- Justification is by faith (C-4), Abraham illustrating this, it is by faith that one enters into the spiritual realm of God’s grace; in this realm there is peace and hope (5:1-5). When a person responds in obedient faith, as with Abraham, God declares that one righteous (justified). One’s positive response to God brings knowledge and understanding, but it also brings rejoicing. This is all in relation to how God looks upon His creation.
- It is hardly likely that one will sacrifice himself for another, though there may be a rare occasion for this to occur (5:6-7). God, however, did this for man when he was (is) a sinner, one who is blackened by the evil of missing the righteous mark of God (5:8). Thus, the rejoicing is not in what the individual did, but what God did (5:6-11).
- Man was thrust into the realm of death (sin) as a result of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden.(a) For a period of time, sin and death reigned (from Adam to Moses) without there being any codified law given to man, any name (or nation), whereby this problem plaguing man could be addressed. Those who lived during that time faced death, which was (and is) the consequence of sin.(b) Then the Law of Moses was given to man, but only to a specific people, starting with Moses, who in turn gave this to the Hebrew people (or Israelites). Still, sin and death reigned, only this time, the Lord gave a temporary remedy/solution to addressing it. (c) Before the Law of Moses was given to man, each person who lived faced the consequence of sin, which was (at the very least) physical death. Paul said, however, they had no sin “imputed” or counted against them. (d) Once the Law was given to a specific people (Israel, or the Hebrew people), it was to those people who God called upon to own up to the consequences of sin, their own sin (5:12-14). They were given information/knowledge from God and came to understand what sin was (is) and why it stood against God. The issue/problem of sin in life was initially addressed by God.
- Sin was not a gift to man, but now there is a gift from God that thoroughly and completely addresses the problem of sin in the life of man, all men (women) everywhere (5:15-17). No matter the comprehensive nature of sin’s stain against man (which brings God’s judgment), “grace abounded much more” (5:18-21).
- This “Abrahamic response” is Paul’s point in this chapter. One has peace and hope when justification comes from God as a result of one’s faith or trust in God (5:1-2). (a) Thus, while the Law of Moses educated (brought knowledge and understanding) a specific people, it also brought knowledge and understanding of God’s judgment to the same people when His Law was violated. (b) Jesus, on the other hand, brought something that could save man from God’s judgment, a judgment that will surely be experienced by those who reject what He brought (5:9; cf. Acts 17:30-31). (c) However, whether one was declared guilty by the codified law (Law of Moses), or whether one was guilty without such a Law, Jesus came to save both! This means that both Jew and Gentile can be saved (cf. Acts 4:12).
- In the remainder of the chapter Paul makes the point for the significance of Law in God’s plan of salvation and judgment. (a) Sin was in the world, but the penalty of sin (physical death) was only that which was counted against man. (b) There was another penalty for sin that was not counted against those who had no codified Law from God, a law that declared a righteous and moral standard of measurement. That other penalty was God’s wrath, or eternal separation of Himself from the individual man guilty of sin.(c) This is called the second death, which is a spiritual death.
- Death is the penalty that came to man because of the deed of one man (Adam in the Garden). Life is the reward (promise) that came to man because of deed of one Man (Jesus). How, then, can one get free from underneath this burden of sin/death? One must die to sin.
For similar studies on Romans 1-4, please see my site www.rv85.net.