young's Literal Translation
that even as the sin did reign in the death, so also the grace may reign, through righteousness, to life age-during, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Study Bible
Death in Adam, Life in Christ
20The Law was given so that the trespass would increase; but where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Cross References
Matthew 25:46
And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:17
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:12
Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, so also death was passed on to all men, because all sinned.

Romans 5:14
Nevertheless, death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who did not sin in the way that Adam transgressed. He is a pattern of the One to come.

Romans 6:14
For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Treasury of Scripture

That as sin has reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

That.

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that …

Romans 6:12,14,16 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should …

grace.

John 1:16,17 And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace…

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,

Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may …

1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory …

through.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offense death reigned by one…

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not …

Romans 8:10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the …

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…

unto.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life …

John 10:28 And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither …

1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life.

1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and …

(21) Unto death.--Rather, in death; death being, as it were, the domain in which its sovereignty was exercised.

In this last section we seem still to trace the influence of the school of Gamaliel. It appears that the Jewish doctors also attributed universal mortality to the fall of Adam, and regarded his sin as including that of the rest of mankind. (On the whole section, see Excursus F: On St. Paul's View of the Religious History of Mankind.)

That as sin hath reigned unto death,.... This is another end of the law's entrance, or rather an illustration of the grace of God, by comparing the reigns of sin and grace together: sin has such a power over man in a state of nature, as amounts to a dominion; it has not only an enticing, ensnaring power, to draw into a compliance with it, and an obstructive power to hinder that which is good, and an operative one of that which is evil, and a captivating, enslaving one to the same; but it has a kingly, governing, and commanding power: its dominion is universal as to men, and with respect both to the members of the body, and faculties of the soul; it is supported by laws, which are its lusts; and has its voluntary subjects, to whom it gives wages; its reign is very cruel and tyrannical; it is "unto death" corporeal, moral, or spiritual, and eternal. The ancient Jews often represent sin in the same light; they frequently speak (h) of , "the corruption of nature reigning" over men; and say (i): that he is "a king" over the several members of the body, which answer to him at the word of command. "The old and foolish king" in Ecclesiastes 4:13, is commonly interpreted by them of sin; which they say (k) is called "a king", because he rules in the world, over the children of men, and because all hearken to him: it is a petition much used by them (l),

"let not the evil imagination or corruption of nature "rule" over me:''

and on the other hand, they represent grace, or a principle of goodness, as a king, reigning over the corruption of nature; thus interpreting these words, "my son, fear thou the Lord and the king", they ask (m),

"who is the king? the king (say they) , is "the good imagination", or principle of goodness, who reigns over the evil imagination, which is called a king.''

And in another place (n) they say of a good man, that he , "caused the good imagination to reign" over the evil one; with which in some measure agrees what follows:

even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord; by grace is meant, either grace as it is in the heart of God; which reigns or bears sway in man's salvation in all the parts of it, "through righteousness"; consistent with the justice of God, in a way in which that is glorified, through the redemption of Christ: it reigns "unto eternal life"; grace has promised, prepared it, and makes meet for it, and will introduce into it, and freely give it: it reigns "by Jesus Christ"; grace reigns by him, righteousness, or justice, is glorified by him, and eternal life is in him, through him, and by him: or grace as it is in the hearts of converted persons, is meant where it reigns, has the dominion, is the governing principle, and that in a way of righteousness and true holiness; and will reign until it is perfected in glory, or is crowned with eternal life; all which are by Jesus Christ, namely, grace, righteousness, and life.

(h) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 52. 1. & Sanhedrin, fol. 91. 2.((i) Abot. R. Nathan, c. 16. fol. 5. 2. Targum in Eccl. ix. 14. Midrash Koheleth, fol. 80. 1.((k) Zohar in Gen. fol. 102. 1. Midrash Koheleth, fol. 70. 2. Caphtor, fol. 20. 1. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 14. 4. Jarchi in Eccl. iv. 13. (l) T. Bab. Beracot, fol. 60. 1. Shaare Zion, fol. 73. 1. Seder Tephiltot, fol. 3. 1. Ed. Basil. (m) Bemidbar Rabba, fol. 218. 1.((n) Midrash Koheleth, fol. 78. 3.21. That as sin—Observe, the word "offense" is no more used, as that had been sufficiently illustrated; but—what better befitted this comprehensive summation of the whole matter—the great general term sin.

hath reigned unto death—rather, "in death," triumphing and (as it were) revelling in that complete destruction of its victims.

even so might grace reign—In Ro 5:14, 17 we had the reign of death over the guilty and condemned in Adam; here it is the reign of the mighty causes of these—of Sin which clothes Death a Sovereign with venomous power (1Co 15:56) and with awful authority (Ro 6:23), and of Grace, the grace which originated the scheme of salvation, the grace which "sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world," the grace which "made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin," the grace which "makes us to be the righteousness of God in Him," so that "we who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness do reign in life by One, Jesus Christ!"

through righteousness—not ours certainly ("the obedience of Christians," to use the wretched language of Grotius) nor yet exactly "justification" [Stuart, Hodge]; but rather, "the (justifying) righteousness of Christ" [Beza, Alford, and in substance, Olshausen, Meyer]; the same which in Ro 5:19 is called His "obedience," meaning His whole mediatorial work in the flesh. This is here represented as the righteous medium through which grace reaches its objects and attains all its ends, the stable throne from which Grace as a Sovereign dispenses its saving benefits to as many as are brought under its benign sway.

unto eternal life—which is salvation in its highest form and fullest development for ever.

by Jesus Christ our Lord—Thus, on that "Name which is above every name," the echoes of this hymn to the glory of "Grace" die away, and "Jesus is left alone."

On reviewing this golden section of our Epistle, the following additional remarks occur: (1) If this section does not teach that the whole race of Adam, standing in him as their federal head, "sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression," we may despair of any intelligible exposition of it. The apostle, after saying that Adam's sin introduced death into the world, does not say "and so death passed upon all men for that Adam "sinned," but "for that all sinned." Thus, according to the teaching of the apostle, "the death of all is for the sin of all"; and as this cannot mean the personal sins of each individual, but some sin of which unconscious infants are guilty equally with adults, it can mean nothing but the one "first transgression" of their common head, regarded as the sin of each of his race, and punished, as such, with death. It is vain to start back from this imputation to all of the guilt of Adam's first sin, as wearing the appearance of injustice. For not only are all other theories liable to the same objection, in some other form—besides being inconsistent with the text—but the actual facts of human nature, which none dispute, and which cannot be explained away, involve essentially the same difficulties as the great principle on which the apostle here explains them. If we admit this principle, on the authority of our apostle, a flood of light is at once thrown upon certain features of the divine procedure, and certain portions of the divine oracles, which otherwise are involved in much darkness; and if the principle itself seem hard to digest, it is not harder than the existence of evil, which, as a fact, admits of no dispute, but, as a feature in the divine administration, admits of no explanation in the present state. (2) What is called original sin—or that depraved tendency to evil with which every child of Adam comes into the world—is not formally treated of in this section (and even in the seventh chapter, it is rather its nature and operation than its connection with the first sin which is handled). But indirectly, this section bears testimony to it; representing the one original offense, unlike every other, as having an enduring vitality in the bosom of every child of Adam, as a principle of disobedience, whose virulence has gotten it the familiar name of "original sin." (3) In what sense is the word "death" used throughout this section? Not certainly as mere temporal death, as Arminian commentators affirm. For as Christ came to undo what Adam did, which is all comprehended in the word "death," it would hence follow that Christ has merely dissolved the sentence by which soul and body are parted in death; in other words, merely procured the resurrection of the body. But the New Testament throughout teaches that the salvation of Christ is from a vastly more comprehensive "death" than that. But neither is death here used merely in the sense of penal evil, that is, "any evil inflicted in punishment of sin and for the support of law" [Hodge]. This is too indefinite, making death a mere figure of speech to denote "penal evil" in general—an idea foreign to the simplicity of Scripture—or at least making death, strictly so called, only one part of the thing meant by it, which ought not to be resorted to if a more simple and natural explanation can be found. By "death" then, in this section, we understand the sinner's destruction, in the only sense in which he is capable of it. Even temporal death is called "destruction" (De 7:23; 1Sa 5:11, etc.), as extinguishing all that men regard as life. But a destruction extending to the soul as well as the body, and into the future world, is clearly expressed in Mt 7:13; 2Th 1:9; 2Pe 3:16, etc. This is the penal "death" of our section, and in this view of it we retain its proper sense. Life—as a state of enjoyment of the favor of God, of pure fellowship with Him, and voluntary subjection to Him—is a blighted thing from the moment that sin is found in the creature's skirts; in that sense, the threatening, "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die," was carried into immediate effect in the case of Adam when he fell; who was thenceforward "dead while he lived." Such are all his posterity from their birth. The separation of soul and body in temporal death carries the sinner's destruction" a stage farther; dissolving his connection with that world out of which he extracted a pleasurable, though unblest, existence, and ushering him into the presence of his Judge—first as a disembodied spirit, but ultimately in the body too, in an enduring condition—"to be punished (and this is the final state) with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power." This final extinction in soul and body of all that constitutes life, but yet eternal consciousness of a blighted existence—this, in its amplest and most awful sense, is "DEATH"! Not that Adam understood all that. It is enough that he understood "the day" of his disobedience to be the terminating period of his blissful "life." In that simple idea was wrapt up all the rest. But that he should comprehend its details was not necessary. Nor is it necessary to suppose all that to be intended in every passage of Scripture where the word occurs. Enough that all we have described is in the bosom of the thing, and will be realized in as many as are not the happy subjects of the Reign of Grace. Beyond doubt, the whole of this is intended in such sublime and comprehensive passages as this: "God … gave His … Son that whosoever believeth in Him might not PERISH, but have everlasting LIFE" (Joh 3:16). And should not the untold horrors of that "DEATH"—already "reigning over" all that are not in Christ, and hastening to its consummation—quicken our flight into "the second Adam," that having "received the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, we may reign in LIFE by the One, Jesus Christ?" 5:20,21 By Christ and his righteousness, we have more and greater privileges than we lost by the offence of Adam. The moral law showed that many thoughts, tempers, words, and actions, were sinful, thus transgressions were multiplied. Not making sin to abound the more, but discovering the sinfulness of it, even as the letting in a clearer light into a room, discovers the dust and filth which were there before, but were not seen. The sin of Adam, and the effect of corruption in us, are the abounding of that offence which appeared on the entrance of the law. And the terrors of the law make gospel comforts the more sweet. Thus God the Holy Spirit has, by the blessed apostle, delivered to us a most important truth, full of consolation, suited to our need as sinners. Whatever one may have above another, every man is a sinner against God, stands condemned by the law, and needs pardon. A righteousness that is to justify cannot be made up of a mixture of sin and holiness. There can be no title to an eternal reward without a pure and spotless righteousness: let us look for it, even to the righteousness of Christ.
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