Romans 5

rom-5.jpgGreetings!

Peace and Joy

5     Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Note that this says, “peace with God,” not the peace of God.  We can have peace because of our relationship with God and our trust in his promises.  But first we need peace with God.  As James 4:4 says, friendship with the world is hatred towards God and makes us his enemy.  So we need to go from being his enemy to being his friend, and we do that through Jesus.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Sometimes people “sell” Christianity based on the good things it offers.  It does offer many great things in this life, but we shouldn’t overlook that Christians are also promised suffering in this world.  Many people will think, “I didn’t sign up for this!”  But God uses sufferings for his good and ours.  It develops perseverance and character and leads us to hope.

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Meditate on v. 8 for a bit: Jesus didn’t have to die for us, but He demonstrated his love for us by doing so – even though we were sinners.  He didn’t die for us because of anything noble we had done.

9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Death Through Adam, Life Through Christ

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13 for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Paul emphasizes how this all started: Adam (and Eve) sinned and humanity fell.  We have been sinners ever since.  Our only hope is for God to reach down and save us.  Jesus’ perfect righteousness and sacrifice made an acceptable bridge for us to get back to God.

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7 Responses

  1. “friendship with the world is hatred towards God and makes us his enemy.”

    This is the hard part. So many Christians are afraid to be viewed by the world as fools and are afraid of being called names like “hateful,” “homophobic,” and “unloving.” I was there once, so I know how easy it is. Peter knew how easy it was too. Denying Christ makes our life easier in the eyes of men, but they aren’t the ones we should be concerned about.

  2. v. 4 – A Christian can rejoice in suffering becaue he knows that it is not meaningless.

    v. 14 – Adam by his sin brought universal ruin on the human race. In this act he was the contrasting prototype of Christ, who through on righteous act brought univeral blessing.

    v. 15 – God’s grace is infinitely greater for good than is Adam’s sin for evil.

    v. 18 – This does not mean that everyone eventually will be saved, but that salvation is available to all. To be effective, God’s gracious gift must be received through faith, a gift of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.

    v. 20 – Some might use this verse to blame God for sin, since He was the one who gave us the law. “The law was added so that the trespass might increase.” Or it might be used to downplay our sins as being ok since it “causes” grace to increase. A good understanding of this verse is to see the law as a magnifying glass. Sin has occurred since the time of Adam. When the law was introduced at the time of Moses, it magnified (or increased) peoples understanding of sin and made them more aware of it. It did not bring about redemption but pointed towards the need of it. The law made sin even more sinful by revealing what sin is in stark contrast to God’s holiness. When we have a magnified sense of sin, how much more magnified will our understanding be of the grace and mercy given to us in Christ!

  3. This chapter and in fact, the entire book of Romans, is a very articulate expression of a theology developed by Paul based primarily on Greek philosophy and Hellenistic Judaism using Jesus, or more accurately the death and alleged resurrection of Jesus, as a central construct.

    In this case, he acknowledges the difficulty the believers currently have in the Roman system and offers them the hope of some kind of pie in the sky by and by. It is clearly not based on anything Jesus ever said or did — in fact Paul doesn’t really ever give an indication that knows what Jesus said or did during his lifetime, nor that it matters.

    Paul is building here a religion modeled that cleverly combines the most potent aspects of the prevalent mystery religions of the Near East, the popular philosophies of the Hellenistic world, the historical framework of Judaism, and the necessary subservience to Roman authority. It is a major intellectual achievement for its time, but can hardly be construed as representing any sort of truth or reality.

  4. Thanks for the insights and for visiting, DL.

    But since you think there is no truth (as stated on the other blog) and that it is arrogant to think one’s view is the right one, why should I take all your truth claims seriously? Please prove to me that you understand the concept of truth before I spend valuable time responding to your misstatements.

    P.S. I forgive your arrogance in thinking you are right and I am not.

  5. I am stating my conclusions about the Book of Romans just as your are stating yours. Truth has no relevance here whatever. I think there is ample evidence that my conclusions are likely explanations of what is in the book, and I don’t see much evidence that yours are. That doesn’t mean that I think I have the “truth” about the New Testament, but it does mean that I am not about to accept ideas about the New Testament for which there is no evidence.

  6. DL, whether you trust Romans or not is your business. I’m not on commission.

    I just think you have a problem with critical thinking. You make claims that you think are true then speak passive-aggressively about how others are arrogant for thinking they have the truth.

    Really, just say that you think your position is true and then back it up. You’ll feel better. You probably have some good points to make and questions to raise, but it is hard to take people seriously when they aren’t debating fairly.

  7. “It is clearly not based on anything Jesus ever said or did — in fact Paul doesn’t really ever give an indication that knows what Jesus said or did during his lifetime, nor that it matters.”

    Just for grins I thought I’d address this one, even though DL doesn’t think his view is true.

    Paul wrote brilliant letters dated close to the resurrection. He had a personal encounter with the resurrected Jesus that was documented 3 times in the Book of Acts by his traveling companion, Luke, and by himself in one of his letters.

    Paul spent a great amount of time with the Apostles. He knew quite a bit about what Jesus said and did. Paul was obviously a clear thinker and he endured incredible hardships and death for the sake of the Gospel.

    For example, Peter referred to Paul’s writings as being on a par with scripture:

    2 Peter 3:15-16 “Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.”

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