Romans 5:1-22

Romans 5:1-22

Romans 5:1 The theme of Romans 5 is reconciliation with God and through that, peace with God. This peace is permanent and irrevocable, because Yeshua the Messiah, through whom believers receive their reconciliation, “always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25). Yeshua not only brings peace to the believer but “He Himself is our peace” (Ephesians 2:14). When we know that we are eternally secure in Messiah, we are freed from focusing on our own goodness and merit and are able to serve the Lord with confidence that nothing can separate him from our heavenly Father.

We can say with Paul,…nothing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). This knowledge not only strengthens our faith but strengthens our ability to serve God as well. The knowledge that we are eternally at peace with God equips us to wage effective spiritual warfare in His power.

When engaged in battle, a Roman soldier wore boots with spikes in the bottom to give him a firm footing while fighting. Because Believers have their feet shod with “the gospel of peace” (Ephesians 6:15), they have the confidence to stand firmly for Messiah without the spiritual slipping and emotional sliding that uncertainty about salvation brings, knowing God is always for us.

Romans 5:2 – We have gained access to God, this was an unthinkable concept to the Jewish people because to see God face to face was to die. Jacob understood this when he wrestled with the Lord at Peniel, so too Moses when he was told to warn the people not to draw near when the Law was given on Mt. Sinai.  When the Tabernacle was built, and later the Temple, there were strict boundaries. A Gentile could only go into the outer court and no farther. Jewish women could go beyond the Gentile limit but not much farther.

Jewish men had their boundaries and still another limit was given to the regular priests. Each group could go nearer the Holy of Holies, where God’s divine presence was manifested, but none could actually enter there. Only the high priest could enter, and that only once a year on the Day of Atonement.  And even he could lose his life if he entered unworthily. But through Messiah Yeshua God is accessible to all who trust in His sacrifice.  In Hebrews 4:16 we are encouraged to “draw near with confidence to the throne of grace.

The prophet Jeremiah spoke of our ability to draw near to God without fear “And they shall be My people, and I will be their God;… And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; and I will put the fear of Me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from Me” (Jeremiah 32:38, 40). At times we may stumble fall into sin, but our sin is not more powerful than God’s grace. “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been (Romans 5:10).

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life consider also (Romans 8:31-34; 2 Timothy 1:12). When we are freed from sin we can now freely serve God, rather than using that freedom to sin (Romans 6:18 NIV)  You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.  A professing believer who continually sins demonstrates that he really doesn’t belong to God. (1 John 3:9-10).

In Romans 5:1 Paul established that our salvation is accomplished through Yeshua who made it possible for us to have peace with God.  We realize that peace today because our  continually intercedes for us (Hebrews 7:25). Now Paul teaches us that our future also is secure because one day we will be fully clothed with the glory of Yeshua.

Romans 5:3-5 – We rejoice in the certain hope of the glory of God, we also exult in our tribulations. Why?  Because they contribute to a present blessings and future glory.  The word that is translated “tribulations” has the underlying meaning of being under pressure and was used to describe the squeezing olives in a press to extract the oil and of squeezing grapes to extract the juice.

One of the promises in Scripture not often discussed by  believers is the pressure from Satan and the world system that is under his control. (2 Timothy 3:12). This is one of the Laws of the Kingdom of our Messiah that He spoke of on the Mount of Beatitudes (Matthew 5:10-12).

(2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV)  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. (Romans 8:18 NIV)  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  Christians should rejoice in tribulations because many times they are the result of our obeying the commands of God in our living faithfully and that kind of life is blessed and rewarded by Him.

Tribulations also produce in us other spiritual benefits including perseverance and proven character, and hope. The Greek term translated proven character simply means “proof,” which is the demonstration to the world that we are in fact followers of the Messiah. The term was used of testing precious metals such as silver and gold to demonstrate their purity.

When we experience tribulations that demand perseverance, that perseverance, produces proven spiritual character. Just as a refinery uses intense heat to melt silver and gold in order to cleanse them of physical impurities, so God uses tribulations to cleanse us of our spiritual impurities. “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial,” tells us; “for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:12).

When we pass through the trials the next outcome is hope which is poured out on us.  This expression is one that was likened to the pouring of water which brought to Paul’s mind and likely his readers the water ceremony on the feast of Tabernacles.  It is this illusion that is spoken of in (Acts 10:45 NIV).

The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.   When we hope for something which we do not obtain, we experience disappointment and perhaps embarrassment or shame because our faith did not have the reward we anticipated.

But a Godly hope will be fulfilled; it will not disappoint. This is what David had in mind in (Psalm 22:4-5 NIV).

When we trust in the sovereignty of God we know that He works all things for good and an unanswered expectation brings no disappointment or shame. Because we love God and trust His will and His Spirit fills our hearts we don’t experience disappointment. We need to understand that our walk is not in our ability but in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit to make us godly. Only God can make men godly and this is the work of the blessed Holy Spirit in our lives.  We need to learn how not to grieve or quench Him but yield to Him.

When we know the love of God, know that we can trust Him completely with our lives we then can have the faith to allow Holy Spirit to transform us.  When we sincerely aspire to righteous living, whenever we have an earnest desire to pray, whenever we yearn to study God’s Word, and worship the Lord with all our hearts, we know we are being led by the Holy Spirit. When we experience the awareness that God is indeed our heavenly Father, it is “the Spirit Himself who bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God  (Romans 8:16).

The natural man doesn’t have these desires and we who are believers wouldn’t have them apart from being indwelt and led by the Holy Spirit. When we allow the Lord to reign in our lives, the Holy Spirit bears fruit in and through us, the foremost fruit being love . But when we grieve Him through our disobedience (Ephesians 4:30), He is thwarted from transforming us cannot produce what He intends.

Romans 5:6-7 -This chapter develops the assurance that we need as believers to be confident in our God who longs to do great things through us.  We learn that we have the peace of God, we have access to God, and we have the indwelling Spirit of God, which comforts us in the midst of and through our trials.

In these verses we now learn of the incredible love of God.  The love of God flows from the Spirit of God.  The Spirit of God in us is strengthened in our lives when we know and understand His Word.  The Word of God in these verses strengthens has the ability to strengthen every believer who understands them.

One of the wonderful truths of the New Covenant is that God loves sinful and rebellious people like us.  Paul reminds us that if God loved us with so great a love before we were saved, when we were still His enemies, how much more does He love us now.

When we know God’s love for us it empowers us to serve and obey Him, this is the purpose of Romans 5:6. Man tends to love based on how a person appeals to us.  But God loves us when we are most unappealing, that’s the kind of love that God has.

Our Messiah begins by putting us into a right relationship with God even while we were still sinners; then, by his grace, he enables us to quit our sinful ways and become good. The change of our status is justification; that is where the whole saving process begins.

The process of change is sanctification; it is a process that continues and never ends, until we see Jesus face to face and are like him. The whole saving process, the coming of the Messiah and His death, is the proof of God’s love.

Some think that in the New Covenant we have a gentle and loving Messiah, and in the Older Covenant we have an angry and vengeful God; as if Yeshua had done something to change God’s attitude to men.  This is not the case at all.  The whole matter springs from the love of God.  Jesus did not come to change God’s attitude to men; he came to show what it is and always was, to prove that God is love.

This passage gives one of the clearest definitions of agape love. It actually shows the meaning of agape love. Agape love goes much farther than phileo love. Phileo love is brotherly love, a love that gives itself for a brother. But agape love is a new kind of love: it is a godly love, a sacrificial love, a love that gives itself for those without strength, for the ungodly (Romans 5:6), for sinners (Romans 5:8), and for enemies (Romans 5:10).

Romans 5:8 – God proved His love to us by giving up His only Son to die for us. Some earthly fathers would be willing to give up their sons for a “good” man or for a great cause. But how many would be willing to give up their sons for a man who committed treason or for a murderer or a sexual pervert? Think of the enormous price God paid in proving His love.

Think what God Himself went through for our sakes; the feelings, the suffering, the hurt, the pain, the emotional strain. God had to send His Son out of the spiritual and eternal world into the physical and corrupt world. He had to humiliate His Son by stripping Him of His eternal glory and insisting that He be clothed with a corruptible body and die as a man.

He had to watch His Son walk through life being rejected, denied, cursed, abused, arrested, tortured, and murdered. He had to sit back and watch His Son suffer being murdered by the hands of men when He knew He could reach out and deliver Him.

He had to destine His Son to die upon the cross for the sins of men laying all the sins of the world upon His Son and allowing Him to bear them all. He had to judge His Son as the sinner and condemn Him to death for sin and as a result of that turn His back on Him as His Son died. He had to cast His wrath against sin upon His Son. And if that was not awful enough He has to bear the pain of His Son’s sufferings eternally, for He is eternal and the death of His Son is ever before His face. That is the love of God which is in Messiah Yeshua.

Romans 5:9-10 -The phrase how much more is an indication that what follows is even more overwhelming and significant than what has preceded. Having been justified by His blood we are assured of being saved from the wrath of God through the work of Messiah on the cross. God’s Wrath is not an outburst of violence, that quickly flares up and just as quickly fades away, an anger that arises from emotion.

It is an anger that arises from a thoughtful decision that is righteous and just and good. It is an anger that stands against the sin and evil, violence and slaughter, immorality and the injustices of men. It is an anger that hates sin and evil and that dishes out a just revenge and equal justice. However, it is an anger that is deeply felt, it is the zeal of the Lord and it is the way that God will purge evil and corruption from the face of the earth when he creates the “new heavens and earth.”

God has promised a new heavens and a new earth where righteousness and perfection dwell forever.  Because we are now identified with Messiah and are adopted as God’s children through Him, we are no longer “children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3). As part of His atoning work, Jesus delivered us “from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10), because on the cross He took upon Himself the penalty and suffered the wrath that we deserve (Isaiah 53:4-5).

Romans 5:9 contains the central message of this passage, If God had the power and the will to redeem us, how much more, does He have the power and the will to keep us redeemed? In other words, if God brought us to Himself through the death of His Son when we were His enemies, how much more, now that we are His reconciled children.

If the dying Savior reconciled us to God, how much more the living Savior can and will keep us reconciled. Not only that but He is able to remove doubts about His full deliverance. This is part of the cleansing that Yeshua does for us as we respond to Him and His Holy Spirit.  How can a Believer, whose past and future salvation are secured by God, be insecure during the time between?

If our sin didn’t keep us from God’s love, how can it become a barrier to its completion? If God’s grace covers the sins even of His enemies, how much more does it cover the sins of His children?  Paul teaches us here that it is a greater work of God to bring sinners to grace than to bring saints to glory, because sin is further from grace than grace is from glory.

Romans 5:11 – God gives us joy through the atonement and reconciliation we have received through Yeshua.  When we truly comprehend all that we have received from God we are bound to be filled with joy and rejoicing.  The joy of the Lord is not the same as the joy of the world.

The joy of the world is more of a temporary pleasure than joy. The world’s joy always has some unfulfilled element, some missing ingredient. In the back of our minds there is an awareness, that something can go wrong: that some circumstance can change or a situation can arise to disturb the joy (sickness, death, financial loss, war).

God’s joy is different. The roots of his joy are not in earthly or material things it is the joy of the Holy Spirit, based in the Lord (John 15:11; Acts 13:52). God’s Joy does not depend on circumstances or happiness. Happiness depends upon happenings, but the joy that God implants in the believer’s heart overrides all (2 Corinthians 6:10). This kind of joy springs from faith (Romans 15:13).  The joy of our future reward motivates us and helps us to be faithful (Matthew 25:21).

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things, enter into the joy of your master.’ (Hebrews 12:2)  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 5:12 – The purpose of this passage to establish the principle that one person’s deeds can affect many other people. It is to show how one Man’s death provided salvation for many, and to show the reasonableness of that truth since one man’s sin produced condemnation for many. The word therefore connects the truth just taught, that as believers we have been reconciled to God by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (Romans 5:8-11).

Now Paul begins the analogy of the Messiah with Adam.  It was through Adam that sin entered into the world.  He wasn’t the author of sin but it came into the world through him. Sin originated with Satan, who “has sinned from the beginning” (1 John 3:8). Adam one simple prohibition by God, but the consequence for disobedience was severe, death.  After Eve was created from Adam and joined him in the garden as his wife and helper, Satan tempted her to doubt and to disobey the command of God. She, in turn, induced her husband to disobey, and they sinned together.

But although Eve disobeyed first, the primary responsibility for the sin was Adam’s. God had directly given the command to him, and because he had headship over Eve. He should have insisted on their obedience to God rather than allow her to lead him into disobedience. Adam had been given authority and rule over the entire earth (Genesis 1:26-30). But when Adam disobeyed God, sin entered into his life and generated a change in his nature. He went from innocence to sinfulness, a sinfulness that would be transmitted to every one of his descendants.

Mankind is a single entity. Adam represents the entire human race that is descended from him, when Adam sinned, all mankind sinned, and because his first sin transformed his inner nature, that now depraved nature was also transmitted to his offspring. Because he became spiritually polluted, all his descendants would be polluted in the same way.

That pollution has, in fact, accumulated and intensified throughout the ages of human history. Instead of evolving, as humanists teach, man has become more corrupt, degenerating into greater and greater sinfulness. Germany in the last century is one example of that. The Jewish people understand the idea of corporate identity. The prophets never saw Israel as individuals but as a corporate body.

They looked at the other nations in the same way. A given Canaanite, Edomite or Egyptian was connected to all others of his race. What one of them did affected all the others, and what the others did affected Israel, our individual-oriented society finds this reality hard to understand. It was also on the basis of that principle that God held all Israel accountable and eventually destroyed Achan’s family along with him because of that one man’s disobedience in keeping for himself what was under the ban of Jericho (Joshua 7:1-26). This same principle is seen in teaching of the spiritual principles of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:7-10).

Although Melchizedek lived many years before Levi, the father of the priestly tribe was born, Levi, by being in Abraham’s loins, shared in the tithe paid. In the same way, although with enormously greater consequences, the sin of Adam was passed on to all of his descendants.

“In Adam all die” (1 Corinthians 15:22). As far as guilt is concerned, every human being was present in the garden with Adam and shares in the sin he committed there. If all men did not fall with the first Adam, all men could not be saved by Messiah, the second and last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:20-22, 45).

Romans 5:13-14  The proof that we inherit Adam’s nature is that sin and death existed even before the law. The law of God shows men that they are sinful and condemned to die. But something caused men to sin and die before the law was given to Moses. It was the sinful, corruptible nature of man, which began with Adam.

The importance of Adam is critical. He was a type of the Messiah who was to come. Adam and Messiah are the two pivotal points of human history, as the figureheads or representatives of the human race.

(1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 45-49.) Adam stands at the head of the human race, as the first to bring sin and death to man: (Isaiah 43:27)  “Your first forefather sinned, And your spokesmen have transgressed against Me.  Messiah  stands at the head of the human race as the first to live a sinless and perfect life, which is imparted to us when we believe and also the first to conquer death by rising from the dead.

Sin is the cause of death, and Adam was the cause of sin. Since Adam, sin has been universal. But sin was not charged against a person because there was no law. There has to be a law for there to be a charge.  Nevertheless, death was still the judgment and experience of man. Why did man die if he was not charged with personal sin?

Because Adam was the father of all born with his nature. He sinned, took on a corruptible nature; therefore, he died. So death was passed on to all men because all inherited the corruptible nature of Adam.  Some argue that this is unjust to be condemned to die because the father of the human race, Adam, sinned. But God has now made a greater provision for life and salvation.

Romans 5:15 – We see here the great contrast between the gift of Christ and the sin of Adam. The sin of Adam brought death. But the gift by the grace of Yeshua, did more than simply provide the way for fallen mankind to be restored to Adam’s original innocence.

Jesus not only reversed the curse of death by taking on Himself our sin but He imparted to us the full righteousness and glory of God. The practical truth of Romans 5:15 is that the power of sin, which is death, can be broken, but the power of Messiah, which is salvation, cannot be broken.  There is something else that is quite remarkable here.  Just as Adam did not ask to be born but was graciously created and granted life and dominion, which he then lost.

So too have we been brought to Messiah, not of ourselves but through the gracious gift of God, granting us life and dominion with Messiah.  However the gift of life that we receive is even greater than Adam’s because Adam was born without a sin nature and we are.  We were aware of our life of death before our rebirth, and so can praise God for His grace in a far greater way than Adam.

This is why the gift of righteousness differs entirely from the sin of Adam. Yeshua did much more good than Adam, He has counteracted and reversed all the bad Adam did. God’s gift not only dealt with Adam’s offense and condemnation, it dealt with “many” offenses. God’s gift of righteousness justifies us from all our offenses, not only from Adam’s one offense. God’s gift justifies us from all sin and corruption and condemnation inherited from our fathers and caused by our own sinful behavior.

Adam’s sin brought the reign of death; God’s gift brought the reign of life.   This further means that what Adam lost is restored to us as we abide in Messiah. There is the gift of abundant life; There is sufficiency in all things. (2 Corinthians 9:8).  There is great power.

(Ephesians 3:20).  There is the supply of all needs (Philippians 4:19).  Believers shall “reign in life” throughout all eternity (1 Corinthians 6:2-3). To reign in life through Christ is to have power over sin. Later in this letter Paul says, “Thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18).  Sin is no longer the nature or the master of the believer. In Christ we are no longer victims of sin but have the resources to be victors over sin (1 Corinthians 15:57).

Romans 5:16-17 God’s judgment on Adam and his posterity arose from only one sin. On the other hand, however, the free gift arose not simply because of that single sin but from many, and its result is not just restoration but justification.  What we learn here is that God hates sin so much that it took only one sin to condemn the entire human race and separate them from Him.

It was not that Adam’s first sin was worse than others he committed or worse than men have committed since. It was simply that his first sin was sin. At the time, eating the forbidden fruit was the only sin that Adam and Eve could have committed, because God had placed only one restriction on them. But had it been possible, any other sin would have had the same effect.

In the same way, any sin that we commit would be sufficient to bring condemnation to the whole human race, just as Adam’s one sin did.  But this verse tells us also that greater even than God’s hatred of sin is His love for the sinner.

Despite the fact that God hates sin so much that any one sin could damn the human race, His loving grace toward man is so great that He provides not only for the redemption of one man from one sin but for the redemption of all men from all sins. Jesus Christ took upon Himself the sins of the whole world. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).

Romans 5:18-19 – Just as “the many died” in verse 15 refers to all men, so life to all men here refers to those who trust in Christ. This verse is not teaching that all men are saved by the work of Messiah even if they have not believed as some have believed using this verse.

It only applies to those who have acknowledged their sin and have applied the blood of the Lamb to their hearts.  We need to identify with Adam’s sin if we want to be identified with Messiah’s sacrifice for his and the world’s sin (Matthew 23:29-33).

Paul’s primary teaching in these two verses is that Adam’s one transgression was disobedience, and Messiah’s one act of righteousness was obedience . When Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he disobeyed and brought death. When God sent His Son into the world to suffer and die, His Son obeyed and brought life.

In much the same way since we share in His righteousness we are called to obedience as well, and the result will be life giving to others and the furtherance of God’s Kingdom (Thy will be done…).

Jesus’ earthly life was lived in perfect obedience to His heavenly Father.  His sole purpose on earth was to do His Father’s will (John 4:34;5:30;6:38). “He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).  This is the way that leads to life, Yeshua said (John 14:6) “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If we want His joy and abundant life in us we too must learn obedience to the Father.

Romans 5:20-21 Another contrast between Adam and Yeshua is brought by Paul in the work of the Law and the work of Grace.  Paul will deal with the purposes of the Law more fully in Chapter 7.  In that chapter Paul teaches that  “the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good” (Romans 7:12).

But God’s Law had the effect of causing man’s transgression to increase.  God gave the Law through Moses as a pattern for righteousness but not as a means of righteousness. The law has no power to produce righteousness, because it is weak and cannot change our hearts.  This is what the New Covenant does and then puts the Law on our heart so that it becomes a guide in how to walk before the Lord to the person who truly desires to do God’s will.

The law identifies particular transgressions, so that those acts can more easily be seen as sinful and thereby cause men to see themselves more easily as sinners. For that reason the Law also has power to instigate us to break it, not because the Law is evil but because we are natural rebels.

The lawless person is stimulated in his rebellion by laws, they are an affront to his “freedom”.  But for the person who trusts God and has yielded his life to God’s authority the law teaches him how to be like Yeshua, God’s Son, in whose image we are called to be like.

The Messiah’s one act of redemption is far greater than Adam’s one act that brought death to world.  Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. God’s grace not only surpasses Adam’s one sin but all the sins of mankind.  As sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that the forgiveness of God found in the gospel provides far more than the failure of Adam and his offspring.

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