“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.”(Romans 5:17)
Paul in this passage from Romans indicates that the punishment our first parents merited is applied to all of us. Because of what they did we are all born sinners, all born alienated from God. Some people think it unfair that the sin of Adam and Eve should count against us. We did not commit their sin. Why suffer because of what they did?
But the fact is, it is by God’s mercy and wisdom that He proclaims this punishment for all. It is a good thing that the sin of one man brought death to us all, for then the holiness and love of one man can bring life to us all, if we by faith accept it.
This is the essence of God’s grace: Christ died to justify us, to make us righteous so that we may be saved from His just wrath against sin. We do not deserve His grace because we were His enemies, alienated from and hostile to Him. Even so, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us. There was nothing worthy or desirable in us, yet He loved us so much that He showered His grace on us and reconciled us to Himself.
And though we know we are justified by God’s action in and through Christ we have difficulty appropriating, understanding or believing it. We must always bear in mind that salvation comes all by God’s grace and His work, lest we despair or worse, become conceited and think we have earned or merited it because we are such good people. And so we have an obligation to share God’s grace and pour it out upon others as the Lord has poured it out on us. This is so that all may know the truth and come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ who has bought us reconciliation with His own blood.