Romans 5:18, “Therefore as through one sin condemnation came to all men, thus through one righteous act also came life’s justification to all men.”
This is basically a summary statement of the last few verses.
Adam’s sin = death and condemnation to all men.
Jesus’ righteous act (on the cross) = life and justification for all men.
I was having a discussion with my brother a couple of nights ago and we were discussing everything going on around us. It seems like every thing on the news is another depressing story of death, murder, robbery, sex scandal, natural disaster, disease outbreak, etc. It doesn’t take long to figure out that something’s wrong in this world. This is the result of Adam’s sin. Through his sin, death and condemnation reigned in the world, including the lives of all men (people) because we’ve all sinned in the likeness of Adam. This is the bad news and it’s BAD news!
However, as Paul has written in this passage, there’s good news (the gospel) and the good news is better in every way than the bad news. Jesus’ righteous act was that He took death upon Himself and died for the sins of the world and not remaining dead, He was raised from the dead, giving us the hope of new life. This is GREAT news! I think this is why Paul has harped on this point for so long, because there is no better news. In fact, all other news should be evaluated through the lens of the cross.
We are so tempted to please God with our righteous acts, but there is only one righteous act that matters and that’s Jesus’ act of dying in our place and being raised to new life. Before God, this is our only hope. It doesn’t matter what we offer God when we stand before Him, the only thing that matters is whether or not He sees Jesus when He looks our way.