Contrasting as an Explanation, Syllogism as an Argument
Romans 5:15-21 (LEB)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 Now the law came in as a side issue, in order that the trespass could increase, but where sin increased, grace was present in greater abundance,
21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
About the Arguments
Here again, Paul makes a series of fortiori type arguments (much more than) in the format of Modus Ponens enthymemes. That is, “If this greater X is true (or more difficult to prove is true), then this Y which is contained in or is weaker than X will much more so be true.”
There is another aspect to Paul’s argument here, which is not an argument; rather, it is a method of explaining. This has to do with making contrasts. In essence “contrasts” are non-relevant; that is, a categorical statement about reality stands on it own as truth. Contrasts can be helpful to explain a term by illustrating aspects of the term’s definition. To define something, it is best to tell what it is not, and then also, what it clearly is. Contrasts might aid in this defining process—by illustrating it is not like this, but it more like this. Again, Contrasting can be used in two ways. One, like Paul is using here, it is explaining something and is not an argument. However, if used as an argument, then it is called an “argument of analogy,” and this is a formal logical fallacy. People can often make this type of argument, and it is always a fallacy.
We will make a series modus ponens arguments with the, “much more than,” in the first premise.
Lastly, these are not exchangeable with categorical syllogisms. That is, some categorical and hypothetical syllogisms can be interchanged, and some cannot. Many of these—in this passage—are not a simple A is B, and B is necessarily connected to C arguments. Now, with such, depending on the emphasis they will properly belong to a hypothetical or categorical argument, but can be interchanged. These here, however, are not. They are: if A is B, then, C is D.
Christian ontology is God’s absolute and direct control over all reality. Man exists; thus, we see that anthropology(man) and soteriology(salvation) ultimately fall under ontology. The story of man is how God uses His direct and absolute control over two groups of people; next, the doctrine of salvation is how God uses his direct control over all things regarding these two families in regards of death and life. One is for destruction and the other is for blessing.
Furthermore, creation cannot uphold itself into being, because there is no dualism in Christianity. God alone directly controls reality. Thus, cause and effect within the creation is not a product of the physical creation. On the ultimate level it is not power; rather, it is a continual effect of God’s mind upholding it every moment. God consistently works within each moment cause and effect as He wishes and sees fit. Since cause and effect is not from the creation but from God’s control, then if God’s chooses not to work the causality that He did from the past, then there will be no similar cause and effect regarding the same aspects of creation in the future.
Jesus is the Logic; the Logic was in the beginning. All things were made by the Logic. Jesus is the law of contradiction, identity and excluded middle. These are just names for describing regular and foundational motions of God’s mind. The world that God created will thus, move in these foundational motions. The Mind that is the law of contradiction made it and is upholding into existence every moment. This also goes for “if….then,” [Modus Ponens] logics regarding what is cause and effects or correlations. God made up the, “if…thens,” out of nothing [if there is lightning then their thunder], and then upholds these in a regular way.
It is not that certain molecules (H2O) automatically behave in a certain way; rather, God antecedently conspired how He wants causality to work in His creation. God creates molecules and objects out of pure creativity. He then recreates them every moment and moves within these certain molecules in a regular fashion: choosing to respect certain degrees of resistances and tendencies differently to one group of molecules from another. Because God is regular enough in this direct control over creation, we can trance them out and have science to be a pragmatic usefulness to us.
Consider when Jesus turned water into wine. The one hydrogen and 2 oxygen do not hold themselves together by their power. They act the way did have in the past and today because God’s directly control over then makes act in that regular way. God determines their creation and the laws of cause and effect for it; He directly upholds it every moment for H2O. Yet, after being turned into wine, God directly makes it behave differently in reality. He directly gave it a new metaphysics and a new cause and effect. God made up categories for reality and insures them. He took water and put it into the category of wine. He directly makes these new cause and effects rule over it, as a law of reality, so that it consistently behaves as wine.
As a counseling suggestion I will offer this. Some struggling Christians fighting their besetting sins (Heb. 12) might find resistance in believing that God has made them a new creation with new cause and effects. I suggest considering the former then the later. If a Christian feels the guilt of their sin, then they already believe the doctrine of God crediting Adam’s and its effect of death to them. By God’s direct control, He directly causes sin and death to be a law of realty for all, to which no one can escape from. God made it their metaphysics. God registered them as citizens of the kingdom of darkness before they were born. Romans 5 makes this doctrine clear and without contradiction.
A born again Christian now sees the old man battling the new man. They now have the truth to understand this. They know their guilt and the deceptive lie of the old man, because they believe what the Bible says about this.
If you already believe the Bible, when it says that God directly controls creating you with the old man, then continue to believe—without doubting—God has already used His direct control to re-create you in the Spirit and life. You have a new metaphysics. You are a new creation. God has registered you in a new Kingdom of love and light. New laws of reality now apply to you. You are free from sin. God has given you an escape from every temptation. By the shield of faith you can stop every temptation from Satan, whose power sways the whole world: you can literally stop the god of this age with one small shield. A Christian who stands against the deceptive lies and power of Satan, with the shield of faith, is like a David against Goliath who wins. They are like a Samson against a thousand soldiers who wins. John says, your faith has overcome the world.
By God’s knowledge and your faith in it, you can renew the mind. You can tear down the old mind and make your new mind strong like a Samson. Like a hero of old, tear down the old gates to that pagan city. You have the strength to march up to Zion; and then, you have the right to open the door of God’s throne room to march in like a son, like a prince.
Verse. 15. – The point here is, if X is imputed to the rest by a mere human, then how much more will Y be if crediting is from God’s Son. If the effects of imputation is great when we are categorically connected to a mere man, then how much more will the effects of imputation be if categorically connected to God’s Son?
Definition by contrast:
(A) Adam’s sin: unmerited and credited lawbreaking.
(B) Jesus’ gift: unmerited and credited righteousness.
A.1. (P) If through Adam’s trespass the many died, (Q) then, much more, through the gift of the Son, the grace of the Father did multiply to the many.
A.2. (P) Indeed, through Adam’s trespass the many died.
A.3. Therefore, through the gift of the Son, the grace of the Father did multiply to the many. (Q)
Verse. 16. – This is merely explanation, and explanation by contrast.
Definition by contrast:
(A) All those credited with unmerited sin from Adam are declared guilty by the Father.
(B) All those credited with unmerited righteousness from Christ are those declared righteousness by the Father.
Definition by contrast:
(A) All those credited with unmerited sin from Adam, are those ruled by death.
(B) All those credited with unmerited righteousness from Christ are those ruled by endless power of life.
B.1. (P) If by the trespass of one man, death ruled over mankind, (Q) then much more than through the abundant grace and gift of righteousness of Jesus, will life rule the Elect.
B.2. (P) Indeed, by the trespass of Adam, death ruled over mankind.
B.3.(Q) Therefore, through the abundant grace and gift of righteousness of Jesus, life will rule over God’s chosen ones.
Verse. 18. – Paul’s previous enthymemes started premise 1 of the argument, but then Paul skips premise 1 and 2. Here, the enthymeme is the opposite. It states premise 2 and 3, which is why is starts with a, therefore. This is not always the cause but often is. If the enthymeme in ordinary speech skips premise 1 it will often say premise 2 and 3 with a “therefore,” type term.
Also, the same point of the much more. If Adam, a mere human, resulted in imputation of all humanity, then how more the effect will it be when imputation is from God’s Son.
C.1. (P) If through one trespass all people were condemned, (Q) then much more through Jesus’ righteous deed all people were given justification of life.
C.2. (P) Indeed, by Adams trespass all people were condemned.
C.3. (Q) Thus, by Jesus’ righteous deed all people were given justification of life.
Verse. 19. –This probably has an implied, “much more than,” argument since the context of the others before and after it do, and its structure is similar. Again, (If A is B; Then, C is D). If by a mere man, people were made into sinners, then even more so will people be made righteous and ruled by life, by God’s own Son.
Definition by contrast:
(A) All those God identifies with Adam are those credited his unmerited lawbreaking. All those credited with Adam’s unmerited lawbreaking are those created with a sinful nature.
(B) All those God identifies with Christ are those credited with His unmerited obedience. All those credited with Christ’s unmerited obedience are those created with a righteous nature.
D.1. (P) If by the disobedience of Adam (a mere man), the many were made sinners, (Q) then much more by the obedience of God’s Divine Son will the many be made righteous.
D.2. (P) Indeed, by Adam’s disobedience many were made sinners.
D.3. (Q) Therefore, by Jesus’ obedience many will be made righteous.
Verse. 20-21. –Verse 20 ends with a short “much more argument,” to which Paul in verse 21 says the same argument, but states it with more content. Thus, we will focus on the longer argument.
Definition by contrast:
(A) All those credited with Adam’s lawbreaking are those whose mind are dead. All those whose mind is dead are those who the sinful nature controls.
(B). All those credited with Christ’s righteousness are those re-created with a righteous nature. All those re-created with a righteous nature are those who the power endless life controls them.
E.1. (P) If sin controls man through death, (Q) then much more will grace control man through Jesus’ imputed righteousness, to endless life.
E.2. (Q) Indeed, sin controls man through death.
E.3. (P) Thus, grace will control man through imputed righteousness, to endless life.
 This one and verse 21 categorical definitions are also arguments.
 This death is intellectual, spiritual and moral. (Ephesians 4:17-20. Romans 1:18-23. 1 Corrin. 1:19-21) In other words, the soul is damaged goods. The mind is defective, broken and darkened. In this environment of a defective mind, sin comes in and controls the mind.
 ‘Control’ here, is being said in the relative sense rather than the ultimate.