5:15-19 Through one man's offence, all mankind are exposed to eternal condemnation. But the grace and mercy of God, and the free gift of righteousness and salvation, are through Jesus Christ, as man: yet the Lord from heaven has brought the multitude of believers into a more safe and exalted state than that from which they fell in Adam. This free gift did not place them anew in a state of trial, but fixed them in a state of justification, as Adam would have been placed, had he stood. Notwithstanding the differences, there is a striking similarity. As by the offence of one, sin and death prevailed to the condemnation of all men, so by the righteousness of one, grace prevailed to the justification of all related to Christ by faith. Through the grace of God, the gift by grace has abounded to many through Christ; yet multitudes choose to remain under the dominion of sin and death, rather than to apply for the blessings of the reign of grace. But Christ will in nowise cast out any who are willing to come to him.
18. Therefore—now at length resuming the unfinished comparison of Ro 5:12, in order to give formally the concluding member of it, which had been done once and again substantially, in the intermediate verses.
as by the offence of one judgment came—or, more simply, "it came."
upon all men to condenmation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came—rather, "it came."
upon all men to justification of life—(So Calvin, Bengel, Olshausen, Tholuck, Hodge, Philippi). But better, as we judge: "As through one offense it [came] upon all men to condemnation; even so through one righteousness [it came] upon all men to justification of life"—(So Beza, Grotius, Ferme, Meyer, De Wette, Alford, Revised Version). In this case, the apostle, resuming the statement of Ro 5:12, expresses it in a more concentrated and vivid form—suggested no doubt by the expression in Ro 5:16, "through one offense," representing Christ's whole work, considered as the ground of our justification, as "ONE RIGHTEOUSNESS." (Some would render the peculiar word here employed, "one righteous act" [Alford, &c.]; understanding by it Christ's death as the one redeeming act which reversed the one undoing act of Adam. But this is to limit the apostle's idea too much; for as the same word is properly rendered "righteousness" in Ro 8:4, where it means "the righteousness of the law as fulfilled by us who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," so here it denotes Christ's whole "obedience unto death," considered as the one meritorious ground of the reversal of the condemnation which came by Adam. But on this, and on the expression, "all men," see on Ro 5:19. The expression "justification of life," is a vivid combination of two ideas already expatiated upon, meaning "justification entitling to and issuing in the rightful possession and enjoyment of life").