Romans Bible Study, Chapter 5

Romans 5 speaks about justification and our relationship to Adam. It is a fascinating chapter.

Results of Justification, Rom. 5:1-5
The change of our status from helpless to justified, Rom. 5:6-11
Sin entered through Adam, Rom. 5:12-14
The free gift of salvation, Rom. 5:15-17
Adamic representation, Rom. 5:18-19
The Law and death, Rom. 5:20-21

You can download the Word file for this study HERE.


Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Having been justified by faith

A significant clue to the validity and reality of our salvation is found in the words “having been.” This is in the perfect tense in English but is the aorist passive participle in the Greek.
Aorist – past tense
Passive – receiving the action
Participle – continued action ‘walking’ ‘talking’
The English rendering of the perfect tense means that our justification is an action that has begun in the past and is still continuing in the present.
Justification is the legal declaration of righteousness in relationship to the Law. We are righteous in the sight of God because of what Jesus did on the cross and us being counted in Him.

We have peace with God

“We have peace”; In other words, we are no longer at odds with God due to our unrighteousness.
We are no longer under the wrath of God

Eph. 2:3, “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.
John 3:36, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
John 1:18, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
Gal. 3:10, “For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not abide by all things written in the book of the law, to perform them.”

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Jesus fulfilled the Law (1 Pet. 2:22).
Jesus was a propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:2; 4:10).

through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

We have peace with God (v. 1) because of what Jesus did.
It is through Jesus that we are introduced to the grace in which we stand.
Everything we need is completed perfectly in the person of Jesus. He is all we need. He is our introduction to the faith.
Therefore, we do not need to keep the Law to be justified.
And, as a bonus, God hears our petitions before Him because they are through the purifying work of Jesus.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance.

We also exult in our tribulations

“Exult” is καυχάομαι kaucháomai, which occurs 37 times in the New Testament.

The NASB renders it as boast (Rom. 2:23; 1 Cor. 3:21; Gal. 3:16; James 4:16, etc.), to glory in something (James 1:9), to take pride (2 Cor. 5:12), to speak proudly (2 Thess. 1:4)

“Tribulation” is θλίψις thlípsis, which occurs 45 times in the New Testament

The NASB renders θλίψις thlípsis as affliction (Matt. 13:21; Acts 20:23; 2 Cor. 1:4, etc.), persecution (Acts 11:19), anguish (John 16:21), and trouble (1 Cor. 7:28).

Consider this…

The tribulations spoken of here are those that test us, refine us, and make us more holy. Because through them we are constantly looking to the Lord as our hope, our light, our confidence, and our answers.
It is sometimes a good test of faith to see how we react to adversity.
The way you react during a trial is a reflection of the degree of your confidence and submission to the Lord.
It is easy to be happy when things are going well. But how many rejoice in tribulations?
The ability to exult during trials is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance

The reason tribulation brings perseverance is that when we go through it, and we look back upon it, and we see how God is provided, it lays a foundation for us to persevere through other tribulations.

and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

This is worth examining in the light of justification – which is our standing before God based on faith granted to us (Phil. 1:29) in Christ (John 6:29). If we are justified before the Lord then we are saved; not just “on our way to heaven” but loved, bought, valued, held dear, etc.
Perseverance, or patience, brings proven character because your dependence on God is manifested in the (single) fruit (καρπός karpós, masculine singular) of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal. 5:22-23).
Character brings hope because Christian character is signified by dependence on God and not oneself; therefore, the Christian is truly able to hope.

and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Hope does not disappoint

True hope that is in God should never disappoint because of who the hope is in. Hope here is related to the person in whom we trust: Jesus.
Though we might face trials and tribulations and even death, our hope is not merely in this world. But it is in heaven.
God has poured out His love to us by sending His Son to die in our place.

The Holy Spirit who was given to us

The Holy Spirit, who is the third person of the Trinity, lives in us. He is the guarantee of our ceiling before God because we are indwelt by God in the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit strengthens our hearts, increases our faith, helps us to endure, and aids us in praising the One who has given us life – even when trials hit us.

For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

We were still helpless

“Helpless” describes our ability to save ourselves as well as the complete failure for us to keep the Law (Rom. 3:23). We were helpless.
Yet, there are those who might claim to be helpless, but are somehow also able to help themselves….

JW – Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12, “Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Peter 4:3, 4.”
LDS – “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation,” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206)
Catholicism – “…the Second Vatican Council confirms: ‘The bishops, successors of the apostles, receive from the Lord…the mission of teaching all peoples, and of preaching the Gospel to every creature, so that all men may attain salvation through faith, Baptism and the observance of the Commandments,’” (CCC 2068).
Islam – “Then when the Trumpet is blown, there will be no more relationships between them that Day, nor will one ask after another! 102 Then those whose balance (of good deeds) is heavy, they will attain salvation: 103 But those whose balance is light, will be those who have lost their souls, in Hell will they abide,” (Surah 23:101-103).

At the right time

Gal. 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

Born of the seed of a woman (Genesis 3:15)
Seed of Abraham (Genesis 22:18)
Son of Isaac (Genesis 21:12)
Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
Born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14)
Son of God (Psalm 2:7)
Will be high priest (Psalm 110:4)
Will be preceded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3)
Would be crucified (Psalm 22:1, 11-18)

Christ died for the ungodly

Rom. 3:9, “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin.”
Rom. 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

This verse has a variety of understandings due to its lack of precision.

The word ‘man’ is not in Greek
“man” (NASB, ASV, KJV) and “person” (ESV, NRSV). γὰρ τοῦ ἀγαθοῦ, gar tou agathou “Lit: “for of the of good” man, masculine form – so the idea of ‘man’ being masculine in gender is included in the form of the words ‘tou agathou.’
So, some think this is referring to righteousness and goodness as concepts. But the idea of dying for concepts doesn’t really make much sense.
The righteous and good ‘man’ or ‘person’ seems to be comparative where a general concept of sacrifice might be offered on behalf of someone who is of good character.
Perhaps Paul is referencing the idea of what a ‘normal’ person would do to help someone out and maybe even die to save them – as if a person were drowning.
Why did Paul say that someone would hardly die for a righteous man as compared to a good man? I’m not sure.

Perhaps the ‘righteous’ is self-righteous and the good is simply a good person.

Paul contrasts the love that one person might have for another, that he might lay down his life ‑ that is, if the other were a good man. But what if the other were an evil man?  Then, to lay down your life for one who is your enemy is the greater love.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

If Jesus is not God in flesh, then how did God demonstrate “His own love”? Is it loving to send someone else to die? Or, is it loving to die for someone else?
It was HIS love, in the incarnation, that was demonstrated, and that toward us. Remember, love gives (John 3:16). While we were sinners, while we were at enmity with God due to our sin, He died for us. Wow!
He died for us… He bore our sin in His body on the cross (1 Pet. 2:24)

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

We are justified by blood (5:9), by faith (3:28; 5:1), and by grace (3:24; Titus 3:7). These three show the means (blood), the medium (faith), and the reason (grace).
Our justification by the blood shows that we are not justified by faith as a work of the Law. The blood of Christ is the great cleansing act. “the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
Much more having been justified by His blood…we shall be saved from the wrath of God… This wrath is the judgment of God upon the Law breakers.

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