Romans Chapter 05

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

Peace has many shadings of meaning. Definitions include exemption from war, harmony, concord, security, safety, prosperity, felicity, salvation, and contentment. All of these are synonyms of the Greek word ειρηνη, eirene (pronounced aye-rain’-ay, similar to the Queen’s English pronunciation of Irene—ee-ray’-nəh—which is the UK English equivalent of the Greek word for peace; Americans pronounce it aye-reen’). Thayer continues the definition, explaining that peace is likened to, “Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is”. That is verily the peace of God, which passeth all understanding.

In this verse, we see the final definition above, the peace of knowing where we stand with God. Because He has justified us, we are no longer in jeopardy of destruction. We do not have the worry of where we will spend eternity. It is settled. Since a definition of peace is the absence of war, not only is this the peace that passes all understanding, but it is also a peace that puts an end to the war we had against God. Now we have peace of mind and there is true peace between God and us.

The war against God is absolutely real, especially among nonbelievers. Nonbelievers are not in the least interested in being agreeable to God. They would just as soon have absolutely nothing to do with anything about God. There are exceptions to this, or course. One is when an unbeliever is trying to be hostile to God (and today it seems as if the majority are). Another is when a person is in a very hard place and wishes that God would help. But the mind of man cannot accept the things of God, for, ” the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Unbelievers cannot discern the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14: ” But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.“). Thus because of their inability to know and understand God, unbelievers are unable to be close to God; therefore they are friends with the world. This makes them the enemies of God: ” whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4). Being enemies with God and not being able to have any understanding of God, unbelievers constantly war against God.

When we became believers, the Holy Spirit first revealed the things of God to us: “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God” (1 Corinthians 2:11-12). Once the Spirit revealed the things of God to us we no longer were at war with God.

Yet, even the believer sometimes has a struggle. The flesh wars against the Spirit. See Romans 7:14-25. But Christ has reconciled us to God: “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” (Romans 5:10).

This peace is afforded us because of what Christ did for us at the cross. His blood was shed in the place of ours. Because of that work He did, we are justified, or not guilty in God’s sight. That justification forever sets us at peace with God, just as discussed in the last paragraph of the previous chapter.

Romans 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.

We have the peace of God through Jesus Christ, and He has provided for us access to His very grace because of His atoning death at Calvary. Such access is allowed us by our faith in Him. John 14:6 states, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father, but by me.” We may only come to God the Father by Christ. Our belief in His death, resurrection, and glorification is the key to our access. Here is a little creed of my own making that I use: I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin, grew as a man, died on the cross as a sacrifice in my place, was raised on the third day and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for my sins. If you truly believe those things, you have received the gracious gift of salvation from God.

What is hope in this context? A definition from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary is, “Confidence in a future event; the highest degree of well founded expectation of good; as a hope founded on God’s gracious promises; a scriptural sense.” The modern Merriam-Webster’s dictionary mirrors this, “archaic: to place confidence or trust — usually used with in hope in thy word — Ps 119:81 (Revised Standard Version)> transitive verb“.

Using these definitions, we understand that hope, in this context is not the hope the world has. That hope is an uncertain hope. For example, a child might say, “I hope I get a new DVD player for my birthday.” Such hope is unconvinced; it is based upon a wish, a want, or a desire. It is uncertain that the wish will come to fruition.

The hope in this place is not at all uncertain. It is based on the certain will of God, Who has spoken to us through His Word. He has assured us that if we believe upon His Only Begotten Son, that we will have eternal life in His presence. That is a certainty, not some vague or esoteric pipe dream. Our hope is in Christ and our belief in Him makes it a surety that our future is secure. Our hope in Christ is our trust in Him. We are confident that He will deliver His promises to us.

We are able to stand on this confidence. We have faith in Christ and therefore God’s grace is provided for us. We stand in that grace, that is, we may live our lives in the surety of His promises. He has graciously given us eternal life through faith in Jesus and we can take that to the bank. There for we can rejoice, or be joyful, in our confidence in Him because God’s glory is upon us. In that day, when the judgment comes, we will be glorified with God’s glory (Romans 8:29-30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.“)

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

This is a recurring theme in the Bible, that through our tribulations we will receive gain. What is tribulation?

Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary defines tribulation as: “n. A condition of affliction and distress; suffering; also that which causes it.” The dictionary gives the etymology thus: [< OF tribulacion < LL tribulatio, onis < L tribulatus, pp. of tribulare to thrash < tribulum threshing floor < tri-, root of terere to rub, grind] (OF=Old French, LL=Late Latin, L=Latin, pp.=past participle).

I give the etymology to show that the word tribulation goes back to hand threshing grain, which goes further back to the act of rubbing and grinding. Threshing was hard, painstaking work. The hands, back, and feet got tired and sore. The process was time consuming. It was not pleasant work, but it was inevitable work. If there was no threshing, there would be no bread. Rubbing and grinding are also indicative of slow painstaking work. If you had to hand rub the chaff and bran from a full field of wheat, your hands would become tired and sore. The task would seem unending. The tribulation that comes upon the world will be exhausting, painstaking and will seem unending. But it must happen. Tribulation connotes a long, wearisome and unpleasant task that must be done. The silver lining is that tribulation will eventually come to an end heralding Christ’s return.

We glory in tribulations because of the good things they produce in us. The first attribute that tribulation produces in us is patience. The Greek is a combination of two words, hupo and meno. Hupo means under or by. Meno means to abide or remain. Literally, hupomone, the word rendered patience, means “to abide under.” Dr. Strong makes the case that it connotes cheerful endurance. Through the pressure of tribulation, which is a long, unpleasant, and wearisome event, we learn to cheerfully endure all that the world and that Satan throws at us. We can even endure it unto death.

Romans 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

The word rendered experience here is dokimen, meaning proof or character. What this means to us is that patience produces proof in us that our faith is correct and that our belief and hope are well placed. We see the hand of God in our tribulations as He guides us through and gives us joy in the midst of trouble. This proof builds character in us so that the next time a trial comes along, we are more prepared to endure it with faith and hope and joy. Further, it assures us of our certain hope that we will receive the promises of God is we believe in His Son.

Romans 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.

We have already defined hope above. Hope is a certainty that we have eternal life because of our belief in Jesus Christ. The hope of the world is an uncertain hope or a vague notion that we will receive something, to that something will happen. Such hope, when we do not receive that for which we wished, will make us ashamed or disappointed. When we hope with the world’s hope, that is, when we wish for something that is not certain, we may suffer disappointment or shame. But when we have the certain hope of salvation, we will never be disappointed or put to shame. Why? Because the love that God has for us when we are saved by the blood of His Son, is shed abroad upon us. The Greek word indicates that God’s love is poured out upon His own and diffuses among them. It is like water out of a mist head sprinkler. The water is diffused throughout the air in tiny droplets that seem to float in the air and eventually fall upon the ground over a wide area, watering all of the flora in that area. In a like manner, His love is diffused to us, His children and falls upon our hearts.

How is this love diffused to us? Via the Holy Spirit. He is our comforter, our earnest of heaven, Who makes us to know God in our hearts and to know His will for our lives. The Holy Ghost was given to us just as Jesus had promised in John 14:16, ” And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever“. Of course that Comforter is the Holy Ghost, as we learn from the next verse: (17) ” Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” Note that Jesus referred to the Spirit of Truth as “him” and not “it”. The Spirit is our Comforter (parakleton) because He sheds the love of God into our hearts. He also comforts us in tribulation, in danger and fear, and He guides us in our everyday lives if we allow Him.

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

The human heart is “deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). ” There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10). “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23). “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5). “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the father but by me” (John 14:6). We humans are all sinners and our sins blind us to the truth. Because of our sins, we cannot devise any way to be relieved of our sins. Our weakness is our sin. Unable to find a way out of our sinful condition, we are weak and unable to save ourselves. While we were in no condition to save ourselves, God sent His Son Who died to save us, the ungodly. Without His death on the cross, we would still be in that weak state of sinfulness. His completed work at Calvary opened the way to the forgiveness of our sins. We could not pay for our sins, so God devised a way for us to receive forgiveness. He provided it as a gift. Christ took our sins upon Himself and received our punishment. He died in our place. Thus we can be saved and forgiven.

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

Let us distinguish between a righteous and a good man as written here. The righteous man could be described as the law abiding citizen who goes about his life within the rules of society. This is not an extraordinary individual, but the average citizen who conforms to the rules of society. The world is filled with such individuals.

The word ‘good’ has a rather mild meaning in modern English. We have overused the word and lowered the expectations of the word since the King James was last revised. The Greek word rendered good here has a much more heightened meaning. We could readily translate it an especially good person. The Complete Word Study Dictionary provides the following synonyms for the word: good, excellent, distinguished, best of persons, virtuous, upright, etc. Some other translations render it: a truly good person, a noble and lovable and generous benefactor, a good and lovable man, someone good and noble, a person who is especially good, a benefactor, and other things.

There are few people willing to give up their lives for the average law abiding citizen, though some would. Perhaps more would be willing to die to save a child. Yet there are those willing to die to save others. An example is a fire fighter. He risks his own life to go into burning buildings to rescue others. But the scripture tells that only a few are willing to do that. Taken among the entire population, there are not the many willing to die to save another. The percentage is small. Of course, most of us, when confronted with an emergency situation, would help to save another. Examples are auto accidents, a child running out into traffic, etc. But there are relative few people willing to give their lives for others.

Yet, according to the scripture, there are more folks willing to die for a truly good and noble person than for the average Joe. Even then, there is only a small percentage willing to do so. United States Presidents, since World War II have been afforded great protection by the Secret Service. The men and women of the Secret Service are willing to die for their President. But the President is a high profile person. Some are willing to die for him, whether he is good or not. But again, not many people are willing to die for another, even for great people. The point here is that only some are willing to die for the very good, which brings us to the next verse.

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

Though few would die for a few good men, very few, perhaps none, would be willing to die for the unrighteous. Yet Jesus the Christ, died for us all. We have already established in verse six, that we are all sinners and not one of us is righteous. There are no truly good among us. Yet even though we do not fit the image presented in verse seven, there was Someone willing to die for us. He was the only truly righteous Man that ever lived, the Son of God, Jesus the Christ. Even though we are all unworthy, God’s love for us dirty, unrighteous sinners was enough for Him to provide a way for our salvation. How does God love everyone in the entire world throughout its history? It is expressed in John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. {17} For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. {18} He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” How big is God’s love for us? Big enough to die for us.

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

At the moment of our salvation, when we believe that Christ died for us in order to save us from our sins—from that very moment—we are justified. He shed His blood as payment for our sins, therefore our guilt is assuaged and we are found just. The verdict is not guilty because the penalty for our crimes or sins has been paid. We are justified at the very moment of salvation. Our sins are washed away at that point, so we are righteous in God’s eyes. This is in the present tense.

However, the Apostle goes on to point out that in the future we will be saved from God’s wrath. If we are already justified by our belief in Christ, why do we need to be saved from the wrath of God? Are we not already saved? The answer is yes, we are already saved. Paul is talking about the future. There is coming a time when the wrath of God will be poured out upon all the earth. That time has not yet happened. God is withholding His wrath so that all will have an opportunity to be saved. When that time actually does come, His wrath will be turned away from us just like the destroying angel turned away from the houses in Egypt with the blood of the sacrificial lamb on the lintels. He will see the blood of Christ on the lintels of our hearts and His anger will turn away from us, hence we will be saved from the wrath that is to come.

Romans 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.

Does Paul mean that God is our enemy, or that we are God’s enemies, or both? One definition of the word, enemy, is opposition. If we see in Paul’s commentary that we were opposed to God and all His righteousness, then we will also see that God was equally opposed to our sinful lives. God and unsaved people are in opposition to one another. Does this mean that God hates sinners? Hardly. It means that, as a Holy God, He can have no fellowship with sinners for that would taint His holiness. Hence the opposition from God toward us is due to our own sinfulness. It is not an opposition imposed by God, nay, it is opposition imposed by man’s chosen sinfulness. People choose to sin, thereby setting themselves in opposition to God.

This is not to say that men and women have not made themselves enemies of God, for they have indeed done so. My own testimony is that I considered God my enemy when I was a professed atheist. However, though God was opposed to my sinful behavior, He was not my enemy. I was His enemy of my own volition; I was His enemy in my own thought processes; I was His enemy because I wanted to be. He was never my enemy. His plan for me was always my betterment; which meant that He wanted me to become saved.

Paul’s point is that, though we made ourselves enemies of God, He was never our enemy. He was separated from us because of our sin, but was not our enemy. He wished for us to be reconciled to Him. In fact, that is why Jesus shed His own blood for us—so we could be reconciled to God. Even though we considered ourselves enemies of God, He had a plan to bring us into fellowship with Him. That plan was the death and resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus. While we yet considered ourselves His enemies, He reconciled us to Himself by the death of Jesus and our belief in that death and resurrection. Because of our reconciliation, we will be saved from the wrath of God because Jesus is alive today and makes intercession for our sins.

The opposite of enmity is affinity, fellowship, friendship, good will, kindness, and love. Now that we are reconciled with God, all the enmity our sinfulness caused between us and God has now ceased because of our faith in His Son, His death, and His resurrection. The reconciliation with God had made us friends with Him.

Romans 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.

Not only were we, the enemies of God, reunited with Him because of the work of Christ at Calvary, but now we are friends with God. “What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear; what a privilege to carry everything to God in Prayer.” (Johnson Oatman Jr., 1856-1922). A friend is the opposite of an enemy. When we were saved, we made a 180 degree turn in our life. Once we were pursuing sin, now we follow Christ. We may now rejoice and delight in our newfound friendship with God that has been made possible through the Lord Jesus Christ and his atoning work at Calvary for our sin. Just as we have turned around in our lives, so our relationship with God is turned around. Once we were the enemies of God, now have an intimate relationship with Him.

Romans 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:

Of course, that one man is Adam. Paul begins another thought in this verse. It is that death caused by the sin of Adam, was passed on to his progeny, of which every living person is a member. How did one man cause death to come into the world? We must go back to what was created by God.

Genesis 1:26-27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

The man, את־האדם , eth ha adam, Adam was created in God’s image. What does it mean to be in someone’s image? An image is a thing in the form of another thing. So man was created in the form of or likeness of God. Thus means that man shared some of God’s attributes. Let us list a few: eternal life, sentience, imagination, language ability, emotions, love, ability to hate, ability to appreciate beauty, etc. God is also just, holy, omnipotent, omniscient, etc. In those attributes, man is not in the image of God, for man is none of those things. We also know from Ezekiel’s vision, that God on His throne had the physical resemblance of a man: Ezekiel 1:26-27 (NLT) “And on this throne high above was a figure whose appearance resembled a man. (27) From what appeared to be His waist up, He looked like gleaming amber, flickering like a fire. And from His waist down, He looked like a burning flame, shining with splendor.” Hence man was also created with a somewhat physical semblance of God. Therefore, we share some of the attributes of God, both physically and metaphysically. Man was created to live eternally and to be sinless. He was able to think, love, imagine, etc.

God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and gave them one prohibition. Adam and Eve had the freedom to do anything the wished except for the one prohibition. God gave them this one negative rule (“thou shalt not . . .“) in order to give them a choice. Their choice was simple—they could obey God or they could disobey Him. With the choice in the Garden, the man and the woman could choose freely to fellowship with God, or they could alternately choose freely to be in disfellowship with God. They chose the latter.

Sin is many things. It is transgression of the law and missing the mark God has set for us. Sin is disobeying God’s law or simply disobeying Him. There was a law in the Garden, that the man and woman must not partake of the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good and Evil. They broke God’s law when they ate of that tree. They sinned and were no longer in fellowship with God. Not only were they in disfellowship with God, they were banished from the Garden so they could never eat of the Tree of Life and so live forever. Remember that before their sin, they were allowed to eat of every tree in the Garden except the Tree Of The Knowledge Of Good And Evil. We can then extrapolate that, before their sin, they could and did eat of the Tree of Life. So they were destined to die. Hence death came into the world. Since no one could eat of the Tree of Life, death came into the world. This is physical death.

Let us take it a step further. God said, in Genesis 2:17 “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.” The day that you eat of its fruit you will surely die, or, you will certainly die the very day you eat of it. Did Adam die the very day he ate of the fruit? No, he did not—at least he did not die a physical death. So, was God unable to keep his promise that the very day they ate of the tree they would die? Hardly. God is omnipotent and can do anything. Is anything too hard for Him? No. Then, did God deliberately tell an untruth just to frighten them? Again, no. Was it an idle threat? No.

So why did Adam not die? He did not die a physical death at that time. He lived to be 930 years old and then he died. Even though he did not die a physical death, he did die. How? He died a spiritual death. Paul said that we are dead in our sins, though we are physically alive, Ephesians 2:5, “Even when we were dead in sins . . .” Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins . . .” That means we are spiritually dead and incapable of ever being back in fellowship with God without the help of Christ.

OK, you may say, that happened to Adam, but how does that carry over to us? It goes back to the image thing. Genesis 5:3 “And Adam lived a hundred and thirty years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.” Adam was a dead man spiritually and would never be able to eat of the Tree of Life. He would die a natural death. Seth, made in Adam’s likeness and image, had the same nature of being spiritually dead and mortal. The same applies to all of Adam’s progeny, which means it applies to you and to me. We are born spiritually dead, and condemned to eternal separation from God. John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

Let me digress a bit. I do not believe that a newborn that dies n childbirth is condemned. Nor do I say a child that has no understanding of sin and salvation is condemned. Nor do I believe an aborted fetus is condemned. Romans 4:15, “where no law is, there is no transgression.” A fetus, an infant, and a small child have no knowledge of the law and therefore cannot transgress it.

Romans 5:13-14 (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 them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Sin has been in the world since Adam sinned. Though the law was not given until Moses, death from sin still reigned during the period before the law was given. Since there was no law, there was no way of accounting for the sins committed. The law defined sin in qualifiable and quantifiable terms. Prior to those laws God gave Moses, sin still counted against us but there was no way to point at a person and say, “You sinned because you broke such and such law.” In other words the sin could not be imputed or credited to the sinner in a qualifiable term. It was still sin because it was disobedience to God, but that sin could not be categorized by men because no law had been given. Paul is only speaking of the Law of Moses. There were other systems of laws in force during this period, but none was God’s law, one of which was Hammurabi’s Code. The city of Ur, from which Abram sojourned, had its own system of laws. Though breaking these laws had consequences, they did not credit sin to an individual. God did that by searching the hearts of all people. Death, or eternal separation from God, still ruled supreme.

Adam disobeyed a specific command from God. Thus he transgressed that command. Even though men did not sin exactly like Adam did, that is, they did not necessarily disobey a direct order from God, they still sinned and sin still separated them and us from God.

Adam prefigured the Messiah to come. Paul explains this in the next verse.

Romans 5:15 But not as the offense, so also is the free gift. For if through the offense 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.

Adam’s sin or offense was not the figure, rather he, through his sin, prefigured the free gift of God. In other words, Adam’s one sin condemned everyone to the death of eternal separation from God, which, before Adam’s one sin, did not exist. Before the sin of Adam, he had free access to God; he walked freely in the presence of God in the Garden. Had he not sinned, we would all have the same relationship with God he had. But, alas, sin separated us from God forever.

Yet, just as the one sin of the one man, Adam caused this terrible rift, so one Man’s sacrifice—that of Christ at Calvary—provided the gift of forgiveness or atonement from our sins. Adam’s sin brought death, but the gift of eternal life through the Man, Jesus Christ is far, far greater that the sin of the man, Adam. The sin of Adam brought death to many and the sacrifice of Christ brought the gift of forgiveness to many. The figure is: one man brought death, the Other Man brought eternal life and one man brought that death to many and the Other Man brought eternal life to many. The figure is one and many.

Romans 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 offenses unto justification.

The work of Christ abounded to many, but the comparison was not between the sin of Adam and the gift of eternal life through Christ. No, there is no comparison there, for Adam’s sin led many unto condemnation, but the free gift of God results in our justification, which is being made righteous in the eyes of God, though we are guilty of manifold sin. The free gift of salvation to many cannot be rightly compared with the death that sin brings to many.

Romans 5:17 For if by one man’s offense 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.)

Again, it is certainly true that by one man’s sin, death ruled over us. But that pales in comparison with what Jesus Christ did for us through His sacrifice. Because of that sacrifice, if we trust in Christ and His abundant grace, we will receive His righteousness and we will reign with Him in eternity.

Romans 5:18-19 Therefore as by the offense 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. (19) For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Paul restates the case in these two verses. Judgment and condemnation to eternal separation from God came to us through the one man’s sin. Yet a “not guilty” verdict is gaveled over us because of the free gift of salvation provided to us. Adam’s disobedience to the one command of God (“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it“—Genesis 2:17) made us all sinners. Conversely, by the obedience of One Man (“nevertheless not my will but Thine be done“—Luke 22:42) many will be made righteous.

Romans 5:20-21 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Once the law was given to Moses, our sins and trespasses could be named and thus be apparent to all. But where sin is apparent to all, the grace of God is much more powerful than sin. While sin is plentiful, grace is even more abundant. Later, Paul asked a rhetorical question, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (Romans 6:1) His answer? “Absolutely not!” Same here. Yes, grace is far more abundant than sin, but that does not give us license to sin.

Sinner, do you wish death to reign over you and separate you from God throughout eternity? I hope not. May grace rule through the righteousness of Christ and may you trust in Christ for your salvation and for eternal life.

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