Romans Chapter 5
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Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, - Romans 5:1


"having been" Past tense. In other words, since this has already been done and we have been made justified (just as if I'd never did it) we have peace. It's something we enjoy now, already, currently. Not something we are striving for, not something we'll obtain in the future, not something we are maintaining, but something we have received already through faith and currently reside in, that is, peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. "Peace with God" The first result of justification by faith is peace with God and this is no small thing. Peace with God means our sins are completely dealt with and the wrath of God is satisfied, paid in full. Because it's past tense, it's done and can't be undone. Like we discussed last week, because it's in accordance with grace and therefore by God's doing, it's a sure thing, it's for certain. To be justified by faith is to be declared blameless before God by Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:34). God cannot both declare you blameless and yet find fault with you at the same time (Rom. 4:8, 1 Cor. 13:5). "Through our Lord Jesus Christ," this is the only way peace with God happens, this is the only way to obtain it. As Jesus said:


27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. - John 14:27


Jesus Christ is the only way, peace with God is not obtained through any other means (John 14:6). This was God's plan from the beginning (Gal. 3:16). When we yoke ourselves with Jesus Christ (Matt. 11:28-30) we yoke ourselves with Him who can and has accomplished what we cannot (Rom. 8:3). Therefore it is no longer based on our performance but for those who have received Jesus their righteousness is now based on His performance (Matt. 5:17). And we know He pulled it off! (John 19:30).


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. - Romans 5:2


The second result of justification by faith is access to God. "introduction by faith" Faith introduces us to grace. But it is "grace in which we stand". In other words faith doesn't do the work, God in His grace did. Like we said before, faith doesn't earn righteousness but rather God chose to apply His grace or "credit righteousness" on the basis of faith (Rom. 4:5, 16) but it is Christ who did all the work (Matt. 5:17). This is why boasting is excluded (Rom. 3:27), having faith actually nullifies boasting (in ourselves) because we cannot both be measured by Christ's righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30-31, 2 Cor. 5:21) while at the same time be measured by our own, it's one or the other, not both (Gal. 5:4-6). Actually, to trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross is to (at least to some degree) acknowledge our shortcomings. For why would one accept the cross if He never saw a need for it? (Gal. 3:24). "stand" a work accomplished entirely by Jesus (Rom. 14:4).


Satan loves to bind up Christians by way of accusations (Rev. 12:10). If he can get you to focus on your works or to even make faith a work as if it's something that earns righteousness; if he can get your eyes off the finish work of Jesus Christ (which is actually what having faith is); if he can get you to measure yourself according to your works, he will then proceed to show you how you don't measure up and will convince you that the door to God is closed. All lies. The door is not closed and never is because your righteousness is not measured by your merits but on the merits of Jesus Christ. Because it's by Jesus Christ the door is always open, the wrath is always satisfied and this is why God is confident to speak in past tense "having been" (v1). Even after I've been a miserable failure (which I feel often) I can still come to Him through the righteousness given to me as a gift, free of charge, by His grace, the gift that I received when I received Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).


"and we exult in hope of the glory of God". In other words, we're very happy and joyful because of the hope we have of sharing, experiencing, and enjoying God's glory, God's goodness. God's glory will be revealed in my life and I rejoice in that! I'm often amazed at the amount of care God has in my life. He cares about things that only a God of His level of glory would care about. As self focused as I often am, God cares about me more! (Matt. 10:30). What amazes me more is, sometimes I have a focus on God where by faith I can see His work in my life and in these times I do exult in the hope of His glory. Other times though I'm walking by sight, yet I have not seen God given up on me. I've even seen His orchestration by sight and thought to myself "that must be God". He doesn't love me as long as I can see Him do it, nor does He do it based on my lovableness, but rather His love for me stems entirely from His nature and therefore when I waiver, He does not.


And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; - Romans 5:3-4


These verses define real spiritual growth. To rejoice in the hope of His glory is much easier than rejoicing in tribulations. Can we be glad in tribulations? Yes, when we understand that these too have a good purpose and are being governed by God. Christ promised we will have tribulation but He didn't stop there.


33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33


A "tribulation" or a "crisis" is not tribulation nor a crisis if you're prepared for it. Trouble is not trouble if you came equipped to deal with it. Christ said we will have such troubles that in our own strength we are not prepared for. But to take courage because He is prepared for them, He has overcome the world. Will these tribulations be easy? No. Again it wouldn't be called tribulation if it were easy. Will God use them for our good (Rom. 8:28)? Absolutely. We may not see how, but were not called to figure out how God is working in them, though we often desperately want too. But rather we're called to trust that He is, that He who has every hair numbered has not mistakenly overlooked what we're going through. Therefore we can "exult in our tribulations" because God is bringing about the best good in our life. It may not be what we want, but He loves you more than you love yourself and by that goodness it's what He wants for you. God has an eternal perspective and I'm confident someday when we know in full (1 Cor. 13:12) we'll look at what God has done and go wow, thank you God that you didn't let up when I begged you too so that I could be here today, standing here complete, in glory!


12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. - 1 Peter 4:12-13


Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2-3


"Consider it all joy". He does not say to feel joy though you can, but to consider your trials to be a joyous occasion because, like Paul said, they produce spiritual growth.


Question: If you would answer according to wisdom. Would you rather have God alleviate your current struggle and have you then lack for all eternity or would you rather remain in this temporary struggle so you can be "perfect and complete, lacking in nothing"? Furthermore, if you would answer according to love, would you rather be equipped to comfort those in this world suffering similar things (1 Pet. 5:9) or would you rather to not be able to relate with them? (see also Heb. 4:15 in how Jesus relates.) And I'm convinced we'll thank Him in how that glory affected others that you were a light too as well (Matt. 5:14).


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5


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. - Romans 5:5


"hope does not disappoint". The believer can have complete confidence that their hope in God will not be disappointed. Why do we have such hope? "because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit". Knowing the love of God automatically generates hope and because it's on the basis of God's love such hope does not disappoint. And such knowledge of His love has been given to us by none other than the Holy Spirit, God Himself! "who was given to us". once again, past tense and by way gifting (see also. 2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5, Eph. 1:13, Luke 11:13).


For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. - Romans 5:6


It's important to note the condition in which Christ died for us. While we were "still helpless" and "ungodly". As humans it's our natural default to revert to this idea that we must be good so God will love us. This simply isn't the case. While humans earn the love of each other, God's very nature is love (1 John 4:8) and thus He loves us by default. If God loves us when we're completely helpless and ungodly then why do we think that we who are helpless must help ourselves before God loves us or we who are ungodly must be godly before God will love us. Furthermore it's error to think that after becoming a Christian that God's love has transferred from being unconditional to becoming conditional. That God who loved us while were were completely unloving (by human's measurement) now somehow bases his love on our performance thereafter. That would indicate God has changed and we know that God is unchanging (Mal. 3:6, Heb. 13:8).


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. - Heb. 13:8


For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:7-8


Paul is making a comparison here so let us do the same, if I may elaborate.


The word translated in English as love here in Greek is Agape. There are 4 types of love in the bible, Agape is the highest form of love, being charity. This is a deliberate and voluntary love that is sacrificial in nature and is unconditional, given without merit, neither requiring earning nor repayment. Agape love is beautifully described in 1 Corinthians 13 and is the very nature of God as written in 1 John 4:8.


When Paul says "God demonstrates His own love" He is saying this is the big "why!" That is, the very reason of God's great and matchless love that compelled Him "while we were yet sinners" to send Christ to die for us! (Isa. 53:10, Heb. 12:2). Make no mistake about it, God loves you and it's unconditional and it is for this reason He sent Christ (Eph. 2:4-5). This answers the big question "does God love me?" Paul is making a resounding "Yes! Look at the cross, Yes He does!" It has been made clear and you can be certain He does as shown in this demonstration. And the fact it is without condition is demonstrated by Christ dying for us "while we were yet sinners," and therefore enemies of God, who were not even seeking Him (Rom. 3:11). Because you had nothing to do with initiating it in the first place you can be sure it cannot be thwarted thereafter, not by you, not by anyone or any thing.


38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39


Furthermore He is saying compare for yourselves this love men. For one will hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God! and He continues. If God had only died for good men we could understand that. The ever worldly and erroneous statement is that "God helps those who help themselves". But the idea that God died, furthermore, sacrificed His only begotten Son for the "ungodly" and "sinners" blows such a worldly notion out of the water. When's the last time you sacrificed your beloved one for your enemy?


Love, Agape, it's defined as charity or sacrificial love. That sacrificial part is what's missing from society and sadly often overlooked by us in the church. Christ said the world will know that we are His disciples by our love for one another? So let me ask this, does the church look different than the world? Do we stand out so as an unbeliever says wow, that love is not of this world..? We often are open to loving one another as long as we have resources to spare but when we're busy? It's no wonder than the enemy keeps us busy and feeling like we have not the time nor the resources. If that's not enough he'll try to get us doubting our salvation so we'll focus on that instead of telling others about the hope that is in us (1 Pet. 3:15). He attempts to get us focused on the waves so we will stop telling others they can step out of the boat (Matt. 14:29). To spend more time worrying and less time rejoicing (Phil. 4:4). Agape is the kind of love that drives people to willingly spend (sacrifice, be charitable with) their resources on behalf of others; their time and money and even their heart and soul (Luke 10:27-28).


Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. - Romans 5:9


"having now been". Past tense. Since that is done, therefore "we shall be" future tense, yet to come (1 Thess. 1:9-10) "saved from the wrath of God". The wrath that is going to come when God judges the world (Rev. 16:1). If Christ died for us while we were still sinners in rebellion to God how much more then is He by the same motivation of His love, going to save us from the wrath to come? "through Him". The only means, the only avenue, the only Way.


Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. - John 14:6


10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. - Romans 5:10


"having been reconciled" past tense "while we were enemies". The reconciliation to God happened while we were still enemies, accomplished through the death of His Son. If His death could reconcile me while I was an enemy, how much more will his life establish this loving relationship between God and me! "We shall be" future tense. Salvation is the end of the Christian career and includes both justification and sanctification. You cannot be saved and not sanctified, they are a package deal and as we discussed before, they are a guarantee (Rom. 4:16).


Because all of this comes only by way of Christ (John 14:6) then had Christ only died on the cross for sins we would have only been reconciled or other words, the wrath of God would have been satisfied for us but that's it. However these "much mores" are great because much more than just having the wrath of God satisfied is being raised in Jesus Christ into a life and relationship with God for eternity. This is why the resurrection was crucial. Like Paul said, if there was no resurrection than nothing matters and we are to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:16-19).


11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. - Romans 5:11


We can exult in God or boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now (present tense) received the reconciliation, fully confident that what He has started in us He will complete. When we enter into this relationship with God, while there is still work to be done (hence the reason for tribulations), we have a guarantee that Christ will be successful. That He will bring about in us what He started. That Christ who is the author of our faith will indeed be the perfecter of it as well (Heb. 12:2). That Him who began a good work in us will complete it come the day of the Lord (Phil. 1:6). This is the promise from God who gave us the Holy Spirit as a pledge, a seal, a guarantee of our inheritance to come.


22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge. - 2 Corinthians 1:22


Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. - 2 Corinthians 5:5


13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, - Ephesians 1:13


How can you know you've been transferred from the realm of being God's enemy to being in a relationship with God? Well many ways actually (Rom. 5:5, 7:20, 1 John 3:10) but consider the transformation that has transpired in you thus far in light of what we just read in Romans 5. When you were yet a sinner and an enemy of God your mind was at enmity with God (Rom. 8:7, Col. 1:21) and hostile toward Him. But now you are no longer hostile but you concur with the law of God in your inner man (Rom. 7:22) even if your body still wages war. This is the work of Christ in you (Rom. 7:25-8:2).

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12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— - Romans 5:12


"Therefore" Usually when you see the word therefore it's in relation to what was just written. In this case it could be pointing all the way back to Romans 3:23 which states "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God". In this context it flows. It's as if Paul got excited about the gospel and was compelled to share it in light of what he was getting at in Romans 3. God of course meant it there, and many good preachers are compelled in like fashion who bring their message back to the gospel, that is after all the good news! So with Paul seemingly doing this because of the wonderfulness of the gospel and the riches of grace in Christ (Eph. 2:7, Phil. 4:19, Psa. 145:8) I'm encouraged when we rabbit trail this way too!


"just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin" When Adam sinned he sinned for the whole human race. Man is made up of three parts, body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess. 5:23, Rom. 12:1-2, Gen. 2:7, Heb. 4:12). The day Adam ate from the tree (Gen. 3:16) in which God had commanded him not too (Gen. 2:17); that day Adam's spirit died instantly and his body entered a state of decay being separated from the source of life, God Himself (Gen. 2:7, Gen. 3:22-24), and thus sin entered into the world (Rom. 8:22) and marked the beginning of death's reign (Rom. 3:14). "And so death spread to all men" Just as Adam became a sinful creature so did his children. Because Adam became a sinful creature, spiritually dead, separated from God, so did his children. That which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3:6a). Adam couldn't pass down any fellowship with God because he had lost it. Therefore everyone born of Adam thereafter was born in his likeness, sinful (Gen. 8:21, Psa. 51:5, 58:3), spiritually stillborn (Col. 2:13a), children of wrath (Eph. 2:3), and separated from God (Isa. 59:1-2). "because all sinned". Death continues to spread because sin continues to spread (Rom. 3:23). By this man is naturally inclined to sin and because we have this propensity to sin, we sin. It's our default. No amount of rules or laws would be successful in preventing us from sinning because such rules rely on the power of the flesh for them to be successful.


For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, - Romans 8:3


This makes it all the more amazing that Christ, though He was born in the same likeness of sinful flesh like we are (Rom. 8:3 yet He led a sinless life! (Heb. 4:15). Given the nature of this great feat, we should not think it was easy (Matt. 26:39, Luke 22:44), I mean, since he had the same sinful flesh that we have, imagine you going your entire life without sinning and how difficult that would be for you. (I'm confident I couldn't go a day in the flesh without sinning if you consider the standard set in the bible, Matt. 5:48, 1 Pet. 1:16). Furthermore, Jesus was tempted well beyond what we'll likely ever encounter (Matt. 4:1-11). To have a legion of angels on stand by to fight for you (Matt. 26:53) and yet willingly choose the cross (John 10:18), and all that without becoming embittered toward man but rather praying God for forgiveness for those hammering the nails through His hand (Luke 23:34)... An unmatched feat indeed (Rom. 3:23), did I mention what He gave up in heaven to do this? I could go on and on.


13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. - Romans 5:13


In other words, sin was still in the world it just wasn't identified for it's utterly sinful state until the law came and exposed it (Rom. 7:13). Nevertheless, even before the law sin was still in the world having started with Adam (v.12) and thus were it's effects such as death (v.14). "sin is not imputed when there is no law". Sin wasn't held against men or imputed to men until the law came which made known to men what was detestable to God. Though sin wasn't imputed, it didn't change the fact that these things were still detestable to God nor did it change the inherent condition of man received through Adam.


14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. - Romans 5:14


"Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses". The inherent condition remained though sin had not yet been exposed. This is proven by the fact that men died in this era even though sin had not been imputed. They were essentially suffering from the result of Adam's sin. "even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam". Adam did have a law and it had one rule. Don't eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17). That was it and he blew it. He could do anything else he wanted and remain spiritually alive, connected with God and in fellowship with Him. God gave Adam plenty of other trees to eat from freely (Gen. 2:16) but Adam who was the representative for all mankind sinned by breaking the only rule that God laid out and in doing so ushered in the reign of death over all mankind. Physical death came as the result of the spiritual death that occurred that day. "who is a type of Him who was to come". There is a dangerous doctrine that is taught by some including Jehovah's witnesses which state that Adam's sin only effected himself. This is not taught in scripture and what's dangerous about it is that it challenges the necessity of righteousness that comes on the basis of faith which Paul just spent 5 chapters showing us is the only way (and many other scriptures). The idea that Adam's sin only effected himself takes away the truth that Paul points out in verse 19, "as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." To say that Adam's sin only effected Adam is to say that Christ's righteousness only effected Christ. If I cannot be made a sinner through Adam than I cannot be made righteous through Christ. Adam started innocent (Ecc. 7:29, Gen. 1:26) and blew as the representative for all mankind. Christ started innocent and was successful for all mankind. The two operate similarly which makes Adam a "type" of Him who was to come. If you nullify this truth regarding Adam then you nullify this truth regarding Christ. If this were the case then we'd have to establish our own righteousness, and we know from scripture that our righteousness (the good deeds we do) is at best filthy garments before God (Isa. 64:6). If we had to establish our own righteousness we'd be left out in the cold. The only garment acceptable to God is that of Jesus Christ (Isa. 61:10, Matt. 22:11-13).


15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. - Romans 5:15


"But the free gift is not like the transgression". Paul's analogy is one of contrast. Though the effects of Adam and Christ are universal which makes Adam a Prototype of Christ, the result is one of stark contrast. The transgression brought universal ruin on the human race. The free gift brings a universal blessing (v.18). "Much more". A theme that runs through this section. God's grace is infinitely greater for good than is Adam's sin for evil. If Adam's actions (who is not God) has the power to bring condemnation to all men, then how much more capable is Jesus Christ (who is God) who can in His grace bring righteousness to all men! "Many". The same greek word pollous (Strong's #4183) is used for both instances of many here meaning all men. The fact that God's grace abounds to all men is proven by the fact this is the same word "many" is used to show all died by the transgression of Adam. To argue that one doesn't apply to all men would equally argue that the other doesn't apply to all men as is backed by verse 18. Either the both do or they both don't.


16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. - Romans 5:16


Condemnation arose from one transgression but the free gift on the other hand has taken all the transgressions (including the sins of succeeding generations) and made justification for all of us.


17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. - Romans 5:17


"Much more" Christ's accomplishments for all of mankind not only nullified the accomplishments of the first type (being death through Adam), but much more for those who receive God's grace and free gift of righteousness will not only live but will actually reign in life through Jesus Christ. "Receive", consider this invitation of God to receive the free gift to reign in life through Jesus Christ.


20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. - Revelations 3:20-21


Amazingly this is a free gift for the taking. If you want it, take it, if you don't want it, don't take it... God doesn't force Himself on you. God is so great, His love is so wonderful, that God makes an earnest appeal to men to take His blessing (Deut. 30:19). He doesn't have too, for Him to stoop to our level and even plead (2 Cor. 5:20) is showing extreme gentleness and humbleness of heart on behalf of God (Matt. 11:29).


18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.  - Romans 5:18-19


Again you see the similarities between the two types. Though the results are a stark contrast. "All men" The same Greek word "pantas" (Strong's #3956) is used here for both instances of "all men" in verse 18 similarly "many" in verse 19, like before, is the same Greek word for both instances. The word Pantas is all inclusive meaning all, every, each part of. So nobody is excluded. If someone were to argue that justification of life is not available to all men they would have to argue that Adam's transgression didn't result in condemnation to all men. The fact is both have been applied to all men. Jesus paid it all, not just for those that would accept it but for everyone (1 John 2:2, 1 Tim. 4:10). Paul actually stated it was because of that he was compelled to labor.


10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. - 1 Timothy 4:10


Paul knew about this justification of life through Jesus Christ that was paid forward that God wanted all men to believe and receive.


who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. - 1 Timothy 2:4-6


20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, - Romans 5:20


"The Law came in so that the transgression would increase" The difference between sin and transgression is subtle but there is a difference. Sin is doing what is detestable in the eyes of God whether or not you know it. A transgression is doing what's detestable in the eyes of God having been, to some degree, made aware of His disposition towards it. Sin is committing the act of evil. Transgression is committing the act of evil aware of the offense it would cause. Before the law sin was in the world (Rom. 5:13-14), but the law came and made known God's standards against sin thus making aware to men that what they what they were doing already (sinning) was a transgression or an offense against God (Psa. 51:4). Prior to the coming of the law sin and death were already running rampant (v.14) but when the law came which made known to man God's standards, transgression increased, for prior to the coming of the law sin is not imputed (v.13). Once the law came however which made more accurately known what God requires of man, man who was sinning, was now sinning aware that what they were doing was an offense to God, thus the coming of the law ushered in an increase of transgressions.


Jamie and I have a new English Mastiff puppy. Like all new puppies he loved to chew on things, the couches, tables, us, our guests, our other 15 year old black lab.. Do we like it when he does these The couches are new, the other dog is to old to fight back, the guest are trying to be polite and the puppy's teeth are very sharp that he cuts us when he bites us. Are we mad at the 10 week old pup when he does this to us? No. Why? Because at 10 weeks he doesn't know any better nor have we had time yet having just adopted him to teach him those things are wrong. Does that mean I cheerfully accept it when he tortures my guests, damaged my couch, hurt my long time black lab companion or made my wife and I's hands bloody? Of course I don't. But he didn't know any better so I took no offense. However as the dog has grown we've spent time gently training him on what's ok and what is not. (He's a surprisingly smart dog and learns very quick). For the most part he's potty trained and doesn't destroy anything, not even his own dog toys though he plays with them at length. One thing though, probably the thing Jamie and I hate the most is when he attacks our 15 year old lab... She's so old she can hardly walk and the puppy bites her legs, bites her back, bites her ears, and all the lab can do is bark and take it which hurts our heart. We so want them to get along. Now granted he's not being mean, he's being playful, but one thing I've noticed is that now after some time training him he watches us when he goes in for an attack on the lab to see if we're gonna stop him. If he saw us watching him, he would sometimes divert his attack. So I've come to learn he knows better. Knowing that he knows it's wrong to do it, now it does make me upset when he attacks the lab. Once I did not take offense at this action, but the more he's aware that we don't like him torturing the poor old girl the greater I'm upset when he opts to do it.


The purpose of the law was to point out sin, to make known that which we were doing is detestable and contrary to the nature of God (1 John 4:8) and what He desires for us (Jer. 9:24). It was to expose sin to be sinful (Rom. 7:13), to make known the very cause of death that results from sin and thereby lead us or tutor us to the type of Him that was to come, Jesus Christ! (Gal. 3:24). The law was never intended to impart life but rather it was to expose sin and death. Jesus imparts life! Like Jesus told Nicodemus, "unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3) which Jesus points out is being born of the Spirit (John 3:6) and thus being for the first time spiritually alive (since in Adam we were spiritually stillborn), something only done by the Spirit. The law cannot do this nor was it intended too, but rather it was given to make known our transgression and the reality of our dire situation and thereby direct us to Him who can! As it is written:


19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. - Galatians 3:19-22


"Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that..." Imagine if I never let my puppy know what displeases me or worse, imagine if I never let my puppy know that what he was doing was self destructive, that if he continues chewing that electrical cord that it could kill him. Imagine if God never let us know we were in a dire situation?


Many modern day people carry this notion that as long as they do more good than bad they will get into heaven. This same mindset was ingrained in many people during biblical times too. People often weighed the misfortune of others to indicate God's disapproval of that person (Job) or their parents (the blind man, John 9:2) but what's implied there is that others not enduring such misfortunes have the approval or favor of God (cf. Matt. 5:45). This was the mindset the Pharisees were entrenched in too (Rom. 2:17-3:20). This however was not the purpose of the law but rather it was intended to "shut up everyone under sin" and expose this fallacy that anyone has earned the favor of God or that the law, even if they followed it, would somehow impart to them life.


32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all. - Romans 11:32


The law was given to get people out of this notion that their works would ever merit God's favor; that it would ever be a solution to their problem of being spiritually stillborn since the law does not make one born again (John 3:7) i.e. impart life (Gal. 3:21). This mindset is still active by many in the church today. I see brothers and sisters in Christ not sure if they've done enough good to merit God's favor. They feel like they haven't yet earned His favor or they worry they've somehow lost it... yet grace earned is not grace (Rom. 11:6). Undeserved favor earned is no longer undeserved. You can't receive it on the basis of works, neither can you lose it on the basis or omission of works. That's what's beautiful about the 2nd half of Romans 5:20.


"Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more," You cannot out sin the grace of God. You cannot extend beyond His reach and you cannot fall beyond His love. Not only is this a true statement, that Grace abounds, but the fact is, if it doesn't we are sunk because it's only if grace abounds that we have a Way into heaven, that we have a restored relationship with the Father (John 14:6). This is why we can always, even completely unprepared, come before the throne of grace boldly in time of need (Heb. 4:16). It's only if the 2nd type was "much more" than the first type that we have victory. We have victory because He had victory! In Christ we share in the victory only He has earned, we receive the righteousness only He accomplished (2 Cor. 5:21). When we enjoy that victory we are testifying to all that Christ did it! God delights in us delighting in Him and His accomplishments! (Psalm 37:4).


21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. - Romans 5:21


The only way verse 21 can be possible is if verse 20 is true. In order for grace to reign it has be be more powerful than sin, and God's grace is!


God is not surprised at your sin, He knows the fallen nature that befell mankind through Adam. He knows we inherited a sinful nature so He sent Jesus Christ to condemn sin in the flesh (2 Cor. 5:21, Rom. 8:3) and on that cross He conquered sin and death for all mankind. Death has lost! Christ has won! Death has been disarmed!


24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. - Acts 2:24


55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. - 1 Corinthians 15:55-57


As we wrap up this chapter I would like to share a synopsis written by Chuck Smith in his book "The Gospel According to Grace" (which this and his audio sermons have helped greatly throughout this study).


"Thank God for the abounding grace! One version translates verse 20 as "Where sin did abound, grace overflowed." We seem to have great difficulty accepting the grace of God. We're always trying to give God a reason to love us, accept us, or forgive us. But God loves, accepts, and forgives those who are miserable, rotten, and without merit. All we must do is cast ourselves upon Him and cry, "God, be merciful to me a sinner." To him who simply believes, God imputes his faith for righteousness (Romans 4:5). God accounts me just as righteous as His own dear Son."


If you're interested, I found new meaning in the worship song titled "Lord Reign In Me" and I would encourage you to listen to it and let's praise our heavenly Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:3).

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