“But the gift is not like the trespass.” So Paul says in Romans 5:15. Paul can’t find enough things to compare between Adam and Christ, and the ideas are just tumbling from his tongue. Here’s a brief list:
Many died from one man’s sin; grace and gift came to many in Christ.
One sin brought judgment and condemnation; many trespasses are overcome by the gift of justification.
One man’s sin brought death; one man’s grace and gift brings the rule of righteousness in life.
One trespass brought condemnation; one act of righteousness justifies and brings life for all.
One disobedient act makes many sinners; one obedient act makes many righteous.
The message: God’s act of grace, God’s gift, the very life of Jesus Christ, overcomes sin and death to create the rule of life — justification and righteousness.
What I see here is an almost incredible span for Paul’s understanding of what Christ accomplished. It is all “in Christ”: he obeyed, he was grace, he was gift, he was righteous — all of this happens “in Christ.”
The theory of recapitulation is established here: Christ recapitulated Adam’s life, yea all human lives, and those who are “in Christ” enjoy what Christ has done (obedience, etc) and where Christ goes (life).
Tomorrow: Does Paul teach universalism? Is the last word, after all, life?