Book of Romans Chapter 5

Romans Chapter 5

Part 2

Romans 5: 6-11
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die.
8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.
9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God.
10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.
11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Paul strengthens our certainty in God’s commitment to this plan of redemption through an examination of the circumstances from God’s perspective. Many times we look up from our sorry, sinful state and we assume God will expect us to do something in order to rectify our situation. Meanwhile, God looks down on men and recognizing the impossibility of men ever correcting their situation, He decides He must do something.

Seeing this problem from God’s perspective will give us even more reason to trust that God will see the plan through on our behalf. Paul first describes men from God’s perspective:
1. We were helpless ~ verse 6
2. And we ungodly ~ verse 6
3. We were sinners ~ verse 8
4. We were enemies ~ verse 10
We were all these things from God’s perspective.

But even while we stood on that unrepentant state, God took action at the right time. When the appointed time arrived, Christ came, God’s plan had appointed that day from the beginning, and when it arrived, everything fell into place. It didn’t happen because we had earned it. It didn’t happen because enough good people had been identified. Christ came when He came simply because this was God’s appointed time. So, God’s plan began based on His will and not because we initiated it or prompted it, except by our sin, nor did we even ask for it.

God took it upon Himself to die in order to correct our sin problem. Consider that for a moment. As Paul says, you might expect someone to die for the sake of someone truly deserving, someone good . . .maybe. But God showed His unconditional love for His children even in the fact that He was subjecting Himself to death – the sentence for sin – though he had no sin Himself. And He did this while we were still sinners. In other word, we still had done nothing to deserve such a selfless act.

Paul says in verse 9, much more than we can expect Him to save us from His wrath in the day to come. If God was willing to send His Son while men were ignorantly living in sin and without seeking for God. If God was willing to suffer through a torturous death on behalf of enemies who were in agreement with His death. Then now that we have received that payment for sin and have been justified . . . isn’t it all the more likely that God will see the plan through on our behalf and rescue us from His wrath? These are the final two benefits of our faith: we are no longer subject to God’s wrath, and we have a present reconciliation with God.

You can’t accept that God was willing to so all the work of justification and then worry that everything might fall apart while you wait for glory simply because you didn’t so the right things, or because you make mistakes, or because you have doubts or even periods where you turn your back on God in various ways. Paul says of course He will, having done the harder things already, God will certainly do the easier things as well. And not only this, but in the meantime Paul says in verse 8 that we exult, boast, take pride in our relationship with God through Christ. We are living out the blessing of our new life even now.

So question one is addressed – assuredly we have peace with God.

Question 2 was how can the process of justification by faith actually work simply on the basis of the life and death of one man?

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Book of Romans Chapter 5

Romans Chapter 5

Part 1

Salvation from the penalty of sin is not gained by our efforts, it’s not by works. We are granted righteousness, we are credited as righteous – which is our salvation – through a faith in Jesus Christ, Abraham’s life proved it, David’s words proved it. – First, do we still have concerns about this new truth, can we really find peace in this gospel? Do we truly stand before Him without any condemnation? Is there no room for a little doubt here? – Second , is it even possible that the ransom paid by the death of one man, Christ, could affect such a comprehensive solution? So I’m told that if I believe in the death of that One Man, it saves me from all my sin. And not only me, but also all people who would believe the same? Can I and we really trust in and rely on such a gospel?

Paul answers these two questions. First, Paul addresses and concerns the reader might have that justification by faith leaves room for doubt and concerning our reconciliation with God. Secondly, Paul explains how one man’s righteousness could be credited to so many. Finally, we need to remember that this entire chapter presupposes justification by faith alone. Paul’s line of reasoning in this chapter makes absolutely no sense whatsoever if we still think works play some part in our salvation.

In fact, look how Paul opens the chapter …

Romans 5: 1-5
1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.
3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,
4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,
5 and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Therefore, Paul begins with a first appearance statement of fact – that we now agree that faith alone is the means to justification. So we now have peace with God through the saving work of Jesus Christ. Notice, Paul doesn’t say we have peace in this world or in our life. Paul is still talking about our relationship with God. Where before all men were under condemnation, and were enemies of God and did not seek Him, now we have peace with him. There is no longer any bitterness between us, we have peace with God. When we sin even after our salvation comes, we are no less justified than we were before. Remember, justification means acquitted of a charge. Once a judge declares you not guilty, there is nothing you can do to change that verdict or add to it. Paul continues in verse 2 by saying that it was through Jesus Christ that we obtained our introduction by faith into this grace.

Ephesians 2: 17-19
17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near;
18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God,

So, God’s work in Christ’s life yields for us:
1. Justification
2. Peace with God
3. Access to God’s grace.

Paul says at the end of verse 2 that we can exult in glory of God. And what’s more, this is not joy that is situationally dependent. The world rejoices at many things, but worldly joy is hallow. Our joy is everlasting and not dependent on our circumstances or place in life.

We hope in the glory of God. We hope – look forward to God’s plan being fulfilled. We look forward to Christ’s return, to our own glorification with Him, to God’s name praised throughout the earth rather than ignored or cursed, to Christ ruling over men in perfect justice. Ultimately, to a world without sin and free from the curse. We hope in these things and do so regardless of what happens to us in this life.

Paul says we can now exult even in our tribulations. What greater proof that we have been charged by faith and our standing before God is changed. And as we endure suffering for His name sake, we persevere because of our hope. And as we persevere, our perseverance grows our spiritual character, and strengthens our resolve. The development of spiritual character through trials is a blessing to the believer, for the character growth is what last into eternity. As our character strengthens under trials, we come to rest all the more in our hope will not be disappointed, because it’s not without solid foundation. It is prompted in the first place from God’s work in our hearts, and it is made possible by the presence of the Holy Spirit in every believer.

Are we beginning to feel the confidence of our assurance of salvation? We were brought into peace with God because of Christ. We were brought into this grace by a faith, which itself is made possible by Christ working in our heart by His Spirit. And this work by the Spirit is the source of our hope even now. This is another benefit from our faith: the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This becomes power proof of God’s persistent, unchanging satisfaction with His work in us. He gave us His Spirit, as a seal ~Ephesians 4:30~, as a down payment on our inheritance ~2 Corinthians 1:22~. Our hope and perseverance will not result in disappointment, because it is the natural by product of God’s work in our heart.

This sounds encouraging, but how can we be sure that God intends to see this process through to the end?

Book of Romans Chapter 4

Part 3

Paul says Law has only one effect: to bring about wrath, but when there is no Law – no rules to meet – then there is no longer a violation possible. When God decided to bring righteousness on the basis of faith and not works. We no longer had to fear that we wouldn’t perform sufficient to receive the blessing. Instead, we can now live confidently that we are receiving what was promised because it is solely a gift and not dependent on keeping rules or Law. And then Paul says God wanted it this way because He promised to grant His mercy to Abraham’s many descendants – many nations. So God instituted salvation through faith and not by works so that it could be delivered to many people who never knew or followed the Jewish Law.

Romans 4: 18-25
18 Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’
19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb.
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
21 being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
22 Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’
23 Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone,
24 but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead,
25 who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

Paul takes an another look at what faith meant to Abraham. This became a model for all believers – this is what faith means. In hope against hope, he believed, he contemplated his own body as dead. Secondly, he had a strong, unwavering confidence in God’s power to deliver what He promised. How do we explain Abraham’s decision to create a son through Hagar? In light of Paul’s statements and elsewhere in the New Testament, we can see that Abraham was trying to arrive at the promised outcome in his own way. Not to doubt in God’s promise, but a mistaken understanding for how it would be brought to fulfillment.

Now Paul makes it clear that Abraham’s life experiences were recorded precisely for our benefit. God wanted His children to be clear on this point: our righteousness is credited on the same basis, on our belief in Him who raised the Lord from the dead. Once God delivered His Son to death, our penalty had been paid. But God has promised that we are even now justified. Therefore, the final aspect of saving faith is a trust in the claim that Jesus died for our sin and was raised from the dead.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

Book of Romans Chapter 4

Part 2

Paul has opened chapter 4 by establishing that Abraham was made righteous in the same way we are today. He now backs it up with a reference from a second great man of Jewish stature – David.

Romans 4:6-8
6 So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness irrespective of works:
7 ‘Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.’

Remember when Paul said that the law and prophets testified that the righteousness of God would be delivered apart from law? Well Abraham was an example of the Law, in that his story is contained in the Torah. And now Paul uses David as an example of the Prophets, the part of the Old Testament that follows the Torah. David lived in a time following the giving of the Mosaic Law. Yet Paul says it was just as with David – no different, “Blessed” are those who God forgives – indeed. Then in verse 8, David suggests that there is a way that God will not take into account our sin, and again, the Law and prophets both taught the same way to salvation – grace.

Now Paul spends the rest of chapter 4 exhausting all the implications from Abraham’s life.

Romans 4: 9-13
9 Is this blessedness, then, pronounced only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We say, ‘Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.’
10 How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.
11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them,
12 and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith.

Paul asks is God’s blessing for Jew or Gentile also? Some Jews might think that God has two systems for salvation. For the Gentile, God intended a system of faith, but for the Jew the system was to be works through the Law. Well, Paul says, let’s consider when Abraham received his affirmation of righteousness, was it before or after circumcision? Abraham was not the first Jew born, that was Isaac. Abraham was a gentile when God called him and granted him the promise of a nation, and that promise led to his circumcision, which marked his entry into the new designation of Hebrews. So clearly, God’s plan for salvation by grace can’t be limited to Jews through the law, Abraham received that designation while still a Gentile and before the Law. So Abraham becomes a symbol for both the uncircumcised to come to faith and the circumcised who imitate his faith.

Looking at Abraham’s faith even deeper.

Romans 4: 14-17
14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.
15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.
16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us,
17 as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

So if God had ever planned to make a set of laws – rules – that we were to keep so that we could please Him, then any promise of salvation would have been void.
Example:
so if I promise my daughter 50 dollars for her birthday, then later I came back and said that she can have the 50 if she clean her room. The birthday money is no longer in effect only obeying my rules became the only way to receive that money, it’s no longer a gift but a wage.
That’s the difference between works and grace.

Book of Romans Chapter 4

Part 1

Romans 4: 1-3
1 What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh?
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3 For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’

Paul’s opening lines could be read in this way: what did Abraham, our patriarch, discover on this topic? Well, if Abraham had been justified by works, then he would have been famous for that achievement. He would have no doubt boasted over such a great accomplishment. But Abraham never boasted like that before God. In fact, the scriptures tell us exactly how Abraham received his declaration of righteousness from God. Abraham believed God and it, his faith, was credited to him as righteousness.

Genesis 15: 1-6
1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’
2 But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’
3 And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’
4 But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’
5 He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’
6 And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.

Abraham is childless, he and his wife are in their 70’s and are past child bearing years. I do believe they hope for a child, but in reality they couldn’t see how this was a possibility. Then God appeared to Abraham and made a promise, He said you will have descendants so numerous they will be like the stars in the sky. And based solely on the promise of God’s word Abraham believed God and God constituted Abraham righteous. So Abraham was declared righteous the same way that we are today – by faith in God’s promise.

Romans 4: 4-5
4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due.
5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.

Paul tells his readers that God reckoned faith as righteousness and that He didn’t credit righteousness on the basis of work. If He had pointed to Abraham’s work, then righteousness is something men can earn, like wages for our work. But God said that the righteousness was credited, not earned and given as a wage. Notice that the content of the promise was different for Abraham, but the object of faith is always the same. The content of the promise he received was a promise that he would have descendants. By comparison, the content of the promise that Noah received centuries earlier was a promise that God was preparing to destroy the world with a flood. God was prepared to spare Noah and his family if he obeyed his directions to build an ark. Noah believed God’s promise and acted accordingly, Noah found favor or grace, because of his faith in God’s word.

Genesis 6: 6-8; 17-18; 22
6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
7 So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’
8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.
17 For my part, I am going to bring a flood of waters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die.
18 But I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, you, your sons, your wife, and your sons’ wives with you.
22 Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

Today, the content of the promise for those who would be saved by faith was that the man Jesus was our Messiah who died for our salvation. But in all these situations, the object of our faith is the same. We have faith in God’s promise.

Hebrew 11:11
11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old—and Sarah herself was barren—because he considered him faithful who had promised.

Faith is defined in scripture not by the content of a promise but by our confidence in the One Who is faithful to keep His promise.

As we’ve learned already, God can be just to credit us with righteousness through faith because a ransom has been paid for our sins. Christ death on the cross grants God to credit us with righteousness that is not our own, but remember faith is the passage through which God delivers righteousness to men. And though earlier men didn’t really know all the details for how God planned to save them, they knew enough that by trusting in God’s promises, they would receive His mercy. Today, God’s Revelation is complete regarding salvation, so in our age, we are called to trust in the Messiah.

Book of Romans Chapter 3 Part 3

Romans 3:27-30
27 Then what becomes of boasting? It is excluded. By what law? By that of works? No, but by the law of faith.
28 For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30 since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.

Paul ends chapter 3 with a defense of justification by faith alone. Paul probably more than likely anticipated the negative reaction his message would have with many in his audience, but especially the Jew. Because the Jews had been conditioned to believe that redemption depended on some inherent qualification or status among those who were saved. The same problem still exists today. People still approach this topic with assumptions about what’s required to enter heaven, whether it’s certain works or qualifications.

So Paul launches a preemptive strike here with – where there us boasting? Paul ask is there any room in God’s plan for mans pride or boasting of self? He didn’t say it’s not necessary – it was clearly shut out by God. Paul ask what kind of law can declare men righteous but do so in such a way that it excludes boasting by men? It must be a law or principle other than a law of works – it’s a law of faith. God has established a law that leads men into righteousness, and this law is a law with only one requirement – faith in Christ. And remember that faith is a gift, leaving men nothing to boast about. Now talking to the Jewish foundation and leadership of this church, Paul clearly says that we maintain theat men are justified apart from the works of the Law and only by faith. For God is working in all mankind through the same means.

Romans 3:31
31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

A powerful verse. Did God’s use of a law of faith, nullify – abolished Old Testament bring to an end – the Mosaic Law? No, not at all, on the contrary, we establish it. The Law is to be understood as a picture of God’s righteousness, mainly His plan to redeem men. So as men obey the law of faith and are justified, the Law’s purpose is being met in that moment. Secondly, the Law stands as a model of righteousness lived out. So when we are saved by faith, the law’s two purposes are established; salvation by atonement is accomplished, and righteous living becomes possible. The great connecting tread of the Old Testament vs. New Testament in that the Old Testament demands a solution to sin that only the New Testament can fulfill.

Book of Romans Chapter 3 Part 2

Part 2

Romans 3: 9-18
9 What then? Are we any better off?  No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10as it is written:‘There is no one who is righteous, not even one;
11 there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned aside, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, there is not even one.’
13 ‘Their throats are opened graves; they use their tongues to deceive.’ ‘The venom of vipers is under their lips.’
14 ‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.’
15 ‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 ruin and misery are in their paths,
17 and the way of peace they have not known.’
18 ‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.’

All men — Jews and Greeks — are under a charge of sin. Not even one man can stand on his own before God and expect to be called righteous, verse 11 – no man even understands his own predicament. Paul refers to Psalms 14 & 53. These two Psalms form a ultimate argument, scripture’s own testimony concerning the reality of man’s unrighteousness. The very nature of men is such that not only so they sin habitually, but they are enslaved to sin. The message of scripture – not just of Paul – is one of man’s hopelessness and heedlessness.

Romans 3: 19-20
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
20 For ‘no human being will be justified in his sight’ by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

Paul begins to shift back to righteousness and appears to be returning to a discussion of the Jew, since Paul mentions the Law, but not necessarily so. Paul is describing the effects of laws, rules, and standards. Whatever law say, it says it to those who are under the law. Looking at the wording, “Whatever a Law “says” – means its impact or the limit of its reaches. It speaks ti those under or in the law, so that every mouth will be closed and all the world becomes accountable. The idea here is that laws don’t produce righteousness, they only reveal unrighteousness. So God used law to demonstrate our collective unrighteousness. And our efforts to work our way out of the hole we’re in we’ll never accomplish, because our only response to our predicament is to try and perform works in keeping with God’s Law. Paul says by the works of law, no flesh shall be declared righteous before Him, the law merely reveals sin.

Now Paul joins the unrighteousness of man with God’s plan for righteousness.

Romans 3: 21-26
21 But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets,
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
23 since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God;
24 they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed;
26 it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.

This is perhaps the most elegant statement of God’s plan of salvation ever written.

Consider where Paul has left the Roman church. If they followed his arguments from chapter 1 & 2 to the mid point of 3 they have been on the verge of panic; all men are sinful, there is no hope, and all is lost. Paul then unfolds God’s solution – this is the unique, distinguishing feature of Christianity.

Point 1 – The Disclaimer
Apart from the Law, which means separately from or independent from. Remember we’re talking about law, not necessarily the Law. So point #1 is God’s plan for saving men is a plan that is independent of any law, any rules of human action or behavior, it is not by works.

Point 2 – The Gospel is about God’s Righteousness – Not Our Righteousness
The righteousness of God has been manifested, God solves the problems of our unrighteousness by manifesting His righteousness. The word manifested means disclosed or made visible. So God made His righteousness visible to a world that previously only knew unrighteousness.

 

Point 3 – The Gospel is a Promised Fulfilled
This righteousness of God was witnessed or testified to by the Law, the Mosaic Law, and the Prophets.

Point 4 – Faith is the Means of Manifesting God’s Righteousness
The righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Notice he didn’t say because of our faith in Jesus Christ. God manifested His righteousness through our faith not because of it.

Point 5 – The Recipients
For all who believe, for there is no distinction, all have fallen short. All men are saved the same way – there is no second was to be saved, God has one plan for salvation.

Point 6 – The Result
Being justified as a gift by this grace. The word justified is one of the most important in the Bible, it means to be declared righteous, acquitted, vindicated, and it’s the outcome of a judging process. Believers are justified, God declares the believers righteous, and innocent. Justification is an act, not a process, and it is something God does, not man. God’s decision to bring us to this result was purely a gift, His grace.

Point 7 – The Price
The price, through redemption of Jesus Christ. This redemption is a payment made on our behalf by Jesus Christ, so our justification was made possible because we were ransomed.

Point 8 –
Jesus’ ransom permits God to declare us righteous because it is a propitiation. Paul describes what he means by clarifying that God displayed Jesus publically as an atoning sacrifice, and through a faith in that sacrifice, that ransom, our debt is paid. Paul goes further to explain how God’s own righteousness was demonstrated in the process of ransoming men by His Son’s death. First at the moment of the cross, God demonstrated righteousness by crushing His Son. Paul says because of God’s tolerance, or delaying in dealing with the sin of mankind. Justice was required cause sin had occurred, yet God had not yet brought His wrath against the sin committed among all men. Remember Luke 16 – Sheol, so as God crushes His Son, He remains true to His own righteousness by demanding a price be paid for sin. But having placed His wrath on Jesus, God now can be just and also be justifier of the one who has faith in His Sons blood atonement.