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Romans 5 Study Notes

Here are notes and a video going over Romans 5 verse by verse. Enjoy!

Romans 5

Now that Paul has thoroughly proven his point about the sinfulness of the world, the need for a Savior in Christ, and that salvation has always been by faith without the Law, he now goes on to describe the wonderful benefits and results of that salvation.

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

Ironside says, “Peace, as used here, is not a state of mind or heart. It is a prevailing condition between two who were once alienated.”

Isaiah 57:21 reads, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked” and that’s why we so often find the words Grace and Peace together in the New Testament: There is no peace without God, and those living in sin are ruled by sin and are enemies of God.

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

So by faith in Jesus Christ we have access into the grace, or favor, of God. This makes me think of one of the most amazing passages of Scripture in Hebrews 4:16 which reads, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” It’s incredible love and privilege that because of what Christ did, we, as wretched sinners, can not only go before God to ask for help but we can do so boldly and confidently. Incredible.

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

So not only, as in the previous verse do we rejoice (or boast) in the certain future glory of God, but right now in this life we can/should glory in tribulations! The word for here glory is καυχαομαι and it’s also translated as boasting or rejoicing. And the word for tribulation is same word used in Matthew 24 and Revelation 7 to describe the Great Tribulation in the future but the context here in Romans isn’t eschatological BUT this isn’t referring to minor inconveniences. We “glory in tribulations” refers to severe hardships or persecutions.

Acts 14:22 says “we must through much tribulation [same word] enter into the kingdom of God.” And in 1 Thessalonians 3:3 we read, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto.” The word translated afflictions is again the same word meaning tribulations. It is part of the Christian life.

4 and patience, experience; and experience, hope: 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.

So why can/should we glory in afflictions? Because it produces patience (also translated as endurance or perseverance), which leads to experience and then hope! Going through hard times and trusting in God to help us is a great thing because it makes futures trials easier and helps us to rely on God more. When Paul had a “thorn in the flesh” (some ailment) God wouldn’t remove it because God said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” And Paul’s response to this was beautiful and we should say the same thing! He replied, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Also, we need to look at James 1 real quick for this verse so let’s turn there. James 1:2-3 “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” Then look at James 1:12 “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Such an incredible passage. The Pulpit Commentaries says, “The meaning is that Christ's dying for the ungodly is a proof of love beyond what is common among men.” Maybe in extremely rare occasions someone would die for a moral, admirable person, and some might even die for a good and kind person. But God showed His love for us “while we were yet sinners.” The Exegetical Guide to the Greek New Testament translates that phrase as, “while we were sinful.” The Son of God, God in the flesh, died for us while we were living in sin. Christ died for wicked people. Incredible.

Verse 8 here is extremely important. People die in their sins and go to hell ONLY BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Nobody HAS to but that make that choice in rejecting God’s gift of salvation.

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

Starting with this verse we have 5 times in this chapter where we read “much more.” Ironside writes here, “’Much more then,’ he exclaims, since now, cleared of every charge by the blood of the Son of God, we are forever beyond the reach of the divine vengeance against sin.”

The blood is important. Colossians 1:20a says, “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself.”

Leviticus 17:11 “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.”

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.”

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

Go back to Colossians 1 and let’s read a bit more. Look at verses 20-22 “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:” We can’t think that our works will save us! That makes us enemies of God, but with the shedding of blood of Christ we can have remission of sins.

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:

So for the rest of this chapter we will see a comparison of Adam vs. Jesus.

David Guzik makes a great point here and writes, “It is important to understand that the Adam and Eve account is not an optional passage to be accepted or rejected, or allegorized away. According to Paul’s theme here in Romans 5, you can’t take away the truth of Genesis 3 without taking away principles that lay the foundation for our salvation.” Adam and Eve were real historical figures and their actions affect us to this day.

Some people make a whole lot about this verse and the concept of ‘original sin.’ I’m not going to go into that but let’s the take the verse as it stands. Adam sinned, so death transferred to us all, because all have sinned. We have both inherited Adam’s sinful nature as well as commit our own.

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

“All, I say, had sinned, for sin was in the world long before the written law; but, I grant, sin is not so much imputed, nor so severely punished by God, where there is no express law to convince men of it. Yet that all had sinned, even then, appears in that all died.” – John Wesley.

In other words, the Law made sin more manifest. Sort of like Acts 17:30 which says, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.” And we’ll see this a little bit clarified down in verse 20 in Romans 5, where the law increased sin and the knowledge of sin.

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.

“Adam’s transgression” meaning consciously against a known command (TPC). And Adam was a figure of the Messiah who came later into the world.

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.

So there’s a comparison between the sin of Adam, and the reign of death, against the gift of grace from Jesus Christ but they aren’t equal and opposite. The sin was great but God’s gift is greater.

John Chrysostom says here, “If sin, and the sin of a single man moreover, had such a big effect, how is it that grace, and that the grace of God—not of the Father only but also of the Son— would not have an even greater effect?”

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.

This is an awkwardly translated verse but the Berean Study Bible helps to understand the meaning. It reads: “Again, the gift is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment that followed one sin brought condemnation, but the gift that followed many trespasses brought justification.” God’s gift is greater. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross covers ALL sins.

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.)

So this could be answering a possible objection about, how could the work of just one person, Jesus Christ, accomplish so much? How could His act and my faith in Him provide salvation? Well one act of Adam brought death to all. We all sin because of Adam.

Verse 17 here ends kind of a long parenthesis that began in verse 13. So we could reread verse 12, then jump back down to verse 18.

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.

Just as Adam’s sin transferred to all of us, so the free gift came upon all, or is offered to all, because of the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Note is says FREE GIFT here; salvation is not something you can earn and we’ve been seeing this for 5 solid chapters now so it’s really amazing that people will argue against this truth.

Also this verse (among many others) disproves the Calvinist idea of “limited atonement.”

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

Adam’s sin vs. Christ’s righteousness. 1 Corinthians 15:47 says, “The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.”

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence 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.

Beautiful verse. Sin abounded because of the law, because that was the purpose of the law to point us to our Savior and our need for a Savior. But grace covers it all if you are in Jesus Christ and declared righteous by His blood.

William Burkitt puts this well and says, “As the exceeding sinfulness of sin is manifested by the law, so the superabounding grace and pardoning mercy of God is rendered gloriously conspicuous in and by the gospel: That as the power of sin appeared in making us liable to temporal and eternal death, so might the power of grace appear in beginning in us a spiritual life here, and bringing us the eternal life in glory hereafter.”


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