28/06/15 – Romans 5:1-11 “Reconciled by His death, saved by His life”
Romans 5:1 – Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Therefore – “as a result of” (the justification by faith discussed in Chapter 4).
Justified by faith is something we have already covered in great detail. And it is that same justification by faith which gives us peace with God = reconciliation. When Jesus died, the temple veil split down the middle. It was said to be almost 20m high and almost 10m wide, but more importantly it was about 10cm thick, woven. It would have been easier to tear a phone directory in half! And from the top indicates that the act would have come from God. And it exposed the Holy of Holies and the Ark itself. Access to God for all now!
Hebrews 10:20 – By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
Note that “new” here is the Greek word prosphatos which means freshly slaughtered, or new. In fact, it could read “By a freshly-slaughtered yet living way, ….
Now we get to the consequences (in this case, benefits) of justification by faith. Firstly we have peace with God. Christ was set forth (purposed) as a propitiation through faith in His blood. Romans 3:25a – Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood). That is, God’s anger was appeased by Jesus’ blood sacrifice on the cross, just like the sprinkling of blood on the mercy seat on the Day of Atonement. Christ’s sacrifice made peace between God and man, effective by faith.
Ephesians 2:13-18 – 13But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us]; 15Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; 16And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. 18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
And this peace with God was established freely for all who would be justified by faith in the sacrifice of Christ on the cross which paid the penalty for all sin. Their faith would be accounted for righteousness (Romans 4:5).
peace – a state of harmony with God, established by the removal of that which caused God’s wrath, the offense of sin. The wicked do not have such peace.
Isaiah 57:19-21 – 19I create the fruit of the lips; Peace, peace to [him that is] far off, and to [him that is] near, saith the Lord; and I will heal him. 20But the wicked [are] like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21[There is] no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Romans 5:2 – By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Firstly the benefit of peace, and now secondly (“also”) our access into the grace in which we are able to stand. The scriptural meaning of grace is “unmerited or undeserved favour”. It means we’ve been given something that we have no right to demand. Access is through Jesus Christ alone by the grace of God.
John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
access – prosagoge = whereby we are acceptable to God and have assurance that He is favourably disposed toward us (Ephesians 2:18 (see above) and 3:12 – In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.)
Also see Hebrews 10:19 – Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
boldness = confidence. We know by faith that we are accepted by God because of His promises which have been justified by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
rejoice in hope of the glory of God – In the earnest desire and expectation of obtaining that glory which God has promised us, that honour which will be ours in heaven for eternity. Thus we desire that of which we are assured (our hope) by the certainty of God’s promise that He will bring us to holy perfection one day and then continue forever in heaven.
Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
‘the glory’ (of God) – doxa (majesty; a thing belonging to God; the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler; majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity; the kingly majesty of the Messiah)
Here it includes the glory that Christians will share with Christ one day – see Romans 8:17-18.
Romans 5:3-4 – 3And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
glory – kauchaomai translated as ‘rejoice’ in Vs 2 and as ‘joy’ in Vs 11. This is a response of man. It could be translated as “we rejoice in tribulations”.
Note that the glory of God in Vs 2 is doxa, and is an attribute of God rather than a response of man.
We glory (rejoice) in tribulations (afflictions, trials, distress, oppression) because this will strengthen us (to be more able to endure) in order to be able to keep on keeping on. It talks of the building of character, the sort of character that determines to finish what has been started, to finish the race. The trials of our faith should build patience (steadfastness; constancy; endurance) within us. Endurance (patience) builds experience (character; approved) and character builds hope (faith in the expectation that what we have been promised is surely ours). The word for “experience” is dokime (approved; a specimen of tried worth, acceptable; qualified for the task). It has the opposite meaning to adokimos (reprobate; rejected; unapproved; disqualified) which is translated “reprobate” in Romans 1:28.
A tough, disciplined life builds character.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 – 24Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. 25And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. 26I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
(Note that “castaway” here is that Greek word adokimos which also means reprobate!)
And Paul’s statement at the end of his life:-
2 Timothy 4:7 – I have fought a good fight, I have finished [my] course, I have kept the faith:
Character is that which determines the difference between the real Christians and the “wannabe” Christians (the de facto Christians, the ones who want to look like Christians without the suffering Christians are called to). Taking up the cross of suffering builds character. And those who can accept the suffering can also see a purpose for it, the goal at the end.
Hebrews 12:1-3 – 1Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Note that “race” in Vs 1 here is agon which is translated “fight” in 2 Timothy 4:7 above. So we run with patience (same as “patience” in Romans 5:3-4) or endurance the fight or conflict that is set before us.
And ultimately, when we are tested, we discover that God is real and that He cares for us. This builds a desire to go on with our Christian lives, and a growing expectation that what God has promised, He actually does deliver, over and over. This is our hope, our sure expectation that what God has promised will happen.
Romans 5:5 – And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Once we have persevered with the cross we are asked to bear, we learn of God’s concern for us – 1 Peter 5:7 – Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
And we taste by our suffering and indeed the Lord is good to those who trust in Him.
Psalm 34:8 – O taste and see that the Lord [is] good: blessed [is] the man [that] trusteth in him.
And our certain expectation of the fulfilment of God’s promises prevents us from suffering the shame of disappointment when we could struggle to see the future glory as a result of the suffering we might be going through. Our hope will keep us on track because God pours out His agape love through His Holy Spirit who is given to us and who cries out with our spirits, “Abba, Father.” The Holy Spirit is not like a spirit of bondage that rules us by fear, but a Spirit of adoption, through the love of God, which is why we cry out, like children, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15 – For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Romans 5:6 – For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
ungodly – destitute of reverential awe towards God; condemning God; impious.
without strength – asthenes (weak; infirm; feeble) – generally associated with the lack of strength due to sickness, but here it is probably used in a moral sense, to denote inability or feebleness with regard to any undertaking or duty. We couldn’t do whatever it was we were supposed to do; that is, the law condemned us totally and rendered us incapable of doing anything toward our own salvation. Our efforts to save ourselves were ineffectual.
But Christ did that on our behalf; He died for those who were unable to help themselves, the ungodly! It was impossible for us to achieve peace with God. Jesus is now our peace with God (Vs 1).
Romans 5:7 – For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
We might possibly be prepared to risk our lives for those whom we might consider worthy of our sacrifice, even die for a person who has done great deeds for us or others. But even then, we might be strongly tempted to stay alive. We might go to the rescue of someone else but if we could be hurt, we would probably weigh up the risk first. Especially if something deadly like a gun were involved – would we risk death or play safe?
For it is hardly likely that one might die for a just man; yet perhaps one might dare to die for a good man. This is almost poetic with 2 sections that almost parallel each other. It may be an example of the Hebrew parallelism that fills so many Psalms. What it is emphasizing is that while it is rare to lay down your life for good and just people, it would be impossible to imagine why someone would want to die for unjust or bad people. This is leading directly into the next verse.
Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
In John 15:13-14 – 13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Jesus talked about laying down of one’s life for one’s friends. In particular, He was talking about His approaching crucifixion. Today we use these verses extensively on war memorials. But in Romans 5:8, we are told that Christ died for us, not while we were His friends, but while we were His enemies! So, we might die for those we considered worthy, yet wouldn’t be likely to include those who would destroy us if they had the chance. But Jesus died for those who hated Him, of whom Paul writes, “there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:11) This is the measure of the love of God, that He sent Jesus to die on the cross when He was under no obligation to do so, other than His love for those who hated Him at the time when He rescued them.
Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
As I showed last week, there are a few things that are by the blood of Jesus: justification, remission, redemption, atonement, propitiation are all included. All of these are by the blood of Jesus, all clearly demonstrated from the Bible. Justified by His blood indicates the processes of God to bring about justification; justification by faith indicates the processes of man in response to God’s promises for salvation. Justification is through redemption (the buying back of possessions from bondage) and is the means by which God’s anger is turned away from man. Justification removes the penalty required by the law of mankind, and therefore removes the requirement for God to be offended by mankind’s offenses against the law.
Being saved from wrath through Jesus is talking about God being appeased, propitiated.
Romans 3:23-25a – 23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood
Much more then – not only have we been justified by Jesus’ blood, not only do we have the penalty of the law removed, we also have been enabled to return to God without offending His holiness. Thus the atonement does in fact make all men saveable, but only those who believe will have their faith accounted for righteousness. It is our faith that activates our imputed righteousness.
Romans 5:10 – For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
See Vs 8 “while we were yet sinners” – now we are called “enemies”. In fact, to sin is to have enmity against God, that is, sin makes God our enemy.
Romans 8:7-8 – 7Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
And in Romans 7, Paul equates sin with the old flesh nature.
Here’s another of those words that are the consequence of the blood of Jesus: reconciled (katallasso = to reconcile (those who are at variance); to return to favour with; be reconciled to one; to receive one into favour). Reconciliation is the consequence of the removal of the enmity against God, who was propitiated by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, in particular, the blood of the innocent Lamb.
Ephesians 2:16 – And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
But being reconciled to God is not quite enough! Yes, it was for all sinners, therefore all mankind, but just paying the penalty and buying back all mankind wouldn’t actually do anything for us in the long term, that is, for eternity. Justification doesn’t necessarily require God to take us into His presence. Even though we no longer were offensive to God through the penalty of the law, God still required that we plead guilty and be the recipients of His infinite mercy, before granting us the consequences of that redemption, that is, to be saved and be granted eternal life (to accept the gift offered – Romans 6:23).
But Christ’s death merely paid the price for man to be reconciled to God. Man no longer had to pay law’s penalty, but what benefit was this without life to go with it. We also needed eternal life to go with that reconciliation. Christ’s death did remove that barrier that prevented us from approaching God. His death bought us back from the enemy’s ownership. But reconciliation alone couldn’t guarantee life; the death of Christ was in itself not enough. It took the resurrection of Christ from the dead to enable man to likewise rise from the dead to eternal life.
1 Corinthians 15:13-16 – 13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain. 15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
Jesus is the captain of our salvation; that is, He leads from in front and we follow.
Hebrews 2:10 – For it became him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
“captain” – chief leader; prince; one who takes the lead in any thing and thus affords an example; one who leads by example; author.
Jesus led by example, rising to life again and thereby making the way for us to follow Him. We may rise to new life only because He has already led the way by example; He is the Captain of our salvation!
We would have escaped the condemnation of the law, but we still needed life to enter heaven. And Jesus provided that life as well. When Jesus rose again from the dead, He became the first-born of many from the dead (Romans 8:29). The following passage is often explained from the calvinist point of view, but can only support their beliefs if the word ‘foreknew’ is irrelevant (according to MacArthur) or actually means the same as ‘chose’ (according to Piper). But if ‘foreknew’ actually means that God used foreknowledge to determine His choice of the elect (and that is what it clearly says here) then this passage opposes false calvinist teachings.
Romans 8:29-30 – 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
So we are reconciled by His death, saved by His life.
Romans 5:11 – And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
But wait, there’s more! That word ‘joy’ is the same word we came across translated as ‘rejoice’ in Vs 2 above, or ‘glory’ in Vs 3, a response of man toward God. In Vs 2 – “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”. In Vs 3 we “glory (rejoice) in tribulations”. Here we “joy in God” in general, as One who is most worthy of all our praise and honour. Our rejoicing (our response to God) is enabled by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and is apparently enabled also by that reconciliation which that sacrifice brought (and bought!). It is that reconciliation that has allowed us access to the Father, without offending His infinite holiness, that allows us to gather before our Father and just rejoice (joy) in Him.
This is the reason for God providing us with full reconciliation – that we might worship Him before His throne in all eternity, not because we have been forced or ordered to do so (according to the calvinist) but because we have chosen of our own free will to do so. We weren’t just ‘fixed up’; we were returned to a full relationship with the Father.
Revelation 4:8-11 – 8And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
Note that the word ‘rejoice’ in the following is a different word to the word translated as ‘rejoice’ in Vs 5:2 & ‘joy’ in Vs 5:11 (and ‘glory’ in Vs 3). Here it is more of a greeting, or a word of farewell when parting… “May you be calmly happy as we meet or part, etc.”
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord alway: [and] again I say, Rejoice.