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. (ESV)
Can you imagine the overwhelming and new feeling of guilt that Adam felt the moment he realized that his disobedience had changed everything in his relationship with God? That feeling of guilt was completely foreign to him. The Genesis account describes Adam as hearing the voice of God and immediately hiding.
Adam hid because he knew that his sin had caused a rift in his relationship. What Adam did not know is just how big a chasm he had ripped open, not only for himself but for all of us. Every man and woman since Adam has been affected by his disobedience. We have a great distance between ourselves and God because of our sinful nature.
God's free gift is offered to mankind. Even though all are stained with Adam's sin, and sin brings the very condemnation of God, the action of Jesus Christ at the cross changes everything. That free gift, if received, forgives not just one act of disobedience, but many. In fact, there is no amount of sins that Christ cannot forgive.
Paul reminds us that the free gift brings justification. Some have wrongly described justification as "Just-as-if-I'd-never-sinned." That does not go nearly far enough to describe what Christ has done for us. It is not as if I'd never sinned. It is as if I'd sinned again and again and again. Yet, Christ loves me enough to forgive my sin and declare me righteous, taking the punishment I deserved in his flesh.
Adam's one sin brought judgment to many. Jesus' one act of sacrifice brought forgiveness to many. Receive his free gift today.