Peace With God
Verse 1 – Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Verse 2 – through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
Peace with God means that we have been reconciled with Him. There is no more hostility between us, no sin blocking our relationship with Him! Peace with God is possible only because Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death on the cross.
Paul states that, as believers, we now stand in a place of privilege (“this grace in which we stand”). Not only has God declared us not guilty, He has drawn us close to Him. No longer are we God’s enemies subject to His wrath. When the Bible says Jesus paid it all, He took the punishment meant for us!
Verse 3 – And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;
We not only rejoice in hope, not only in the direct results of justification, but we carry our joy into the midst of trials. What we know about our loving heavenly Father, is sufficient enough to carry us through life’s tribulations. Knowing with confidence that we are triumphant in Jesus Christ. We persevere because of that confidence, going through trials with patience.
Verse 4 – and perseverance, character; and character, hope.
The result of a long trial is to produce hope.
Verse 5 – Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Hope grows as we learn God has a future for us. Hope does not deceive. Christian hope will be fulfilled, it will not disappoint, what we hope for we shall surely obtain.
Verse 6 – For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
While we were still sinners, we were weak, because we could do nothing to save ourselves. God loved us before we ever turned to Him. Love for mankind kept Jesus on that cross.
Verse 7 – For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.
Verse 8 – But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Salvation From God’s Wrath
Verse 9 – Much more than, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.
Too many Christians believe that every time they fall short, that God is angry with them. Not so! Don’t throw what Paul is saying out the window because you feel guilty about your sin. Repent and go forward.
Sin was in the way of our salvation; Christ took the punishment we deserved and shed His blood. Being now justified – pardoned, we are purchased by His blood, and sanctified by it. This renders us sacred in the eye of God, and will keep us from punishment – from hell, which we deserved for our transgressions.
Verse 10 – For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
The love that caused Christ to die is the same love that sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and guide us. That same power lives in each Christian to have an abundant life.
Verse 11 – And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (no longer outcasts)
Contrast of Righteousness and Condemnation
Verse 12 – Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all have sinned –
Verse 13 – (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)
Verse 14 – Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
Paul has shown in previous verses that, keeping the law does not bring salvation. Here he adds that breaking the law is not what brings death. Death is the result of Adam’s sin and of the sins we all commit. For thousands of years the law had not been explicitly given, and yet people died. The law was added to help people see their sinfulness, to show the seriousness of the offenses, and to drive them to God for mercy and pardon.
The law points out sin and places the responsibility squarely on our shoulders. But the law offered no remedy. Just as Adam was a representative of a created humanity, so is Christ the representative of a new spiritual humanity – if you receive.
Verse 15 – But the fee gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.
Verse 16 – And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.
What was gained through Jesus Christ, was far greater than that which was lost through Adam.
Verse 17 – For if by one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
The evils which they suffer in consequences of the sin of Adam bear no comparison with the mercies of eternal life that shall flow to them from the work of the Savior. As the effect of Adam’s sin was to produce condemnation, so here the gift of righteousness refers to the opposite, to pardon, to justification, to acceptance with God.
Verse 18 – Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
Verse 19 – For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
Verse 20 – Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded grace abounded much more,
Verse 21 – so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
There is no one sin that is greater than God’s grace, meaning grace covers all sin. People might go their entire lives thinking they have sinned too much for God to forgive them, not so.
Paul’s teaching needs to be taught more in the church. This is the true gospel of Christ. Until believers and the lost understand that there is only “ONE WAY” to God, they will never believe that they are completely forgiven and have an eternity with Christ!