Romans 5 - Outline of Romans (Book Notes menu page)
The Benefits and Assurance of Justification by faith (ch.5)-
5:1 Therefore being {ie., having been} justified by faith,
we have
{lit., we are having} peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace
wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope
{ie., confident expectation} of the glory of God.
Therefore, having been justified {ie., declared righteous} by faith...-
This chapter builds on the discussion of 'justification by faith' in the previous chapters.
The present Position, of the justified believer, has several aspects:
  1. we have peace with God.-
    As sinners, we were His enemies, under His wrath (cp. Isa 57:19-21; Rom 1:18).
    But having been declared righteous, the hostility that separated us has been removed (cp. Isa 53:5; Rom 5:9,10; Eph 2:13-17; Col 1:20). This peace is a permanent condition, whether or not the believer enjoys a sense of tranquility.
    Peace with God is distinct from other types of peace described in scripture.-
    1. The peace of God - sustains the believer in times of difficulty. It is the assurance that God is in control and working all things according to His purposes. cp. Joh 14:27; 16:33; Php 4:6,7
    2. Peace among nations - will not become a reality until Christ returns to earth as the Prince of Peace. cp. Jer 6:14; Psa 120:7; Isa 9:6,7; 2:2-4
      Note: At His first coming, angels announced the means of reconciliation between God & man (ie., peace with God), rather than an immediate state of tranquility upon the earth. cp. Luk 2:14; 12:51
  2. we have {have obtained} access... into [God's] grace.-
    God's Grace is the unmerited favor by which we have received salvation from sin, acceptance before the holy God, and the freedom to approach His throne in prayer. Titus 2:11; Eph 2:18; Heb 10:19-22
  3. we stand (on the basis of Grace)...-
  4. we rejoice {GK=kauchomai, boast} in hope... of the glory {GK=doxa, honor majesty, splendor} of God.- Uppermost in our hearts, is the confident expectation of Christ's return, and the future glory of His Kingdom. Titus 2:13,14; 1Joh 3:2,3; Rev 21:3,23
The tense of each of the verbs (in points A - D) indicates permanence of condition.
Yet, access into Grace is based on two things.
     It is (a) through Jesus Christ, and (b) by faith (v.1,2).
This raises a question: Does continuance in Grace depend upon the strength of my faith?
To be truly secure, 'justification by faith' must rest on something more secure than my faith.
In the balance of ch. 5, Paul demonstrates that justification by faith is in fact secure.-
  1. Faith was a factor in our entrance into the realm of God's Grace (v.1,2).
    But once inside, we are secured by that Grace (Rom 4:16).
    It is not our faith, but the One who is the object of our faith who saves & keeps us.
    In making this point, Paul avoids using the word 'faith' (which was so prominent in ch. 3 - 4) after v.2, until 9:30 (with the exception of 6:8, where it has a different application).
  2. Christ is central to the security of our hope, just as He is central to our justification (v.1,2)
5:3 And not only [so], but we glory {GK=kauchomai, rejoice, boast} in tribulations also:
knowing that tribulation worketh patience
{ie., steadfastness, endurance};
5:4 And patience, experience
{lit., 'approvedness'}; and experience, hope:
'Not only so...' {ie., 'This is not alone...'} -
Our Condition of righteousness (with its benefits of peace with God, of our standing in Grace, etc.) is not alone. It is accompanied by the Confidence (or, Assurance) that our condition of righteousness before God is real and permanent. In the remainder of the chapter, Paul cites several assuring evidences of this reality.
1. Our Hope (which, being future, is beyond our testing) is tested and proved in our present trials. (This is similar to the way Christ's spiritual authority was demonstrated by his power in the physical realm. cp. Mat 9:5,6)
Not only are we confident (rejoicing) in the expectation of Christ's return & heaven's glory,
but also, we are confident (rejoicing) in the midst of present troubles. This confidence rests not in our ability to weather the storms of life, but in Him who has already overcome the storm (Joh 16:33). Because of His 'Grace wherein we stand,' our hope endures. Trials & persecutions cannot shake the sure confidence which He has granted us.
Rather, they cause us...
  • to grow more deeply rooted in Him who is our refuge (that we may endure). Psa 27:1-6
  • to mature into workmen approved & experienced for His service. 2Cor 1:3-6; 12:9,10
  • to gain increasing confidence in the expectation of His promises. cp. 2Cor 6:9,10; 1Pet 1:3-9
5:5 And hope maketh not ashamed {ie., does not disappoint, will not let us down};
because the love of God is shed abroad
{ie., poured out} in our hearts
by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that,
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
2. Our Hope is secured by God's love {GK= agape}. v.5
God's love for us is 'shed abroad' in our hearts, that we may know its magnitude. Eph 3:17-19
(cp. this word translated 'shed abroad' or 'poured out,' in Acts 2:17,33; 10:45; Titus 3:6)
  1. God's love for us is not dependent on our loveliness. v.6
    He loved us even when we were without strength and ungodly {GK=asebes, without reverence toward God)... While we were "too weak to do right, yet, mighty to do wrong." [Stifler]
  2. God's love is supernatural, and beyond parallel in human experience. v.7,8
    Death as an expression of love is extreme. However, in some rare instance, someone might be willing to die in the place of an exceptionally 'good' man. (The meaning of this word for 'good' [as shown by its use in Mat 19:17] emphasizes the rarity of such a case.)
    But when Christ died for us, we were totally unworthy sinners, perishing in our sins. Joh 3:16; 1Pet 3:18; 1Joh 4:9,10
5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him.
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.
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
{lit., the reconciliation}.
3. Our Hope (a benefit of being declared righteous) is based on the blood of the Lamb. v.9; Rom 3:24,25
Just as we could not secure our own justification, we cannot ensure our own final salvation.
Our escape from the wrath to come is entirely due to the work of Christ in our behalf.
4. Our Hope (a benefit of the reconciliation with God, which was secured by Christ's death)
is ensured by Christ's life. v.10
  • Christ 'reconciled' us {GK=katallasso, to change, to exchange, to receive into favor, to bring into compatibility} to God.
    Based on the propitiation of sin (by Christ's blood sacrifice), and prior to any moral change in the sinner, an exchange occurred by which God could view us, no longer as His enemies, but as accepted in the Beloved. cp. Col 1:20-22; Eph 1:6,7
  • Paul argues: 'If God's Grace is able to embrace His enemies, surely it must secure His friends.'
    ''The argument here is in the form of a triple antithesis... it can be exhibited to the eye thus:
    Enemies......reconciled to death. life.
    That is, (A.) If God could do so much for His enemies, what can He not do now for those who are in a reconciled state? Again, (B.) If God could become reconciled with men when enemies, can He not remain reconciled (which ensures their being 'saved') now that they have become friends? And once more, (C.) If the death of Christ, a negative power, could do so much (reconcile), what will not His life, His active energy on high in their behalf, what will not His ever-living insure?'' cp. Joh 14:19; Col 3:3,4; Heb 7:25
       [in quotes, from Stifler, italics added, numbering changed to letters]
  • In Christ's sacrifice, God has become reconciled to man.
    It remains for each man to become reconciled to God, through faith in Christ. cp. 2Cor 5:18-21
5. Our Hope is evidenced by our Joy {ie., glory, boast} in God, now that we have received reconciliation. v.11; cp. v.2,3
'Received' {the GK tense is passive, lit., 'have been made recipients of'} -
The change in our relationship to God is His gift to us. We did not produce it.
Furthermore, not only has God's view of us changed, but also our attitude toward Him has been changed. Whereas, once we were in rebellion against Him, now our delight and confidence is in Him (1Pet 1:8). This also is His doing. The reign of sin & death (over and within us) has been broken through Jesus Christ (as will be shown in v.12-21).
6. Our Hope of life in Christ is more certain than the plague of death through Adam. (v.12-21)
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:
Adam's one act of sin ''wrought a constitutional change of unholiness within his heart.
That act resulted in an innate corrupting principle'' which was passed on to his descendants as a natural characteristic of the human race. [in quotes, Stifler] cp. Gen 2:17; 3:17-19
death - is the result of sin. It has both natural & spiritual aspects.-
Physical death- The separation of the spirit from the body. eg. Gen 5:5; 25:8
Spiritual death- The separation of the sinner from the holy God. cp. Eze 18:4,20; Eph 2:1
Eternal death- The eternal separation of the sinner from God. cp. Rom 6:23a; Rev 21:8
death passed upon all men...- Death is universal for mankind.
because all have sinned.- Universal death is due to universal sin.
The entire race is plagued by death, because the entire race had a part in Adam's sin.
This concept is similar to Heb 7:9,10: Levi, while yet unborn, paid tithes in Abraham.
Consider also a modern illustration: The decision of a young man, to renounce his native land and take citizenship in a new country, has a profound effect upon his descendants. For good or ill, and though as yet unconceived, his children also have exchanged the citizenship, climate, culture, language, government... (etc.) of the old land, for those of the new.
All of Adam's descendants, like him, are in bondage to sin and death.
5:13 (For until the law sin {ie., the principle of sin} was in the world:
but sin
{ie., specific transgressions} is not imputed {ie., put on account} when there is no law.
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.
death reigned from Adam to Moses...-
Prior to Moses, God had not given the Law (eg., the Ten Commandments).
During that early period, He did not hold men accountable for specific sins.
     Adam's case was unique, because he disobeyed God's specific instructions (Gen 2:17). But the rest of mankind could not sin 'after the likeness of Adam's transgression,' since God had not yet given the moral instructions of the Law.
     Yet, prior to the Law, 'sin was in the world.' Because all men were sinful beings, they were all under the sentence of death.
If sin is 'not imputed' without the Law (cp. Rom 4:15), why did men perish before the Law?
(or) Today, why do infants die, though they are not guilty of law-breaking?
  • Because the entire race is corrupted by sin, even apart from individual acts of sin.
    The NT makes a distinction between 'sin' (a nature that is prone to sin) and 'sins' (acts of sin). Since the same GK word is used for both, the meaning is differentiated by the context (eg., 'no sin' versus 'not sinned' in 1Joh 1:8,10).
         The sinful condition, of man's nature, manifests itself even apart from the Law.
    See Gen 6:5-7,11-13; Rom 8:7; Joh 3:6; 1Cor 2:14; cp. Eph 2:1-3; 4:17-22
Adam... is the figure {GK=tupos, type} of Him that was to come {ie., Christ}.-
Adam's influence on the race illustrates the influence of Christ (cp. 1Cor 15:21-22,45-47).
In both cases, the one individual determined the destiny of many.
- - Adam is the Natural Head of the human race. All of mankind fell into sin in him.
- - Christ is the Spiritual Head of the human race. All who are in Him are declared righteous.
Just as Adam's ''one sin brought death to all, even where there was no personal sin, so Christ's one act of obedience brings unfailing righteousness to those who are in Him, even when they have no personal righteousness.'' [Stifler]
5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift {the 'free gift' is 'righteousness,' v.17}.
For if
{since} through the offence of {the} one {the} many be dead,
much more the grace of God, and the gift by
{the} grace,
[which is] by
{the} one man, Jesus Christ,
hath abounded unto
{the} many. {The definite articles are in the GK text.}
but not as...- v.15 & 16 bring out points of difference between Adam and Christ.
v.15 shows ''the difference in intensity between the destructive and the recovering power'' that influence mankind. [in quotes, Stifler]
The two powers are contrasted
. . . in regard to:
in Adamin Christ
A. their Source:the offense of manthe grace of God
B. their Spiritual Effect:many are deadmany are graced
much more...- This term, which is used repeatedly in ch.5, is logical rather than quantitative.
It means: 'it is certain' or 'it is more certain'.
The sense is: 'If one man could bring such ruin upon the race, surely God can bring the remedy through one Man.' cp. 1Joh 4:10; 5:11
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
{ie., declared righteousness}.
The two powers are contrasted
. . . in regard to:
in Adamin Christ
C. their Extent:one offense to condemnationmany offenses to justification
D. their Basis:sin brings condemnationgrace brings justification
Verse 16 shows that ''the extent of the destructive power does not go beyond the one sin of Adam,
[but] the extent of the recovering power is as wide as the countless sins of [every human] heart. The two forces, then, are measured by the difference in the number of sins to which each looks: the judgment to the one sin, the free gift to the many. How vastly more extensive, then, is the free gift! To take the two verses together, the contrasts are a shallow, narrow stream, and a deep broad stream -- the shallow narrow stream from Adam no wider than his one sin, the deep stream from Christ as broad as the sum of all sins of men. And if the little stream sweeps the soul away to death, how surely the great volume of the other will carry one to the haven of life.'' [Stifler] cp. Acts 13:38,39; 1Cor 6:9-11; 1Joh 2:2
5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one;
much more they which receive
{lit., 'are made the recipients of'} abundance of grace
and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
The two powers are contrasted
. . . in regard to:
in Adamin Christ
E. their Kingdom Order:death reignedthe graced reign in life
As v.15,16 have shown ''the superiority of the saving energy in Christ'' [Stifler],
Verse 17 shows that the recipients of this grace are truly saved.
Those who are justified have not merely escaped death, they are kings in life.
The message is: 'If death in Adam is certain, Life in Christ is more certain.'
cp. Joh 10:10; 1Tim 1:14; 1Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6
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.
{A more literal translation would be:
''Therefore, as one act of transgression came upon all men to condemnation,
even so, one act of righteousness came upon all men to justification.''}
5:19 For as by {the} one man's {act of} disobedience {the} many were made sinners,
so by the
{act of} obedience of {the} one shall {the} many be made righteous.
Therefore {so then...}- v.18,19 bring the argument to its conclusion.
The two powers are contrasted
. . . in regard to:
in Adamin Christ
F. their Means:one act of disobedienceone act of obedience
G. their Judicial Effect:condemnation to all menjustification to all men
H. their Constitutional Effect:the many made sinnersthe many made righteous
Adam's one act of disobedience (Gen 2:17; 3:17) affected the entire race of men,
placing them all in the category of sinners, and bringing them all under condemnation.
Whoever is not included in this group could have no ground to join the song of Rev 5:9.10.
Christ's one act of obedience, affected the entire race of men.
  1. Christ's ''one act of obedience'' refers to His 'obedience unto death' at the cross. Php 2:8
    Though filled with multiplied acts of obedience, His sinless life could never propitiate sin.
    His life of obedience set Him apart as the sinless sacrifice.
    Our justification is in His sacrifice alone. Eph 2:13,16; Heb 10:12-14; 1Pet 1:18,19
  2. His sacrifice was so abundantly sufficient that 'all men' could be 'declared righteous' (1Joh 2:2).
    However, 'all men' (in v.18b) is limited by (v.17) to 'all who are recipients of the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness.'
    Only 'the many' who are 'in Christ' are justified {declared righteous}, thereby receiving life rather than death (Rom 3:21-23; Rom 6:23; 1Joh 5:11,12). 'All men' are 'in Adam' by birth. Only those who have been 'born again,' through faith in the Lamb of God, are 'in Christ' (Joh 1:11-13).
the many were made sinners... the many shall be made righteous.-
The word 'made' in both cases is GK=kathistemi, to appoint, to place, to constitute.
(This word is formed from two words: 'histemi,' to stand; and 'kata,' throughout, according to.)
Its primary sense is 'declarative,' but it can also have a 'causative' sense. That is...
  1. Because of Adam's one sin, all men have been 'set in the class of sinners.' (declarative) [Stifler]
    But, as we noted above, Adam's sin also brought a constitutional change to man's nature.
    Mankind became sinners, not only in name, but also in nature & character.
  2. Because of Christ's one obedience, 'the many' have been 'set in the class of the righteous.'
    Up until this point, this thought has been expressed repeatedly by one word, the verb 'justify' {GK=dikaioo, to declare righteous; eg. v.1}. However, here (v.19b) two words are used together: the verb 'to appoint' {GK=kathistemi} and the adjective 'righteous' {GK=dikaios}, which usually describes 'character.' Also, the verb is in the future tense ('shall be made righteous').
    What is the significance of this wording?
    1. It speaks of the permanence of the believer's position (or, outward standing).
      Before the holy Judge, we 'stand' {GK=histemi} declared righteous by God's Grace (v.1,2), and will forever continue in this standing, having been 'placed in the category' {GK= kathistemi} of 'righteous,' by the one act of Christ, which is sufficient, and needs never to be repeated.
           So then, 'justification by faith' is indeed permanent and secure, because the believer's righteousness, before God, rests on the work of Another, in his behalf.
    2. It speaks of the transformation of the believer's nature (or, inward state), by which ''the many shall be 'constituted' righteous.''
      This introduces the subject of 'sanctification' (to be discussed in ch.6).
      Sanctification is the process of purification of the believer's inner nature, by which he will become like His Lord, righteous in character.
      - - 'Justification by faith' judicially imputes righteousness to the sinner's account.
      - - 'Sanctification by faith' actually imparts righteousness to the sinner's person.
      Sanctification, like justification, is made possible through Christ's 'one act of obedience.'
5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.
But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound
{lit., 'super-abounded'}:
5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death,
even so might grace reign through righteousness
unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
In v.20,21, Paul anticipates the following question:
'If, as you say, men are condemned sinners, without the Law,
and if, men can be declared righteous apart from the Law,
what purpose remains for the Law?'
the Law {God's standard of righteousness} entered {came in alongside} the offense...-
The Law reveals:
  1. the offensiveness of sin. The Law places man's sin in the light of God's holiness.
  2. the sinful condition of man-
    • ruled by sin- Sin abounded {increased} as the rebellious hearts of men rebelled further. cp. Rom 7:7,8
    • dead in sins, and under condemnation to eternal death. Rom 1:32
  3. the righteousness which is by Grace, through Christ...-
    ...which is the super-remedy for man's condition. eg., 1Tim 1:12-15
    ie., The Law leads us to Christ. Rom 3:20,21; Gal 3:24
    Those, who are in Him, have entered a new realm (cp. Col 1:12-14).
The reign of sin & death, under the Law, is displaced by the reign of Grace...
Those who are justified by faith in Christ, stand in Grace (v.1,2), and are...
  • ruled through {by means of} righteousness (in Christ).
  • eternally alive through {by means of} righteousness (in Christ).

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