To the Romans 5:1-21

5  Therefore, now that we have been declared righteous as a result of faith,+ let us enjoy peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,+  through whom we also have obtained access by faith into this undeserved kindness in which we now stand;+ and let us rejoice, based on hope of the glory of God.+  Not only that, but let us rejoice while in tribulations,+ since we know that tribulation produces endurance;+  endurance, in turn, an approved condition;+ the approved condition, in turn, hope,+  and the hope does not lead to disappointment;+ because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit, which was given to us.+  For, indeed, while we were still weak,+ Christ died for ungodly men at the appointed time.  For hardly would anyone die for a righteous man; though perhaps for a good man someone may dare to die.  But God recommends his own love to us* in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.+  Much more, then, since we have now been declared righteous by his blood,+ will we be saved through him from wrath.+ 10  For if when we were enemies we became reconciled to God through the death of his Son,+ how much more we will be saved by his life, now that we have become reconciled. 11  Not only that, but we are also rejoicing in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.+ 12  That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin,+ and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned+—. 13  For sin was in the world before the Law, but sin is not charged against anyone when there is no law.+ 14  Nevertheless, death ruled as king from Adam down to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the same way that Adam transgressed, who bears a resemblance to the one who was to come.+ 15  But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by one man’s trespass many died, how much more did the undeserved kindness of God and his free gift by the undeserved kindness of the one man,+ Jesus Christ, abound* to many!+ 16  Also, it is not the same with the free gift as with the way things worked through the one man who sinned.+ For the judgment after one trespass was condemnation,+ but the gift after many trespasses was a declaration of righteousness.+ 17  For if by the trespass of the one man death ruled as king through that one,+ how much more will those who receive the abundance of the undeserved kindness and of the free gift of righteousness+ rule as kings+ in life through the one person, Jesus Christ!+ 18  So, then, as through one trespass the result to men of all sorts was condemnation,+ so too through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts+ is their being declared righteous for life.+ 19  For just as through the disobedience of the one man many were made sinners,+ so also through the obedience of the one person many will be made righteous.+ 20  Now the Law came on the scene so that trespassing might increase.+ But where sin abounded, undeserved kindness abounded still more. 21  To what end? So that just as sin ruled as king with death,+ so also undeserved kindness might rule as king through righteousness leading to everlasting life through Jesus Christ our Lord.+

Footnotes

Or “demonstrates (shows) his own love for us.”
Or “overflow.”

Study Notes

let us enjoy peace: Some ancient manuscripts read “we have peace.”

let us rejoice: Some ancient manuscripts read “we rejoice.” The Greek verb used here could also be rendered “exult; boast.”

let us rejoice: Some ancient manuscripts read “we rejoice.” The Greek verb used here could also be rendered “exult; boast.”

endurance: The Greek noun hy·po·mo·neʹ is used in the Scriptures to denote the courageous, steadfast, or patient “endurance” of a person who does not lose hope in the face of obstacles, persecutions, trials, or temptations. The related verb hy·po·meʹno, rendered “to endure,” literally means “to remain (stay) under.” It is often used in the sense of “remaining instead of fleeing; standing one’s ground; persevering; remaining steadfast.” (Mt 10:22; Ro 12:12; Heb 10:32; Jas 5:11) When a Christian patiently and steadfastly endures trials with divine help, he proves that he has endurance.

hope: In the Bible, the basic sense of the Greek term el·pisʹ, used here, is “expectation of good.” In this context, Paul mentions hope last in a series​—after tribulation, endurance, an approved condition. So he is obviously not referring to the initial hope gained by accepting the good news from God. Rather, he is referring to a reinforced hope that a Christian can gain after enduring. When a Christian faithfully endures trials, he realizes that he has God’s approval. This realization strengthens his initial hope.​—Heb 6:11.

does not lead to disappointment: The Greek phrase, which basically means “does not put to shame,” shows that a person whose faith in God is genuine will not be ashamed or disappointed. The passive form of the same Greek verb (rendered “be disappointed”) is used at Ro 9:33; 10:11; 1Pe 2:6.

ungodly men: Or “irreverential ones.” Though often used of wicked men (2Pe 2:5; Jude 4), the term is here used to include all redeemable, sinful humans who are alienated from God.​—Col 1:21.

make your peace: The Greek expression has been defined “to change from enmity to friendship; to become reconciled; to be restored to normal relations or harmony.” So the goal is to effect a change by removing, if possible, ill will from the offended person’s heart. (Ro 12:18) Jesus’ point is that maintaining good relations with others is a prerequisite for enjoying good relations with God.

reconciled to God: The Greek verb ka·tal·lasʹso, used twice in this verse and twice in the passage at 2Co 5:18, 19, has the basic meaning “to change; to exchange.” It came to mean “to change from hostility to a friendly relationship.” As used of man’s relationship with God, it means to bring back into harmony or to cause to be friendly again. Paul used this verb when speaking of a woman’s being “reconciled with her husband” from whom she was separated. (1Co 7:11) The related verb di·al·lasʹso·mai appears at Mt 5:24 in Jesus’ instructions to “make . . . peace with your brother” before presenting an offering on the altar. (See study note on Mt 5:24.) Mankind needs to be reconciled to God because the first man, Adam, was disobedient, and he passed sin and imperfection on to all his descendants. As a result, mankind is in a state of alienation from God; they are at enmity with God, whose standards do not allow for his condoning wrongdoing.​—Ro 5:12; 8:7, 8.

the world: The Greek word koʹsmos is closely linked with mankind in secular Greek literature and particularly so in the Bible. (See study note on Joh 1:10.) In this context, koʹsmos refers to the entire world of redeemable mankind who at Joh 1:29 are described as being guilty of “sin,” that is, sin inherited from Adam.

because they had all sinned​—: In this verse, Paul explains the basic truth about how sin and death spread to all humans. This explanation agrees with the theme of the book of Romans: God is impartial and holds out the possibility of salvation to all sinful humans having faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice. Paul explains that both Jews and non-Jews are sinners and need to exercise faith in Jehovah God and in the ransom of his Son to gain a righteous standing with God. (Ro 1:16, 17) The world mentioned here refers to the world of mankind. (See study note on Joh 3:16.) The dash at the end of the verse (some scholarly editions of the Greek text also have a dash here) indicates a break in Paul’s reasoning that seems to resume in verse 18. So the idea seems to be: In verse 12, Paul begins a comparison with Adam (“Just as through one man” all became sinners) and completes his line of reasoning in verse 18 (“so too through one act of justification the result to men of all sorts is their being declared righteous for life”) and in verse 19. Thus, through Jesus’ entire course of integrity, culminating in his death, it was made possible for many to attain righteousness and salvation by their faith.

the law of the spirit . . . the law of sin and of death: In this context, “law” does not refer to a particular law, or rule, such as those found in the Mosaic Law. Rather, the term is here used in the broader sense of a principle that guides a person’s actions​—a powerful influence that like a law inclines people to act in a certain way. (See study note on Ro 2:12.) Paul contrasts the law, or strong influence, of God’s spirit that leads to life with the law, or strong influence, of the fallen flesh that leads to sin and death. Of course, all descendants of Adam feel within themselves the strong influence of “sin’s law” inclining them toward what is wrong. (Ro 7:23) But they can choose to follow the law of God’s spirit, not fleshly desires, to influence their actions in a positive direction.​—Ro 7:21-25.

death ruled as king: Death is here described as a “king” ruling over people from the time of Adam; it rules along with another “king,” sin. (Ro 6:12) These kings figuratively enforce their “law,” or strong influence, over mankind in that inherited imperfection causes humans to sin, which brings death. (Ro 7:23; see study note on Ro 8:2.) With Christ’s coming to earth and the provision of the ransom, undeserved kindness began exercising a superior kingship over those accepting God’s gift, “leading to everlasting life.”​—Ro 5:15-17, 21.

ruled as king: Many translations render the Greek verb used here, ba·si·leuʹo, simply “to rule” or “to reign.” While this is an acceptable rendering (Mt 2:22), the verb is related to the Greek noun for “king,” ba·si·leusʹ. Therefore, it may be properly rendered “to rule as king; to become king.” (Lu 19:14, 27) It is used of Jesus Christ (Lu 1:33; 1Co 15:25) and of Jehovah God (Re 11:15, 17; 19:6), who rule as kings in heaven. Additionally, it is used in connection with faithful spirit-anointed Christians, who have the hope of ruling “as kings over the earth.” (Re 5:10; 20:4, 6; 22:5; Ro 5:17b) In this context, however, Paul uses the term figuratively with regard to sin, death, and undeserved kindness.

who bears a resemblance to the one who was to come: The first human, Adam, bears a resemblance to Jesus Christ, whose coming was promised in the garden of Eden when Jehovah God was about to sentence Adam and Eve. (Ge 3:15) Adam and Jesus were both perfect humans. Also, both were fathers; Adam was the natural father of the sinful human race. (Ge 1:28) Jesus is a father in the sense of being God’s Chief Agent of life and the “Eternal Father” of obedient humans. (Isa 9:6; Ac 3:15) Adam disobeyed God and became father to a race of sinners; their Redeemer, Jesus, had to be a perfect man like Adam in order to cancel their debt of sin. This is in harmony with the principle “life . . . for life.” (De 19:21) Thus, Paul said at 1Co 15:45: “It is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living person.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” The Greek word rendered “resemblance” is tyʹpos, literally meaning “type” or “pattern,” so the phrase “who bears a resemblance to the one” could also be rendered “who is a type (pattern) of him.” However, Jesus’ absolute obedience to Jehovah bore no resemblance to Adam’s rebellious disobedience.

one act of justification: Or “one righteous act.” The Greek word di·kaiʹo·ma may denote an action that meets the expectations of what is right or just. In this context, it refers to Jesus’ entire life course of flawless integrity to God, including his sacrifice. Jesus was the only human who through test stood righteous before God on his own merit. His “act of justification” resulted in his being acknowledged as righteous by God. It also qualified him to serve as God’s anointed King-Priest in heaven and provided the basis for declaring righteous those who exercise faith in him.​—Ro 3:25, 26; 4:25; 5:17-19.

a declaration of righteousness: Or “an act of justification.”​—See study note on Ro 5:18.

one act of justification: Or “one righteous act.” The Greek word di·kaiʹo·ma may denote an action that meets the expectations of what is right or just. In this context, it refers to Jesus’ entire life course of flawless integrity to God, including his sacrifice. Jesus was the only human who through test stood righteous before God on his own merit. His “act of justification” resulted in his being acknowledged as righteous by God. It also qualified him to serve as God’s anointed King-Priest in heaven and provided the basis for declaring righteous those who exercise faith in him.​—Ro 3:25, 26; 4:25; 5:17-19.

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