Rom. 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Rom. 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

The fact that our justification, being declared righteous, is a result of faith has been established in the previous chapters.  Because of that justification, which is possible only because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, we can now have peace with God.  As I have said before, I love the Greek definition for that peace—to be set at one again.  We can finally experience true fellowship with our Creator, the fellowship that was intended for us from the beginning. 

 

I found a quote from Calvin regarding this peace: “Peace = tranquility of conscience.”  The more I think about that statement, the more I like it.  No matter how sinful and wicked I may have been in the past, I can fellowship with God with no guilt feelings or feelings of inadequacy; my conscience should be clear.  For when the Father looks at me, He sees me through the blood of His Son—the blood that covers all my sin.  He sees me clothed in the righteousness of Jesus.

 

“wherein we stand” – This represents our position.  To stand is to “abide, establish, hold up, staunch, firm, fixed.”  Our position is firm and established.  How is this position maintained?  Through the grace of God.  The Greek for grace references “a divine influence on the heart.”  It is God’s work in us that makes our position firm and secure.  Even when we fail, our position in Christ doesn’t change.

 

Because of our standing in grace, we can now “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  The word for hope reflects a confident expectation.  One of Webster’s definitions for glory states “The presence of the Divine Being; the manifestations of the divine nature and favor to the blessed in heaven; celestial honor; heaven.”  My understanding would be that we can now confidently look forward to eternity in the presence of God and all that is associated with His presence.

 

Rom. 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Rom. 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Rom. 5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

Because of our secure standing in the grace of God, we can also “glory in tribulations.”  The Greek for glory also includes “rejoice.”  Why would tribulation cause us to rejoice?  Because we understand that tribulation is allowed in our lives to produce good qualities—patience, experience (proven character), hope, and confidence in the love of God.  Tribulation (affliction, persecution, trouble) is a purifying force in our lives, a refining fire.  Job was aware of this truth.

 

Job 23:10 But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

 

“hope maketh not ashamed” – The Greek for ashamed includes “disgrace or (by implication) put to the blush:—confound, dishonour…”  This phrase states that our confident expectation that results from God’s grace at work in our lives will not be dishonored or disappointed.  God’s promise is sure.

 

I found a quote in JFB that I really like regarding “hope.” 

“Hope,” in the New Testament sense of the term, is not a lower degree of faith or assurance (as many now say, I hope for heaven, but am not sure  of it); but invariably means “the confident expectation of future good.” It presupposes faith; and what faith assures us will be ours, hope accordingly expects.

 

Another reason for our hope/confident expectation is because of the love of God that is “shed abroad” in our heart.  The Greek for that phrase includes “pour forth, gush out, spill.”  God fills our heart to overflowing with His love through the Holy Ghost, His gift to us.

 

Rom. 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

“yet” = still (of time or degree)

 

“due time” = set or proper time

 

My paraphrase – At a predetermined time, the time considered perfect by God, when mankind was still helpless/without strength to deliver himself from the bondage of sin, Christ, the Messiah, died as the sin sacrifice for the ungodly/wicked.

 

The question comes to mind, “What made the time that Christ came the right time?  Why didn’t God just send His Son right away after man fell into sin?”  These are questions far too deep for me.  Man had been created in perfection with a perfect environment.  Man chose to disobey God regarding the one thing that he was forbidden.  I think it was important for man to experience the consequences of his sin.  God is a much better parent than we are.  Our tendency is to protect our children from the consequences of sin.  One who has experienced the consequences of sin is much more likely to appreciate the gift of forgiveness.  Suffice it to say that man had proven his depravity, and at the perfect time, in accordance with God’s plan from before the creation, Jesus came to earth as man to become the only acceptable sacrifice for our sin by living a sinless life of obedience to the Father.  That’s as far as my little brain will go.

 

“the ungodly” = every person ever born on planet earth

 

When I hear people talk about “limited atonement,” I just have a real hard time making it fit with verses like this one.  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was sufficient for ALL, although not all would come to Him in faith.  I don’t think the Holy Spirit was trying to trick us with the scripture.  It was written for you and me---not just the scholars.

 

Rom. 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

Rom. 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

“scarcely” = with difficulty, hardly

 

I think Paul is encouraging the people to think about Jesus’ sacrifice and how amazing it was.  It’s hard to imagine someone dying to save someone else unless that person was a good person; in fact, it’s hard to imagine someone giving their life except for an especially good person, although that’s a little more understandable. 

 

Obviously, this is a commentary on mankind in general.  Thankfully, there are wonderful examples of heroism and self-sacrifice for others even today as was vividly exampled for us on 9-11-01.  I would even tend to think that there is more likelihood of that type of sacrifice happening since the death of Jesus because of His example.

 

Paul now emphasizes that Christ died for us while we were still in sin; there was nothing good about us.  There is a huge difference in choosing to die for someone “worthy” of dying for and dying for someone who is worthless.  We can question the motives of modern day heroes, but we cannot question the motive of God the Father and His Son Jesus in their gift of sacrifice and provision for our salvation.  It was simply an act of love for the unlovable.

 

Rom. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

I think Paul is saying that since Jesus provided for our justification by willingly coming to earth as a man and sacrificing Himself, shedding His blood in death, for our sin, He will surely deliver us from the wrath of God that our sins so justly deserve.  It is only because of Jesus’ obedience to Him, that a righteous God the Father will deliver us from everlasting punishment, the penalty for sin.

 

As I read this through again, I think it is important to note that God promises to save the believer from His wrath—not just the wrath of hell, but the wrath that will be poured out on planet earth during the “day of the Lord”—the time that God will expend His wrath on the ungodly.

 

Isaiah 13:9 & 11 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it….And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.         

 

Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

 

Rom. 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

“reconcile” = Greek: to change mutually; Webster: To cause to be friendly again; to conciliate anew; to restore to friendship; to bring back to harmony….

 

Reminder – Paul is talking to those who have been justified, declared righteous, through their faith in Jesus.  They are no longer enemies of God; they are His servants, His friends; their fellowship has been restored.

 

Paul makes an argument of logic in this verse.  If Jesus’ death reconciled us to God at a time when we were His enemies, then it stands to reason that through His life, His resurrection, we who are now His friends will also experience life. 

 

Salvation speaks of deliverance.  Deliverance from what?  God’s wrath.

 

Rom. 5:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

I like the phrasing from the Complete Jewish Bible for this verse:  And not only will we be delivered in the future, but we are boasting about God right now, because he has acted through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have already received that reconciliation.

 

“atonement” = restore to divine favor……..at-one-ment

 

Man is the one that needed reconciliation—not God.  Man is the one that chose to break fellowship with His Creator.  Because of the obedience of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross, we can be restored to divine favor, reconciled to God.  That is cause for joy.

 

“joy” = Webster: The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; pleasurable feelings or emotions caused by success, good fortune, and the like, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; gladness; exhilaration of spirits; delight.

 

Rom. 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

 

“one man” = Adam, the very first human

 

The world in verse 12 is a reference to earth and its inhabitants.  As discussed in chapter 4, it was through Adam that sin became a part of the nature of man.  It is through the seed of man that the sin nature is passed to every other human being.  We are born in sin, and God’s punishment for sin is death.  There was no death before sin.

 

Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

 

Genesis 3:6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.

 

Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

 

Man was not the only part of creation impacted by his sin.  The ground was cursed.

 

Genesis 3:17-18 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

 

In chapter 8 of Romans we learn that the whole creation is groaning and travailing (v22).

 

One commentary reminded me of the verses in Hebrews that help explain how a man’s descendants are considered as acting through the actions of their ancestors.

 

Hebrews 7:9-10 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

 

Adam was the father of the human race.  All the people that would ever live were represented by the seed/sperm in his loins.  When he sinned, we effectively participated in that sin.

 

My thoughts jump to the true origin of sin, which I believe is Satan.  The difference is that Satan is part of a separate creation; he was an angel of great position.  He was the first created being to rebel against the Creator, to sin.  One can’t help but wonder if man would have rebelled against God apart from the temptation of Satan.  As I have continued in my studies of the scripture, I have come to the conclusion that the original “earth” was impacted as a result of Satan’s sin.  (See notes on Genesis 1.)  That being said, the present earth was created for man as a perfect home by a loving Creator.  Adam, the first man, chose to disobey God.  As the perfect human placed in a perfect environment, he represents all of mankind; not one of us would have chosen differently.  The cool thing is that none of this was a surprise to God; He had a plan in place before creating the first thing because He knew the actions of His created beings before He created them.  The questions now become harder, and I claim Isaiah 55:

 

Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

 

Guzik made a thought-provoking comment on this section:  “It is fair to be made righteous by the work of another man only if we are also made sinners by the work of another man.  If we aren’t made sinners by Adam, then it isn’t fair for us to be made righteous by Jesus.”

 

Rom. 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Rom. 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

 

Sin was in the world before the law was given.  The law was given to reveal sin.  Most people think of the Ten Commandments in reference to the law as referenced in verse 14.  The truth is that man did recognize things as right and wrong or just and unjust in their relationship to God and each other before the law as evidenced by the lives of Cain and Abel.  God is a righteous God; all men from the time of Adam died (excepting Enoch) because they were sinners.

 

Thought from Chuck Smith:  “We aren’t sinners because we sin; we sin because we are sinners.”

 

“them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression” - The wording seems to indicate that maybe Adam was the only one to whom God had directly expressed his expectations of man until the time of Moses.  God’s instructions to Adam were verbal; God’s instructions to Moses were written for the purpose of sharing with His people, and through His people, the rest of the world.  Direct communication was made between God and Adam and God and Moses.  Adam was probably the messenger of God’s teaching as was Moses.  It seems to be making a difference between deliberately disobeying God’s Word vs. man’s interpretation of God’s Word.  With Moses, the law was written by the finger of God and came directly from God to the people.  That would indicate that direct transgression/violation/breaking of God’s law did not occur between Adam and the time when the law was given to Moses.  It did not, however, mean that man did not sin (miss the mark, to err—especially morally).  

 

Adam was the example/model/type of “him that was to come”—the man Jesus.  Just as Adam was created with a spirit in perfect harmony with that of God, Jesus was born through the seed of the woman as a man with a spirit in perfect harmony with God.  He did not inherit the sin nature of Adam.  He inherited the nature of His Father God, just as Adam had been gifted at the time of his creation.

 

Rom. 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

 

The truth of this verse is echoed by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians.

 

1Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

 

Paul starts this verse with a statement and then goes on to explain that statement.  There is a big difference in the sin of Adam and the gift of grace through Jesus and the impact of each on man.  This doesn’t make sense at first reading—Adam’s sin brought death upon all men, and God’s gift of grace through Jesus makes it possible for all men to live.  Paul uses the word “many” in reference to the actual response of man.  “Many” will choose to reject God and “die” in their sin, and “many” will choose to accept God’s gift of salvation by grace in Jesus Christ and “live.”  In his letter to the Corinthians the statement is made on context to those whose faith would result in resurrection to new life in Jesus.

 

Rom. 5:16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Rom. 5:17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Rom. 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Rom. 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

Paul now goes into an explanation of the differences in the actions of Adam and Jesus. 

 

Verse 16 is making a contrast between Adam’s one sin that resulted in death for all men and the free gift of salvation provided through Jesus as a sacrifice for many offences/sins (all sins committed by man from Adam until the time that eternity begins).

 

Verse 17 brings in a comparison of the death brought upon man by Adam’s sin and the life that results in the abundance of grace and gift of righteousness provided through Jesus Christ. Both Adam and Jesus acted in ways that had direct impact on all men.  As a result of Adam’s sin, all men became sinners and through men innumerable sins were committed.  “Much more” was the impact of the righteous obedience of Christ.  His obedience provided for the justification of countless sinners and their innumerable sins.  Piper made the point (my understanding of his words) that condemnation is a natural/just response to sin.  Grace, however, is a “much more” response from God to provide for the sinner.  It is not natural; it is a supernatural response of a loving Creator.

 

“they which receive” – This phrase implies that all will not receive.  It also implies that there is a choice that must be made by the individual.

 

Verse 18 is another of those verses that really speak against the idea of limited atonement.  Adam’s sin resulted in condemnation (a guilty verdict) for all men.  Jesus’ perfect life of obedience to God resulted in the provision of justification (a declaration of innocence) for all who will accept that gift. (10/06) John Piper dwelt on the reason Paul emphasized that the action of one man (Adam) resulted in sin for all men.  It helps us understand how the action of one man (Jesus) was sufficient to provide justification for all men.

 

Verse 19 - One man’s, Adam’s, disobedience established “many” as sinners; one man’s, Jesus’, obedience provided for “many” to be declared righteous.  I wonder why the Spirit inspired Paul to use the word many instead of all in reference to Adam’s sin resulting in the sinful condition of man?  It is sad that though Jesus made provision for all, His gift will only be accepted by many. Again, as I was listening to Piper teach this section, I got the thought that the reference to “many” was in reference to the specific number of sinners that would accept the gift of righteousness.

 

Adam made a choice to sin based on selfish motivation; Jesus made an unselfish choice to die for our/my sin because of His love for the Father and for us/me.

 

I think this is a good place to reiterate that all men of faith before the time of Jesus were justified because of Jesus just as surely as those of us since the time of Jesus.  Their faith was in God’s provision for them through the old covenant just as our faith is in God’s provision for us through the new covenant.  The fulfillment of both covenants was accomplished through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

 

Hebrews 9:14-15 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

 

Galatians 3:6-9 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

 

Galatians 3:26-29 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Rom. 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

 

When God gave the law to man through Moses, He was giving us a standard by which to measure ourselves, a method through which to identify sin in our lives (as we learned in chapter 3).

 

Romans 3:20 … for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

 

Through comparison to God’s stated standards, the fact that our lives abound with sin is revealed.  The giving of the law was a loving act by God.  We can only appreciate the value of the gift in comparison to our need for it.  Jesus established this principle when explaining what inspires love and then making application to the woman who washed His feet with her tears in repentance of her sin.

 

Luke 7:41-43 & 47 There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged….Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.

 

It takes much grace to provide for much sin, and God’s grace is available in abundance to the sinner—far more than He actually needs.  Our need is to have our sins forgiven; His grace provides for us to go beyond that forgiveness and empowers us to live in obedience to Him and earn heavenly rewards.

 

Rom. 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Death is the appointed end for the sinner; there is no other option for the man who chooses to yield to sin.  On the other hand, eternal life is the appointed position for the sinner declared justified/righteous through Jesus Christ our Lord by the grace of God.  Grace overcomes sin.  How do we access this grace?  Through faith (which takes us back to the first two verses of the chapter).

 

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