Romans Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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

justified by faith. We are “justified by His blood” (Romans 5:9), “justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24), “justified by faith” (Romans 5:1)—all in relation to God—then, “justified by works” (James 2:21), in relation to men.

peace with God. Paul opens his epistles with a salutation conveying “peace from God” (e.g., Romans 1:7), then assures them of “peace with God” (Romans 5:1), culminating in the “peace of God” (Colossians 3:15) ruling in their hearts.

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.

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

glory in tribulations. “Glory” is the same Greek word as “rejoice” in Romans 5:2 and “joy” in Romans 5:11. It is also translated “boast” elsewhere. Christians not only can endure tribulations, but can learn to consider it a privilege to suffer for Christ's sake (Philippians 1:29; 1 Peter 4:12-14). This in itself is a testimony to the reality of the Christian gospel.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

Much more. Note the “much mores” associated with our position and life in Christ (Romans 5:9, 10, 15, 17, 20).

by his blood. Some theologians have argued that the shed “blood” of Christ is irrelevant in salvation and that it is merely a metaphor for His “death.” This is wrong. Had Christ died in some fashion not requiring the pouring out of his life-blood, His death in itself was not enough, for “without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22), since “the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). His blood is infinitely “precious” (1 Peter 1:19). We are “justified by His blood” and saved “through faith in His blood” (Romans 3:25), having “redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7). Its efficacy will never lose its power, for it is “the blood of the everlasting covenant” (Hebrews 13:20).

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.

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.

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:

by one man. There is no warrant in the New Testament for the heretical notion that “Adam” is simply a generic term representing the human race. He was “one man,” in fact “the first man” (1 Corinthians 15:45). There were no pre-Adamite men, as some have alleged, and certainly no population of evolving hominids becoming Adam. In fact, Christ Himself made it clear that Adam and Eve were “from the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6, quoting Genesis 1:27). Adam was a real person, directly created and made by God, and so was Eve. The entire argument of Romans 5:12-21 becomes irrelevant if the Genesis record of the creation and fall of Adam did not happen just as recorded in Genesis 1-3, and this would mean there is no reality in the saving work of Christ either. Destroying or distorting the plain Genesis record undermines and eventually destroys the gospel of salvation. Such a devastating undermining of the Christian faith is surely not warranted by the fragmentary and self-contradictory fossil evidences that have been alleged to support the notion of human evolution.

death by sin. Thus there was no death before sin entered the world. The finished creation was “very good” (Genesis 1:31), with an abundance of food and all other provisions for man and the animals. There was certainly no struggle for existence, or survival of the fittest, for every creature was created fit for its own environment. When Adam sinned, God brought the curse of decay and death not only upon Adam but also upon all His dominion (Genesis 3:17-19). See also 1 Corinthians 15:21-22; Romans 8:20-22.

Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Romans 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.

Adam to Moses. Thus Adam is as real a person as Moses, and only the most extreme skeptics would dare to question the historical reality of Moses.

had not sinned. The only creatures in history who have not sinned like Adam (note Romans 5:12) are the animals. But death reigns over these also, because of Adam's sin. In fact, the very ground was cursed, out of which all living bodies had been made, when their God-appointed steward sinned.

figure. The first Adam is thus a contrasting type of “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45), the one bringing death into the world, the other bringing eternal life to the world. This typological theme is beautifully developed in Romans 5:15-21, but all this would be pointless if Adam were not uniquely the first man, and the father of all other men. In fact, God promised redemption through “Him that was to come” at the same time He pronounced the curse on Adam and his dominion (Genesis 3:15).

Romans 5:15 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.

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 offences unto justification.

Romans 5:17 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.)

Romans 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.

Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

made righteous. We have been “made righteous” because Jesus Christ was “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross (Philippians 2:8). That is, we who were thoroughly disobedient to the will of God were “declared righteous” (i.e., “justified”), then “made righteous” because He was “made sin” for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).

Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

offence might abound. The “law entered” the world because sin had entered the world, and death entered by sin (Romans 5:12). But from Adam to Moses (Romans 5:14), even though death reigned, sin was not “imputed” because men had only a vague intuitive knowledge of God's law (Romans 5:13). When the law was finally given through Moses, however, then sin could be seen in full measure in its ugliness. Nevertheless, God's grace was still more abundant, capable of redeeming and saving the most flagrant sinners.

Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

sin hath reigned. Sin is seen at its worst, and God's grace and love at its best, in the death of Christ. Sin has many faces, but it is basically the rejection of God as Creator and Savior by rejecting His Word. Sin originated in the cosmos when Satan did this, and entered the earth when Adam did the same (Isaiah 14:13; Ezekiel 28:15; Genesis 3:1, 4, 17; Romans 5:12). Sin in practice is thus basically disbelief of God's Word (Romans 10:16; 14:23; John 16:9) and disobedience to God's law (Romans 3:20; 5:20; xTerm 3:4). Finally, God's judgment on sinners will be based on the words of Moses (John 5:43-47), the words of Christ (John 12:44-50) and the words of God's Book (Revelation 20:12-15; 22:18-19).