BY ONE MAN
Romans 5:15 follows, by saying, "But it is not that as the offense was, so also the gracious gift is; for if by the offense of the one the many died, much more the grace of God and the free gift in grace of the one man Jesus Christ have abounded to the many." If, through the sin of Adam, all became dead, then when Jesus Christ was made righteousness, grace abounded much more to everyone! Death is by one man. So is grace.
Romans 5:16 through 18 repeatedly says by one such and such, and by another such and such. Verse 19: "For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were constituted sinners, so also through the obedience of the One the many will be constituted righteous."
CONSTITUTED SINNERS OR RIGHTEOUS
The Bible constantly shows us that sin is not committed by us alone. Rather, we are sinners in Adam. In the same way righteousness is not worked up by us. Rather, we are righteous in Christ. Due to the disobedience of one man, Adam, sin entered into him, and the whole humanity was constituted sinners. In the same way, by the righteous act of one man, Jesus Christ, who was not only sinless but was so obedient that He died on the cross, all those in Him receive life and are constituted righteous.
THE TWO MAIN SOURCES OF HUMANITY
These are the two main sources, the two headsprings, and the two flows of humanity. Everyone comes from one of these two sources. If you are not in the flow of the one life, you are in the flow of the other life. There is no middle course.
Those who believe in Christ are in Him. Paul said that he was in Christ. He addressed other Christians the same way. Moreover, those who are in Christ are not individuals; they have Christ as their life, and they form the Body of Christ with all who have the same life. Christ is the Head. In Him everyone is related together. No one is isolated.
THE CHURCH, NOT CHRISTIANITY
Now we have to mention the word church. The Bible never uses the term Christianity. We are sometimes forced to use it for the sake of easy understanding. But it has long been misunderstood and has lost its original meaning.
The Bible calls the big corporate man that is in Christ the church. The word church in the original language means a group of people called by God out of Adam into Christ. This group of people was once in Adam. They answered the call of God and came out of Adam. Now they are no longer in the sphere of Adam. They have received life in Christ and are joined with Christ to become the church.
THE BRANCHES AND THE TREE
When Christ was about to depart from the world, He spoke of His relationship with His disciples. He said, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5). "Abide in Me and I in you" (v. 4). He told them that the branches that abide in Him would bear much fruit. Christians are not individuals. They are part of one tree, Christ. The branches and the tree are joined as one. The tree supplies the sap to the branches, and the branches draw life from the tree.
Since we Christians are so utterly identified with Christ, the obedience of Christ becomes our obedience, the death of Christ becomes our death, the living of Christ becomes our living, and the glory of Christ becomes our glory. Everything of Christ is ours. This is the intimacy of the relationship between Christ and us Christians.
A Christian is one who has received life from Christ and who is in Christ. If we want to find a Christian outside of Christ, such a one does not exist. Paul said that he was a person in Christ. He did not say that he was in Christ as a person. When we are in Christ, we are no longer individual persons.
(The Normal Christian Faith, Chapter 7, by Watchman Nee)