Romans Chapter 5, Commentary

Tod Kennedy, August-October 2014

Romans 5. Justification gives many benefits. Paul now writes that because we have been justified and reconciled by faith we have many blessings—peace, expectation of glory, tribulations, perseverance, proven character, hope, God’s love, the Holy Spirit, saved from God’s wrath, and delivered by his present life in heaven. Though the one sinful act of Adam caused all mankind to die because when Adam sinned all mankind sinned in him (natural or seminal), the one righteous act of Christ—his death for sin—made it possible for God to cancel judgment and condemnation and to credit righteousness and justify by grace anyone who believes the gospel.

Outline

  1. Because God has justified believers, we now possess peace, access into grace, can boast about hope and tribulations, and have God’s love and the Holy Spirit inside (Romans 5:1-5).
  2. God did the most for mankind when Jesus Christ died for sin and He will certainly completely finish what he started out to do—justification, sanctification, glorification (Romans 5:6-11).
  3. The one sinful act of Adam caused all mankind to die because when Adam sinned all mankind sinned by being in him—all are his descendants (Romans 5:12-14).
  4. The one righteous act of Christ made it possible for God to cancel judgment and condemnation and give eternal life to anyone who believes the gospel—"those who receive" (Romans 5:15-21).

Justification gives many benefits

  1. Because God has justified believers, we now possess peace, access into grace, can boast about hope and tribulations, and have God’s love and the Holy Spirit inside (Romans 5.1-5). Paul has demonstrated justification by faith in chapters 3-4. Now he builds on that doctrine. Justification assures us of ultimate glorification (Romans 8.30).
    • First, pick out the main verbs and related words that have significance to the argument Paul is making. Justification gives believers certain provisions for the Christian life.
    • We have peace (εχο echo, Pres act indic) This is our present possession.
    • We have obtained access (εχω echo, Perf act indic)
    • We stand in grace (`στημι histimi, perf act indic)
    • We exult in hope (καυχαομαι kauchaomai, pres mp indic)
    • We also exult in our tribulations (καυχαομαι kauchaomai, pres mp indic)
    1. Romans 5.1. Having been justified by faith (δικαιοο dikaioo, aor pass part) This is our position and possession. The act of God because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, which we believe for ourselves.
      • justified (dikaioo̅, δικαιοω aorist passive participle nominative masculine plural, temporal + oun, ουν) to take up a legal cause, to show justice, to do justice, to give a favorable verdict, to vindicate, to make free. Here the aorist participle action happens before we have peace which is a present indicative.
      • by faith (ek pisteo̅s, εκ πιστεως). That which evokes trust and faith, faithfulness, state of believing on the basis of the reliability of the one trusted, trust, confidence, faith; trust in others, confidence, assurance, etc. Luke 18, blind man. Hebrews 11.
  • we have (echo̅, εχω present active indicative, though some texts have subjunctive, the support is mixed, but context leans toward present indicative)
  • peace with God (eire̅ne̅, ειρηνη no more hostility). See Ephesians 2.14-15, Colossians 1.20-21. To be in relationship with God. The hostility has been removed, and that joyful experience for those who are now related to God through Jesus Christ. We have it right now through Jesus Christ.
        • we have (echo̅, εχω perfect active indicative), emphasizes a result of justification.
        • access (prosago̅ge̅, προσαγωγη see Ephesians 2:18, 3:12, way of approach, access, bringing to, introduction. Verb form προσαγω in 1 Peter 3.18) into this grace.
    1. Romans 5.2. Furthermore through Jesus we also have access into all gracious provisions God has for believers such as spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3), provisions for life and service (1 Corinthians 15:10), and trouble and weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
        • by faith into this grace. Χαρις charis, favor. Faith mentioned again. Believers stand now in God’s grace. We are there because of his grace, and we continue to stand in that very position. See lexical uses of χαρις.
        • in which we stand (`στημι histemi, perfect active indicative) emphasizing the result for right now.
        • And we also exult in hope of God’s glory because someday we will experience his glory face to face. We exult (kauchaomai, καυχαομαι take pride in, boast about, glory in) in hope (elpis, ελπις confident expectation) of [of experiencing] God’s glory (της δοξης πrobably objective genitive. We hope for or about God’s glory). We will experience a little of who he is and what he is like. See Romans 8.18,21; 1 John 3.1-3; John 17.24; Colossians 3.4; Titus 2.13; Hebrews 2.10; Jude 24.
    • There are three exults or be glad about or boast in this section: See the doctrine. 1. Rom 5.2, exult in the future experience with God’s glory (see Philippians 2.16 for somewhat similar idea); 2. Rom 5.3, exult in tribulation because we know that tribulation works spiritual benefits (see 2 Thessalonians 1.14 for somewhat similar idea); 3. Rom 5.11, exult in God because we have been reconciled.
    • The verb is kauchaomai, καυχαομαι take pride in, boast about, glory in, to have or show a satisfied contentment with achievement. See Romans 2.17, 23 for better understanding of this use in the bad sense. The LXX in the Psalms uses this word in ways that help our understanding. Psalm 5.12, 31.11, 48.7, 93.3, 149.5, and Jeremiah 9.23-24 help us understand what it means to exult in 1. God’s glory, 2. in tribulation, 3. and in God—boast in our relationship with God that we have through the death, resurrection, and present ministry of Jesus Christ who reconciled us.
    1. Romans 5.3-4. We also exult in tribulation because we know (oida οιδα perf act participle, to have information, to know about something) that tribulation can result in spiritual growth. Verse 3-4 point out that tribulation (suffering, testing) even strengthens our hope. People who begin a serious and dangerous mission keep in mind the goal of that mission. They take pride in the fact that they are part of a special operation. Believers take pride in hard times because we know we have everything needed to be successful and we know the results.
  • Why does hope not disappoint or shame us? Why can we wait by faith through tribulation? Because we also have God’s love for us and in us (poured out, ἐκχέω pf pass indic) through the Holy Spirit indwelling us and every believer (Romans 5:5, 8). See also Romans 8.30, whom he justified he also glorified. We continue to hope. (And, in context the hope for God’s glory, that unseen expectation for which we wait, which is the actual experience of his glory which we do not see right now).
      • Perseverance is the first result. We do not quit under pressure.
      • Approval after testing is the next result. We have made progress and that progress is evident.
      • Hope (confident expectation) has been shown to be true and our hope is strengthened. See James 1.2-4.
    1. Romans 5.5. Paul again brings up hope. Hope does not shame us (καταισχύνω to dishonor, disgrace, put to shame, disappoint; pres act indic). Verses 3-4 point out that tribulation (suffering, testing) even strengthens our hope.
      • The love of God, God’s love (`αγαπη του θεου probably subjective genitive) and the Holy Spirit strengthen the reality of expectation. A pregnant woman goes through physical, emotional, and at times mental discomfort, and willingly because she has the confident expectation (the hope) that the child will soon be born. While waiting she has the movement in her that reminds her. We have God’s love in us and the Holy Spirit in us reminding us of the future.
      • Biblical doctrines: God’s love, Indwelling Holy Spirit.
  1. Romans 5.6-11. God did the most for mankind when Jesus Christ died for sin and He will certainly completely finish what he started out to do—justification, sanctification, glorification.
    1. Romans 5.6-8. Substitution. `υπερ ασεβων People may at times die for the benefit of a righteous or good man, but not for a sinner. God’s love for us was demonstrated by Christ dying for us who are sinners (John 3.16; 15.13; 1 John 3.16; 4.9-10). Christ died for the ungodly (Rom 5.6) and for us (Rom 5.8).
      • We were helpless ασθενης asthenes , ungody ασεβης asebes, sinners `αμαρτωλος hamartolos, enemies εχθρος echthros.
      • For us. The preposition `υπερ, for someone’s interest, showing the cause or reason, in place of.
      • Substitution is the way God provided reconciliation—God’s son, Jesus Christ, substituted himself for us and took God’s righteous judgment instead of us and in our place so that we may benefit from his death (John 1.29; Romans 5.8-11; 8:32; 1 Corinthians 15.3-4; 2 Corinthians 5.14-15, 21; Galatians 3:13; Ephesians 5:2; Titus 2:14; 1 Peter 2.24; 3.18).Christ died for us refers to the whole doctrine of reconciliation or removal of the sin barrier. Christ died in our place. He was our substitute.
      • Reconciliation see Rom 5.10-11. It refers to the removal of the sin barrier; substitution is how God did it.
    2. Romans 5.9. Much more then means "if one thing is true, it is much more certain that second thing is true.
  • "Romans 5:9-10 brings up justification (Romans 5.9a), glorification, saved from wrath (Romans 5.9b), and sanctification (Romans 5.10).
      • Rom 5.9a. Having been justified: aorist passive participle. It has been done. The blood goes back to the OT sacrifices and refers to Christ’s substitutionary death for mankind. Justification salvation.
      • Rom 5.9b. Shall be saved: we shall be saved (σωζω sozo, future pass indicative; to save, deliver, rescue, preserve) from God’s wrath at his future judgment on those who refused the grace salvation (John 3:18, 36; Revelation 20:11-15). Wrath refers to God’s judgment on the unbeliever. For us this means glorification in the future. No judgment but we will have a new body and everlasting life with God (so̅zo̅, σωζω to deliver, preserve, save, rescue). See 1 John 3.1-3. Glorification salvation.
    1. Romans 5.10. When we were enemies (εχθρος hostile, hated) we were reconciled (aorist passive indicative of καταλλάσσω change of hostility for friendship). Reconciled goes with justification.
      • Having been reconciled (aorist passive participle, causal). Reconciliation refers to the removal of the sin barrier; substitution is how God did it. Reconciliation is what God did—he removed the sin barrier between God and man (Romans 5:10-11; 2 Corinthians 5.18-19; Ephesians 2.16; Colossians 1.20, 22).
    • Rom 5.10c. We shall be saved by his life refers to Sanctification salvation. Since we were reconciled by the death of God’s son when we were enemies, we surely will be saved or delivered (σωζω sozo, future pass indic) by Jesus’ present life by 1. union with Christ in his death to sin 2. as our high priest and 3. advocate (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 6.1-14; 8.34; 1 John 2:1-2). This means that we will be sanctified in our life now by his present life in heaven. Paul develops this theme later. Jesus intercedes for us. This teaches us that our day to day lives are benefited by Jesus Christ our high priest.
    1. Romans 5.11. We not only were we reconciled through the death of God’s son, and not only will we be saved by his life now, but we also exult in God through Christ. Psalm 149.5 LXX uses kauchaomai, καυχαομαι. Hebrew עָלַז ‘alaz to exult, triumph.
    • Repeat explanation found for Romans 5.2. And see the doctrine. The verb is kauchaomai, καυχαομαι take pride in, boast about, glory in, to have or show a satisfied contentment with achievement. See Romans 2.17, 5.23 for better understanding of this use. The LXX in the Psalms uses this word in ways that help our understanding. Psalm 5.12, 31.11, 48.7, 93.3, 149.5, and Jeremiah 9.23-24 help us understand what it means to exult in God’s glory, tribulation, and God.. boast in our relationship with God that we have through the death, resurrection, and present ministry of Jesus Christ who reconciled us. There are three exults in this section: Rom 5.2, exult in the future experience with God’s glory; Rom 5.3, exult in tribulation because we know that tribulation works spiritual benefits; Rom 5.11, exult in God because we have been reconciled.
  1. Romans 5.12-14. The one sinful act of Adam caused all mankind to die because when Adam sinned all mankind sinned in him—all are his descendants. Relationship to Adam–> sin, condemnation, death is contrasted to Relationship to Christ–> righteousness, justification, life. There is a solidarity, a unity.
    1. Romans 5.12, sin entered into the world through the sin of Adam. Redemption is the story of two men: Adam, sinful man, brought sin into the world of humanity by his choice to disobey God—unbelief that what God said is best. Jesus Christ, brought reconciliation into the world of humanity by his choice to substitute himself and offer the free gift forgiveness by grace through faith.
  • As man, Adam was responsible, though Eve actually sinned first (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:1-7). Death here refers to physical death as that which is visible to all, but in Paul’s theology death includes spiritual death which also came when Adam sinned—in fact, it came before physical death. “All sinned” at the end of Romans 5:12 means that when Adam sinned all the human race also sinned in him since all the human race was in Adam’s genes. Adam and Eve began sinless. By their free will choice they disbelieved and disobeyed God, and in doing so brought sin into the world and planted the sin “seed” in each person from then on. All people have descended from Adam and all bear his sin seed. This is the natural or seminal view. Each person was literally in Adam and therefore sinned when Adam sinned. The other and less likely views: 2. is the representative view—Adam represented the human race; 3. personal sin of each person.
  • Gen 2.17. Shall surely die. An infinite absolute before a finite verb intensifies the latter (Ewald par 312a. The same structure as 2.17 is found in Genesis 20.7. מ֥וֹת תָּמֽוּת
  • sin (hamartia,`αμαρτια refers to sin in all forms, personal sin, sin nature, and imputed sin)
  • death (ho thanatos,`ο θανατος)
  • all sinned (hamartano̅,`αμαρτανω aorist active indicative)
  • imputed (logizomai, λογιζομαι aorist middle indicative)
  • transgression (parabasis, παραβασις deviating from or overstepping and established boundary)
  • pattern (typos, τυπος mark, copy, image, pattern, example)
    1. In Romans 5:13-14 death is the result of sin. It began with Adam’s sin.
    • Romans 5.13. But from Adam to Moses there was no law in the sense of a stated command like that which was given to Adam so there could be no violation of law reckoned or imputed (ελλογεω ellogeo, to charge to the account of someone, the same word is used in Philemon 18) to people; “sin was not imputed when there is no law”. But people still died even though they did not commit the same transgression that Adam did. Sin was still there and sin still brought death.
    • The verses in context seem to interpret death as primarily as physical death. This does not deny spiritual death (1 Corinthians 15.22 helps).
    • Romans 5.14. Paul concludes this section by saying that Adam is the pattern of the one coming—Jesus Christ. He means that as Adam led the human race into sin and death, there is one who will lead them out. This will be the theme of the rest of chapter 5.
  1. The one righteous act of Christ made it possible for God to cancel judgment and condemnation and give eternal life to anyone who believes the gospel—"those who receive" (Romans 5:15-21).
    1. Romans 5:15. There is a great difference between what Adam brought and what Jesus Christ brought. Adam by his transgression (parapto̅ma, παραπτωμα, a violation of a standard) brought death to all people; Christ brought grace (charis, χαρις) to the many, the believers.
  • Adam led the human race into sin and death (Romans 5:12-14). Christ will lead the human race into grace (Romans 5:15, 17, 20, 21), righteousness (Romans 5:17, 18, 19, 21), justification (Romans 5:16, 18), and life (Romans 5:17, 18, 21).
    1. Romans 5:16. Adam’s one original sin brought judgment and condemnation for all, while Jesus Christ brought the free gift of justification (dikaio̅ma, δικαιωμα) that transgressions required.
    2. Romans 5.17. Death reigned as king (βασιλευω basileuo, aorist active indicatived, constative—throughout time) through Adams’ one transgression—not obeying God’s one restriction which was a lack of faith that God was right in his prohibition. On the other side, those who receive (λαμβανω lambano, articular present active participle, nominative plural masculine, subject emphasizing the people and what they do) grace and righteousness will reign (βασιλευω basileuo, future active indicative) in life through the one, Jesus Christ. Grace and righteousness will be the king in the believer’s Christian life in time. Paul develops this in Romans 6-8.
      • Death reigned through Adam’s transgression. The ones who receive grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life—now and forever (Romans 5:17).
  • reigned (βασιλευω aorist active indicative, 5.17)
  • receive (λαμβανω present active participle used as the subject, 5.17)
  • will reign (βασιλευω future active indicative, 5.17)
    1. Romans 5:18-21 summarize Paul’s argument. It begins with hara oun (‘αρα ουν) which marks a transition and draws a conclusion.
    2. Romans 5:18-19. Adam’s transgression brought condemnation to all. Jesus Christ, by his righteous act of death on the cross, brought justification leading to life (see Romans 5:18, 21). Disobedience of Adam made sinners; by the obedience of Christ many will be made righteous. Those who believe in Christ will be declared righteous and later experience righteousness when they are glorified.
    3. Romans 5:20, sin increased, but then grace super abounded. Grace outdid sin. There is a hymn “Grace Greater Than All Our Sin”
  • made (kathiste̅mi, καθιστημι aorist passive indicative, to bring, to place, to appoint, to cause to experience)
  • made (kathiste̅mi , καθιστημι future passive indicative) righteous (dikaios, δικαιος).
  • super abounded (huperperisseuo̅,`υπερπερισσευω to be in great excess, superabound, aorist active indicative).
    1. Romans 5:21, Paul concludes with hina hosper (`ινα `ωσπερ) which shows a result by a comparison. Just as sin (hamartia,`αμαρτια) ruled in death, grace (charis, χαρις) ruled through righteousness of Jesus Christ to eternal life. Note the comparisons: sin reigned in death; grace reigned to eternal life. Jesus Christ our Lord made it happen. The human race has a natural and physical unity in sin and death based on Adam. And the human race has a spiritual unity in righteousness and life through faith based on Jesus Christ.
  1. Summary of Romans 5
  2. Select Doctrines from Romans 5.
    1. Justification (Romans 5:1,16,18)
    2. Faith (Romans 5:1, 2)
    3. Grace (Romans 5:2, 15, 17, 20, 21)
    4. Three exults in Romans (Romans 5.
    5. Testing (Romans 5:3-5)
    6. Hope (Romans 5:2, 4, 5)
    7. God’s love (Romans 5:5, 8)
    8. Holy Spirit indwells believers (Romans 5:5)
    9. Reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11)
    10. Sin (Romans 5:8, 12, 13, 20, 19, 21)
    11. Death (Romans 5:10, 12, 14, 17, 21)
    12. Righteousness (Romans 5:17, 21)
    13. Life (Romans 5:10, 17, 18, 21).
    14. Salvation words, Reconciliation
  3. So What? Applications