Here is the way it is, and I can unequivocally state it cannot be any other. Either ALL inherit death and sin through Adam, or MANY don’t. There is no other way it can be. And if you come to me and say it can be some third way you are a liar and the truth is not in you! How can I be SO dogmatic (and offensive to some people by this statement) about this topic? I can because Paul makes some extremely clear statements in my new favorite Bible passages, Romans 5:15-19. Here are those verses for you in several different translations:
“much rather the grace of God and the gratuity in grace, which is of the One Man, Jesus Christ, to the many superabounds.”
(Rom 5:16) And not as through one act of sinning is the gratuity. For, indeed, the judgment is out of one into condemnation, yet the grace is out of many offenses into a just award.”
(Rom 5:17) For if, by the offense of the one, death reigns through the one, much rather, those obtaining the superabundance of grace and the gratuity of righteousness shall be reigning in life through the One, Jesus Christ.”
(Rom 5:18) Consequently, then, as it was through one offense for all mankind for condemnation, thus also it is through one just award for all mankind for life’s justifying.”
(Rom 5:19) For even as, through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners, thus also, through the obedience of the One, the many shall be constituted just.” (THE Concordant Literal Version, CLV)”
“(Rom 5:15) [But the gift is not like the trespass], for if by the trespass of the one, the many died, by much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, multiply to the many.
(Rom 5:16) And the gift is not as through the one who sinned, for on the one hand, judgment from the one sin led to condemnation, but the gift, from many trespasses, led to justification.
(Rom 5:17) For if by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through the one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one, Jesus Christ.
(Rom 5:18) Consequently therefore, as through one trespass came condemnation to all people, so also through one righteous deed came justification of life to all people.
(Rom 5:19) For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one, the many will be made righteous.” The Lexham English Bible, LEB
“(Rom 5:15) But, not as the offence so also is the free gift; for if by the offence of the one the many did die, much more did the grace of God, and the free gift in grace of the one man Jesus Christ, abound to the many;
(Rom 5:16) and not as through one who did sin is the free gift, for the judgment indeed is of one to condemnation, but the gift is of many offences to a declaration of `Righteous,’
(Rom 5:17) for if by the offence of the one the death did reign through the one, much more those, who the abundance of the grace and of the free gift of the righteousness are receiving, in life shall reign through the one–Jesus Christ.
(Rom 5:18) So, then, as through one offence to all men it is to condemnation, so also through one declaration of `Righteous’ it is to all men to justification of life;
(Rom 5:19) for as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were constituted sinners: so also through the obedience of the one, shall the many be constituted righteous.” Young’s Literal Translation, YLT
(Rom 5:15) But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.
(Rom 5:16) 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.
(Rom 5:17) 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.
(Rom 5:18) Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.
(Rom 5:19) 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. English Standard Version, ESV
Here then is my dogmatism, just as Paul writes, substantiated. In verse 18 we read that because of the one man Adam, condemnation came to ALL men. So, either Paul is speaking the truth or Paul is a liar and worthy of an awful death for deceiving so many for thousands of years! But, going even further with the strength of Paul’s beliefs about sin and death versus salvation (reconciliation, restoration, etc. ), Paul adds the statement in verse 19 that through the one man Adam many were made sinners, yet through the one man, Jesus, many will be made righteous.
Now, immediately most average church-going, bible-believing Christians will point out that in verse 19 Paul states”many” and “many.” They will say that “all” cannot mean “many!” Well, evidently it can because Paul states it to be so and I stand dogmatically firm with him in what he says. But, I am curious. Why does that same average Christian ignore verse 18? Paul there says the exact same thing as he does in verse 19, does he not? Absolutely he does! And, this is why I am so fascinated with this portion of Scripture. When you read the words Paul writes here and really let them sink in, they are truly joyous words! You cannot believe what Paul says in all of his writings unless you also believe that Paul was a universalist, meaning, he believed in the salvation of all mankind! Hint for you skeptics: you either honestly believe what Paul writes (and therefore must become a believer in the salvation of all mankind, Christian universalism, if you will, willing to give up your currently held beliefs) or you believe he is a liar and you yourself are at best a hypocrite (believing one thing but advocating something opposite) and at worst a liar of the worst kind (saying you believe in Christ but willingly lying about what He taught and the Spirit led Paul to write).
My exhortation to you, dear reader, is this: Toss off the restraint of what really boils down to being a belief in legalism and embrace the Good News that was of great joy to all the people. Believe today that God’s grace and mercy super abounds over any sin and error we could commit. Isn’t it a true blessing to know that God truly is victorious over sin and death by covering our frailties and sins with His abundant grace? To me it surely is and I hope one day it will be for you too! Do your long held beliefs restrain you from this grace of God or will you change your understanding of God and believe He cannot be the loser over His creation? I love you, dear reader, with the love that comes from knowing my Sovereign and Loving God will redeem ALL of His creatures and creation will be restored to what He originally created it to be! Will you rejoice with me and praise our God or will you try to keep God small and boxed in by your thoughts of who He is? Join me in praising the Almighty by letting your mind be blown away by His vast love for everything He created, especially YOU, the express image-bearer of God!
Love in Christ to you!