Romans 5


“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5

As we enter Romans 5 we are going to see that Paul is going to explain the blessings of justification.

‘Through faith’

always involves an active, living faith, and never a death faith. ‘Faith’ is put for the whole plan because is it the foundation regarding man’s part in his salvation or justification.

‘Peace with God’ is the first result of justification. Peace in terms of our relationship with God. The sin that separated us has been forgiven. We are no longer enemies, but friends, no longer separated, but reconciled. ‘Through our Lord Jesus Christ’ means Christ bridged the gap between God and man and made peace possible.

The second result of our justification as Christians we now have

‘access by faith into this grace in which we stand.’

In other words through Christ, we are recipients of God’s grace.

Ephesians 2:18 “For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

The word grace is use three ways.

1. Used to describe the blessings a king would bestow upon his subjects.

2. Used to describe the relationship you can have with a friend, a loving relationship between friends and family.

3. Grace to an enemy.

Christ paid our sin debt and thus cleared the way for our entrance (access) into God’s favour. As Christians, we stand in the place of highest privilege. Not only has God declared us ‘not guilty,’ but He has drawn us close to Himself. Instead of being enemies, we have become His friends; in fact, His own children.

1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”

The word ‘great’ should be the word ‘manner’ which means ‘exotic’ or ‘foreign’. Love to an enemy which is something us humans struggle with. It’s easy to love those who are decent human beings but not so easy with those who aren’t but God can and does. The third result of our justification is we are able to ‘rejoice in hope of glory of God.’

Hebrews 3:6 “But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house. And we are his house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory.”

1 Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.”

We rejoice in our hope now, but someday it will be realized. The ‘glory of God’ includes the eternal salvation.

‘Glory in sufferings’,

we also rejoice that we can suffer trials, afflictions, and persecutions for His name.

Matthew 5:10-12 “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Acts 5:40-42 “His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.”

‘Suffering produces perseverance’

means that suffering actually produces steadfastness, endurance, patience.


is the trait that bears calmly all the ills of life, and tribulations are what forms this trait in us. Affliction or tribulation is a great teacher of patience. It is called,

‘The School of Hard Knocks.’

It is a great school indeed.

‘Character’ produces approval from God, from man, and within ourselves. ‘Hope’ means knowing that God approves gives us a firmer hope. When we have patiently endured a trial, it strengthens our hope.

James 1:3-4 “Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

1 Peter 1:6-7 “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Hope does not make us ashamed or disappointed now, nor will it ever. It will not shame us in the end by disappointing us. That which we hoped for will be realized and we will never be ashamed that we had hope.

‘Love of God’ means His love for us has been clearly demonstrated to us. In what way?

‘By the Holy Spirit who was given to us’.

He has been given in two ways;

1. He has been given to mankind in the revealing of the Gospel. He has not been given to us today directly or miraculously, but indirectly. He has revealed the Gospel through holy writings. In the Gospel He has revealed to us a loving God, a loving Saviour, and reasons for loving in return.

2. The Holy Spirit has been given as a pledge that every promise will be fulfilled.

2 Corinthians 1:22 “Set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

Paul shows that sufferings start a chain of events which eventually ends with the love of God being poured out in our hearts. And so, we should look for and rejoice in the ultimate results of tribulations rather than being discouraged by their present discomfort and heartache.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8

Paul now reveals ‘reconciliation through Christ.’

‘When we were still powerless’

means when we were helpless and powerless to save ourselves. We had no power to save ourselves, had a law that only legally condemned us, and could do no works of merit to commend us to God. What we could not do, Christ accomplished.

‘At the right time’

means it was the set time (not too early, not too late) according to God’s timetable.

Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.”

‘Christ died for the ungodly’,

He died for their benefit. Christ sacrificed Himself on the cruel cross to pay man’s sin debt. God accepted His sacrifice. It is the only way to be forgiven of sin. God controls all history, and He controlled the timing, methods, and results of Jesus’ death.

‘Righteous man’ is someone who is just and fair in his dealings. A ‘good man’ is someone who is more than just. He is also kind and generous. One might attempt to die for him, but it is unusual.

Paul continues to set out the blessings of Gospel justification. He explains the assurance of Salvation through the life and death of Christ. ‘Demonstrates’ is present tense. He continues to exhibit, show, or demonstrate His love toward us by what He did.

‘In that while we were still sinners’

this is the sign or demonstration of His love. We accept this great truth as fact, and in turn show our love for Him.

1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”

‘God demonstrates His love’.

Has it occurred to you that there is something rather remarkable, even strange, in that statement? Listen again!

“God displays His Love in that Christ died for us”.

Do you see it?

It says that God’s love is revealed by the death of Jesus, and I say that this is a strange statement, because what one person does, is not usually taken to be a guide to the character of someone else!

For instance, if you are a kind and generous person, that would not prove that I am kind and generous, would it? Why then, should Paul tell us that something which Jesus did proves, that God loves us?

If he had said,

“Christ reveals His own love towards us, in that HE died for us”

it would have been straight-forward and easy to appreciate. But to say that God’s love is proved by the fact that Jesus died for us needs to be explained.

Well, the explanation is found in the relationship which exists between God and Jesus. If they were not related, what Jesus did would tell us nothing about God.

But the Bible repeatedly tells us that in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself. God was manifest, revealed, in the flesh. Jesus and God are One, so that what Jesus did, was essentially God’s own doing.

It means that in Jesus, we see God at work. His nature is God’s nature. His deeds are God’s deeds. And when He suffered, God suffered. His pain on the cross was God’s pain. His agony was God’s agony. And His tears were the tears of God.

Therefore, whatever suffering we experience, God knows it intimately. And whatever else is proved by the death of Jesus on the Cross, it also proves about God.

Notice that God is the one who took action, it was God who made the move. And it is God who commends His own love toward us in the death of Jesus. If you read the previous verse, Romans 5:7, you will see that Paul has been writing about the extent to which human love is prepared to go.

He says that the supreme demonstration of human love is seen, when someone is prepared to die for a good man. Not, mind you! For a righteous man, or a religious man, but for a good man. And the word ‘good’ used here, means kindly or loving. For such a man someone might even be willing to die.

In the ‘Tale of two cities’ which, as you may remember, is a story about the French Revolution, Charles Darnay is a prisoner in the bastille, awaiting execution the next day. But that night, some friends come to visit him and they overpower him with some sort of anaesthetic.

They take his clothes and one of his friends, Sidney Carton puts them on and takes his place, for the sake of Darnay’s wife and children. The condemned man is spirited out of the prison to freedom, wearing Carton’s clothing. And Sidney Carton is executed the next morning, in the place of his friend.

And, in contrast with the dismal, sarcastic ending of Thomas Hardy’s book, ‘Tess’. This book ends with the famous words,

“It is a far, far better thing I do, than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest I go to, than I have ever known”.

The Lord Jesus did more than that.

“While we were still sinner, Christ died for us!”

That is the proof of the love of God.

As John says,

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. 1 John 4:10.

Jesus willingly laid down his life, when there was nothing in us that could demand such a sacrifice. Nothing except our sin. Don’t ask me why God did it that way.

Simply be satisfied with the statement of fact that is was that way, for sheer love of us and that love, the love of God, Jesus died. And I tell you again! The pain and suffering you see on the Cross, is God’s and He endured it for love.

What I am trying to say is that God cares for His Creation. We do not serve a cruel God, or a God who has been made to seem cruel by so called religious people, fanatics, who kill people, who chop of their heads or their hands in the name of God and their so-called faith.

We serve a loving God, and because it is such a love as this, a love which came down to such people as you and me, it opens the door of hope to everybody.

We may sometimes be tempted to wonder if God really does love us, but in the light of the cross of Jesus, that is an unworthy thought. We should Trust His love and commit ourselves to it. Because, even though it is a fact that we live in a fallen world in which there is a great deal of evil, God’s love is more powerful than the evil.

Not only did He create our world, but He continues to be interested in it. John Calvin once said,

‘God’s hand is on the helm of the universe’.

And that is true!

Even though we travel through storm and tempest, as well as through calm and sunshine, the captain of our salvation is still steering the boat! And I believe that to know this and to believe it is to possess the answer to the problem of evil.

I say all this this because I want to convince you or to remind you of something you may already know, namely, that no matter who we are, what we have done, how far we have wandered from God, nothing, not even our sin, can prevent God from loving us.

“Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while 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! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation”. Romans 5:9-11

Salvation is here presented both as a present reality and a future hope. ‘Much more’ which is an argument stating the more difficult to prove the less difficult.

Since we have now been justified, declared ‘not guilty’ before God, by the death of Christ, how much more shall we be delivered from the wrath to come by remaining in Him. And so, if the present reality is true (we are justified), most certainly the other will be true.

We were sinners and enemies rather than righteous and friends. We were reconciled to God, not God to us. How?

‘By His life.’

His resurrection to life accomplished salvation and He, in person, superintends the work.

As in Romans 5:9, the argument is made from the more difficult (the reconciliation of His enemies by the death of Christ), to prove the less difficult (eternal life for those reconciled).

Great joy comes to us as result of this relationship.

‘In God through’

means we can rejoice in the greatest of Beings for the greatest of reasons. Why? Because we have

‘received the reconciliation’,

He has forgiven us and filled us with the hope of eternal life.

We have good reason to rejoice. Our past sins have been forgiven. We stand justified before God. We have been reconciled to God. We shall be delivered from the wrath to come.

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned— To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.” Romans 5:12-14

Paul now gives a comparison between Adam and Christ. One introduced sin and death, the other righteousness and life.

1 Corinthians 15:22-23 “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”

‘By one man’ means Adam introduced sin and its consequences. ‘Death spread’, physical death passed from Adam to all. Paul later adds ‘resulting in condemnation,’ Romans 5:16-18, which shows that ‘eternal death’ was also introduced into the world by Adam.

‘Because all sinned’

God decreed death upon the human race, not only for Adam’s, but for all sin. When anyone sins, he stands where Adam stood in the beginning.

Notice the digressions beginning in verse 13 and closing in verse 17. Verse 12 is not a full sentence. Paul repeats verse 12 in different words in verse 18 and then closes his sentence. He wanted to expand on the universality of sin and that which Adam wrought in contrast to Christ before he continued his discussion.

In Romans 5:13-14, Paul describes the universality of sin. ‘For until the law’ or ‘before the law’ means that sin was in the world before the Law of Moses was given.

The article ‘the’ is not before ‘law’ here but he is referring to the Law of Moses as is shown in Romans 5:15. And so there was law before the Law of Moses. He is showing that sin has prevailed since the time of Adam.

‘Did not sin by breaking a command’

means Adam violated a positive law, others a moral law. Adam’s sin introduced some things into the world, Romans 5:15-21, whereas the sin of others didn’t. Also, they were different in the way each received instructions.

‘A pattern of the one to come.’

The word ‘pattern’ is the Greek word ‘type’ and means ‘a previous figure or shadow.’ He describes how Adam was a type or figure of Christ in the next verses.

“But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:15-21

In Romans 5:15-21 Paul is going to speak about the offence and the gift.

Romans 5:15

                  Offence                                                                    Gift                                  ‘Many died’                                        ‘Grace abounded to many’

Romans 5:16

                Offence                                                                       Gift

‘Resulted in condemnation’                             ‘Resulted in justification’

Romans 5:17

               Offence                                                                         Gift

‘Death reigned’                                                           ‘Life reigns’

Romans 5:18

              Offence                                                                           Gift

‘One offense’                                                          ‘One righteous act’

Romans 5:19

            Offence                                                                              Gift

‘Disobedience-made sinners’                      ‘Obedience-made righteous’

Romans 5:19

            Offence                                                                              Gift

‘Sin abounded’                                                   ‘Grace more abounded’

Romans 5:15 sometimes reads

‘The free gift is not like.’

this gives us a contrast. ‘The word ‘free’ is not in the original, only the word ‘charisma’ which is the word ‘gift’.

And so, this destroys the argument, ‘it is absolutely free and there is nothing one can do to receive it.’ The ‘gift’ refers to God’s gracious redemption through Christ.

‘Many died’

is talking about how sin and death entered the world through Adam, but God holds each person responsible for his own sins.

‘Much more’

is talking about the blessings we receive in Christ far outweigh the things we lost in Adam.

‘The gift that came by the grace’

means God and Christ were not obligated to restore the human race. They did so by favour.

‘Overflow to the many’

means redemption for the human race is unlimited. Many have been wise enough to take advantage of the blessing.

Romans 5:16 tells us

‘the judgment resulted in condemnation’

in other words it brought death’s penalty, spiritual death.

‘But the free gift resulted in justification’

in other words it brought justifications to sinners.

Condemnation (death’s penalty, spiritual death) was brought upon us by Adam, but justification (salvation, the gift) was brought to us by Christ.

Man’s response is not mentioned here. Condemnation comes to one when he violates the will of God, he obtains the gift (justification) when he obeys God’s will.

‘Death reigned through the one’

means Adam committed the sin which introduced it. The words ‘much more’ expresses a high degree of certainty.

‘Abundance of grace’

means they receive the favour in its abundant provisions.

‘Gift of righteousness’

means they receive remission of sins, not as due, but as a gift.

‘Reign in life’

means much more shall the redeemed reign there, than death has reigned here.

Notice that the verse speaks of salvation both present and future, and the ‘much more’ is affirming the certainty of the future salvation.

‘Through the One,’

through Him, it has been provided. Through Him we have hope, and through Him, eternal life shall be realized.

‘Consequently’ should read ‘Therefore’, because of everything said before.

‘Resulting in condemnation’

means physical death and condemnation are the results of sin.

‘One righteous act’

means the obedience of Christ in dying for us.

Philippians 2:8 “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”

Hebrews 5:7-9 “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”

‘Came to all men,’ again, we understand, ‘To all who obey; to all who take advantage of the blessings.’

‘Resulting in justification of life’

in other words it has the promise of the life that now is, and of eternal life.

‘Were made sinners’

means they were made liable to sin and punishment.

‘Made righteous’

means they were made liable to justification. Without Him there is no justification. While all were made potential sinners in Adam, condemnation comes only by one’s own disobedience.

Charles Darwin made evolutionists, but this does not mean that the theory of evolution is an inherited trait. Likewise, Adam made sinners, but he made them by introducing sin into the world. Each one becomes a sinner when he transgresses God’s law.

1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.”

‘But where sin increased’

means the circle of sin widened. Through the law, man’s knowledge of sin increases, Romans 3:20, and he begins to understand how terrible sin is, Romans 7:7-13.

Law was given that men might see their transgression, show them the seriousness of it, and cause them to turn to God for mercy and pardon. The law of Christ accomplishes the same today.

‘Grace increased all the more’ means the blessings far outweigh the losses. The word ‘increased’ is the word ‘abounded,’ used twice in the verse, is from two different Greek words.

The first means ‘to fill’ and the second means ‘to super abound or overflow.’ So, sin abounded, but grace has been extended beyond measure, far surpassing all the evil effects of sin.

‘Sin reigned in death’

notice has sin is personified, sin reigned unto death. Sin brought about physical and spiritual death.

‘Grace might reign’

again this is personified, favour reigned through justification to eternal life. Grace brought about the present ‘life’ in Christ and shall bring ‘eternal life.’

How is this done?

‘Through Jesus Christ our Lord’

in other words He is the personal source of the favour who will fully carry out and execute all He has promoted and devised.


Adam introduced sin into the world. We suffer the consequences of Adam’s sin, but not the guilt. When a father commits murder, the son does not stand trial for the crime, however, the son suffers the consequences of his father’s sin, shame, no provider, etc.

Ezekiel 18:20 “The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them.”

Some over press Paul’s contrast in verses 18-19. However, notice that if all are made sinners because of Adam, all are made righteous because of Christ. Adam introduced certain things into the world and so did Christ. Adam introduced judgment to condemnation and we receive it by our own disobedience.

Christ introduced justification to life and we receive it by our own obedience. Adam introduced disease into the world, but it does not mean that all are born with disease.

It only means that all are subject to disease. Our text is dealing with the blessings through Christ. Man’s responsibilities for receiving the blessings are discussed in the next chapter.

Go To Romans 6



"But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

Isaiah 53:5