So also is the free gift not like the offense. For if through the offense of one many are dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, has abounded unto many.
Read Chapter 5
Paul said that Adam was a type of Christ, but in order to assure us that they were not alike in substance, he says that the gift is not like the trespass. The only similarity between them is that just as one man sinned, so one man put things right. If by the trespass of one man many have died by imitating his transgression, how much more has the grace of God and his gift abounded in those who flee to him for refuge! For there are more who have received grace than who have died because of Adam’s trespass. From this it is clear that Paul was not talking about ordinary death, which is common to us all, since everybody dies but not everybody receives grace. Death does not reign in everyone. It only reigns in those who have died because of the sin of Adam, who have sinned by a transgression like his. Paul is talking only about these when he says that although many have died because of Adam’s sin, many more have received grace…. For both to those who sinned in a way similar to Adam and to th...
The gift excels in two ways: first, because grace abounds much more in that it bestows eternal life even though death reigns in the temporal sphere because of the death of Adam, and second, because by the condemnation of one sin the death of many came about through Adam, whereas by the forgiveness of many sins through our Lord Jesus Christ grace has been given for eternal life.
At first sight it may seem that this verse contradicts what Paul said [in verse ] above, for there he spoke of death having come to all humanity, whereas here he says only that many have died. In fact there is no contradiction, because death, although it came upon all because we have all sinned, came only to test and to try everyone. Death does not destroy all sinners automatically but only those who persist in their sins. By saying that “many died” Paul shows merely that many turned out to be unrepentant in their sins. .
But not as the offence, so also is the gift, or the benefits which mankind receive by their Redeemer, Jesus Christ. For St. Paul here shows that the graces which Christ came to bestow upon men, and offers to all, are much greater than the evils which the sin of one man, Adam, caused. 1. Because, if by the offence of that one man, Adam, many, i.e. all died by original sin that descended from Adam, (the blessed Virgin mother by a special privilege being always excepted) much more the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many, hom. x. (Witham)
What Paul is saying here seems to be something like this. If sin, and the sin of a single man moreover, had such a big effect, how is it that grace, and that the grace of God—not of the Father only but also of the Son— would not have an even greater effect? That one man should be punished on account of another does not seem reasonable, but that one man should be saved on account of another is both more suitable and more reasonable. So if it is true that the former happened, much more should the latter have happened as well! Homilies on Romans
Christ’s obedience was greater than Adam’s disobedience in the following sense. Death, which originated with the sin of Adam, had our cooperation in the sins which we all committed, and so it was able to gain control over us. For if men had remained free of all wrongdoing, death would not have been in control. But the grace of Christ has come to us all without our cooperation and shows that the grace of the resurrection is such that not only believers, who glory in their faith, will be resurrected, but also unbelievers, both Jews and Greeks. Something which works in us against our will is therefore obviously greater than something which works in us with our cooperation. .
After discussing the entry of sin into this world, the Apostle treats of the history of grace, which abolishes sin. And concerning this he does two things. First, he shows how the grace of Christ removed sin, which entered the world through one man; secondly, how it removed sin, which superabounded with the coming of the Law [v. 20; n. 448]. 223 In showing how Christ’s grace removed the sin introduced into the world by Adam, he compares Christ’s grace to Adam’s sin, stating that Christ’s grace can accomplish more good than Adam’s sin accomplishes evil. And concerning this he does two things. First, he compares the causes, namely, Christ’s grace, with Adam’s sin; secondly, he compares their effects [v. 16; n. 435]. In regard to the first he does two things: first, he gives the comparison; secondly, he clarifies it [v. 15b; n. 432]. 431. First, therefore, he says: It has been stated that Adam is the type of the one who was to come, but not like the trespass is the free gift. As if to say...