Condemnation is the judgment declared by God for the trespass of one man, Adam. The rest of us were born condemned; God established that as well. Condemnation is not, and cannot be, the result of personal sin, bad choices, disagreeable lifestyles, or immoral behavior any more than one can decide whether or not to be born.
Justification, on the other hand, is declared by God to be the righteousness available to us because of the righteous deeds of another man, Jesus Christ, who was not "born of Adam," and, therefore, was not born condemned. Justification is not, and cannot be, the result of moral behavior, good choices (except one*), decent living, loving others, judging others, or hating sin.* What is the one "good choice?" God declared a simple solution to go from condemnation to justification; believe in His only Son, Jesus Christ, and you will be saved. That's it; choose to believe, which means to trust Him for your soul's salvation. Humbly turn the responsibility over to Him and rest in Him.
Adam did what he did on his own free will, and yet we all are paying the price. In him, we were all born condemned. No one is better than anyone else or has any advantage. This is death, which is separation from God.
Christ also did what He did on His own free will, and now we can all share in His Sonship. In Him, we can be born again to justification. No one is disqualified because of what they did or did not do; anyone can be saved. This is life, the new life, which is reconciliation to God.
He made this offer because He "so loved the world." He "desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (John 3:16; 1 Timothy 2:4)
Don't reject Him because of what arrogant people say and do. Accept His pure love, motivation, mercy and grace because of what He has said and done for you.
Trust Him for the salvation of your soul. It's your choice to accept His offer. You'll be glad you did.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV)
Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:18 ESV)Think about it...
If you are already condemned at birth, how do you earn condemnation? Can you become more condemned? If you have a sin nature because you were born in sin, how do you earn that sin nature from the sins you personally commit?
It would be like earning a heart after you are born; it's there because you were born with it. You deserve a beating heart because it's a part of who you are. Likewise, you cannot do anything righteous because that is NOT who you are. That is a gift of God, not of works, so that no one may boast.Think about it some more...
Absolutely, you are responsible for your own sin. But in Romans 5:12, "All sinned" is not separate or new information than 5:18; the point Paul is making is that sin came into the world and was spread to all people through one man, Adam. Another way to say the same thing is condemnation came into the world and was imputed to all people through one man, Adam.
What then would be the difference between sinning before one is saved and after one is saved? Do both condemn a person? No, absolutely not if one is justified in Christ. Does it condemn a person who is not justified? No, absolutely not, because they are already condemned.
No one earns salvation. Can anyone reduce their sinning enough so that God would say, "Okay, that's good enough. You're saved." Likewise, can one increase their sin enough to become condemned? What if a person born in Adam never sinned? Hypothetical, yes, but they would still be just as condemned.
Besides, lost and saved alike both sin. Those don't change your status of saved or lost. Both condemnation and justification are on God's terms, not ours. If God declares it in His word, it must be so. Christ already paid the full price for everyone's sins because "He is the propitiation for our sins, but not for ours only but for the sins of the whole world" (1 John 2:2). And He, in Christ, is "reconciling the world to Himself, not counting man's trespassing against them" (2 Cor 5:19).
Now THAT'S Good News!