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Romans 5:21 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— that, as sin reigned in death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— That as sin hath reigned to death, even so might grace reign through righteousness to eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— in order that, even as sin has reigned in [the power of] death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— In order that—just as sin reigned in death, so, also, favour, might reign through righteousness unto life age-abiding, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— that even as the sin did reign in the death, so also the grace may reign, through righteousness, to life age-during, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— That as sin hath reigned to death: so also grace might reign by justice unto life everlasting, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— That as sinne hath reigned vnto death; euen so might grace reigne thorow righteousnes vnto eternall life, by Iesus Christ our Lord.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— that as sin hath reigned in death, so grace might reign in righteousness unto the life which is eternal, by the hand of our Lord Jeshu Meshiha.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— So that, as sin had reigned in death, so grace might reign in righteousness unto life eternal, by means of our Lord Jesus Messiah.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
That 2443
{2443} Prime
ἵνα
hina
{hin'-ah}
Probably from the same as the former part of G1438 (through the demonstrative idea; compare G3588); in order that (denoting the purpose or the result).
as 5618
{5618} Prime
ὥσπερ
hosper
{hoce'-per}
From G5613 and G4007; just as, that is, exactly like.
sin 266
{0266} Prime
ἁμαρτία
hamartia
{ham-ar-tee'-ah}
From G0264; sin (properly abstract).
hath reigned 936
{0936} Prime
βασιλεύω
basileuo
{bas-il-yoo'-o}
From G0935; to rule (literally or figuratively).
z5656
<5656> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 2319
unto 1722
{1722} Prime
ἐν
en
{en}
A primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), that is, a relation of rest (intermediate between G1519 and G1537); 'in', at, (up-) on, by, etc.
death, 2288
{2288} Prime
θάνατος
thanatos
{than'-at-os}
From G2348; (properly an adjective used as a noun) death (literally or figuratively).
even 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
so 3779
{3779} Prime
οὕτω
houto
{hoo'-to}
From G3778; in this way (referring to what precedes or follows).
might y936
[0936] Standard
βασιλεύω
basileuo
{bas-il-yoo'-o}
From G0935; to rule (literally or figuratively).
z0
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
grace 5485
{5485} Prime
χάρις
charis
{khar'-ece}
From G5463; graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).
reign 936
{0936} Prime
βασιλεύω
basileuo
{bas-il-yoo'-o}
From G0935; to rule (literally or figuratively).
z5661
<5661> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 512
through 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
righteousness 1343
{1343} Prime
δικαιοσύνη
dikaiosune
{dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay}
From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification.
unto 1519
{1519} Prime
εἰς
eis
{ice}
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
eternal 166
{0166} Prime
αἰώνιος
aionios
{ahee-o'-nee-os}
From G0165; perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well).
life 2222
{2222} Prime
ζωή
zoe
{dzo-ay'}
From G2198; life (literally or figuratively).
by 1223
{1223} Prime
διά
dia
{dee-ah'}
A primary preposition denoting the channel of an act; through (in very wide applications, local, causal or occasional). In composition it retains the same general import.
Jesus 2424
{2424} Prime
Ἰησοῦς
Iesous
{ee-ay-sooce'}
Of Hebrew origin [H3091]; Jesus (that is, Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites.
Christ 5547
{5547} Prime
Χριστός
Christos
{khris-tos'}
From G5548; anointed, that is, the Messiah, an epithet of Jesus.
our 2257
{2257} Prime
ἡμῶν
hemon
{hay-mone'}
Genitive plural of G1473; of (or from) us.
Lord. 2962
{2962} Prime
κύριος
kurios
{koo'-ree-os}
From κῦρος [[kuros]] (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

See commentary on Romans 5:20-21.


Romans 5:21

_ _ That as sin — Observe, the word “offense” is no more used, as that had been sufficiently illustrated; but — what better befitted this comprehensive summation of the whole matter — the great general term sin.

_ _ hath reigned unto death — rather, “in death,” triumphing and (as it were) reveling in that complete destruction of its victims.

_ _ even so might grace reign — In Romans 5:14, Romans 5:17 we had the reign of death over the guilty and condemned in Adam; here it is the reign of the mighty causes of these — of SIN which clothes Death a Sovereign with venomous power (1 Corinthians 15:56) and with awful authority (Romans 6:23), and of GRACE, the grace which originated the scheme of salvation, the grace which “sent the Son to be the Savior of the world,” the grace which “made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin,” the grace which “makes us to be the righteousness of God in Him,” so that “we who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness do reign in life by One, Jesus Christ!”

_ _ through righteousness — not ours certainly (“the obedience of Christians,” to use the wretched language of Grotius) nor yet exactly “justification” [Stuart, Hodge]; but rather, “the (justifying) righteousness of Christ” [Beza, Alford, and in substance, Olshausen, Meyer]; the same which in Romans 5:19 is called His “obedience,” meaning His whole mediatorial work in the flesh. This is here represented as the righteous medium through which grace reaches its objects and attains all its ends, the stable throne from which Grace as a Sovereign dispenses its saving benefits to as many as are brought under its benign sway.

_ _ unto eternal life — which is salvation in its highest form and fullest development for ever.

_ _ by Jesus Christ our Lord — Thus, on that “Name which is above every name,” the echoes of this hymn to the glory of “Grace” die away, and “Jesus is left alone.”

_ _ On reviewing this golden section of our Epistle, the following additional remarks occur:

_ _ (1) If this section does not teach that the whole race of Adam, standing in him as their federal head, “sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression,” we may despair of any intelligible exposition of it. The apostle, after saying that Adam’s sin introduced death into the world, does not say “and so death passed upon all men for that Adam “sinned,” but “for that all sinned.” Thus, according to the teaching of the apostle, “the death of all is for the sin of all”; and as this cannot mean the personal sins of each individual, but some sin of which unconscious infants are guilty equally with adults, it can mean nothing but the one “first transgression” of their common head, regarded as the sin of each of his race, and punished, as such, with death. It is vain to start back from this imputation to all of the guilt of Adam’s first sin, as wearing the appearance of injustice. For not only are all other theories liable to the same objection, in some other form — besides being inconsistent with the text — but the actual facts of human nature, which none dispute, and which cannot be explained away, involve essentially the same difficulties as the great principle on which the apostle here explains them. If we admit this principle, on the authority of our apostle, a flood of light is at once thrown upon certain features of the divine procedure, and certain portions of the divine oracles, which otherwise are involved in much darkness; and if the principle itself seem hard to digest, it is not harder than the existence of evil, which, as a fact, admits of no dispute, but, as a feature in the divine administration, admits of no explanation in the present state.

_ _ (2) What is called original sin — or that depraved tendency to evil with which every child of Adam comes into the world — is not formally treated of in this section (and even in the seventh chapter, it is rather its nature and operation than its connection with the first sin which is handled). But indirectly, this section bears testimony to it; representing the one original offense, unlike every other, as having an enduring vitality in the bosom of every child of Adam, as a principle of disobedience, whose virulence has gotten it the familiar name of “original sin.”

_ _ (3) In what sense is the word “death” used throughout this section? Not certainly as mere temporal death, as Arminian commentators affirm. For as Christ came to undo what Adam did, which is all comprehended in the word “death,” it would hence follow that Christ has merely dissolved the sentence by which soul and body are parted in death; in other words, merely procured the resurrection of the body. But the New Testament throughout teaches that the salvation of Christ is from a vastly more comprehensive “death” than that. But neither is death here used merely in the sense of penal evil, that is, “any evil inflicted in punishment of sin and for the support of law” [Hodge]. This is too indefinite, making death a mere figure of speech to denote “penal evil” in general — an idea foreign to the simplicity of Scripture — or at least making death, strictly so called, only one part of the thing meant by it, which ought not to be resorted to if a more simple and natural explanation can be found. By “death” then, in this section, we understand the sinner’s destruction, in the only sense in which he is capable of it. Even temporal death is called “destruction” (Deuteronomy 7:23; 1 Samuel 5:11, etc.), as extinguishing all that men regard as life. But a destruction extending to the soul as well as the body, and into the future world, is clearly expressed in Matthew 7:13; 2 Thessalonians 1:9; 2 Peter 3:16, etc. This is the penal “death” of our section, and in this view of it we retain its proper sense. Life — as a state of enjoyment of the favor of God, of pure fellowship with Him, and voluntary subjection to Him — is a blighted thing from the moment that sin is found in the creature’s skirts; in that sense, the threatening, “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” was carried into immediate effect in the case of Adam when he fell; who was thenceforward “dead while he lived.” Such are all his posterity from their birth. The separation of soul and body in temporal death carries the sinner’s destruction” a stage farther; dissolving his connection with that world out of which he extracted a pleasurable, though unblest, existence, and ushering him into the presence of his Judge — first as a disembodied spirit, but ultimately in the body too, in an enduring condition — “to be punished (and this is the final state) with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” This final extinction in soul and body of all that constitutes life, but yet eternal consciousness of a blighted existence — this, in its amplest and most awful sense, is “DEATH”! Not that Adam understood all that. It is enough that he understood “the day” of his disobedience to be the terminating period of his blissful “life.” In that simple idea was wrapt up all the rest. But that he should comprehend its details was not necessary. Nor is it necessary to suppose all that to be intended in every passage of Scripture where the word occurs. Enough that all we have described is in the bosom of the thing, and will be realized in as many as are not the happy subjects of the Reign of Grace. Beyond doubt, the whole of this is intended in such sublime and comprehensive passages as this: “God ... gave His ... Son that whosoever believeth in Him might not PERISH, but have everlasting LIFE” (John 3:16). And should not the untold horrors of that “DEATH” — already “reigning over” all that are not in Christ, and hastening to its consummation — quicken our flight into “the second Adam,” that having “received the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness, we may reign in LIFE by the One, Jesus Christ?”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

See commentary on Romans 5:6-21.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 5:21

That as sin had reigned — so grace also might reign — Which could not reign before the fall; before man had sinned. Through righteousness to eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord — Here is pointed out the source of all our blessings, the rich and free grace of God. The meritorious cause; not any works of righteousness of man, but the alone merits of our Lord Jesus Christ. The effect or end of all; not only pardon, but life; divine life, leading to glory.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

[[no comment]]

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
That:

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
Romans 6:12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

grace:

John 1:16-17 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. ... For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Hebrews 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Peter 5:10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].

through:

Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, [was] not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Romans 8:10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

unto:

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
1 John 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.
1 John 5:11-13 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ... These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
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Jn 1:16; 10:28. Ro 4:13; 5:14, 17; 6:12, 14, 16, 23; 8:10. Tit 2:11. He 4:16. 1P 5:10. 2P 1:1. 1Jn 2:25; 5:11.

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