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by Dr. John Thomas
All sinners are in the first Adam; and all the righteous in the second, only on a different principle.
Sinners were in the loins of the former when he transgressed; but not in the loins of the latter, when he was obedient unto death; therefore, "the flesh profiteth nothing".
For this cause, then, for sons of Adam to become sons of God, they must be the subjects of an adoption, which is attainable only by some divinely appointed means.
The apostle then brings to light two sentences, which are coextensive, but not co-etaneous in their bearing upon mankind.
The one is the sentence of condemnation, which consigns "the many," both believing Jews and Gentiles, to the dust of the ground; the other is a sentence which affects the same "many," and brings them out of the ground again to return thither no more.
Hence, of the saints it is said, "The body is dead because of sin; but the spirit (gives) life because of righteousness"; for "since by man came death, by a man also came a resurrection of dead persons (ajnavstasi" necrw`n).
For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ shall they all be made alive.
But every one in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming".
It is obvious that the apostle is not writing of all the individuals of the human race; but only of that portion of them that become the subject of "a justification of life," dicaivwsi" zwh`".
It is true, that all men do die; but it is not true that they are all the subjects of justification.
Those who are justified are "the many," oi polloiv , who are sentenced to live for ever.
Of the rest we shall speak hereafter.
The sentence to pardon of life is through Jesus Christ.
In being made a sacrifice for sin by the pouring out of his blood upon the cross, he was set forth as a blood-sprinkled mercy seat to all believers of the gospel of the kingdom, who have faith in this remission of sins through the shedding of his blood.
"He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification"; that is, for the pardon of those who believe in the gospel ; as it is written, "He that believeth the gospel and is baptized shall be saved".
Hence, " the obedience of faith " is made the condition of righteousness; and this obedience implies the existence of a "law of faith," as attested by that of Moses, which is "the law of works".
The law of faith says to him who believes the gospel of the kingdom, "Be renewed, and be ye every one of you baptized in the name ( ejpi tw ojnovmati ) of Jesus Christ for remission of sins".
Here is a command which meets a man as a dividing line between the State of Sin and the State of Righteousness.
The obedience of faith finds expression in the name of Jesus as "the mercy seat through faith in his blood".
Hence the apostle says to the disciples in Corinth, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God?
Be not deceived; neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners; shall inherit the kingdom of God.
And such were some of you : but ye are washed, sanctified, and made righteous edicaiwvqhte ) by the name ( en tw onovmati ) of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit en tw pneuvmati ) of our God".
Thus, the spirit, which is put for the gospel of the kingdom and name, renewed these profligates; the divine law and testimony attested by the spirit with signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts, and believed with a full assurance of conviction that worked in them by love to will and to do -- caused them to be "washed in the name," to be "sanctified in the name," and to be "made righteous in the name of Jesus Christ".