Bible Studies In The Christian Library
 
ROMANS CHAPTER 5

Romans 5:1 - Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 - through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

A. "Therefore having been justified by faith"
1. Paul will talk about the results of salvation by faith, as laid out in the two previous chapters.

2. Paul laid out the definition of salvation by faith at the beginning and end of Romans. See 1:5 and 16:26. Coffman calls these two verses, the "alpha and omega" of Romans.

B. Three things we have as a result of justification by faith.
1. We have peace with God through Christ
a. We have peace because that which made us enemies, our sins, have been taken out of the way to bring us back into a relationship with God. See Isaiah 59:1-2 and Ephesians 

b. See these passages which deal with the peace that God has promised to Christians. See John 14:27; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:7.

2. We have access to grace
a. This seems to refer to a continual access to the grace of God 

b. We need this grace regularly because we all sin and fall short of the grace of God. Not only do we need forgiveness for our past sins, we need forgiveness for those things we do after becoming Christians.

3. We can rejoice in hope
a. Notice that once again we do not rejoice in our own ability to save ourselves or our own righteousness. It is in the "glory of God." While there might be some room for debate, it seems clear to me that Paul is referring to our heavenly home.

b. See Colossians 1:5, 27; 1 Thessalonians 1:13-14; Titus 1:2; 2:13; 3:7

4. This a set of cumulative blessings. When we obey the gospel we are brought into a right relationship with God, thus having peace. Because we have peace we have continual access to Godís grace. As a result of enjoying Godís grace we can rejoice in the hope of Heaven.
Romans 5:3 - And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 - and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 - Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
A. "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations"
1. It is ironic that we can glory as Christians as much in our tribulations as our hope of Heaven. 

2. One of the reasons we can glory in our tribulations is that it is a sure sign that we are the children of God.

a. See 2 Timothy 3:12; John 15:20; 1 Peter 4:19
B. Paul give three reasons why tribulation is valuable.
1. It produces perseverance - "the ability to continue working in the face of strong opposition and great obstacles." See also James 1:2-4.

2. Perseverance, in turn, produces character - There are different translations of this word. The KJV use the word "experience." The ASV uses "steadfastness." The NASV use the phrase "proven character." 

a. Reese quotes William Barclay in giving the sense of the original meaning. "Doikeme is used of metal which has been passed through the fire so that everything base has been purged out of it. (The English use the word Ďsterlingí of coinage that has been passed through the fire.) It describes something out of which every alloy of baseness has been eliminated. When affliction (tribulation) is met with fortitude, out of the battle a man emerges stronger, and purer, and better and near God."
b. With this in mind it would seem that the phrase, "proven character" would more completely describe what Paul is seeking to tell us.
3. A purified character leaders to a stronger hope of Heaven - The dross of the world with itís appeal has been removed from the soul. This lead to a great confidence in Christ and a yearning for Heaven. See 2 Corinthians 12:10
C. "Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."
1. We have an assurance of Godís love for us in that He has given us the Holy Spirit as a symbol of His salvation for His children. Because of the giving of the Holy Spirit we can be assured that our hope in Christ is valid.

2. The Holy Spirit is spoken of as an earnest (down payment) of our salvation. See 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5).

3. Every Christians receives the indwelling of the Holy Spirit at the point we are baptized into Christ. See Acts 2:38 and Romans 8:9.

4. Concerning this section Moses Lard says, "The argument on hope, then, stands thus: The Holy Spirit is given to us as an earnest of our future inheritance. Ephesians 1: 14, 15. By this Spirit our hearts are filled with love. In these facts we have both proof and pledge that God will invest us with what we hope for. This hope then will not disappoint us. Therefore it neither now makes us ashamed, nor will it hereafter."

Verses 6-11 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 - For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 - But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 - Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 - For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 - And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 
A. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."
1. It is this interpreterís view that the For connects our hope with the reason for our hope, namely the fact that Jesus died for us when we were still unable to do anything to deserve our salvation.

2. The phrase "without strength" literally means "more feeble, impotent, sick, without strength, weak."

3. "In due time" is very similar to Galatians 4:4, "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law."

4. Those who were "ungodly" and those who are "without strength" are to same persons. We are ungodly because the greatest personal righteousness is wickedness compared to the absolute righteousness of God (Isaiah 64:6). We are without strength in that we are unable, on our own, to appropriate salvation (Ephesians 2:7-9; Titus 3:5).

B. "For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die."
1. People will sometimes sacrifice their lives from someone they love, but it is not the norm. In most cases people will not die for another. It is the exception.
C. "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
1. Godís love goes far beyond anything known to mankind. He gave His Son to die for those who had rebelled against Him, those who were alienated from him, those who hated Him. 

2. The New Testament describes the greatness and glory of the love of God. See John 3:16; Ephesians 2:4-5; 1 John 3:1; 4:9.

3. This is the same kind of caring, sacrificial love that we are to have (1 John 4:7-11),

D. "Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." 
1. In His love God provided a means whereby we could again be in fellowship with Him. It is through the shedding of the blood of Jesus. It is not just through Jesusí good life that mankind is freed from the stain of sin. It is through the shedding of his blood that we are freed. See also Matthew 26:28; Acts 20:28; Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19.

2. This, of course, does not explain how we are saved by the blood of Jesus. We must look to other passages to explain this. Fortunately, we have been given that answer by the Holy Spirit. In Acts 22:16 Saul of Tarsus is told, "'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord." When we remember that the Lord himself says that his blood would be shed "for the remission of sins" it is easy to see what the Holy Spirit intended to teach us. One is cleansed from their sins by the blood of Jesus as the point in which they are immersed into Christ. This can also be readily seen in Paulís discussion of baptism in Romans 6:3-4.

3. It is through the blood of Jesus that we are now free from the judgement of God which will be justly meted out upon all those who have rebelled against Him. See 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9.

a. A picture of this is seen in the first Passover. The Passover lamb was slain and itís blood what placed on the doorposts of each house of the Israelites. When the destroyer passed through Egypt to kill each first born it passed over each house where the blood was placed. This is the significance of Paulís statement in 1 Corinthians 5:7 that Jesus is our "Passover lamb."
E. "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
1. This is basically a restatement of what Paul has just said. We were enemies of God but were reconciled back to God by the atoning death of Jesus Christ. 

2. "Saved by his life" seems to suggest two possible explanations, both of which Paul might have been intending to impart.

a. It could refer to salvation being possible because of Jesus not only dying on the cross but his resurrection and conquest over death. See John 14:18-20.

b. It is also possibly referring to Christís continual work for the Christian in the church.

c. It is quite likely that Paul meant both of these possibilities.

F. "And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." 
1. All that God has done for us through His Son Jesus should cause us to rejoice in Him. There should be a joy and happiness at the prospect of serving such a loving, caring, and giving God.
a. Benjamin Franklin, famed gospel preachers, described that joy this say. "To rejoice in God is to rejoice in him as our Father, as having forgiven our sins, and filled us with hope of eternal life. It is to rejoice in the sublimest of beings, for the sublimest of reasons, and in view of the sublimest of ends."
b. See also Psalm 33:21; 34:3
2. We can rejoice in God because we have received reconciliation with God. We are no longer enemies of our heavenly father, which we became when we sinned, but have become innocent and sinless as before the fall.
a. Atonement comes from the Greek word katallage, "exchange (fig. adjustment), i.e. restoration to (the divine) favor:--atonement, reconciliation (-ing)."
Jesus and Adam

Note: The balance of the chapter is taken up in the comparison of Adamís sin verses Jesusí death on the cross. It has been truly said that Adam is a type of Christ, although they are most striking in the points of contrast. 

A. Adam is the father and head of the Human Race - Christ is the spiritual head and progenitor of the saved.

B. Adam brought shame and death upon mankind - Christ made possible life and glory for mankind.

C. Adamís bride was taken from him in sleep - Christís bride was purchased from him in his sleep of death.

D. Adamís one recorded sin brought him ruin - Christís sinless life made a way for him to die for mankind.

E. Death followed Adam act - Life followed Christís death.

Verses 12-14 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned; 13 - (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 - Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
A. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned"
1. Through Adamís first transgression sin and death was passed upon mankind. Because Adam sinned all mankind was cut off from the tree of life and thus everyone after Adam became subject to physical death. We have suffered the consequences of Adamís sin, but we have not inherited the guilt of Adamís sin. Sin entered the world through Adam, but it was each man decision to rebel against God that causes us to be lost.

2. This naturally means all mankind who is in a position to commit sin have fallen into its clutches. Babies and small children who have no understanding of sin cannot be sinners, neither can an adult who does not have the mental capacity to understand sin. See Ezekiel 18:20 and 1 John 3:4 (KJV).

3. There is some debate concerning whether death in verse 12 is physical or spiritual death. While most commentators (even gospel preacher) believe it must mean physical death, I am convinced that it must mean spiritual death. The passage cited by many, Genesis 2:17, seems to refer to being cut off from God in spiritual death. Many will assert that this surely meant physical death to Adam. How do we know that? Adam had suffered or witnessed neither physical or spiritual death.

a. Physical death is surely a byproduct of Adamís sin. He was cut off from the tree of life, thus insuring his eventual physical death. But the last part of verse 12 explains the death referred to. The same group that death has spread to is the same group who has sinned. 
B. (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 
1. We need to keep in mind that Paul has been talking about the position of the Law of Moses in the scheme redemption. 

2. This clearly shows that there was a law in effect before the Law of Moses. It was a "patriarchal system, where God spoke to mankind through heads of households and received the worship of mankind through sacrifices. There was clearly a moral law in place. Noah was warned about the taking of innocent human life, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed for wickedness, and Joseph understood that he would be sinning against God in an act of adultery. 

C. "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam"
1. Even though there was no written law, men continued to sin against God. God gave personal commandment personally, and through father, prophets, and priests.

2. Men continued to sin, and, as a punishment, they were cut off from God. Only a relative handful, i.e. Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, etc, were saved because of their faith in Jehovah.

3. The last part of this passage concerning the "likeness of the transgression of Adam" seems to refer to type of Adamís sin. The command and warning about the sin were direct, eat and die. It is likely Paul is referring to this "sin" as the one which mankind had not committed from Adam to Moses. 
a. This would seem quite sensible when one realizes that the Law of Moses was a codified record of commandments and warning concerning transgression.
D. "who is a type of Him who was to come"
1. Adam is a type (shadow of ) Christ who was to come.

2. While there are many points of similarities and contrasts between Adam and Christ, the one most prominent is the one which Paul will discuss in the next few verses. Just as Adamís one sin brought sin and death (separation from God) into the world, the righteous act of one man, Christ, would many be brought back to spiritual life.

Verses 15-19 But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. 16 - And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. 17 - For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) 18 - Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19 - For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
A. "But the free gift is not like the offense."
1. Christís sacrifice is different from Adamís sin. Paul is going to emphasize the nature of grace in this section. Adam got what he deserved, justice. He was warned, "In the day you eat of it you shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17). God punishment was just. But Christís sacrifice epitomizes the grace (unmerited favor) of God. It provides what mankind desperately need, an escape from the penalty of sin, but could never deserve.

2. Reese points out that the Greek here in "free gift" and "offense" emphasize the result of Adamís and Christís act. The results are diametrically opposed.

B. "For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many"
1. This is an logical argument called qal vahomer ("arguing from the lesser to the greater). Paul is saying that if Adamís sin produced such a terrible penalty then the much greater act of redemption that Christ gave on the cross has even far great effect.

2. The result garnered by Christís sacrifice make it qualitatively far superior to the destructive power of Adamís sin.

C. "And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. "
1. Paul says that the justification gained through the death of Jesus is far greater than the condemnation that was wrought by Adamís sin. It is a general principle that it is easier to destroy than to rebuild. The fact is that it was a simple matter for Adam to make a conscience decision to rebel against God. It then took an act of intervention by Jehovah God to make a way for mankind to return to God without the stain of sin.
D. "Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men"
1. If Adamís one sin brought judgment upon all mankind (all who sin) then Jesus righteous act of sacrifice will bring about justification to the many who accept that sacrifice through the gospel.

2. Verse 19 is repeating the same sentiment. Just as through one man, Adam, many were made sinners (because sin was released upon the world) by one manís act, Christ, would many be made righteous (because a way of justification was given to the world).
 
 

Verses 20-21 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 - so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
A. "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound"
1. Why did God introduce the Law of Moses? Two possibilities.
a. The sheer number of commands in the Law of Moses would obviously cause more sins.

b. The Law was given to show the awful nature of sin in the eyes of God. It would show us just how bad sin was to God.

2. The second explanation is the likely one. See Romans 7:13.
B. "But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more"
1. Among those who have little awareness of sin there is little appreciation for the greatness of Godís grace. Those under the Law of Moses should have understood keenly the inability to conform to Godís law perfectly, thus loving and embracing the grace of God on the cross.
C. "so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
1. Just as sin was a tyrant, condemning all who committed it to separation from God, grace would be a loving ruler, granting eternal life to all those who came to God through Jesus.

 

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