1 So, since we are made right with God by [our] faith, we have peace with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through Jesus we have also gained access by [our] faith to this unearned favor [of God]. We stand firm in it, and are glad that we have the hope of being honored by God. 3 And not only this, but we also rejoice in our troubles, knowing that [experiencing] troubles produces endurance; 4 and endurance [produces God's] approval; and [His] approval [produces] hope. 5 And [having such] hope keeps us from being disappointed, because God's love [for us] has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us [by God].
6 For while we were still helpless, at [just] the proper time, Christ died for ungodly people. 7 Someone would not likely die to rescue a righteous person, though possibly someone would dare to die in order to rescue a good person. 8 But God demonstrates His own love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 Since we are now made right with God by the blood of Christ [i.e., by His dying on the cross], how much more certain it is that we will be saved from God's wrath [in the future] by Him! 10 For if while we were [God's] enemies, we were restored to fellowship with Him through the death of His Son, now that we have been restored, how much more [certainly] will we be saved [from condemnation] by His life! 11 And not only is this true, but we also rejoice in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have been restored to fellowship with God.
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through [the action of] one man [i.e., Adam] and [physical] death through that sin, so [physical] death has spread to all people, because all people have sinned. [Note: This difficult passage (verses 12-21) seems to be saying that the entire human race must experience physical death because of Adam's sin (I Cor. 5:22), which is somehow considered to be everyone's sin. See Murray, pp. 180-187, for a thorough discussion]. 13 For even before the law of Moses, sin was [being committed] in the world. But man is not responsible for [his] sin when there is no law. 14 Yet [physical] death ruled [over mankind] from the time of Adam to Moses, even over those people who had not sinned the way Adam did. [Now] Adam prefigured the coming of Jesus.
15 But the free gift [of salvation through Christ] is not [exactly] like the sin [of Adam]. For if many people died [physically] because of the sin of the one man [i.e., Adam], how much more did God's favor abound by [providing] His gracious gift [of salvation] to many people because of the one man, Jesus Christ. 16 And the gift [of salvation] is not like [the effect of] one man's sin [i.e., Adam's], for [God's] judgment of condemnation came [upon mankind] through one man [i.e., Adam], but the free gift [of salvation] came as the result of [the] many sins [of mankind] and [it] made people right with God. 17 For if [physical] death ruled [over mankind] because of the sin of the one man [i.e., Adam], how much more will those who receive the abundance of God's unearned favor, and the gift of being right with Him, rule in [never ending] life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
18 So then, just as [God's] judgment came, condemning all people [to physical death] because of one sin [i.e., Adam's]; even so the free gift of being made right with God and [resulting in] life may be received by all people because of one man's [i.e., Christ's] act of righteousness. [Note: This "life" may refer to spiritual life now, or to being made alive in the resurrection, which would reverse the curse of physical death caused by Adam's sin]. 19 For just as many people [i.e., all mankind] were considered [by God] to be sinners [and thus to suffer physical death] through the disobedience of the one man [i.e., Adam]; even so, many people [i.e., all believing mankind] will be considered right with God [and thus live again] through the obedience of the one man [i.e., Christ]. 20 Now the law of Moses was introduced [into the world] in order to cause sin to increase [i.e., it defined many things to be wrong that were previously not regarded as sin]. But with the increase of sin, God's unearned favor increased all the more. 21 This was so that just as sin ruled [over mankind], causing [physical] death, even so God's unearned favor would rule [over mankind], providing [them with] righteousness, and leading to never ending life through Jesus Christ our Lord.