Thanks for returning to this series on “Judge Judge Judge” and my feeble attempt to understand a believers responsibility and right to make judgments.
Another purpose of this series hopefully is to understand the believers restriction on judgement.
What can a Christian judge? How is he to judge? What is prohibited in the Christian life to judge. So many questions and concerns.
Our eighth Greek word related to judging is…
δικαίωμα – dikaiōma – righteousness, ordinance, judgment, justification
This word is found 10 times in 10 verses within the New Testament. A full listing of all verses may be found in a post to follow for your self study. I will consider the verses that are not clear, that create questions in my mind, with the remaining verses left for the reader to ponder
Romans 5:16. 18
And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
Let’s visit on this verse for a wee spell, since Romans 5 has always been a difficult passage for me.
Romans 5 is a passage that Paul is writing to explain the imputation of sin on the human race due to the sinful action of one (Adam) and the imputation of righteousness on the human race due to the righteous act of One (the second Adam – Jesus).
But that can’t be right, since the sinful act of Adam effected all of humanity. The righteous act of Jesus effected only those who are disciples.
So now I am confused still.
I suppose I need to find beyond our subject verses the qualifying verse within the context where Paul defines the subjects of forgiveness.
For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Many & Much More
15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many (multitudes) died through one man’s trespass, much more (a greater quantity) have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many (multitudes).
So many died through a single act of disobedience! This statement seems clear. Verse 12 of the same chapter states the same.
Could the “much more” be referring to the effect of the act of obedience when compared with the act of disobedience. The free gift will have eternal effect on the ones who receive it, and depending on your view of hell, it will have an effect on those who do not receive the free gift. It is possible.
Could the “much more” refer to the power/authority of the act of obedience compared with the power/authority of the act of disobedience? I kinda think this makes sense, especially when we consider the topic of reigning that comes up in the next few verses.
16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.
This verse contains our study word – please don’t think I have abandoned the original purpose of the study. I will get back to it! I just wanna figger this thought process out!
17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
Okay – I think I am getting some clarity – I hope I can communicate it to y’all.
Notice the term “reign” in our passage. Paul begins this thought here and continues in Romans 5:21 and 6:12. Paul personifies sin and grace.
Think of it this way. In the past, King Sin ruled over all the people, holding them under the grip of death. Jesus enters the scene, deposes King Sin and offers the new Kingdom to all who receive it.
We are in the transition time right now.
I think it is like when David was anointed King of Israel by Samuel. In God’s sight David was the King, but Israel didn’t recognize him as such. Just like the world does not recognize the Messiah as it’s true King. Come to think of it, we are like the band of men that followed David while he was being persecuted by King Saul.
But I digress into discussing the Kingdom of God. Paul is describing a kingdom where Sin reigned for a time, but now Grace can (and should) reign in a believers life.
Sin or Grace? It is somewhat surprising that Paul is not comparing sin with obedience, or sin with righteousness. No – he contrasts Sin with Grace.
So – vs 17 gives the two possibilities.
- Because of one disobedience – death reigned upon all through Adam.
- Because of one obedience – life reigns upon all through Jesus, (who receive the abundance of grace).
18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
This is the verse that started my inner turmoil this morning, where Paul speaks of “all men” being justified.
19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
Again, Paul seems to be equating “the many” sinners with “the many” that will be made righteous. There are some who look to this verse (and passage) and teach of a universal (eventual) salvation for all men.
Oh my heart wishes for this, and yet at this point in my pilgrimage, I haven’t found enough in the Word to advance, or even defend the position.
20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
This verse could support my current thinking that the trespass had power/authority (through the law) but grace (through the life of Christ) had greater power/authority
21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
- Sin reigned in death
- Grace might reign* through righteousness, leading to eternal life.
Two possibilities for the human race, for you.
So, although a bit of a detour, I needed to resolve some of these issues for my own sake. If you followed along, let me know of your thoughts on Romans 5. It is difficult in its initial reading, and only got worse as I dug, but to reduce the words of this post, I will refrain from further discussion on it.
Regarding the original reason for the post, this word for judgement is translated as justification. It is the declaration of a judicial sentence by the Judge of all, a statement or sentence that, per context is favorable for us.
His free gift has provided the basis of this judicial decision (judgement) a legal decision and declaration to all who receive this gift.
The courts are an awe invoking environment. Even the kangaroo courts I was associated with in my youth, inspired a sense of dominance and authority over my life. Alas, that is the purpose of the courts. At least one purpose, and that is to declare the condition of my life in the future. A judgement from an outside source will effect my life; I have no power to avoid the consequence.
But in this grace filled judicial sentence, I am invited to enter into cooperation with the Judge, to become one who is involved and led into a life of righteousness.
Where grace reigns and following God is a duty and a pleasure.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.