Daily Devotion Text

September 20, 2022

Romans 5 Commentary

By gracepoint In Devotion Text, Romans with Comments Off on Romans 5 Commentary






vv.3-4 “Not only do we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, but we also rejoice in our sufferings (cf. Jas 1:2–4).  The believers’ joy is not simply something they hope to experience in the future but a present reality even in times of trials and distress. Their joy is not a stoic determination to make the best out of a bad situation. Christian suffering is a source of joy because its purpose is to build character in the believer. Paul argued that suffering produces steadfastness, and steadfastness results in ‘strength of character.’ The Greek term in v.4 for ‘character’ denotes that which has been proven by trial.  The NEB translates ‘endurance brings proof that we have stood the test.’ Thus it is the experience of coming through a time of testing that produces hope. Our confidence in God’s ability and willingness to bring us through difficult times leads to an ever-brighter hope for that which lies beyond. Hope is not superficial optimism but the confident assurance of that which will surely come to pass. It distinguishes those who have kept the faith in times of severe testing.”[1]

v.8  “The fact that Jesus Christ died for us is the final proof of God’s love. It would be difficult enough to get a man to die for a just man; it might be possible for a man to be persuaded to die for some great and good principle; a man might have the greater love that would make him lay down his life for his friend. But the wonder of Jesus Christ is that he died for us when we are sinners and in a state of hostility to God. Love can go no further than that.”[2]

vv.12-17  “Beginning at v.12 we enter Paul’s extended contrast between Adam (the first man) and the results of his sin and Jesus Christ (the ‘second man’) and the gracious provisions of his atoning life and death.  The contrast runs through v.19. These two figures illustrate the central theme of the specifically theological portion of Paul’s letter. Adam typifies the sinful condition of all humans (1:18–3:20). Jesus stands for the justification received by faith (3:21–5:11). Redemption is the story of two men. The first man disobeyed God and led the entire human race in the wrong direction.  The second man obeyed God and provides justification for all who will turn to him in faith. No matter how devastating the sin of the first, the redemptive work of the second reverses the consequences of that sin and restores people to the favor of God. Only by grasping the seriousness of the first is one able to appreciate the remarkable magnanimity of the second.”[3]

vv.18-19 “Just as the one sin of Adam brought condemnation, so also did the one righteous act of Christ bring justification.  Just as condemnation spread to all, so also is the divine acquittal offered to all. Paul did not intend to imply that the result of Christ’s atoning work automatically provided justification for all regardless of their willingness to accept it. Universal salvation is not taught in this text.  Context indicates that Paul was comparing the fate of those who are in Adam (the position of all by virtue of their birth into the human race) and the blessings of those who are in Christ (the position of all who have responded in faith).  Paul’s final contrast was between the disobedience of Adam and the obedience of Christ (v.19). By the disobedience of the first man the entire race was constituted sinners. But by the obedience of the second man ‘the many will be made righteous.’ As in v.15 we are to understand ‘the many’ in terms of all who are in Adam (everyone who is born into the human family) and all who are in Christ (everyone who has been born into the family of God by faith in Christ). The righteousness of which Paul spoke is a right standing before God (cf. 2 Cor 5:21). It is imputed by God as a result of faith. Righteousness as conduct (sanctification) is dealt with in chaps. 6–8. Growth in holiness is the proof that righteousness by faith has in fact been imputed. By definition, life is growth. Where there is no growth, there is no life.”[4]

[1] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (135). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 5:12). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (139). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (145). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

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