THE EPISTLE OF ROMANS - Part 7 of 15 - Romans 4:22 to 5:11
REVIEW OF KEY POINTS FROM THE PREVIOUS HUBS IN THIS SERIES:
- Paul was sent as a messenger by Jesus Christ to declare the gospel.
- The gospel is about or concerning Jesus Christ.
- The gospel is the power of God unto wholeness to all who believe it.
- The gospel is God’s power toward us because in it the righteousness of God is revealed.
- Righteousness is the key point of the gospel. It is used over 65x in Romans.
- Everyone is under sin and falls short of the glory of God by their own abilities.
- God intervened and gave his son as a substitute for our sins and their due punishment.
- We either believe on the Christ, accepting his payment in behalf of all of our sins, or we disregard the Christ and consequently must deal with the punishment of our sins.
- Righteousness was credited to Abraham because he believed what God said.
Romans 4:22-25“Wherefore also it was reckoned unto him (Abraham) for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was reckoned unto him; 24 but for our sake also, unto whom it is being reckoned, who believe on him that raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses, and was raised for our justification.”
- “Reckoned” is to add up all the facts in order to draw a conclusion. Used 3x here.
- Jesus Christ died and was raised FOR US, for our benefit. What state would we be in had he not died and been raised? We would be left under the judgment of God regarding every action that is contrary to God’s perfect standard of justice. But now we are justified.
- “Justification” is the state of being as if we never sinned.
Romans 5:1-2 "Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” (HCSB)
- The chapter break in misleading. “Therefore” is given to show that the following point is based on the previous one.
- We have been declared righteous by faith too, just like Abraham was.
- We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Peace is the opposite of strife, hostility or being enemies. This word comes from a word meaning “joined.”
- Verse 2 could be more literally translated from the context: Through Jesus Christ our Lord we possess permanent access also into this grace wherein we have been permanently placed and are rejoicing in hope of the glory of God.
Romans 5:3-5 “And not only so, but we rejoice also in our tribulations: knowing that tribulation produces patient endurance; 4 and patient endurance, refined character; and refined character, hope: 5 and hope does not disappoint; because the love of God hath been poured into our hearts (without reserve) through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us.”
- “Tribulations” are afflictions, troubles, anguishes, persecutions, oppressions, distresses.
- The example in this context of rejoicing (boasting) in tribulations is Abraham in 4:20.
Romans 5:6-11 “For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person––though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (HCSB)
- This section refers to the state we were in apart from Christ and the state we are now in on account of Christ. It declares the mercy and grace of God. Not only did we not get what we DO deserve (which is mercy), but we did get what we DON’T deserve (which is grace). We didn’t receive the just penalties for our errors. We did receive blessings beyond measure.
- Apart from Christ’s death we were still helpless, ungodly, sinners and enemies of God bound for wrath. We were in need of God’s mercy.
- Through Christ’s death God proved his love for us in that he declared us righteous, we were saved from wrath, we were reconciled to God and we will be saved by his life. We were in need of God’s grace.
- For while we were still helpless refers us back to Romans 1:18 through 3:20 where there is none righteous, no not one, where man finds himself without the inner strength to be good enough for God’s standards.
- Verse 7 shows us man’s love being proved when someone is deserving enough to receive it. Verse 8 shows us God’s love being proved when we were so undeserving as to be ungodly (v. 6) and sinners (v. 8). God’s love seeks the opportunity to provide the best when it is deserved the least.
- Notice the tenses of these verbs and words. To change these tenses has caused untold doctrinal and practical disasters:
- Verse 6 while we were still helpless
- Verse 8 while we were still sinners
- Verse 10 while we were enemies
- Verse 11we have now received reconciliation.
"Reconciled” or “reconciliation” used 3x in verses 10-11. It means to eliminate all differences, to bring “back into union or friendship the affections which have been alienated; to restore to favor after estrangement.” (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) God reconciled us to himself. He restored, through Christ’s death, the relationship he originally designed in Genesis 1:26-28.
How did we get into this state of being helpless and needing God’s intervention into our lives through Christ? How did we get into this state of needing to be reconciled to God? How did we all get into this state of being under sin and falling short of the glory of God? The problem entered into mankind through the first man, Adam. This is why the next section in Romans was written. Part 8 of this hub series takes a look at this from Romans 5:12-21.