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  • Romans Chapter Five

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    Fifth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans

    Introduction to Romans Chapter IV

     

    So far Paul has brought us through some very important doctrinal and theological grounds. Let’s summarize quickly what the Holy Spirit, through Paul, has shown us thus far.

    In Chapter One, Paul has introduced the good news , the Gospel, the power of God for Salvation for all that believe. In the same chapter Paul begins to introduce to us also the bad news and why the Gospel is needed. He shows how mankind completely rejects what is possible to know about God, that God has made it possible to know that He exists and that He is the One and Only Living God, but man is both unwilling and incapable to believe in Him and to seek Him and because of this mankind is abandoned into sin and idolatry, which they choose instead of God. Man is a wicked sinner and knows that he deserves God’s judgment in the form of death and yet not only he continues to sin he also approves all who sin.

    Chapter Two is addressed to the religious Jews. Paul explains God’s different facets of judgment on man and the deeds of man. Paul explains the Jews’ religious hypocrisy and that the moral law of God is written on the hearts of mankind known through man’s conscience. Paul explains that circumcision in itself, the Jewish religion although based upon the knowledge of the true God is useless and that only true faith and that in Christ by the way is the only thing God accepts, this is called the spiritual circumcision or circumcision of the heart. regeneration and both Jews and Gentiles can have it.

    In Chapter Three Paul gives God’s point of view of mankind, all of mankind, both Jews and Gentiles God has placed under sin. Mankind is completely wicked and completely unable to seek and to want to do God’s will, in other words completely enslaved to sin. Righteousness cannot be obtained through the deeds of the law, rather God’s righteousness and justification is available for all people who believe in Christ through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection.

    Chapter Four is the great chapter of FAITH. Abraham is mentioned as the example of faith, in fact, as the spiritual father of those who believe in Christ as Christ is his seed, in the flesh, nevertheless the promised seed by God through Abraham, through which all the nations of the world would be blessed [Genesis 12:2-3],[John 3:16-17]. True faith in this chapter is also explained as well as justification and righteousness and that these are imputed to men through it. The chapter continues with a great comment on faith, which is believing in what God says and also believing in His omnipotence to do what He says He will do although it is naturally impossible. The chapter ends with a great comment regarding what Jesus did for the redeemed and how faith appropriates Jesus’ work and virtues in man’s behalf, man through faith in Christ is righteous and justified in Christ, through His death and resurrection.

    Now we come to Chapter Five. This chapter will begin describing the grace and great work of God’s salvation and how it is applied to the believer by faith.

    Now Paul begins to make the Gospel personal. In this chapter Paul begins now to describe doctrinally and also practically the implications of the Gospel in the life of the believer.

    Paul explains what the great gift of God’s grace consists of, God is now reconciled through Jesus with those who believe. Paul will address also the security of the believer as well as reiterating that Jesus died while we were still sinners, wicked sinners, once again confirming that it is by God’s grace, unmerited favor, that we are saved. Paul then will explain the universality of the sinful nature, how mankind wound up in such a completely corrupt sinful nature and how as through the sin, disobedience of one man Adam, all men are made sinners and therefore they die. This is the reason why sin and death exist. He also explains how by the obedience of one man, Jesus, many will have their sins forgiven and will be made spiritually alive in Him.

    These next chapters 5-6-7-8 and 9 will be richly filled with doctrine but also how the Gospel is to work and affect the life of the believer. Theological and doctrinal truths are to be studied and understood and believed. In other words, when we place our faith even in doctrinal truths through which we learn how God truly is, we experience change in our lives. Our worship of God becomes evermore conformed to how God wants it to be, and so should we as well, as we worship God as he is truly revealed in Scripture, the true image of God. This is how we get to know God. This my friends should change our life and the way we behave as well.

    Romans Chapter V

    Romans Chapter V Verses I to II

     

    1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 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.

    Once again Paul begins a new thought with the word “therefore”, this indicates that the new thought in reality is connected with the previous subject mentioned.

    So Paul is saying, because of what we saw previously, in other words having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now being justified, in other words being rendered righteous, guilt of sin removed, this occurred by the exercising of true faith, we have now peace with God. Sin was what was rendering us the enemies of God, what separates mankind from God is man’s sinful nature and also sin itself. Because of sin man cannot be God’s friend but is rebellious to God and therefore God’s enemy. Sinners belong to Satan and who belongs to Satan, God’s ultimate enemy, is also enemy of God. We know that the whole world lays in the arms of the wicked one.

    1 John 5:19 We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.

    Now in [Romans 3:17] Paul quoting the OT is describing for us that the sinner, the man devoid of the Spirit of God, knows not the way of peace.

    We also had seen that the way of peace was, in fact, the only way to obtain peace with God and peace of God and that this WAY is Jesus Himself [John 14:6].

    We also saw that the world pursues a form of peace that is always fleeting because it does not reside with and in God. Without being at peace with God mankind cannot know real peace nor can it ever achieve being at peace one with another. See how difficult it is at times to be at peace within the church and then tell me if it is even remotely possible for mankind to be at peace. It is impossible! Also people seek inner peace as well which is also impossible to achieve if not being at peace with God.

    The only way that the world would have true peace was if indeed the world was at peace with God, but the world does not want to be at peace with God even though He provided the way to be at peace with Him, that way is Jesus, as He even said in

    John 14:6 I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by me.

    He is the ONLY way to obtain peace with God.

    You see, what Paul tells us now is good news for us who have believed, who have practiced true faith, the gift that God gave us by His grace has access to the peace that the world longs for but cannot have apart from God, peace with God and the peace of God.

    Now, there are some people that claim that because Jesus died supposedly for the entire world, that God now is at peace with all humans. Well, is that really so? There is a problem with this doctrine. God as this verse says is not at peace with the world, He is at peace with those who believing in Jesus Christ have been justified by faith, therefore, because we have been justified by faith we have peace with God. In other words, the enmity between us who have believed and God has been removed, we are no longer enemies of God but have peace, we are at peace with Him.

    We were once enemies of God so that we see then that the world is still at war with God, mankind is the enemy of God not because God wants it that way, but because man desires it to be that way.

    Paul began early in this epistle making sure we realized that God is not at all seeing mankind outside of Christ in a friendly way [Romans 1:18-32];[Romans 3:10-19].

    He is being patient with His enemies however for the sake of the elect [Romans 9:20-24], those He has chosen to save, [Ephesians 1:4-6], [2 Timothy 2:10] bringing them to salvation [Acts 13:48] and it is they who believe that have peace with Him. It is evident in Scripture that the world and anyone who belongs to the world are enemies of God even after Jesus’ work of redemption.

    James 4:4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

    Romans 8:7-8 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Those who are still natural unredeemed persons are still enemies of God, they do not have at all peace with God. God is not their friend at all.

    Ephesians 2:1-4 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    God tells us that for the wicked there is no peace, no peace with God, no peace of God.

    Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, When it cannot rest, Whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 “There is no peace,” Says my God, “for the wicked.”.

    So the sinner, as opposed to popular view in the church, is God’s enemy. Now, is Jesus a friend of sinners? Yes and no. He is a friend of sinners who by His grace are saved, then through Jesus’ work are reconciled to God and therefore have peace with God. He has proved to love sinners by dying for many on the cross, to redeem them from sin and death. However, those people who remain impenitent and rebellious to God and disobedient to the Gospel will be recipients of God’s wrath and judgment, they will remain God’s enemies.

    2 Thessalonians 1:6-10 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.

    We see here in this passage that those who refuse to know God and to obey the Gospel which commands men everywhere to believe and repent, will be judged in eternal destruction alienated from the presence of the Lord and the glory of His power. See also [Acts 17:30-31].

    These are the enemies of God. Right now God endures with patience His enemies while He has mercy upon the vessels chosen for glory. See following passages that confirm this [Romans 9:22-23],[2 Peter 3:9]. In a sense God is merciful at this time also with those whom He knows will not believe, His enemies. He does not judge them immediately but endures with them patiently showing them, His enemies, common grace and mercy [Matthew 5:44-45],[Psalms 145:9].

    This could confirm also the mercy of God displayed in what Jesus meant in the parable in

    Matthew 13:27-30 “He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The servants said to him, ‘Do you want us then to go and gather them up?’ 29 “But he said, ‘No, lest while you gather up the tares you also uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather together the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”

    So there is no peace for the wicked, those who reject the truth of the Gospel, but an awful expectation of judgment [Hebrews 10:26-27],[Psalms 2:1-2]. But for those who, as Paul said, have been justified by faith there is peace with God.

    In fact, we see the language of this passage in Romans V is confirmed, where there is peace with God there is reconciliation.

    We have been reconciled to God through Jesus’ work of redemption. As verse one continues saying we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and later in verses 10-11 it says 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

    We will look at these verses in more detail later. Suffices to say that having peace with God means being reconciled to Him. Reconciliation means that two persons who were once estranged, separated, enemies, antithetical, opposed, are now brought together, are now at peace, are now in agreement, they are friends, they get along, they love each other.

    Scripture confirms this very fact, this next passage confirms these two verses we are studying.

    Ephesians 2:13-16 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

    This is what happens to an enemy of God when they have peace with God through Jesus Christ. Those who were alienated from God, separated by sinfulness that the law of God was condemning as sinfulness, Jesus brought near, reconciled, He is our peace with God, He obtained it, and by His sacrifice on the cross has put to death the enmity between those who have been justified by faith and God.

    Colossians 1:19-22 For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, 20 and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. 21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight (verse 22 This is what it means to be positionally righteous and justified before God in Christ)

    Many of these passages we will also look at later on in this chapter because the reconciliation that Jesus procured is a subject of this chapter. However, they are pretty clear as to what they mean. They confirm fully to [Romans 5:1].

    Now verse two continues saying

    through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Through whom Paul says once more, through Jesus we have access again by that same faith that justified us and that brought us to have peace with God, into this grace we stand. Here we need to understand well what Paul is saying.

    By grace God has given us new birth, regenerated us,[James 1:17-18],[1 Peter 1:23],[Titus 3:4-7] so that we could always, by that same grace from which we received new birth, obtain the faith which was needed to be justified.

    Then, being justified by that faith received by grace [Ephesians 2:8-9],[Titus 3:7] we have peace with God and we are reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Now through what Jesus did for us we not only have all that we have learned until now, but we have also access to this grace in which we now stand.

    Once again we need to look at, what did Jesus give us access into? What is this grace in which we stand? It is the same grace by which we have received regeneration, faith, justification and peace with God being reconciled to Him?

    Now let’s look in more detail what this grace in which we stand is. It’s the same grace that flows from God to us and continues to be available for us continuously. We stand in it, why? Because we are in Christ and through Him we have access to the Father by the Spirit, the gift that He gave us in Christ, by Christ and of Christ. This grace now continues to give us all we need to live godly lives, to grant to us all the blessings God wants to bestow upon us as His children [Ephesians 1:3-8], the constant forgiveness of our sins [1 John 1:5-9] so that our standing before God remains unaltered and unchanged [1 John 2:1-2]. Justified!

    We have access to God’s grace in which we stand, this grace is continuously available in Christ and through His ministry of High Priest in our behalf [Romans 8:29-34] and also by His Spirit who gives us access to the Father as well.

    Hebrews 4:14-16 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

    Because Jesus is our High Priest we can have bold, confident access before the throne of the Father where we may receive mercy and grace to help us in the time of our need. The time of our need is every day, every minute for all our lives. We need to obtain these, mercy and grace, always in our life.

    These are God’s blessings for our life, His grace and mercy, without which we can do nothing [John 15:4-5]. We have received mercy and grace for our conversion but these do not stop there, we need them always and constantly all our life. God’s supply of these, however, never ends for us, it is a well that never runs dry.

    This is why God charged His people in the OT of denying Him, His grace and mercy and provisions, by digging for themselves cisterns which could not hold water, symbolically speaking. God was accusing them of choosing other things, false gods and their flesh other than the water of His Spirit which He would have given them.

    Jeremiah 2:11-13 Has a nation changed its gods, Which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory For what does not profit. 12 Be astonished, O heavens, at this, And be horribly afraid; Be very desolate,” says the LORD. 13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water.

    The never running out water that would flow from Him [John 4:13-14],[John 7:38-39], also His grace, which never runs out and is always sufficient for us no matter what our needs are [2 Corinthians 12:8-9].

    God’s grace is a never ending, as all that is part of God is as He is, eternal, inexhaustible, immortal, His grace is ALL we need to live.

    Philippians 4:19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

    Ephesians 2:17-18 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

    The Holy Spirit is God’s ultimate gift to His children a gift we ALL receive with salvation.

    John 7:38-39 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

    As we see the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is synonymous with receiving Christ, salvation, there are no other conditions, the giving of the Holy Spirit is unconditional upon the saved person and not upon those who ask for it subsequently to their salvation or in some way deserve to receive it because of their status of consecration to God. God gives the Spirit without measure to ALL His children [John 3:34].

    So that by this one Spirit we may have access to the Father and this my friends is having access to this grace, God’s grace in which we stand.

    Ephesians 3:11-12 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.

    Once again this passage rich in doctrinal truths tells us almost mirroring the passage of [Hebrews 4:14-16], we have access to God with boldness and confidence through faith in Christ, once again this is to obtain God’s blessings of His inexhaustible grace for us.

    So we understand that God’s grace toward His children is something to which we have access through Jesus Christ’s work of redemption, this grace is given to us as a gift from God, which grace includes the gift of saving faith, which includes ALL the blessings God has in store for us and this grace we need to receive constantly, it is not something that ends or that is limited to the episode of our conversion only. ALL the aspects of Christian life are blessed by God’s grace.

    We are saved by grace through faith, we live by faith in the grace that has been given us and that we can obtain because we have access to it now confidently and boldly through the promises of His word through Christ Jesus our Lord as we just read in the passages above, this is through God’s Spirit [Ephesians 2:17-18].

    Here we see all three persons of the Trinity at work in the dispensation of God’s grace to us. The Father who is the One who gifts us of His grace, the persons through which He does this are Jesus through whom the access (the Way) is made and the Holy Spirit through whom God applies ALL He has provided. This is also why it is essential that EVERY believer MUST HAVE ALL the Holy Spirit and not just a measure. We will also see the application of the Holy Spirit’s work ahead in this chapter also, see [Romans 5:5].

    2 Corinthians 1:19-23 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us–by me, Silvanus, and Timothy–was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us. 21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, 22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

    In the NT the word grace is mentioned 129 times and the majority of the times it is mentioned to describe the gift of God’s salvation. However, we must realize that the believer’s salvation is not where God’s grace ends but where it begins. As I said before God’s grace continues through the life of the believer and is culminated in the glorification of the believer. This is because salvation is not in itself only one isolated episode in time, it is a continuing process, that has a beginning and never ends really, because it is an eternal gift and an eternal reality.

    The grace that the believer receives actually began even before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:3-11], it is applied at the moment of regeneration by God’s Spirit through Jesus’ work of redemption and it continues for the duration of the physical life of the believer, it culminates in the glorification of the believer [Ephesians 2:4-8],[Philippians 1:6] and therefore it remains forever as the believer lives forever in the love and presence of God completely saved and delivered. By His grace we are saved, continue to be saved and will be completely saved right into eternity

    God’s grace is needed then continuously and it is continuously available to those who are in Christ. God’s grace is what provides for us all that we need in our life. We need it and receive it for the forgiveness of our continuous sins [Ephesians 1:23], grace is God’s provision for all we need in our life, both financially, physically and spiritually.

    2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.

    God’s spiritual gifts are given by grace and not because we ask or deserve them [Ephesians 4:7],[1 Corinthians 12:4-13],[1 Peter 4:10-11], so to our friends who insist we must ask for certain gifts or even deserve them , a little reminder, grace cannot be deserved in any way otherwise it ceases to be grace [Romans 4:4],[Romans 11:6]. One can ask God for grace but the specifics of the spiritual gifts are given by God’s grace in accordance with His perfect will and purpose

    Romans 12:4-6a For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them:

    1 Corinthians 12:11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

    God’s grace is an undeserved blessing of God and that is why the Apostles often used it as a blessing they gave in their letters when addressing the other churches. I also want you to notice that often this blessing connected, in fact, both grace and peace, which is the exact context of what we find in these verses of Romans 5 that we are studying.

    2 Corinthians 1:1-2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints who are in all Achaia: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

    See also [Philippians 1:2],[Colossians 1:2],[1 Thessalonians 1:1],[2 Thessalonians 1:2],[1 Timothy 1:2],[2 Timothy 1:2],[Titus 1:4],[1 Peter 1:2], [2 Peter 1:2],[Revelation 1:4].

    As we have seen the correlation between being at peace with God and having His peace and His grace are immense, they go hand in hand, they cannot be separated such as love and truth.

    So this is the grace in which we stand, it is God’s unmerited provisions for our Christian life.
    For example in Jude 1-2 Jude gives a very interesting blessing. It reads thus

    Jude 1-2 Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ: 2 Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.

    His blessing includes mercy, peace and love to be multiplied. Why did He not mention grace like all the other writers did? Because instead of mentioning the word grace, he gave the description of it , he spelled it out for us.

    By God’s grace we are those who are called, those who are sanctified by the Father and those who are preserved in Jesus Christ. That is the description of our salvation by grace. Conversion, sanctification and perseverance that leads to glorification, which Jude then describes in the end of his epistle in the doxology when he says

    Jude 24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

    Last, but not least, we must mention that through Jesus we have peace with God and access in this faith in which we stand because this grace not only provided in Jesus Christ the forgiveness of our past sins but it is sufficient and abundantly inexhaustible to continue to forgive us our sins because of Jesus’ work of High Priestly intercession, which is also what provides for us the perseverance of our faith and justification before God.

    See [Romans 8:29-34],

    1 John 1:7-2:1 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

    There is no sin, no amount of sinfulness that can outweigh God’s grace, God’s grace is ever sufficient to cover ALL sins and every single one

    Romans 5:20-21 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Does this mean that because we are under grace now we can go on sinning? In fact, this will be the answer Paul will give us as we will see ahead. He answers this question because the question surely will arise. It will arise from those who do not yet fully comprehend the weight, the preciousness and the holiness of God’s grace. See how Paul answers:
    Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

    Romans 6:15-17 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?

    A beautiful rendition of the provisions of God’s grace in the OT are found in David’s 103rd Psalm.

    Psalms 103:1-14 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

    This is the grace of God in which we stand and in which we have access through faith in Jesus Christ, because we have now peace with God having been justified by faith in Him.

    Paul goes on now in the end of verse two saying and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. When we have peace with God and access to His grace we rejoice in the hope of glory of God.

    The hope of the glory of God is what we also mentioned before, our glorification, the end of our salvation which is going to occur at the second coming of Jesus Christ, for actually He is the hope of glory, our glorification.

    Colossians 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

    We need to qualify the meaning of the word hope in NT language. In Greek this word hope is in reality not the same word we usually use in the English language.

    In Greek the word hope means certainty, the hope of glory is a certainty of glory. This is the word elpis in Greek it means from a primary elpo (to anticipate, usually with pleasure); expectation (abstractly or concretely) or confidence:

    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    It is called hope because it is not a seen thing but yet it is a certainty in faith.

    So by faith, which is an unseen certainty of what we anticipate with pleasure, what we expect and have confidence in this end, our glory, our glorification, the end of our salvation see also [1 Peter 1:9],[Romans 8:17-18].

    Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

    1 Corinthians 15:49-58 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed– 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    This is our hope, the certainty, what we expect with pleasure and anticipation, the hope of the glory of God in which we rejoice, the end of our salvation.

    Romans 9:23-25 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    Ephesians 1:13-14 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

     

    Romans V Verses III to V

     

    3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 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.

    Paul continues, not only that he says. Not only what? What he previously said, we rejoice in God’s glory the end of our salvation our glorification, however, that is not the only thing we glory in. What does glorifying God really mean? We are glorified, that is we are rewarded undeservedly by God, in other words we receive eternal life in His presence and we are exalted to a high position in God. This is done, however, so that God receives ALL the glory. So God receiving ALL the glory means us being able to boast or glory ONLY in God, in His grace, mercy, goodness, love and faithfulness to us who do not deserve it. We will boast in our God forever, praising Him forever for who He is and what He has done for us undeserving sinners.

    In the Bible the word boast and glory are often interchanged and used instead of the other in different translations. So giving glory to God is boasting in Him. ALL praise and glory and adoration to Him. That’s boasting or glorying in God alone.

    He who glories glory in the Lord the Bible says. For we can only boast in the Lord as He has done everything for us. He chose us by grace and mercy out of damnation to be in Christ before the foundation of the world [Ephesians 1:4-14]. He sent Jesus to live a perfectly obedient life and fulfill all of God’s law in our behalf [Matthew 5:17-18],[Romans 8:1-4],[Romans 10:4]. He sent Him to die in our place so that through His sacrifice He forgave all our sins [John 3:14-17],[Romans 3:20-26],[Ephesians 2:13-19],[Colossians 1:13-21], [Colossians 2:13-14] He who knew no sin became sin for us [2 Corinthians5:21] . He raised Jesus from the dead so that by His life and High Priestly ministry we can be justified and give us eternal life through His life[Romans 4:25],[Romans 29-34],[Ephesians 2:1-7],[Colossians 2:9-13],[Hebrews 4:14-16],[Hebrews 7:24-27]. He has sent His Spirit to regenerate us, the elect [John 3:3-9],[John 6:63] and convict us of sin, righteousness and judgment and to give us faith so we could believe. His Spirit therefore applied the work of Jesus redemption to us. His Spirit by His grace gave us gifts, sanctifies us and by His grace and intercession we persevere in faith to the end of our salvation and are glorified in Christ and with Christ. So what did we do? We believed by grace and this was accounted to us for righteousness, so we have NOTHING to glory in or boast about except God who by His grace did everything and gave us everything to be saved. Otherwise, we would have certainly remained in unbelief and therefore in damnation.

    1 Corinthians 1:29-31 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption– 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

    Christ is the glory of God. We, in Christ, therefore will be glorified and glorify God as we will glory in Him and His works toward us.

    However, now Paul, in this verse in which we are looking, says that we are to glory or boast in something else. What is it that we also must glory in other than God Himself ?

    Our tribulations. Wow, glory or boast in tribulations? Why? Well Paul and the rest of Scripture explains to us why. Paul explains, we glory also in our tribulations because these produce, in a person who has true saving faith, perseverance and patience and these produce character and this produces also hope, verse 4. Let’s stop here!

    Tribulations are God’s refining fire. The fire that tests our faith, refines our faith, strengthens our faith, stretches our faith, producing perseverance. If we have received and exercised true saving faith this although tested will be proven genuine by perseverance. Our faith more precious than gold when tested by the fire of affliction WILL produce perseverance and in the end it gives glory to God.

    1 Peter 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, 8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9 receiving the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.

    Our faith, more precious than gold that perishes, WILL NOT perish. It will persevere through the fire of tribulation, proving to be real as opposed to false [Matthew 13:20-22].

    One of the tribulations that believers will encounter for sure is persecution for Christ’s sake. When we endure this tribulation with perseverance, not only does this prove that our faith is genuine but look at what Peter again has to say in regard to this:

    1 Peter 4:12-14 Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 13 but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. 14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

    See, we are tried by the fiery trial of persecution, through which we partake of Christ’s sufferings so that when His glory is revealed we may be exceedingly joyous as now we are blessed because through these tribulations the Spirit of GLORY rests upon us and through this we glorify God.

    Yes, it is the believer not the unbeliever, the righteous not the unrighteous who are destined to tribulations in this life, for it is through many tribulations that we must enter the Kingdom of God

    Acts 14:21-22 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”

    It seems antithetical that saying “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” is something that would exhort and strengthen the soul to continue in the faith and yet it is so. This kind of exhortation and encouragement, even as Peter did, and Paul and Jesus, is something that does not discourage rather encourages, strengthens, because as we said the tribulations we endure are permitted in our life because they strengthen us, make us stronger in faith.

    Paul himself encouraged us to glory in all kinds of tribulations, why? Because then God’s grace would prove sufficient. Here we go back even in the previous verses’ context regarding God’s grace, the grace in which we stand. Now in tribulations God’s grace becomes sufficient for us as His power is displayed through our weakness. So our weaknesses give way to God’s strength which becomes our strength and therefore makes us stronger in faith, faith in Him not us obviously.

    2 Corinthians 12:8-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    Tribulations, in fact, as we look again at the subject of glory, when we will be in glory and glorifying God, are also something that will reveal God’s glory in us.

    Romans 8:16-19 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    These are the reasons why we do not lose heart, instead we are encouraged and strengthened in our soul, because even though the tribulations are real and even severe they are light afflictions and they are very short and momentary, temporary compared to what they are actually producing, a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. The difference is this, the tribulations we experience are light and temporary while the glory we will experience is heavy and eternal. We not only will give glory to God forever we will personally experience the fulness of the grandeur of God’s glory which our mortal and temporal minds cannot fathom now.

    That we should then be strong and not lose heart is reiterated and confirmed by Jesus Himself when He told His disciples and also us.

    John 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

    So now we have seen the beginning of why we also glory in tribulations because they build perseverance in our life. This happens because instead of discouraging us they make us look to God who by His grace gives us His strength and power and comfort so that these also build up perseverance.

    Now perseverance, Paul says, produces another thing, this also because of the tribulations in our life. These tribulations in God’s hands generate many good things for us, do they not? That is why we can glory and rejoice in them.

    Paul says tribulations beget perseverance which begets character. Character, what character? Well first of all let me say that James practically says the exact same thing Paul is saying here.

    James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

    This is really what Paul is saying as he spelled it out in a more detailed way than James. James gave the general result of tribulations’ work.

    However, James also is telling us to glory in our trials, he says count it all joy, be joyous that your faith is tested because it will produce patience or perseverance, this will also produce the maturity and the completeness of the believer.

    What is that perfection or completeness and lack of nothing James is referring to? Well, it’s the same thing Paul is mentioning here in Romans. In other words character, the believer’s character. So let us ask the question again, what is this character?

    It is being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, it is His character that needs to be developed in us, that is what Paul and James are talking about.

    This is also what Paul was meaning in the passage we have seen beforehand.

    2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

    In essence our physical body is perishing outwardly but our spiritual man is being renewed day by day, being transformed into the image of Christ. This is what is called sanctification and it is wroth in us by God using primarily trials and tribulations, through which also is His correction and discipline, see also [Hebrews 12:5-11].

    This is, in essence, among all the many other rich truths the passage reveals, what [Romans 8:28-39] is saying.

    I will briefly expose this passage in the light of our context and also its own context as well. Paul through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is giving us so many truths in this passage. Let’s look at some.

    First ALL things work together for the good of them who are the called according to God’s purposes, those who love God. He also predestined these to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

    God’s goal, this is what Paul is saying here, is that every thing, tribulations especially, work together for the good of God’s elect, chosen ones – those He has predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. This is twofold.

    One is the formation of Jesus’ character in the believer. The second is actually the image of Christ’s being we will receive in glory, when the believer will have the perfection of Christ’s character and the likeness of His being [Romans 6:5],

    1 Corinthians 15:48-49 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

    1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

    These passages confirm, we are God’s children and that we will be like Him in character and likeness. Us whom He predestined or preordained, He also called. This call is an external call through the Gospel and an internal call, the call of the Spirit of God, Christ’s voice who calls us to life out of our spiritual grave, out of our spiritual deadness. We will also later hear His voice calling our body out of the grave when our spirit will be rejoined with our body and resurrected and glorified, into the image of the heavenly man, Jesus Christ [John 5:24-29].

    Many are the called, external call, but few the elect or the chosen, the internal call of God’s Spirit.

    Many are called externally to become obedient to the Gospel call, but only a few of these many heed the external call because the internal call belongs only to those God predestined, or elected, or chose to be conformed to the image of Christ, which is, His character and His likeness.

    They, the called by the Spirit, God’s children, the saved, He also justified and those He justified He also glorified. This is all written in the past tense indicating actually that the pre-planned work of redemption in Christ in God’s view is already accomplished, it’s a done deal.

    That is why Paul continues to describe Jesus’ High Priestly work for us, so that we may know that throughout all the tribulations we endure, those tribulations and situations mentioned in the [Romans 8:28-39] passage will not destroy us and harm us in any way because we are protected by the intercession ministry of Jesus. Also because we are predestined by God to bear the image of His Son, His character will be formed in us through these trials and tribulations.

    Our faith will persevere because we are predestined to bear the image of Jesus and our faith will become stronger and God’s plan for us will be fulfilled. Jesus’ character will be formed in us through these tribulations that we will endure, as we will be confident as Paul was, that all of those things will work for our good for the reasons mentioned.

    This is our victory, in ALL these tribulations we are more than conquerors through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    God’s end for us is to conform us to the image of His Son Jesus, that’s the process of our sanctification, that is what God’s goal is.

    So we glory in tribulations because they produce in us perseverance which produces in us the character of Christ, becoming like Him more and more. We will not be able to achieve perfection in this lifetime but God’s plan is that of producing it in us in glory, that’s bearing His perfect character and likeness [Philippians 3:7-16].

    Now, tribulations have produced perseverance and perseverance is forming Christ’s character in us as God sanctifies us. Now as His character is formed in us this produces hope.

    Hope…we saw previously that the word hope has a different meaning in Greek than it does in English.

    The word hope, let’s look at it again, in the Greek is elpida, again a form of the word elpis. Once more this word is not used as we use it in English. In English hope is not a certainty or an assurance, rather it means to desire with expectation of obtainment. It is not a surety. However, it is a desire to obtain something without really having the certainty that this something will be obtained. There are uncertainties in the English use of the word hope.

    In Greek instead it means to anticipate, usually with pleasure; expectation or confidence.

    As we did already mention in the context of faith, biblical hope is not an uncertainty but a yet unseen certainty. Something we await for with confidence knowing that it will happen, there are no doubts in biblical hope. This hope is, in fact, our confidence – trust in what God said. It is confident expectation of God’s promised blessing. Which blessing? Our final state of salvation, being glorified, being transformed in the image and likeness of Him who saved us. So this hope is not such as something too good to be true that may or may not occur.

    Paul said a very interesting thing in

    Romans 8:24-25 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

    This is really also what he is communicating to us also at this point of Romans 5:4, the language is almost the same. God saved us in this hope. Not by this hope nor through this hope but in it – in the grace of God in which we stand, salvation. But remember that salvation is not one single episode rather a continuing status in which we live by God’s grace in Christ.

    We were saved, we are being saved, and we will be eternally saved. Now in this hope is the future salvation, the end of our salvation, our glorification in eternity, this is the hope, the certainty of God’s work and promise. Yet we do not see this part of our salvation, it is unseen because it is future. So that is why Paul says but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? That is really the whole descriptive explanation Peter gives us in [1 Peter 1:3-9].

    Although in God’s program and work our salvation is already completed, done, finished, it yet has to work itself out to actual fulfillment in time. In the eternal state and in God’s mind it is all done, in our life it needs to be completed. So that if we already had the end of our salvation, in other words if we were already glorified and in the eternal state, it would be fulfilled and it would then be seen.

    Hope that is seen then is not hope, rather hope that is already fulfilled. If we were already glorified we would not then be awaiting for this to be fulfilled in our life. Instead hope, although confident of its final fulfillment, has to be waited to be fulfilled.

    Paul, therefore, says we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Here again perseverance, patience is mentioned, that is exactly why this fits in what we have been studying in [Romans 5:3-4]. We are being saved by God, this is a certainty.

    Within this process of being saved God allows tribulations in our life. We need to learn to glory, boast and be rejoicing in these tribulations because they produce the perseverance in our life, in our state of being saved, our sanctification which is to be transformed in the image of Jesus, receiving His character. Through the perseverance produced in us through those tribulations we await eagerly through the hope produced the transformation of His likeness in glory, the end of our salvation.

    This is also why Paul says we persevere in tribulations, because we know that the suffering and the pain that the tribulations cause are light and temporal when compared with our inheritance that is awaiting us, that is Christ Jesus Himself in us the hope of glory – when this hope and this glory will become actualized reality in our life. I hope that makes sense to you.

    We have seen a few of the passages that support this fact even before, see [Romans 8:16-19],[2 Corinthians 4:16-18].

    Now Paul says, this hope, the hope we have in our future glory and eternity does not disappoint. You see, when we hope in God and His promises [Acts 24:14-16], when God is our confidence, we will never be disappointed [Psalms 43:5]. Whoever puts his hope, his trust in Him will never be put to shame [Romans 10:11]. God will not disappoint us ever.

    Paul continues then, hope does not disappoint us, it will not disappoint us because we are hoping in God and His promises, a faithful God who cannot lie. We had seen this attribute of God brought forth by Paul in [Romans 3:4] and confirmed also in [Romans 4:21].

    You see, faith generates hope, hope is the child of faith, that is what is said in Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    This is also why the tribulations mentioned before are designed to test and strengthen our faith, so it really produces hope. This is all based, however, on the veracity and faithfulness of God. There is, however, a very important element that plays an essential part in our salvation and therefore our hope, and that is why hope in God does not disappoint us – not only His veracity and faithfulness, but also and foremost for us the love He demonstrated and demonstrates toward us.

    Now this would open a great big context, something in which we could easily lose ourselves. God’s love is such a vast subject we could spend our life looking only at it. We cannot do this obviously so we will try to limit ourselves to remain strictly in the immediate context of this passage.

    So Paul now says this Romans 5:5 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.

    So hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who was given to us. It is, in fact, through the certainty we have of God’s love for us that we know that our hope will not disappoint. On what does the fulfillment of our hope, of our salvation, hinge upon besides God’s veracity and faithfulness? His love.

    It is His love that makes us sure of our standing before Him and of His provisions for us, provisions that by His grace are demonstrated in the love He has for us. One very important book in the Bible that explains this concept to us is the epistle of 1 John. John really is the Apostle, Jesus’ disciple, who better describes for us God’s love. Both in the Gospel he wrote as well as the epistles he wrote, God’s love for His children is on the forefront. What John does as well is he ties in the assurance of our salvation with the love God has for us, that’s the guarantee of God’s love, His salvation and His salvation is the guarantee of God’s love for His children.

    Now from the beginning John in his Gospel describes God’s love. His love for the elect out of the entire world, not only of Israel. Yes, God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life, John 3:16.

    God’s love for humanity was the attribute that motivated Him to prepare His plan of salvation for man.

    Now humanity in its sinfulness, all of it, is considered enemy of God, separated from God. Every individual that is not in Christ is NOT a child of God rather is a child of the devil [John 8:42-44] and a child of God’s wrath [Ephesians 2:1-3]. It is a grave mistake to call unredeemed persons children of God, they are not. As well as ALL human beings who are not in Christ cannot be called by born-again believers who are in Christ, brothers and sisters, they are not!

    For if they are not children of God, they cannot be brothers and sisters of those who are children of God.

    So what does make us children of God? Our being in Christ. We have read in a passage we examined previously how God made a specific statement regarding those He elected and saved.

    Romans 8:29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    Also God’s word confirms this in other places.

    Hebrews 2:11-13 For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.” 13 And again: “I will put My trust in Him.” And again: “Here am I and the children whom God has given Me.”

    This passage confirms that those who are in Christ and He who sanctifies us are all of one. We as well as Him are of God and being that Jesus is the Only begotten Son of God, all those who are in Him are then His brothers and sisters which makes them children of God, adopted children of God through Christ. So Jesus Himself calls us brothers and calls His Father also our Father, see [John 20:17].

    Yes, to all those who receive Christ He gives the power to become, what? Children of God [John 1:12-13]. So all this as we said motivated by the love God has for the people of the entire world, not Israel alone, and out of the entire world He has chosen people from every nation, tongue and tribe to make for Himself sons and daughters in Christ. All this because, yes, God is love and truth and many other things, however, He is love and now back to 1 John. John explains in this epistle many things but God’s love demonstrated in the assurance of our salvation is the main subject.

    Now, here is how we know hope in God does not disappoint us,

    1 John 3:1-3 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    1 John 4:9-10 In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    1 John 4:17-19 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

    We know hope does not disappoint us because the love God has for us was deposited in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us, we know and should have confidence in God’s love for us. God’s love as we read above is to give us confidence, boldness in the day of judgment because we are children of God and are saved from judgment by God’s love. It is God’s love that confirms to us we belong to Him.

    Now there are four more things that tell us that we are children of God and that therefore we are greatly loved by Him, four more confirmations.

    The other side of the medal of God’s love poured out in our hearts. The first one is God’s love for us, that is the origin of everything. However, God’s love poured out in the heart of the believer confirms that we are His children, and therefore, that we are loved by Him. By that same love with which He loves us, we love those who are begotten by God, our brothers and sisters in Christ.

    In fact, the continuation of the verses we read in 1 John attach the love of God for the believer to the love that the believer has for the other believers.

    This is the second confirmation that we are indeed children of God beloved by Him.

    1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

    1 John 4:20-21 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? 21 And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.

    1 John 5:1-3 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.

    The third thing that confirms we are His children and loved by Him is He to whom this love is connected to and He who is the instrument, the vehicle through which the love of God is poured out into our hearts. The Holy Spirit. It is He who pours out God’s love in us and makes it flow out of us and it is He who bears witness to our spirit that we are beloved children of God.

    1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

    Romans 8:15-17 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

    Galatians 4:4-7 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. 6 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

    The fourth confirmation of God’s love for us as beloved children. This is the demonstration of God’s love for us as children through His discipline, correction, punishment and instruction. It is the love and goodness of God that pushes us to repentance and sanctification.

    Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

    For God’s children this fact is even the demonstration of deeper love, the leading of God to repentance through His correction, discipline, correction and most of all instruction that derives from these. This is another confirmation we are indeed beloved children of God as well as these things being part of the process of our sanctification, remember? Being conformed to the image of Christ [Romans 8:29].

    Hebrews 12:5-13 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:

    “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,

    and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,

    6 because the Lord disciplines those he loves,

    and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”

    7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8 If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10 Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. 12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13 “Make level paths for your feet,

    We see in these verses that the afflictions and tribulations in the form of discipline, correction and instruction that proceed from God confirm we are His children and that we are loved by Him and that He does all this for our good, to produce in us fruit of repentance and sanctification. In fact, in verses 12-13 we find the confirmation opposite what we may usually feel, we are to be instead encouraged by the Lord’s discipline and His correction of our weaknesses because this is done to give us renewed strength, to straighten us out when we go off course and put us back on the right path, and to give us spiritual healing, often even physical healing and spiritual deliverance.

    So here we are, with these last passages we have gone full circle regarding what Paul was saying in [Romans 5:5]. Through God’s love we should have assurance, confidence that our hope in God will not disappoint us. So this assurance of God’s love for us is confirmed through God’s love in various ways by the Holy Spirit Himself, so we know that our hope, which is the hope of glory, the end of our salvation, our inheritance is sure and it will not disappoint us because if we are beloved children of God, and therefore, we are heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, through the tribulations we suffer with Him, we will be also glorified together. Because of all this we can have confidence and assurance of the love God has for us.

    In closing, this section we must look at the last words used by Paul, he says in Romans 5:5b the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

    All this, what Paul explained, is given us by the Holy Spirit. God’s love is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who…was what?

    I wanted us to look at this because here as well as the previous passages we just read, state that, the Holy Spirit was given to us, we have received Him. Given and received both stated in the past tense, not will be given as a promise yet to be received, but given as something already done in the past, already done.

    Paul also says, given to us, so does John. Us means the totality of the believers, ALL believers were given the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. All of the Spirit not only a measure.[John 3:34],[1 Corinthians 12:13]

    The Holy Spirit is God’s gift, His promise, to us ALL who believe in Christ [John 7:38-39],[Acts 2:38-39]. This to say once again that the Holy Spirit was given to us all who believed without exceptions. I do not want to go on about this just to say that this once again confirms that ALL true born-again believers, elected by God, have been given the Spirit, all of Him not a measure only, not as a future promise after salvation or at our request, rather at salvation without conditions except being one of the elect.

     

    Romans V Verses VI to XI

     

    6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

    Now Paul in verse 6 makes a very, very important statement. When we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

    I would like to focus on the first part of the verse first of all, When we were still without strength.

    Now here is again the confirmation of God’s love and mercy. We were still without strength when Jesus died for us. Yes, this also confirms the fact that we were and are apart from God’s power for salvation, morally without strength.

    In fact, the word used here in the Greek for without strength is Asthenoòn which is used to describe not only physical feebleness as when one is sick, but also lack of moral strength. We realize that Paul is not referring to physical strength or physical disease that may make one feeble. He is again mentioning the fact that the human race was and is without moral strength to be able to in some way conjure up and sustain any type of will power to be able to be spiritually and morally acceptable to God, to be justifiable by God.

    That is why Jesus who did have the strength, the power, moral and spiritual, was accepted by the Father as the acceptable sacrifice in our place.

    In place of the ungodly, as Paul states ahead in the verse.

    We must realize two things then from this first part of verse 6.

    The first thing is man is morally and spiritually devoid of any strength to be able to save himself, to be acceptable to God, to be justified, religion and all, it is powerless.

    Secondly, also look, we can even make a reference to being rendered without power as weakened by disease, spiritual disease which caused spiritual death and physical sickness and death eventually.

     

    Sin entered into mankind, and Paul actually will explain this concept later in the chapter. Sin entered as a devastating deadly poison, the serpent’s poison, Satan. Entered into the human race and spiritually killed man rendering him morally and spiritually powerless.

    However, also rendering him physically affected by this poison which at a slower rate than spiritual death nevertheless is also killing the body rendering also the flesh weak and diseased, as that is, because sin will reside in the body sin therefore affecting the body.

    (The description of this Paul gives in Romans VII) as well as the psyche for the duration of one’s life.

     

    That is why we are called to renew our mind, that’s the process of our sanctification through the Spirit and the word of God, once born again that is [Romans 12:1-2]. The natural man, the man who is still dead in his sins and trespasses cannot do any of this, he is powerless, without strength and an enemy of God. In fact, where is the enmity found? In the mind.

     

    Romans 8:5-10 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh (unredeemed mankind, not born again) but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit (born again of the Spirit) . 6 For to be carnally minded is death,(dead in sins and trespasses, see Ephesians 2:1-3) but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (born again of the Spirit) . 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

     

    Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled.

    Powerless, without strength, separated from God, enemies of God, because spiritually dead!

    So then, the human race is powerless, without strength to reach God, to accept or be accepted by God, to produce anything at all that God can accept as holy righteous and good. We have seen this sad reality exposed for us in Chapters I and III of Romans.

    Also here Paul confirms with this, and also with all he described for us previously, that mankind remains in this state of lack of moral and spiritual strength because being spiritually dead obviously cannot have any power at all. Dead people have no power to respond to any call, not even the Gospel call, right? Dead people before they respond MUST be made alive, resuscitated, otherwise they cannot do anything. This is also what Jesus was saying in

    John 5:24-26 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

    OK I want to put the emphasis on now on verse 25. Jesus here is NOT speaking of the resurrection, rather He is speaking about regeneration, followed by faith and salvation. He says “the hour is coming”, future, “and now is”, present at His time, “when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live”, what dead? The physically dead? No, not really.

    He really means the Spiritually dead , that’s the context as He previously says in verse 24 “he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life and shall not come into judgment but has passed from death to life”.

    Look, has passed from what? Death to life. He then explains how this works in verse 25. Those who are spiritually dead and hear the voice, the word of Christ, ALL those who hear WILL live. Does this preclude that there are some who would not hear? Yes, exactly. This is  why Jesus often said:

    “he who has ears to hear, let him hear?” I believe this is all connected. Some have ears but do not hear, this is also evident, is it not?

    Matthew 13:14-17 And in them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled, which says: ‘Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, And seeing you will see and not perceive; 15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ 16 “But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear.”

    All this to say that mankind is spiritually dead and a person CANNOT HEAR the voice of Jesus, to hear the person MUST BE resurrected, made alive by God, taken out of this state of death. Only when they are made alive they CAN HEAR Jesus that calls them from death to life. In fact, it is the voice of Jesus which is Spirit and it is life-giving, His words, voice, produces life, spiritual as well as physical life [John 6:63],[Hebrews 1:1-3] the same way He did with Lazarus, Jesus called him from death to life [John 11:43-44] and this works as we said, both for the spiritual resurrection as well as the physical resurrection. Therefore a person is made alive and called or called and made alive by the call, either way it happens and it happens at the same moment, called out of their lack of spiritual life so that they can willingly believe  believing His word pass from death to life. That’s what it means to be born again of the Spirit.

    Now this begs the question however, again to ask, does man have the strength and power after the atonement of Jesus to be acceptable to God?

    Yes and no.

    Yes, because now God has provided the means and the power available to man to be acceptable to God. God has provided the means and the power to receive spiritual life and, therefore, to receive the power to become children of God [John 1:12-13].

    This power, however, does not reside inside man. Man is still without moral and spiritual strength, spiritually dead, except that now through the preached Gospel the power of God is available to man Romans 1:16; [Romans 10:12-17],[1 Corinthians 1:21-24]. This power is generated by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit whom applies regeneration and salvation within the redemptive plan of God in the prescribed manner God chose it to work.

    That was the beginning argument Paul presented regarding the Gospel, remember?

    Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

    The other answer to the question does man have power after the atonement of Jesus to be morally and spiritually acceptable to God or to by himself accept God’s salvation is NO!

    No, because you see, man still has no power in himself to do anything by himself. However, now because Jesus as Paul continues in Romans 5:6b in due time Christ died for the ungodly, so because of this, now man has God’s power available.

    This Gospel, the power of God to salvation for all who believe, does not imply at all, however, that man has the power by himself to believe and accept it.

    If man is powerless, without moral and spiritual strength – spiritually dead, then this is obviously that which makes it impossible for him to even understand the Gospel never mind accept it, for it is foolishness to him, is it not?

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    If the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God and they are foolishness to him, neither can he know them, how can man receive them and believe them and know them and therefore be saved?

    I do not want to keep rewriting on this subject all the time, if you still did not understand how this works I invite you to go back again to read in the study of chapter IV what is written in the section regarding true and false faith and learn what the Scripture really teaches in regard to this subject.

    It is, however, obvious that we need to be made alive by God and become spiritually alive to be able to understand and accept and no longer consider foolish the Gospel. This would indicate that the power of the preached Gospel coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit generates spiritual life and therefore faith in the life of those who are appointed to eternal life [Acts 13:48]. See also [John 6:63],[John 16:7-14],[Romans 10:17], [Titus 3:4-7].

    1 Corinthians 1:21-24 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 22 For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; 23 but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

    So as we read Scripture carefully, God uses the message preached, the Gospel – His power for salvation, in other words, Jesus’ work of redemption to save those who believe.

    Who are they? Out of both ethnic groups, the Jews and the Gentiles, those who are the called [Romans 8:29-34]. To those called Christ becomes the power of God for salvation.

    Remember there is an external call of the Gospel message, in other words, the many who are called, and an internal call of the Spirit, the few who are called and chosen. These are made alive, given faith and believe therefore have entered in God’s salvation [Matthew 22:14].

    The text we just read precludes that there are many, perhaps the majority of people, who are not even called externally imagine internally.

    Are all men called externally by the Gospel message? No! For many never even had the privilege to hear the Gospel. Will they be damned because they did not hear and were not called? Sure, otherwise if it were not so, they could not be considered sinners and unrighteous as all the others, would they?

    If it were not so, evangelizing would be useless and worthless. Were they ever called, those who perished without hearing the Gospel? No! How could they have if they did not hear the message of salvation. How can this be reconciled with human free will only being the necessary element to believe and accept salvation?

    Those who were called to obedience to the Gospel by hearing it, were they all saved, are they all saved? No! Therefore, that confirms that there are two types of calls one external and one internal, as well as no call at all.

    It is evident that this is the case. So, we must conclude without doubt that it is God who chooses by election whom He will have mercy and compassion upon and not the free will of man that has the ability or the strength to make that moral decision. We cannot talk about it here in detail. However, yes, man certainly has free will, his will is free to make the decisions that his mind wants his will to make and this is not good news for mankind seeing that Scripture confirms that the enmity against God is in the mind. We read that before did we not?

    Again see [Romans 8:5-10] and [Colossians 1:21]. Therefore, the unredeemed mind can only and always by itself convince the will to act according to its own state, sin, death, unrighteousness.

    That the message of the Gospel has a different application and call is also evident in

    2 Corinthians 2:15-16 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life.

    Anyway, man without spiritual and moral strength is impotent before God, impotent before His wrath to stop it and impotent to somehow earn His salvation.

    However, because of all this, God demonstrated His love for us that while we were still sinners, in this condition, when we did not have anything to offer for our ransom, when we were still God’s enemies; at the opportune moment, at the chosen time, chosen by God through His plan of redemption already planned in eternity past, even before the foundation of the world, at this particular time in man’s history; Christ was sent and willingly died for the ungodly.

    Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    See also [Ephesians 1:9-10],[1 Peter 1:20].

    Christ died for the ungodly. What does ungodly mean? Without God, without the life of God, without the character of God. As Paul stated in

    Romans 3:23 for we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

    The best way one can describe the status of every human being is, we’re ungodly. The best explanation for this condition can be given only by reading what Scripture says in regard to what it means for man to be ungodly.

    These descriptions we have already seen and they are found in [Romans 1:18-32],[Romans 3:10-19]. For such people, God’s enemies – the ungodly, Jesus died. He did it for me and you my friends, as we also were sons of wrath and of disobedience, prisoners and slaves of Satan and of sin and death.

    Paul continues now saying in Romans V verses VII and VIII,

    7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

    We need to comment little here, it is very clear what Paul is saying. The words are plain and simple, even amongst mankind, scarcely, rarely for a considered righteous man one would sacrifice their life, for a considered good man perhaps someone would dare to offer their life.

    However, is mankind righteous? Is mankind good? Is there even one righteous person in the world? Are there any good people?

    Perhaps from mankind’s point of view some may think there are some righteous and good people. Some people declare that all mankind is basically good. This is because they want to feel innocent and justifiable before God and do not want to acknowledge their guilt, but it’s not so and they know it, that’s what the Bible says [Romans 1:18-32].

    We really need to stress this issue and really get it right because there are many professing Christians that do not see properly how God sees mankind and do not see clearly how God really is. This is very preoccupying because if they still see moral righteousness in man and do not see God as completely holy and righteous and mankind falling short of His glory, this begs the question how do they see themselves? Did they truly repent if they do not know the truth about their own utter sinfulness and radical moral depravity?

    1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

    However, how does God view mankind? Does He think someone is righteous or good? Well, we have seen already that Jesus died for the ungodly, and we did see how God sees mankind, let’s really get this down shall we?

    Romans 3:10-19 there is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. 13 “Their throat is an open tomb;With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

    Now, since Paul had already established previously in this epistle that no one is righteous and no one is good, that we are all spiritually dead and morally impotent, how can anyone be willing to give their life for such?

    If scarcely for a righteous man one would die, perhaps one would dare to die for a good person but for the ungodly who would be willing to die?

    No human being would be willing to offer their own life as a sacrifice for someone they would view as bad and unrighteous.

    BUT God! Wonderful conjunction. What two most blessed words! How different God is from man.

    Paul says, but God, I love when the Bible says but God because it reveals how much higher than us and how much better than us God really is. This demonstrates the love and mercy and grace that God is able to give ungodly, undeserving people. See also

    Ephesians 2:1-6 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus

    Although we were ungodly, wicked, unholy, unrighteous sinners. Although we like all the others were children of disobedience, children of the devil himself, even though we were all this, instead God demonstrates His own brand of love towards us, us who?

    Us toward whom He decided to have mercy upon and those who then have experienced His grace, love and mercy, us who are now adopted as His children, for us those on whom He chose to have mercy.

    Romans 9:14-19 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens.

     

    (I, as perhaps the majority who believe in the doctrine of election or predestination, DO NOT BELIEVE in Double Predestination, that is the doctrine that says that God actively chooses the elect and actively generated faith in them while He actively hardens other men’s hearts. We will have the explanation of this concept when we do the study in Romans 9. Suffices to say God DOES NOT directly harden people’s hearts as this would then indicate that He actively produces evil in the persons. This would be against God’s character, there is no evil in God. Rather this hardening Paul talks about, is when God removes His restraint on the evil a person already is, this makes that person be prone to be more and more evil, but it is the person who does it NOT GOD. God abandons them to their evil with less restraint upon the evil of that sinner. This is the same as the fact that God permits evil to occur while restraining it, in some cases He chooses to step back His restraint although it is never totally removed. This is good news actually, God’s restraint does prevent man and Satan and his demons to be as evil as they could be. However, it does not make a man more righteous or more good, just less evil. In addition, I DO NOT BELIEVE that God actively predestines those who go into damnation, neither does Scripture. It is Adam and Satan who have predestined in a way ALL human beings to be sinners and, therefore, to deserve eternal punishment, not God.)

    So, God’s own love is demonstrated for His enemies as Christ died for us who were His enemies. Many use this Scripture as to say that the ‘us’ Paul is referring to are every single person of the world. Is that so?

    Well. We have seen before that every single person of the world is not even called to obey the Gospel. Did Jesus die for those who were not even called to obey the Gospel and who are ungodly sinners although they did not hear the Gospel?

    If Jesus died for every single person why is not every single person given the same opportunity to hear the Gospel and repent and accept Jesus? How is it possible that Jesus’ sacrifice is for all individuals indiscriminately?

    This would mean that in hell we would find people for whose sins Jesus did expiation? If their sins would be expiated, paid for in other words, this would mean that they would have to be justifiable, why are they going to hell then? Should we conclude that these will be saved without faith in the Gospel message, them who never even heard it? They will all be saved then? This is called universalism, and it’s a false doctrine which is completely anti-scriptural.

    So to what conclusion must we arrive? This is the conclusion Christ died for US. Here the ‘us’  is not referred  as to address  every single human being, rather those who have been called and have responded to the call of the Gospel.

    To whom were the Epistles written? To believers or unbelievers? To believers right? So the US in reference are those who believed for whom Jesus died. All those who were, are and will be appointed to eternal life believe and it is for these that Jesus died, that’s the us in question [Acts 13:48].

    Certainly the us in question includes those who still have to come to faith in Christ but it is evident that it does not refer to everyone in the world indiscriminately, but to those who heard and will hear the voice of Him who calls and believe in Him and Him who sent Him.

    See again [John 5:24-26] .

    Now we need to understand something and understand it well here. God views all of mankind, no one excluded, except Jesus that is, as unrighteous and ungodly, we have already seen this.

    However, there is a very important component that many people do not really understand nor do they realize. God not only rightly views us the way He does, ungodly, unrighteous and unjust, but also God is completely righteous and holy and just. Now this for us increases the bad news. God is not the same as man, neither in His character nor in the way He acts and also loves. He is antithetical to man. Opposite.

    Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

    God is separate from His creation, He is a transcendental God, He is completely holy and righteous and for these reasons He cannot be in contact with any thing that is unholy, unrighteous and defiled. In Scripture, to give the idea of how holy God is, once again Isaiah gives us the most vivid picture of God’s holiness.

    Isaiah 6:1-7 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:

    “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;

    The whole earth is full of His glory!”

    4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.

    5 So I said:

    “Woe is me, for I am undone!

    Because I am a man of unclean lips,

    And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;

    For my eyes have seen the King,

    The LORD of hosts.”

    6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

    “Behold, this has touched your lips;

    Your iniquity is taken away,

    And your sin purged.”

    A few observations of this passage, Isaiah sees the Lord and in this vision there are angels. Now these angels are righteous and holy beings otherwise they would not be in God’s presence, they would be fallen angels, demons. Yet these are seraphim, they are in God’s presence and they themselves need to cover their face from the presence of the holiness and glory of God, they cannot even have their feet uncovered as they hover over the throne of God, so holy is the LORD. These angels cannot even look upon the face of God, cannot look at the full glory and holiness of God, and these are holy righteous beings.

    Now they are holy angels and they are obedient to God and they are reverent to Him and they cry out declaring that God is three times holy.

    This cry of three times holy and their posture describes the complete and transcendental holiness of God. It appears that even angels consider themselves rightfully so much less holy than God, and they are holy angels.

    Now, Isaiah when he realizes God’s holiness and His righteousness declares that he is accursed. Woe is a term used to say accursed. So Isaiah is saying, “I am accursed, I am cursed and I am undone”. In the Hebrew the word undone means to be destroyed to be utterly dumb, silent and destroyed.

    Isaiah realizes that in his state of human unrighteousness and unholiness he can only be accursed and utterly destroyed. In fact, that is exactly what unredeemed sinners are and will be, damned and accursed. However, that is how we need to view ourselves before God in order to receive His mercy and forgiveness, is it not? We must acknowledge our state of utter sinfulness, see ourselves as unholy as we recognize His righteousness and holiness, by this we understand that God is absolutely holy and righteous and that we deserve His righteous judgment and at that point we seek God’s grace and mercy.

    In fact, Isaiah is not only overwhelmed by God’s holiness and righteousness, he is not only overwhelmed by his own sinfulness when seeing God’s character and nature but also he is overwhelmed by His grace and mercy. It is God Himself by His grace who redeems Isaiah.

    In fact Isaiah received all these revelations, God’s holiness and righteousness, his sinfulness and God’s remedy, His grace and mercy, the forgiveness of sin and justification, all by grace. God reveals these to us as well and they are all received by His grace, He allows us to see Him as He is, He convicts us of our sinfulness, we see ourselves as we really are compared to Him and He provides and applies to us the remedy, His salvation, forgiveness and justification.

    Isaiah gets touched by what is the representation of God’s atonement and forgiveness, the coal from the altar, and by God’s grace Isaiah is forgiven, his iniquity is taken away and his sin purged. This is the only way we can stand before God, the only way we also will not be accursed and destroyed. God, by the way, is the One who provided Isaiah’s atonement by His grace and mercy.

    So why say all this? To prove the point that God is so utterly holy and righteous while man so utterly sinful and totally unrighteous and corrupt that this is something God cannot ignore, something He will not ignore, something God has to judge because He is holy, righteous and a just God. Sin is something He cannot even look upon. His eyes are to pure to look upon sin.

    Habakkuk 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.

    Of course He sees sin, as God is omniscient and omnipresent, but He hates looking at it, sin is utterly antithetical to His character that He hates it with a consuming hatred. That’s why the sacrifice would be burned on the altar. The fire of the altar is the representation of the consuming hatred, wrath that God has toward sin. The holocaust was completely burned on the altar, consumed by God’s wrath and judgment. The fire being the representation of the fire of hell as well.

    Leviticus 8:18-21 Then he brought the ram as the burnt offering. And Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, 19 and Moses killed it. Then he sprinkled the blood all around on the altar. 20 And he cut the ram into pieces; and Moses burned the head, the pieces, and the fat. 21 Then he washed the entrails and the legs in water. And Moses burned the whole ram on the altar. It was a burnt sacrifice for a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the LORD, as the LORD had commanded Moses.

    Hebrews 13:11-13 For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate.

    So because of God’s holiness and righteousness and justice He must judge all sin and ALL sinners.

    So all this is very important because it allows us to understand God better, how He views sin but also that He is not only holy, righteous and just but He is also loving, gracious and merciful not willing that all sinners should perish.

    So God’s holiness, His righteousness, His justice and His utter hatred for sin and unrighteousness help us understand better what Paul is really saying in this passage of Romans. God instead of opting to demonstrate His aforementioned attributes holiness, righteousness and justice only, demonstrated instead also His own love, His type of love, His personal love, which is the one and only real love, toward us, in while we were still sinners deserving judgment, damnation, wrath, Christ died for us.

    Christ was made sin for us, endured God’s wrath and judgment in our place, Jesus was consumed by God’s justice and wrath. This so that God’s justice, righteousness and holiness would not be compromised and would be satisfied by Christ, when He decided to pour His grace, love and mercy upon us and so that we would not incur His wrath and eternal judgment but become instead God’s righteousness in Christ

    2 Corinthians 5:17-21For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    [Romans 3:21-26].

    Once again the us is those who have received and those who will receive salvation. We do not know who all the ‘us’ referred to really are, but God knows, that for us, which is the totality of those who are and will be saved, for them, for us, Christ died.

    So Christ did not die for some good, righteous, spiritually whole and beautiful persons that had some redeemable merits, this I can assure you and you must know it yourself, how we were and would be if Jesus would not have died for us and redeemed us and regenerated us. I know what a real beast, what a wicked and perverse person I was before God saved me and changed me and is still changing me into the image of His Son.

    This is the kind of persons Jesus died for, re-read [Romans 1:18-19],[Romans 3:10-18], does this not describe you, us before we were redeemed? It sure describes me. Look also at what Paul is saying in the following passage

    1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    The unrighteous, live in unrighteousness, they practice it, it’s their controlling desire and most of all they are unrighteous because they are not justified. In fact being unrighteous means being unjust as well, without justice, without justification. These cannot have their own righteousness, nothing can render them righteous except God. This is then the righteousness of God independent from the law, or good works, Jesus’ righteousness that is imputed to the believer. Without this righteousness, people remain in a state of unrighteousness and remain unjustified before God. This righteousness or justice that comes from God not only gives the standing of being righteous before God as positionally justified, but it also gives, by God’s grace, the desire and the ability and power to live a life that, as opposed to before, now wants to practice righteousness and even if in a still imperfect way nevertheless lives in righteousness. This lifestyle of righteous living is called sanctification and it is from God and by His grace as we said, it is the fruit of regeneration and of justification [1 John 1:29], [1 John 3:7].

    In fact, what does this passage say in verse 11?

    And such were some of you, BUT you WERE washed, WERE, sanctified, WERE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and BY the Spirit of our God.

    Justified, rendered just, without fault, because the unrighteous cannot inherit the kingdom of God, so that now we are no longer unrighteous although we are not perfect and we still sin, in this now we can inherit God’s kingdom, all this is in the name of the Lord Jesus and BY the Spirit of God. Not by us in any way, but all is done by God.

    Take a look at the passage, we WERE, past tense, washed from all unrighteousness by the precious blood of Jesus [Hebrews 9:14],[Revelation 1:5] and by the Spirit of God [Ezekiel 36:25-27],[Hebrews 10:22],[Titus 3:4-7].

    We WERE, past tense, sanctified, let’s stop here for a moment.

    How can that be? Aren’t we being sanctified as we live? Yes, we are yet, in God’s view we were sanctified, past, done deal, fulfilled, yet we still have to be sanctified as the work in our life needs to be fulfilled, but I believe the Scriptural answers to this fact that explain how this seemingly contradiction, which is not, works out [Hebrews 10:10-14], so because God considers it done, it is done, even while it is being done, it will be finished by Him, that’s why it’s done. If He says it is done it will be.

    Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

    We WERE also past tense, justified, also done. All this done in the name of the Lord Jesus and through His redemptive work [John 19:30], His name is the guarantee and the veracity of who He is, the risen Lord, His name is His authority and His power, He is the Lord who has been given the name above all names and so is written

    Acts 4:12 Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

    And by God’s Spirit, Paul says by the Spirit because He is the One by whom Jesus’ salvation, washing of regeneration, conviction of sin, righteousness and judgment, faith, sanctification are applied to the elect [Titus 3:4-7], the ‘us’ Paul mentioned, the ones who were such as these sinners, whom a completely holy, righteous and just God loved so much and had mercy upon, that while still in that condition of sinfulness and rebellion and enmity against God, at that very time Christ died for us.

    Amen! However these are the types of people for whom Christ died, while we were yet in that state of unrighteousness, God loved us and Jesus died for us.

    Hallelujah, thank you Lord Jesus, Heavenly Father and Holy Spirit for loving us in such a way, glory to your most holy name!

    Now Paul continues and says verses 9-10

    Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 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.

    So that, much more, having been justified by His blood, Jesus’ blood, as Paul had explained before what all that meant, I want to focus instead on the words Paul uses in continuation of the previous verses. He says much more, this is a blessed reality, the explanation of verse 9 here is found in

    Romans 8:31-35 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

    So now much more than loving us when we were still sinners, now that we are His children, because He did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, will He not give us freely all things through Jesus Christ?

    That is why once more the salvation of those He died for is guaranteed, God tells us through Paul we shall be saved from wrath through Him. We SHALL, this is not a maybe, perhaps, if we are good, if we keep ourselves saved by our own strength. No, no, this is God’s promise to those who have been justified by His blood.

    Jesus gave us the assurance of the fact that we would be saved from God’s wrath through Him in several passages He gave us that assurance.

    John 5:24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

    John 6:39-40 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

    John 10:27-30 My sheep hear My voice ([John 5:24-26]), and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

    Name a safer place to be than in Jesus’ and the Father’s hands? Can we fear to be forsaken, can we fear that anything or anyone, even ourselves, can be stronger and more powerful than almighty God? Is God not able to keep those He saved, those He redeemed with the precious blood of Jesus? Is He not able to keep us?

    Jude 24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, 25 To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.

    He is able to keep us, guard us, protect us! His hands are not simply a mighty fortress, but an almighty fortress. Who can penetrate God to pluck us out? God will keep us from what? Watch now, the word translated stumbling in English, in Greek is aptaístous , word that means falling, so that He will protect us from falling away from the faith, He will preserve our faith. The falling away from the faith is known as apostasy, to apostatize is to fall away [2 Thessalonians 2:3].

    The word used here in Jude as able is the word power, He has the power to keep us from falling away and He promised us He will exercise that power in our behalf. So because He will protect us, keep us from falling away, from losing our faith, this will prevent us from experiencing God’s wrath.

    See also what Peter says in regard to this

    1 Peter 1:3-7 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ

    Therefore, the elect whom God has justified He removed the guilt of our sin and has imputed to us the righteousness of Jesus while he imputed our sin and therefore our guilt of our sin to Jesus. He paid the full price of our sins, in other words Jesus underwent God’s full wrath and justice in our place so that we would never again receive it. So going back to the passage we saw before, [Romans 8:32-35].God justifies through Jesus Christ, God does not condemn any longer who is in Christ, because Jesus was condemned instead of us, so that through His resurrection and His intercession in our behalf we have an advocate before the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous [1 John 2:1-2].

    He who for us satisfied God’s justice and righteousness is always present at the right hand of God for our justification. All this is why there is no longer no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus [Romans 8:1-4]. We are then saved from God’s wrath through Him.

    That is why Paul continues to say because if when we were still God’s enemies remember? We were His enemies as are ALL men and women who are not redeemed in Christ. Remember we saw that the human race is at enmity with God. So when we were still in this state we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son Jesus.

    Now let’s look at this word reconciled This word means we were brought back into harmony, peace, agreement with God, once enemies and separated from God by our sinful nature and our wicked works now we are brought back near and are friends, even better we are God’s children adopted through Christ’s blood shed on the cross for us. So His death made peace between us and God so that we are no longer enemies now but loved children.

    Ephesians 2:13-18 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

    Colossians 1:21-22 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled 22 in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight

    His death on the cross made peace between us and God and reconciled us to Him. Jesus’ resurrection, His life therefore will save us. How? Remember what we studied at the end of Romans IV ?

    Romans 4:24-25 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us (righteousness) who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

    Here the concept is the same as in Romans 5:10 reconciled through His death, justified and therefore saved by His resurrection, His life.

    His death saved us, His life keeps us saved and will be our completed salvation, our glorification. How? He is our righteousness and our justification because He lives today. We touched on this, we will do so again as it is important to grasp.

    It’s Jesus’ resurrected life that gives us the final and eternal victory on sin and death and this means that we are before God righteous, just and holy, as God does not remember our sins any longer. Our sins have been taken away by the precious blood of Jesus. However, Jesus in order to be given the Lordship upon every thing even all his enemies, which were ours as well, had to be raised from the dead and not only, but also, He had to ascend to the right hand of the Father to become our High Priest who ever lives to make intercession for us so that He can keep us justified and save us completely.

    This justification we have through Christ, the salvation we have by His life has a crescendo even in Scripture, let’s look at some that explain why we are saved by His resurrected life.

    [Acts 2:22-36], Romans 3:26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    Romans 8:33-35 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

    Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

    So we see here His risen life is the basis for our justification which is permanent and this leads to the total victory upon everything that connected us to God’s wrath and condemnation namely, sin, the flesh, Satan and death, death both physical as well as spiritual.

    1 Corinthians 15:20-27 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. See also [1 Corinthians 15:49-56], [2 Timothy 1:9-11].

    1 Thessalonians 1:9-10 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

    We are saved by His life then, are we not? Because He lives we who are in Him shall live also.

    John 14:19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.

    John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

    My friends do you believe this? You see, one must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, confessing Jesus as Lord which He is because He was raised by God from the dead He was also given lordship over ALL [Revelation 19:16] and was given the name above all names [Philippians 2:9-11], doing this, God says you will be saved, saved by the wrath to come upon all the ungodly, who reject God, who do not know God and who do not obey the Gospel [2 Thessalonians 1:5-10].

    Saved from the wrath which will come by Jesus Himself. That’s why His life will save us, because we were risen together with Him we now live in Him and He lives in us, however, Jesus will return a second time bringing with Him God’s wrath upon the ungodly, for them judgment and wrath for us upon whom He had mercy, salvation and life.

    Because He lives, He will also be the ultimate and supreme judge, He is the One whom will judge the living and the dead.

    Acts 17:30-31 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

    For the unrepentant sinners wrath and judgment because He lives, for us for whom He died and lives, salvation and glory.

    Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

    By His stripes we are healed, by His life we are being saved and will be saved.

    Now Paul in verse 11 Romans 5 says,

    And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

    If all that was not enough we also have joy, we rejoice in God the Father through what Jesus Christ our Lord did. We rejoice in God because we now can now rejoice in Him.

    We now can recognize God for who He is, we can know Him for who He is. We now recognize that He is the One who put together His marvelous plan of redemption that included us, me and you.

    It included us when we were still ungodly sinners, before the foundation of the world, Our heavenly Father, in spite of knowing our ungodliness and sinfulness through His omniscience, in spite of knowing we were going to be blasphemers and unholy and unrighteous chose us to be in Christ. [Ephesians 1:3-14].

    He’s the One who sent Christ His only begotten Son to die for us so that through Him we may be undeservedly saved by all the consequences of our sinfulness and be able to be adopted as children of God, made sons and daughters of God and have eternal life in eternal fellowship with God.

    We rejoice in Our heavenly Father who did all this for us undeserving sinners. We rejoice that not only we can know and experience God’s benevolent plan for the ungodly sinners as we were and would be if it were not for His grace, His love and mercy, but also we can know Him and have a relationship with Him as we were originally created to have and have this for all eternity. In eternity where we can rejoice even more without the presence of sin in us. If this does not cause us to rejoice in God I do not know what will.

     

    I believe these are causes for rejoicing in God are they not? Not only we rejoice in God for all this we can only do it because of what Jesus did for us and not only we can only do it through Him. We can know God and all God has done and know God personally ONLY THROUGH JESUS CHRIST.

    Matthew 11:27-28 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

    Interesting statement also in light of what Jesus says in

    John 6:44-46 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

    This looks like a seeming contradiction does it not? How can Jesus reveal the Father to someone when the Father is the One who must compel someone to go to Christ? Or if someone has to hear from the Father and learn from the Father to go to Jesus? How does that work?

    It is kind of mysterious. However, some things are said in Scripture that do help us a little understand this concept better.

    For example, Jesus and the Father are One [John 8:58],[John 10:30-39],[John 14:23-24].

    John 14:6-10 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

    Jesus and the Father, therefore, do not act separately from each other but act and live in unison and in unity. After all this is the beauty of the Trinity, is it not? Three distinct persons, yet One person. Wow, it blows your mind, does it not? Yet, the Trinity works in perfect unity, this is one part of the explanation to this seeming contradiction that as we see is not a contradiction.

    So basically it works in unison, in agreement. Jesus reveals the Father to whom He wants to reveal Him because the Father has already given to Christ those to whom He wants to reveal Himself to and so as the Father reveals the Son, the Son makes also the Father known.

    John 17:9-10 I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. 10 And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.

    Many take this passage and insist that Jesus is only speaking about His disciples. Well, contextually it’s true. He is speaking in these two verses about His disciples. However, in principle this is not limited the twelve only. It cannot be.

    So to say that God is no respecter of man, and He is not. If Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever and He is. If God according to Scripture is the the One who elects, who chooses, and He is, then how can this statement be only directed to the twelve? God only chose the twelve but not anybody else? Why? Why did God choose twelve men, actually eleven to be saved, and not those who come after them? Why use one principle, in other words, election for the twelve and then let the rest of mankind use their free will to chose God instead?

    Did these who claim this forgot to read the verses before?

    John 17:2-3 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

    Upon who does Jesus have the authority? Over ALL flesh. He is sovereign and Lord over ALL. Why have authority? What does He need to have authority over all flesh if it’s man by himself and in himself that has the power to decide, to choose Jesus, according to his own free will ? Or is it to give eternal life to AS MANY AS the Father has given Him? The as many as the Father has given Him are the ones that will believe and ALL those then who the Father has not given Him will nottherefore believe in Him,they will not go to Him. That is eternal life, to know Him the Father, the only true God and Jesus Christ, the Son, the two are one.

    We cannot do with Scripture as we please. It is instead clear what Jesus is saying, and this is not the only text where He says this. It’s God the Father in unison with the Son who has chosen to whom be revealed and who to choose.

    Those who erroneously interpret the passage to be valid only for the eleven, in this case, forget what Jesus also says later, not only in verses 2-3 we just read, in perfect harmony with ALL the other Scriptures we have seen previously,

    in other words with [Matthew 11:27],[John 6:44-45],[John 6:65] What does He say then when He prays for the others who will believe through the preaching of the Gospel. Let’s see what words Jesus uses about ALL believers.

    John 17:24-26 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”

    See also [John 6:67-71] and [Matthew 16:16-17]. There is no doubt and no other possible interpretation unless someone wants to really do some exegetical gymnastics to make the Scriptures agree with their own opinions. It is God the Father and God the Son who choose to reveal themselves in unity and agreement to those the Father has chosen and to those who as Jesus said belong to the Father and consequently to Him, to these the Father reveals the Son and the Son makes the Father known.

    So the Father compels to go to the Son because He has already given the elect to Him before the foundation of the world, those whom the Father sends to the Son, to these the Son wills to reveal and make known the Father.

    In addition, when we believe in Jesus we also believe in Him who raised Him from the dead, the Father, do we not?

    1 Peter 1:18-21 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 20 He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you 21 who through Him believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

    It is through Jesus that we believe and have faith and hope in God and know God, and therefore, we rejoice in Him.

    We rejoice in Him because we have received the reconciliation. We have already seen what this means, we who were afar off from God, alienated from His presence by sin, we who were His enemies, we who were separated, divorced as you will from God, Jesus has brought back, brought us near, not only near brought us in His presence in Himself, He brought us back into peaceful accord, into agreement, back into a loving relationship and now we are no longer God’s enemies rather we are beloved children.

    Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

    Ephesians 2:16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

    2 Corinthians 5:18-20 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them , and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

    So we rejoice in God who through Jesus Christ made peace and brought back to God many who were estranged and separated from God by the sinful nature. We rejoice also because God has now given His children, the church, the ministry and the word of reconciliation.

    The church has been chosen by God to continue the ministry Jesus had – to preach the good news of Jesus’ work of redemption, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the forgiveness of sins, and to make disciples of all nations teaching them what Jesus taught.

    We also rejoice in this great duty and privilege God has given us the ministry and word of reconciliation, to preach the Gospel in order that Jesus might reconcile to God men and women from every tongue, nation and tribe and make disciples of all nations. He does not really need us to do His work and yet He has instead chosen us to bring the word of reconciliation to the world, what a great responsibility and great privilege God has given us.

    Luke 24:46-47 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

    Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    How lightly do we take these commandments? Do we obey them? Do we rejoice in them?

    Part Two of Chapter Five of the Letter to the Romans

    Romans V Verses XII to XIV

     

    12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned–13 For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.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 now switches gears, from Romans 3:21 to the previous verse in Romans 5:11 he spoke of God’s righteousness apart from the law,he spoke about how man is saved by grace and justified by faith. He explained what faith is and that’s how God’s righteousness is imputed to man.

    He explained Jesus’ death and resurrection as the means through which, by faith in Him and what He did, we obtain forgiveness of sins and justification. He told us how through justification we have peace with God, how we have access to the grace in which now we stand, how we rejoice in tribulations knowing they produce in us the perseverance of our faith, how they produce in us Christ’s character, that Christ’s character leads us to have hope in God and His promises, that this hope in God does not disappoint us because it is rooted in God’s love, which love the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts.

    Paul goes on telling us that God’s love is demonstrated in sending Jesus to die for us ungodly wicked sinners, that He did not die for righteous and good people but while we were without strength, while we were still sinners and enemies of God, ungodly, God demonstrated His own love giving up His Son to die for such as us. Then he said we rejoice in God through Jesus because we are justified by His blood, His death and saved from wrath by His life for all this, and because we were reconciled to God we rejoice.

    Yes, now Paul switches back from redemption, justification, grace etc. to talk about mankind’s sin once more – how sin through one man entered into the world, entered into humanity. We will also see how this all fits in to what Paul is saying. In fact, Paul says, through this sin, death comes into play and death spread to all men, why? Because all sinned!

    Let’s look at verse 12. Through one man sin entered the world.

    Through who and how? The man in question is mentioned in verse 14, he is known in Genesis 2-3 as the one whom God held responsible for the sinfulness and death through his sin entered the world.

    But wait a minute someone will say, why this man? Why Adam? I thought it was Eve that disobeyed God first by falling into temptation and the disobeying God’s commandment of not eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

    Yes, it’s true it was Eve who first was deceived and ate disobeying God and also Adam sinned by heeding her to whom he taught that commandment.

    The commandment not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

    Why did God give the ultimate fault and responsibility to Adam then?

    Let’s figure this out before we continue in the explanation of verse 12 as this is the key to interpreting why Adam was given the blame, the responsibility of mankind’s sinfulness.

    Why did God blame and give responsibility to Adam for the sin of mankind?

    There are several reasons:

    The first reason is: Because Adam was formed first.

    Paul gives us this explanation in:

    1 Timothy 2:11-14 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

    Now what in the world does this have to do with it? Doesn’t this actually blame Eve of falling into transgression because she was the one to be deceived?

    Yes and no. How? Adam being formed first had a certain authority given him by God. This we can deduce from several things in Scripture and this passage we just read explains why. Adam was given authority over Eve not as to lord it over her, rather to be displayed in love through the responsibilities God had also given Him with that authority.

    However, Paul in this passage above explains the fact why in the church of the regenerated humans, the authority has taken back it’s rightful position within the two sexes. In the church things must be done as God designed things to be from the beginning. So having formed Adam first, that’s the reason in essence of Adam’s authority over Eve, as well as the male figures having God-given authority in the government of the church and family. For a deeper and better explanation of this concept see the section in this site.

    Commentaries- Under the subjects of the various roles in the family.

    The second reason why Adam is responsible of the sin of mankind is: He did not keep the responsibilities God had given him toward Eve.

    Anyway, yes, to Adam God gave authority, but with authority comes responsibility. Adam was made responsible by God to do several things. What were they?

    Genesis 2:15 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it.

    Adam was created as one who would be provider, caretaker, protector and teacher.

    Let’s take a look at these two words used here in the Hebrew, tend is the word lª`aabdaah the root of this word is ‘abad which means literally to serve, to be servant of. The word used for keep is the word uwlshaamªraah the root of this word is shamar which literally means to hedge about (as with thorns), guard ; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.

    The second responsibility Adam was given by God was that not only that he would have to obey God’s command not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil but that he would have to also instruct Eve of this commandment.

    Genesis 2:15-17 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    Eve was created after this episode [Genesis 2:18-25]. It is evident from the chronology of the text that Eve was not instructed about this directly by God, but Adam was. This means that the responsibility of the instruction and observance of this commandment fell upon Adam.

    It was his responsibility to teach this commandment to Eve and then to make sure that he would protect Eve from the temptation and the danger the devil caused her. Unfortunately, we see the result of the God given responsibilities that Adam neglected to put into practice.

    Besides Adam’s failure to keep his responsibilities, upon which we will come back later, we see that the primary responsibilities given to Adam were to provide through work, to be a caretaker and to protect that of which God had made him responsible, these were then the God-given responsibilities God gave him to keep toward his wife also as well as to be the teacher of what God had commanded.

    Husbands if you have an ear hear what the word of God is also saying to us.

    By this we understand also that the one who has the responsibility to teach is held to a greater standard of obedience and life, this is confirmed by Scripture in

    James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

    So teaching is an awesome responsibility a person receives from God.

    Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.

    It is evident that God gives the responsibility to Adam for Eve’s disobedience, because it was his passivity in enforcing the God-given instructions and the lack of protection toward his wife’s well being, upon which he was responsible and therefore disobeying God in all his given responsibilities, he sinned. Adam disobeyed God’s direct commandment not to eat but he also indirectly violated many other things by disobeying God. However, sin is like this, when we disobey God we not only transgress the direct commandment but by doing so we end up transgressing many others. In fact, we transgress the entire law of God. Did you ever stop and notice when we violate even just one of the Ten Commandments we usually violate many more? That is also why James says in

    James 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

    Now the law was not yet given, this in fact Paul says ahead in Romans 5 and the commandment that Adam violated was only one. However, we see that the responsibilities that God gave Him were also violated. Those responsibilities were privileges as well, yet Adam by disobeying that one commandment did also forfeit his God given responsibilities.

    For these reasons also Adam has received upon himself the responsibility for the consequences of sin and by consequence passed them upon the entire human race. However, God does give to Eve her due responsibility and consequence of sin, as Paul says in

    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

    Before God both are guilty of having disobeyed God. But Adam, because he was formed first and because of his position of authority and therefore having the greater responsibilities, is designated the official carrier of sin and death in the human race.

    Because of the authority and responsibilities given him by God, Adam was the head of Eve, also because she came from him, she was created out of Adam . Being the head of the wife Adam also was counted as the head of the whole human race[1 Corinthians 11:3-12]. When Eve was tempted she fell into transgression but to Adam was given the responsibility of both their sin, Eve also retaining hers as well .

    Adam was together with Eve, it seems from the text, nearby her, at the moment of temptation.

    Adam failed to protect Eve and to take her away from the temptation or at the very least to warn her not to disobey God. This is also the principle of

    Ezekiel 33:1-6 Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, 3 when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people, 4 then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But he who takes warning will save his life. 6 But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.’

    , that’s another reason why Adam is guilty and responsible of that sin.

    Adam failed because he abdicated his God-given authority and became passive as he let Eve do whatever she desired and obeyed the voice of Eve instead of the word of the LORD. May we meditate husbands, meditate about being passive and to whom we give heed.

    So sin originated from Satan. Eve disobeyed first, God and secondly, Adam. She obeyed the devil. Adam on his part, listened to his wife, he obeyed her and consequently obeyed the devil and in the end both disobeyed God. However, it is plain to see that all the channels of spiritual authority were violated in every way, and consequently God’s authority and word were violated.

    Adam=Direct commandment from God=Instruction of commandment to Eve=Obedience to the voice of Eve= Actual disobedience to the direct commandment of God and His voice=Secondary yet actual obedience to Satan.

    Eve=Instruction of the direct commandment of God through Adam= Direct obedience the voice of Satan=Secondary yet actual disobedience to both Adam and God.

    In the end it’s all disobedience to God by both, yet the channels and ways the sin was committed determine why the blame was given to Adam.

    For all this God gave the greater responsibility of disobedience to Adam, because of the role of authority God gave him. Obviously, the responsibility and consequences were distributed justly to all parties involved – the devil, Eve and Adam. God does not justify rebellion and anyone’s guilt, if not through faith in Jesus Christ and the repentance of sins, which true faith in Him produces.

    God, however, gives the ultimate responsibility and consequences of sin of which all mankind is responsible to Adam, that is why we must understand that the greater the authority one is given the greater the responsibilities one has.

    Since Adam listened to the voice of his wife instead of God’s, and because the commandment was given directly to him by God, it was he, Adam, who committed the sin of disobedience and rebellion against the direct commandment of God.

    Adam did not fall into temptation and sinned by being directly tempted by the devil. He rebelled against God by listening to what Eve told him to do. For this reason, also in the sinful nature of the human being, there is an ongoing battle for the supremacy of authority in the relationship between man and woman, between husband and wife.

    This battle is the one delineated in Genesis 3:16b your desires will be toward your husband, and he will rule over you.

    In God’s order however, in other words, in the regenerated man and woman in Christ, in the born-again couple, in the church and the family, the order of authority and responsibility as well as submission is returned to the original state that God had established before the fall into sin and before the total corruption and depravity of the human being.

    So to the father of mankind Adam, also in a physical sense and he being the head of the human race in all that we read so far, Adam is the one made responsible by God of the sin, the rebellion, even the disobedience of Eve, although she retained her own responsibilities in the matter as well.

    So as Adam passed on all of the physical traits that made him up, as well as Eve, being that she was a part of him as well, so in Adam sin is also passed into all of mankind. Whatever share in Adam man has, man gets. These are all the physical as well as the spiritual traits including sin and death. When Adam sinned he was the whole human race, was he not? This same concept we find explained in Hebrews as well in a different context yet it explains this concept of Adam being mankind and through him sin and death being spread to all.

    Hebrews 7:9-10 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

    So because all mankind was in the loins of Adam when he sinned, sin and of consequence death are transmitted to all mankind. So when Adam sinned we all did. Like it or not that’s how God established this fact.

    So that because of this fact God issued a curse, which is nothing else but the consequence of the sin committed.

    The first consequence of Adam’s sin is death. That is exactly what Paul is talking about also here in:

    Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

    God had promised this to be one of the consequences of disobeying His commandment given to Adam.

    Genesis 2:15-17 Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    Now the wording here is interesting and warrants some attention. The grammar in Hebrew confirms that God warned Adam that IN THE DAY he would eat this fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would SURELY DIE.

    Why is this important? Because it informs us that the death of which God spoke of here is not only physical, as we do see that both Adam and Eve did not physically die immediately. However they did die spiritually, in that very day.

    In that very day they began to die physically, but they died spiritually immediately at the moment they sinned.

    Now, God in His grace and mercy did provide atonement for them as God Himself provided a covering for their nakedness by providing animal pelts. This implies the death of the animals from which God took the pelts. This the first implied substitutionary atonement in the history of mankind provided by God.

    Notice, God did not accept the covering Adam and Eve made for themselves. It was inadequate as they tried to cover up their sin and nakedness on their own. Only God’s covering for their sinfulness was adequate, it was the right kind, by His grace and by blood, the first death occurred at that time, animals died to provide a covering for Adam and Eve’s sin.

    Genesis 3:7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.

    Genesis 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

    This was the symbol of the work of redemption in Jesus Christ, it’s by grace, done entirely by God [Leviticus 17:11],[Hebrews 9:22].

    The curse including death was spelled out by God in:

    Genesis 3:14-19 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this,You are cursed more than all cattle,And more than every beast of the field;On your belly you shall go,And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity Between you and the woman,And between your seed and her Seed;He shall bruise your head,And you shall bruise His heel.” (God is speaking to Satan here in effect.)

    16 To the woman He said:

    “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children;Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”

    17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’.

    “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (This is the description of physical death.)

    Spiritual death is separation from God, and therefore, being separated from fellowship with God. Adam and Eve, as well as ALL humans after them, are morally corrupt and depraved. What does this mean?

    First of all we must explain what is the meaning of original sin.

    Original sin, many think, is the actual act of rebellion of Adam and Eve. In reality, we need to understand that the original sin is the consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience and rebellion. So what occurred in mankind because of their disobedience is what we mean by the term original sin.

    What did occur inside mankind because of this sin?

    All of mankind’s being got radically affected by the consequence of this sin. Basically man has become spiritually separated from God and His moral holiness and righteousness. Separation from God is death, for God is life and truth.

    John 1:4-5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    See also [Psalms 119:142],[John 1:14],[John 14:6].

    Without such, man is spiritually and morally unable to respond positively to God’s will and His law [Romans 8:5-8]. When God’s light, truth and life are absent inside man’s spirit there exists only darkness, deception and death.

    Those who are in darkness and in death do not, cannot, comprehend nor practice the things of God, His will, His truth, His righteousness. This is what it means to come short of God’s glory [Romans 3:23].

    Man was created without sin and was to be instructed and led by God into goodness and righteousness through the relationship Adam and Eve and subsequent beings would have had with Him. Keeping themselves in this condition through obedience to God’s commandment, God still was to be their righteousness as He is ours in Christ today.

    However, once this relationship and fellowship failed because of their disobedience and their whole being was marred by sinfulness, which is the evil that becomes present when God’s life, holiness, goodness, truth and righteousness are missing, at this very stage man became unable to respond positively to any of the above attributes of God in his or her lives.

    Man’s mind, heart, will and body as well as his spirit have become totally unable to respond to and to obey God and to even want to do God’s will. The whole human being is therefore under sin, in sin, in darkness, devoid of God’s holiness, truth and righteousness unable to practice it and therefore dwelling in death. Body, mind and soul are deadened and darkened.

    This state of spiritual death is described for us in several passages of Scripture [Romans 1:18-32],[Romans 3:10-18],[Ephesians 2:1-3],[Romans 6:6], [Romans 6:16-20].

    Jesus implied that man is a slave to sinfulness when He stated this in

    John 8:34-35 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.

    This is why man must be born again.

    This is why man is radically depraved, corrupt, because he is corrupt and defiled at the core, the root of his being is depraved and corrupt so that this corruption affects every part of his or her being.

     

    Man has certainly retained his free will to make decisions, this is undeniable. However, ALL of his decisions are made by a corrupt mind which makes decisions always affected by sinfulness and not righteousness. This is why Scripture tells us what it does in [Romans 3:10-18].

    This is rendered evident in some of the passages we already mentioned as well as these next ones. Scripture tells us that ALL of man’s being is radically corrupt and depraved. Man is not basically good, man is radically evil. This does not mean, by the way, that a man is as evil as he could be but that he or she are radically evil, corrupt and depraved at the root. So even as Jesus said,

    Matthew 7:17-20 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

    Are there then good trees, good people? Only when they’re born again of the Spirit and their root is in Christ, now those who have a new divine nature [2 Peter 1:3-10].

    The mind is radically affected by sin:

    Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    Romans 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness.

    Romans 8:5-8 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    By the way, this is in the passage above is a description of the contrast, the difference between regenerated people, in other words redeemed, spiritually made alive and natural people, unredeemed, spiritually dead. This is not a description, as some erroneously interpret, of believers who are controlled by the Spirit and other believers who instead are controlled by the flesh, the context denies this interpretation, in fact see the following verses which say

    Romans 8:9-10 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

    Clear? Let’s get back to the mind radically corrupted by sin.

    Ephesians 2:3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    Ephesians 4:17-18 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

    Colossians 1:21 And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works,

     

    The heart is radically affected by sin:

     

    Genesis 6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

    Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth;

    Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?

    Mark 7:20-23 And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

    Ephesians 4:17-18 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardening of their heart;

     

    The body also called flesh is radically affected by sin:

     

    Ephesians 2:3-4 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

    This entire condition of sin being present in the body is due, in fact, to that which ties us to the image of the earthly man, Adam [1 Corinthians 15:45-49], that’s why the flesh corrupted by sinfulness drags mankind to love the world and the things of this world [1 John 2: 15-17].

    Paul describes best how the body, the flesh, is completely affected by sin in [Romans 7:5-25].

    The sinfulness that is present in the body, as the body is not yet redeemed in the born-again person, it also remains for the duration of the believer’s life, and it is this sinfulness in the flesh that wages constant war against the Spirit and our spirit which is alive in Christ [Galatians 5:16-17] and regenerated, made anew, such is the heart new[Ezekiel 36:25-27],[2 Corinthians 5:17],[2 Peter 1:3-10].

    The body contains the sin that still affects the mind, this is why we must be transformed by the renewing of the mind by the word of God [Romans 12:1-2] , so that we can, in the case of the regenerated person, with the power of the Spirit of God within and through our renewed spirit, heart and mind bring into subjection the body,the flesh to the will of God [Romans 6:11-14],[Romans 8:10-14],[1 Corinthians 6:19-20] .

    So even though the born-again believer’s spirit is made alive and one is a new creature in Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17], the body remains unredeemed. Because of the sin present in it, the body remains corrupted and because of this it remains subject to disease and death , only the bodily resurrection will regenerate and make the believer’s body anew [1 Corinthians 15:50-57]. This is why a born again believer still can sin and unfortunately we still do.

     

    The spirit is also radically affected by sin so much so that it is dead:

     

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Being spiritually dead renders the natural man unable to receive Spiritual things, unable to know and understand them so that the natural man considers them foolishness. So as we see, it is the Spirit of God who gives us the ability, the power to receive the things of God as well as to understand them. This He does not bypassing the mind of the believer. We understand with the mind the truth of the Spirit. Mind and Spirit do not work separately in the born-again believer, they should not, they do not.

    In other words, the Spirit quickens and helps us renew our minds so we can understand and discern the truth of God’s word. And yet our minds only are renewed through the word of God by the Spirit.

    Those who say you do not have to or should not use logic and thought process in interpreting Scripture are wrong, God does not bypass our thought process it quickens it and teaches it but it does not bypass it. The word of God is understood only through the Spirit, but it is and remains logical as well. God is wisdom, knowledge, and He is logic. The word of God is also called logos, from which word originates the word logic.

    Spiritual death instead renders mankind unable to respond to God’s will. Dead people do what dead people do, absolutely nothing. Dead people cannot understand, cannot believe, cannot obey, cannot walk. They cannot do anything, they are dead, they cannot respond to any kind of external stimulus. The only way they can do any of the above is by being made alive, spiritually resurrected.

    They cannot respond to God’s will, God’s law, they cannot even respond to the Gospel call, dead people do not answer calls of any kind, they are not able, they MUST BE MADE ALIVE SPIRITUALLY FIRST.

    Did you ever see a dead person respond to anything? Nope, I have not. You, me, all who were once dead in sins and trespasses God had to do what in order that we could respond?

    Ephesians 2:1-4 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionsit is by grace you have been saved.

    God’s grace, apart form ANY and ALL human work or ability [Mark 10:27].

    John 5:25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.

    Man is spiritually dead and man must be born again spiritually from God [Ezekiel 36:25-27],[John 3:3-10].[John 6:63],[Ephesians 5:14],[Titus 3:4-7] or he or she will remain in spiritual death, which is eternal separation from God, this is also eternal damnation. To even see or perceive or understand the Kingdom of God and to enter into it we MUST BE born again from the Spirit of God.

    With a dead spirit man cannot at all commune or relate to God because to relate with, to understand, to know God one must worship Him in spirit and truth [John 4:23-24], and this cannot be done by someone who is spiritually dead. We have seen it before that the natural man cannot understand what God is revealing and saying through His word and His Spirit. Also we have seen that a natural, unredeemed man cannot know, nor does he know, God’s truth and so cannot ever worship God according to spirit and His truth.

    One last thing we must say in regard to how original sin affected ALL of man’s decisions and all of man’s being. That’s why free will cannot ever be the basis upon which or the vehicle through which man obtains salvation. After all, faith and man’s free will ARE NOT the same thing.

    John 1:12-13 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    Mankind because it is spiritually dead and separated from God now has the knowledge of good and evil in its mind reversed. What God deems good man deems evil, what God deems evil man deems good. This happened because man, as the devil said and even God confirmed after their sin, had the knowledge of good and evil [Genesis 3:5],[Genesis 3:22]. What Satan did not tell Eve was that being separated from God and with sin affecting radically all of his being, mankind would see what God sees as evil to do, to practice, as good [Romans 1:32] and what is good to do, to practice, as evil.

    We see this fact however played out in our culture and society and it has played out this way ever since the fall into sin because that is what is in the heart of man, to do evil. That’s why God declares this in

    Isaiah 5:20-24 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight! 22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink, 23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man! 24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

    This is a pathetic description of what ungodly mankind does. Man devoid of the life of God calls evil good and good evil, they live in darkness thinking it’s light. They pervert true justice, condemn the righteous and acquit the wicked. It’s the opposite of what God does [Exodus 34:6-7] All of the fabric of mankind is reversed, opposite of God. What God calls justice they call injustice, what God calls unjust they call justice and practice it.

    You see God declares in verse 24 that it’s their root that is rotten, man is rotted at the root, at the core, its fruit is but dust, death really. God told the serpent he would crawl on his belly eating dust [Genesis 3:14] and to Adam, mankind, He said, dust you are and to dust you will return [Genesis 3:19].

    Those who sow to their flesh reap corruption[Galatians 6:7-8]. Why all this? Because mankind has rejected and rejects God [Romans 1:18-32], rejects His law [Romans 8:5-8] and despises His word [2 Thessalonians 1:8-9]. This is the representation of mankind radically corrupted by sin. Just look at our society and tell me they are not like this, unable to be any different, not discerning what is real good (God, His law and word) and what evil truly is (Satan, sin, the world and himself).

    Only the regenerated born-again believer can, and should, discern between what is truly good and what is truly evil according to God because these are discerned spiritually and through God’s word.

    Hebrews 5:13-14 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

    And through the renewing of our mind according to God’s truth

    Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

    These things again can only be practiced by those who are spiritually alive because we MUST remember constantly, again and again, that

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    This is what original sin produced in mankind. The aspect that we have focused upon, is spiritual and physical death.

    Paul says here Romans 5:12b and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.

    what he also said in Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And also in Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

    Here we have to realize two things Paul is saying. The first basic one, however, is this one. Man is not a sinner because he sins, although he is and he does. Man sins because he is a sinner by nature. Mankind cannot help himself not to sin. Man is born a sinner because of the consequences of Adam’s sin. Consequences we call original sin as we said earlier.

    So through Adam sin entered into the human race, this is sinfulness at the core, at the root, in the nature of man and this sinfulness brings about death, spiritual and physical death. Sin and death by consequence have spread to all mankind, see also [1 Corinthians 15:21-22].

    In Adam, the earthly man, we being made from Adam and being earthly, natural, have all sinned. In other words, even if we would never actively sin, practice sin, we would be sinners just the same. That is, in fact, why we do practice sin.

    So man as we said is born in sin, born a sinner, by nature a sinner that is what Paul really means in the three passages of Romans we read above. This is why we fall short of God’s glory, this is why the wages of sin is death, this is why we all sinned.

    We see that man is born into sin, has a sinful nature because sin is present even when children yet do not realize neither have been taught by anyone to sin, yet they sin. They lie, they become stubborn, disobedient, rebellious, selfish and no one has to teach them to be evil. In effect they need to be taught to do good and how to behave right. So this is proof that man is born a sinner and that sin dwells in him from the very beginning.

    Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a soothing aroma. Then the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.

     

    Job 15:14-16 “What is man, that he could be pure? And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous? 15 If God puts no trust in His saints, And the heavens are not pure in His sight, 16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy, Who drinks iniquity like water!

     

    Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.

     

    Psalms 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; They go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

    Once again ALL excuses for man’s innocence are removed by the word of God. From birth man is sinful, has sin in his nature. Because of Adam this has happened, nevertheless God sees mankind also individually guilty of his sinfulness.

    Sin and death affect all mankind completely.

    Before we go on to the next verses, we need to back track and address the middle part of verse 12 which says through one man sin entered the world.

    This brief section of the verse we can take it to mean two things, and I believe they are both legitimate. The first explanation we can give this section is the connection of Adam’s sin to the entire world in the sense of the universality of this sinful act.

    In fact, Paul in the second part of the verse eliminates any exception of sinfulness saying that sin and death spread to ALL men. All men of all nations, tongues and tribes that exist in the world. This is the universality of sin. Which Paul described to us also in [Romans 3:10-23].

    However, the other thing that Adam’s sin did, it not only utterly and completely corrupted mankind at the core, at the root, but it completely affected the rest of the world in the sense of the earth and all that is in it. Sin negatively affected, corrupted also the earth, the animal kingdom and the plants and therefore the function of all that was created went from good to very good to being corrupted by sin.

    That is why the world, the creation, the animals, the plants also are marred by sin. Animals as well as plants get sick and die. That is why all living things are susceptible to genetic mutations that cause defects. These are the consequences of sin. Not only it has affected mankind it affected every living thing, all of God’s creation has been touched and corrupted by sin, even the spirit world has, right? Angels rebelled with Satan and so even in the spirit realm sin has entered. The only One who has not been touched at all or affected at all is God and His angels, His ministers who remained faithful to Him.

    Satan used the guise of a serpent to tempt Eve. Because of this, the earth and every thing in it was supposed to be subdued and dominated by mankind in righteousness and light, has been instead fallen into the hands of Satan for a period of time, period of time set by God in His plan of redemption. Sin has entered the world. Before Adam’s disobedience death was not a factor, so that animals were not ferocious, in fact, they were all herbivorous and man was vegetarian. Since death entered by sin, death did not exist then, and meat, which is a byproduct of animal death was not part of the make up of creation.

    Genesis 1:29-31 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

    We see that after Adam and Eve sin, God declares that sin has placed a curse upon the world and all that is in it.

    Genesis 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.

    Here God curses the serpent because he was defiled by having been used by Satan. He also is cursing Satan as the following verse leads us to understand. Look, however, to what God is saying in reference to the curse upon the serpent, the animal and the other animals. God tells the serpent that he is cursed MORE than the cattle, and MORE than every beast of the field. Now this really encompasses the entire animal kingdom as the cattle represent the domesticated animals, while the beasts of the field represent what we know today as wild animals. However, the word more is what is of interest to us. The serpent is cursed more than, which implies that also the other animals are cursed because of sin.

    God also cursed the earth and all it would produce would be affected by the presence of sin.

    Genesis 3:17-18 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.

    We notice, in fact, as we had also mentioned previously, that death was first seen in the provision God made for Adam and Eve covering them with animal pelts. This indicated God had to kill animals to provide the coverings for them. We also understand, although we do not know exactly when, but certain animals became ferocious and carnivorous and later developed such ferociousness that they could and would also attack man. This probably happened before the flood. However God gave the consequences of human bloodshed also to the animals, see [Genesis 9:1-6].

    We understand then that in ALL creation, sin entered the world. This is also why Scripture teaches us in

    Romans 8:19-22 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

    Creation was unwillingly subjected to sin’s curse. God, however, subjected it in the hope of redemption, redemption that reconciled creation to His creator but this in the wake of the revelation of the sons of God. When?… at the return of Christ when He will reveal with Him His children, and the curse upon creation will be removed and the times of refreshment, regeneration will come on earth as explained to us in many of the prophecies which describe the Messianic Era we know as the Millennium, when Christ will reign on earth [Isaiah 11:1-10]. In the meantime, creation groans and labors, suffers affected by sin, polluted, if we will, by sin. That is what being unwillingly subjected really means, in other words with birth pangs, until it also will be born again, regenerated. These are also the reasons why there are cataclysmic occurrences in the world, these are bu the birth pang pains that precede the rebirth, the regeneration of the world at the revelation of Jesus Christ’s second coming.

    Jesus described them for us in this way in

    Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

    So the whole world, as well as mankind, is in the grips of sin. In fact, for a time the world has been given to the control of the wicked one. This control is controlled by God. 1 John 5:19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.

    Paul now continues in verses 13-14 saying (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 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.

    Now Paul is not at all saying that God did not hold man responsible for his sins before the law was given. What he is saying is that God does not impute specifics of sin to man and knowingly to man. That God judged sin in mankind before the law is evident in many passages. Some of the most notable, God’s judgment on Cain [Genesis 4:8-24], God’s judgment of mankind through the flood [Genesis 6:1-22], [Genesis 7:1-24], the judgment of God upon Sodom and Gomorrah [Genesis 18:20-33], [Genesis 19:1-25], God’s judgment upon Egypt Exodus 5:1-12:36.

    However, we must see in better detail what this ‘not imputing sin when there is no law’ means.

    The law Paul already explained to us in Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    Paul also made this statement in Romans 7:7-12 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

    It is obvious, however, that sin was known in the heart of man even when the law still was not given. For example, Pharaoh knew he sinned against the Lord several times. he realized he had sinned. But Pharaoh did not know the law [Exodus 9:27], [Exodus 10:16]. In fact, not even Israel knew the law yet. See also [Genesis 41:9], [Genesis 44:16]. These incidents of confession of sins were all prior to the law.

    How did man know what sin was before the law? They did not know the specifics of the raging desire the law causes through the knowledge of sin, raging desire to transgress the law that is brought about in the heart of man, see in fact that this is what Paul is saying in Romans 7:8.

    But Paul also had explained to us that those pagans without the law knew that what they practiced was wrong and that they deserved death because of their unrighteousness.

    Romans 1:32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

    How do they know that what they do is wrong without knowing exactly the law forbids such actions? They knew and know even today through the conscience that reveals to them the law of God written in their being.

    Romans 2:14-15 for when Gentiles (Pagans), who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them).

    God built into man a mechanism that warns man when sin is committed. This obviously would give man also an idea of what actions are evil and which are not. The law was given actually to aggravate man’s conscience. Let’s not forget that even the Jews have a conscience [John 8:9], not only pagans. All men have it and yet God gave them the law as well. Why? To show, to confirm to all of mankind, the utter sinfulness of sin, to make it known as to prove to man that no matter how much man knows evil and it’s consequences man cannot stop practicing it, cannot help himself but to practice this evil, it rules him completely, mankind is a slave to sin. The more man would try to live by the law the more he would transgress it, he is unable to keep the law [Romans 8:4-8].

    The law extends man’s responsibility not to sin even more as it is adds responsibility to the conscience making man bear the full brunt of sin’s consequences and judgment. To whom much is given much more is required from, right?

    Not that mankind will not be judged without the law. No, Paul specified this already, man without the law will be judged according to conscience, God’s law written within. Originally mankind, therefore, does what is mentioned in [Romans 1:18-25]. Man suppresses the conscience’s warnings, the internal knowledge of God’s law, with unrighteousness to suffocate and silence God’s sin alarm. Mankind in doing this hurls himself into idolatry and gives himself over to more sin and unrighteousness.

    So even before the law was given by God or even today where people do not know God’s law nor do they hear the Gospel, yet, the conscience is God’s instrument by which man will be condemned because through it man knows he sins. Let us not forget that on the Day of God’s final judgment the Bible teaches us this.

    Revelation 20:11-13 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

    Basically when Paul makes this statement in Romans 5:13 (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)

    He is really saying what he said in

    Romans 2:11-12 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law.

    Sometimes I am astounded to think that believers think that the age of grace, which is the period after Christ’s work of redemption, is the period where God is most patient and they claim that God in the OT was much more severe and judgmental. I disagree. Scripture teaches us that God is patient today for the sake of the elect.

    Romans 9:22-24 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

    However, God’s judgment and punishment will be much more severe upon men at the end of the dispensation of grace than any other era before Christ. Why?

    Because now mankind lives under much more responsibility to be obedient to God as the revelation of God’s righteousness and holiness, mercy and grace are displayed in the ultimate revelation of God, Jesus Christ, and this makes mankind all the more responsible to obey God. The knowledge of God is so complete now that there are virtually no more excuses for man’s sin and disobedience and for man to reject God, not that under any other economy there were excuses, there were not [Romans 1:18-20]. There really never were excuses, but now with the ultimate knowledge God has revealed to mankind He does not overlook the ignorance of man any longer rather commands men everywhere to repent. Even Paul declared this very fact in:

    Acts 17:24-32 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 “Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

    God, before the law, judged solely through conscience as He does with those today who were never exposed to God’s law and to the Gospel.

    Then God gave the law, and more responsibility came, and by the law man knows sin’s sinfulness and by the knowledge of that law is judged. After the law then came Christ who fulfilled the law. So now, based on His Gospel, judgment will be rendered by His Gospel, His law and man’s conscience. This has increased man’s responsibilities toward obedience to God to the maximum power.

    Therefore, it is not only and exclusively the amount of sins one commits that establishes the severity of God’s punishment upon sinners, rather in how much of God’s light they were committed that will determine even more the gravity of the punishment.

    Make no mistake, who will not be found in the book of life, in other words, who is not in Christ, born again of the Spirit of God, ALL WILL be judged according to their works and deeds and sins and the severity of their punishment will be in accordance with the amount of revelation a person has received. The least amount of punishment, nevertheless eternal punishment it will be, will be assigned to those whose sins will be judged according to conscience alone. The next eternal punishment will be more severe for those who will be judged by conscience and law and still with no knowledge of the Gospel. The most severe eternal punishment will occur for those who were exposed to the Gospel and rejected it. These will have the greatest punishment as they sinned against God’s greatest light of revelation and grace.

    That in essence is explained in these next passages even better.

    Luke 12:47-48 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.

     

    Matthew 11:20-24 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: 21 “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.”

     

    Hebrews 10:26-30 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth (This is the sin of unbelief, rejecting the Gospel) there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?

     

    All this to say what Paul was explaining. I hope it is clearer now. It’s not that sin itself would not be judged before the law, as we saw it was judged. Rather that the full knowledge of sin was not yet rendered evident to mankind, [Romans 3:20], but we saw men knew that they sinned and God punished just the same. After the law the punishment and judgment were more severe still. After Christ the punishment and judgment of God on sin will be the fiercest.

     

    Romans V Verses from XIV to XIX

     

    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. 15 But the free 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. 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. 17 For if by the 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.) 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. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

    Now, in verse 14 Paul says something that apparently seems difficult to understand. Let’s read it together:

    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.

    OK, so the first part is easy to understand, death had dominion upon men from Adam to Moses. Although men did not have a written code of law to go by, death as a consequence of Adam’s sin and also their own still had dominion upon mankind. Mankind remained spiritually dead and died physically as well. After all that was God’s promise to Adam [Genesis 2:16-17] and subsequently to ALL humans, death because of sin

    [Romans 5:12],[Romans 6:23].

    Death had dominion over ALL mankind, all who did not sin according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam.

    Well, is to God sin is sin, what does this mean? Mankind did not sin after the likeness of Adam’s transgression. You see, Adam transgressed, which is sin, but it’s sin that is known through a specific commandment given by God. Remember God commanded Adam

    Genesis 2:16-17 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

    Both the commandment and the consequence of the what ? Transgression of this commandment were given to Adam. A man can only transgress a known commandment. So the likeness of Adam’s transgression is that mankind from Adam to Moses did not have a written nor a revealed law. Mankind sinned, did not knowingly transgress God’s commandments as they did not receive any directly from Him.

    Once again man sinned, yes, but sinned against an unwritten law or direct commandments from God, except transgressing the law that was written in their heart known through conscience. However, as we have seen man could not know these were specific commandments, rather they could recognize the sin only when it was committed as their conscience would either accuse them when they committed sin or acquitted them when they did not [Romans 2:14-15]. So that the only revelation of God, of righteousness and sin, was through nature and conscience.

    That is what it means not having sinned according to the likeness of Adam’s transgression.

    Then Paul says… who?… Adam is a type of Him who was to come. What does this mean?

    Well, Paul answers this question by explaining in the next verses why Jesus was a type of Adam and Adam a type of Jesus. Paul makes the comparisons between Adam and Jesus Christ, how they both affected mankind yet in a very different way. In fact, as much as they are a type of each other, they are diametrically opposite one to the other. Jesus is, however, declared by Paul as the Last Adam.

    1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    Jesus did what the first Adam was unable to do and undid what the first Adam did. Jesus was able to do what no other man could ever do. Remember what that is? Born without sin He kept Himself without sin, He obeyed God’s law and fulfilled it all, so being able to be the Last Adam. Doing what Adam did not do and undoing what Adam did, this way forming a new race of men. Men and women who are in Him have that which was done by Adam removed from their life. Jesus regenerated a segment of mankind, those who received God’s grace through the gift by the grace of Him, Jesus Christ. [Romans 8:29],[Colossians 1:15-19],[Hebrews 2:11-15].

    Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

    James 1:17-18 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. 18 Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    So God, through Jesus Christ, regenerated a part of mankind, new creations in Christ. As mankind is in the flesh created in Adam, so a part of mankind elected by God’s grace, by His own will, brought forth by the word of truth, born again so that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

    We have seen already how Adam’s sin affected everything in a negative way, and everything is corrupted by sin in this world. What Jesus did affected everything positively of what will be a part of the new order, the new heavens and the new earth and the heavenly Jerusalem, where a new redeemed creation will live and have the benefits and even abundantly more than the ones that were forfeited by Adam’s disobedience [1 Corinthians 15:45-49], [Revelation 21:1-8], [Revelation 22:1-5] .

    However Paul, to avoid even some accidental misunderstanding, makes sure that we understand verse 15 But the free 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.

    The free gift of God is His grace to undeserving sinners by His Son Jesus Christ. The free gift is not like the offense. In what sense? Now we need to understand very carefully what is being said and what is not being said in this passage. We do not and cannot misunderstand what Paul is saying. In order to understand better what he is saying, let’s look also at what Paul says in a parallel passage found in

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

    Here Paul says that in Adam ALL men die. Good, because this is what the Bible has been saying all along. ALL men are radically depraved, corrupted by sin and the wages of sin is death, so every single human being is spiritually dead and also dies physically. Up to here no problem right?

    But now Paul says even so in Christ ALL shall be made alive. Now, what in the world does that mean? Because in Romans 5:15 we see that Paul uses the word many and not the word all to describe those who die and those who instead receive life through grace in Christ.

    Well, we KNOW or SHOULD KNOW that Scripture does not contradict itself. We know that in Adam, the natural, carnal man dies, ALL die. However, we also know that ALL mankind will not receive life in Christ. We know from Scripture instead that many will end up in eternal damnation so why in the world does Paul say ALL shall be made alive in Christ?

    Paul is not at all using these two words, many and all, as absolutes otherwise he would be preaching universal salvation. However, we know that universal salvation is a false doctrine that some, twisting the Scriptures, teach that all men regardless will be saved in the end. This is not so, this doctrine is heresy and it is unbiblical.

    In other words, the only absolute thing is this, that in Adam ALL certainly die, spiritually ALL die. Physically many will die, in fact ALL unbelievers WILL die, but not all of mankind will die physically, because some who have believed in Christ will NOT DIE physically.

    1 Corinthians 15:50-53 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

    So in Adam ALL die spiritually and ALL die physically. If a person remains in the flesh, in Adam, they will die. In fact, in every possible way there is to experience death they will experience it.

    Now if a person goes from Adam to Christ, passes from death to life, then ALL of these will live. Even though many will die physically they will live and some of those who are alive will never die, that’s even what Jesus promised [John 11:25-26]. So that is why Paul is using the word many to describe both cases in [Romans 5:15]. Many will remain in Adam and die, but not all, right? Many will believe and will be in Christ so many will receive grace and life instead of death, many human beings but not all, right? This is the explanation of Romans 5:15, while the explanation of 1 Corinthians 15:22 is that all who remain in Adam will ALL die, while ALL who are in Christ shall live. In fact, some of the all that are in Christ will never experience physical death.

    Now Paul goes on saying, 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. 17 For if by the 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.) 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. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.

     

    The free gift of God’s grace in Christ Jesus is not at all as the offense of Adam, as in reality Jesus’ work is completely opposite that of Adam. God’s gift, as we will see also in the verses to come, is greater than the offense of Adam. Through only one offense God’s judgment came and this judgment resulted in the complete condemnation of mankind on God’s part [Romans 1:18-32],[Romans 3:10-23].

    The free gift of grace instead came from and for many offenses and resulted in justification.

    Now wait a minute, does this mean that sin produced the free gift of grace? Well, not directly rather indirectly. This can be explained thus. One sin, Adam’s, caused God’s judgment and condemnation on every man, this also produced the sinfulness and increase of sinfulness in mankind.

    Now, not only one sin is to be viewed but a great multitude of offenses has to be taken into consideration. If one sin, Adam’s sin is enough to judge and condemn mankind just think of all the sins that mankind commits.

    So now not only the first sin must be removed, but ALL sins committed must be removed. God took care of this completely providing His free gift of grace. This free gift not only took away the sinful nature of those to whom it is given to, but also removed ALL of their sins committed because of that one offense.

    This is why Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world [John 1:29].

    Once again let’s specify what this means, this does not mean that Jesus has taken away the sin of ALL the people of the world. If this was the case then ALL people would be saved. Not ALL people will be saved, for many are called but few are chosen.

    Only those who believe in the Gospel are the saved, only their sins will be removed.

    However, these are people from every nation of the world. We need to understand that when God speaks of loving the world, saving the world, taking away the sin of the world He is NOT speaking universally about every single individual in the world, rather it means that He is taking the whole world as the object of His love and grace.

    In the Hebrew mindset of that day only the Jews were the object of God’s love and salvation. So Jesus and later the authors of NT Scripture had to impress the fact upon the minds of the people that God loves all nations, all tongues and all tribes and upon some of the people of these He chose to pour out His grace and mercy through Jesus Christ so that every part of this world could experience His salvation, not only the Jews. Got it?!

    This is exactly what Jesus meant in [John 3:16-17], what John meant in the above statement [John 1:29], and what John the Apostle meant in [1 John 2:2]. The end product of this is found clearly described in

    Revelation 5:9-10 And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, 10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

    See also [Revelation 7:9-17].

    So ALL the sins of ALL the redeemed people, redeemed out of ALL the nations of the world are removed through God’s gracious gift through Christ Jesus. This is what it means to take away the sin of the world, OK?

    Certainly God loves the whole world, He does not only love the nation of Israel, that’s the whole point. Must we assume He loves ALL men the same individually? After all there is no partiality with God, right? True! There is no partiality with God, however…

    This is a very complex subject and we will have to wait a little longer to address this issue ahead in the study. If by loving all men we mean that God is obligated to save them all, then no God will not end up loving all men in the same way, as many will remain in their sinfulness. The Bible clearly shows us that God does not only hate sin but hates also those who remain in sin and unbelief.

    Psalms 5:4-6 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. 5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. 6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

    See also [Leviticus 20:23], [Psalms 6:16-19], [Hosea 9:15], [Zechariah 11:8].

    Very harsh language and yet very clear language. Oh, we can try; and I am sure that many have and will try to do exegetical somersaults to try to explain away in a different way the meaning of this passage.

    But God is not unjust nor is He unmerciful and unloving to feel this way. That would only be our small and limited understanding of the immensity of God. God also said these words.

    Ezekiel 33:11 “Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’

    God does not hate the way we do. God’s hatred for sin is justified as He is absolutely holy and righteous. No evil resides in God so He does not hate the way we do [James 1:13]. Our hatred is an evil hatred, His hatred is a righteous hatred, hatred against ALL that which is unrighteous and unholy.

    That makes a big difference in how we see this whole subject. However, if we do not come to the proper understanding of man’s utter and radical evil and sinfulness we will never be able to fully appreciate God’s attributes, including His grace, love and mercy.

    I came to understand God’s love and mercy and forgiveness only when I saw myself as God saw me – as utterly and completely sinful, and I realized how God truly is, completely holy and righteous and that I deserve to go to hell because of my sinfulness. He is righteous and just when He judges sin and sinners.

    Romans 3:4-5 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

    Let’s see what else God says now:

    Romans 9:13-24 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? Certainly not! 15 For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whomever I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whomever I will have compassion.” 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.” 18 Therefore He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens. 19 You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?” 20 But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor? 22 What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, 24 even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

     

    This is how we reconcile this subject. Is it hard? Yes! Difficult to swallow? Sure! Do we really fully understand it? No, not really! Do we have to? No, not at all! Do we have to accept it? Let me say this, if we made Jesus our Lord and we believe that God is Sovereign and loving and merciful as well as just and holy and righteous…yes, we MUST accept it and in order to do this we MUST do what Paul says we should do in

    Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

     

    We will tackle this context and this subject when we will have to address the passage we just read, Romans 9, and we will talk about the doctrine of election, although we did have many opportunities to see this doctrine in one form or another throughout the study so far. Until then, however, we need only to realize that God loves the world and that He saves people out of the whole world. Whom He decides to have mercy upon is His prerogative, and it is not subject to our opinions or desires, we are not sovereign, all-knowing and all-wise so we cannot even begin to question how or why God displays His love and mercy the way He does.

    All we need to know is that ALL people deserve to die and deserve hell and that should be enough to also understand God’s love and mercy and reconcile it with His sovereign will and all His other attributes. I do not know why God chose me or you. Perhaps, in fact, I am sure there was a person who lived a better, more moral life, even a somewhat more religious life than me or you and by that standard perhaps deserved more than us to be saved.

    That’s the whole point, however, since ALL men and women are sinners and deserving hell, no one deserves anything.

    If God saved based on the persons’ works it would not be grace as grace means unmerited favor. So it is to display His glory in His mercy and His grace that He chose to save wretched people, undeserving people.

    But why did He choose some over others is not for us to know at this time. Perhaps some day in eternity we will know why, we will be able to understand why, but not necessarily. Suffices to know that God is just and He does everything perfectly. We do not need to have the answer just to accept His perfect and sovereign will. That’s the whole point Paul made in Romans 9, is it not? Who are we to say to God why have you made me this way? I will add also, why did you make them that way? Why do we care? Is it really important we should know why God decides what He does and does the things He does? Are we God or is He? Is He obligated to give us an answer in regard to why He does what he does? We do have, however, a partial answer and it should suffice. It is found in:

    Ephesians 1:4-7 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

    Ephesians 1:11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,

     

    So the free gift of God’s grace which came from the many offenses, or because of the many offenses, has the power to justify those to whom it is bestowed upon, because it has the power not only to remove the one offense, Adam’s sinful nature, but to remove ALL the committed offenses.

    That is what is necessary to be justified, the removal of ALL sins, past, present and future, ALL of them. That’s justification before God, being guiltless, without fault forever. There are several Scriptures that describe our standing before God in Christ to be such.

    Jude 24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

    See also [Romans 8:30-34], [1 Corinthians 1:8], [Ephesians 1:4], [Colossians 1:21-23], [Titus 3:4-7].

     

    Verse 17 For if by the 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.)

    Through Adam’s offense death reigned. Death had dominion. Death had spiritual dominion over man and physical dominion over man as well. Death was queen, she ruled and reigned. We see this fact take even greater shape when God judged mankind the first time destroying ALL mankind through the cataclysm called the flood [Genesis 6:11-13]. Only eight persons, chosen by God, by His grace Noah and his immediate family were spared death, were saved by grace.

    Genesis 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

    It’s only because he found grace in the eyes of God and was chosen by God. Therefore, he was considered just and righteous in his generation.

    Genesis 6:9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God.

    Listen, this is not any different than how we are considered just and perfect in our generation today, this is why we are able to walk with God.

    We also have been chosen and found grace in the eyes of God and because of this we have been assigned a place in our ark of salvation, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we are rendered just and perfect [2 Corinthians 5:17-21]. That is justification by the way, as we saw this even beforehand. We also, as Noah escaped God’s judgment in his days and was sealed by God in the ark [Genesis 7:16], escape the present and future wrath and judgment of God because we are sealed in Christ by God as well [Ephesians 1:13],[Ephesians 4:30].

    Death reigned as God but so did His grace as He gave us example of this in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, but delivering Lot and his daughters. Death reigned but so did His grace as God judged Egypt but delivered the Hebrews. Death reigned but much more we see God’s grace always abounding toward someone through out the pages of Scripture.

    In the midst of the reign of death God’s grace much more abounded and abounds toward undeserving sinners such as us. As we saw with grace so does the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One Jesus Christ.

    1 Corinthians 15:53-57 For this corruptible must put on incorruptibility, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruptibility, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

    55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?”

    56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Once again, as we saw in connection with God’s grace given by Jesus Christ, we find the righteousness of God apart from the law, apart from anything men can do to be considered righteous, the righteousness which comes by grace through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ [Romans 3:21-26]. Christ’s righteousness imputed by grace upon those who believe [Romans 4:5], [Romans 10:4]. This is possible because of the resurrected life of Jesus. Because He lives, His life is our life; and therefore, He is our righteousness through His life-giving Spirit [Romans 8:10-11],[1 Corinthians 1:30].

    1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Grace is abundantly bestowed upon mankind in the form of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. We received its fullness in Christ.

    John 1:16-17 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    It is not a stingy blessing, or a blessing that will come to an end but it’s abundant as much as man needs it God’s grace continues to abound. It’s abundant in quantity and in quality.

    Abundant in quantity because it affects many people and it takes away ALL the sins of those to whom it is given.

    Abundant in quantity because it never can run out, we cannot out sin it, it keeps on being poured out upon us. It is given for the forgiveness of ALL our sins [Romans 4:6-8], [1 John 1:7-9] and it is given for sanctification, it is that through which we are glorified, it is that through which we live our Christian life [Philippians 2:13], [Romans 12:6]. ALL of our salvation, regeneration, conversion, sanctification and glorification is ALL by God’s grace [Titus 3:4-7]. It is abundant, overflowing [Psalms 23:5-6] in everything that concerns our life and it is a well that never runs dry [John 4:13], it’s always available to our asking as we have constant access into it [Hebrews 4:16] for ALL of our needs [2 Corinthians 9:8]. It’s abundant toward us because it is enough for us to overcome ALL the difficult situations we face.

    2 Corinthians 12:8-10 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

     

    Abundant and excellent in quality because it is the most precious gift of God. It proceeds from Him and every gift that comes from Him is good and perfect [James 1:17]. It is abundant in quality because it is through the righteous, holy, perfect life given by Jesus Christ the only begotten of the Father. It’s abundantly precious therefore as it cost God everything He could offer to a bunch of undeserving wicked sinners as we are, because of its quality it is more precious than any worldly riches.

    1 Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

    It’s rich in quality and in value.

    Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

    It’s ALL of God, His best for us, His ALL for us and it’s free to us.

    Isaiah 55:1-3 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk Without money and without price. 2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance. 3 Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live;

    This is the description of God’s abundant and rich grace toward mankind when He will, in the end, give His inheritance to those whom He had grace upon, the end result of the removal of sin through Jesus Christ our Lord, the OT description of this.

    Isaiah 25:6-8 And in this mountain The LORD of hosts will make for all people A feast of choice pieces, A feast of wines on the lees, Of fat things full of marrow, Of well-refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain The surface of the covering cast over all people, And the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken.

     

    This is the NT description of the same thing.

    Revelation 21:2-7 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” 6 And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. 7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.

    Who is he who will inherit ALL things? He who overcomes. Who is he who overcomes? He who is in Christ Jesus. How does one end up in Christ Jesus and one who overcomes through Him? By God’s abundant and rich grace.

    Ephesians 1:7-8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence

    Ephesians 2:3-10 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    It’s exactly because God has given us in Jesus Christ His greater and most precious gift, which He demonstrated us in this abundant and most precious grace that, whoever rejects this most precious gift of grace, for these people, not the abundant blessings that come from this precious gift will be given, rather the worst possible and imaginable punishment will be given, why? Because let’s look at what the Lord has to say about this

    Hebrews 10:26-31 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

    We cannot do an in depth exegesis of this passage although there is a great need of it because this is perhaps one of the passages in the Bible that is most misinterpreted. However, if the Lord wills one day we will do a study of the book of Hebrews and we will do a more complete exegesis of this passage. Here is sufficient to know several basic things. The first thing is essential for the proper understanding of this passage and the entire book as well, is that the letter is written to Hebrew assembly, community formed primarily by Hebrew believers and non believers as well. In this church as well as those we have today although not Hebrew predominantly, there was as there are people who are not fully convinced about the Gospel, that are doubters, who still are not converted. They received the knowledge of the truth, they accepted it superficially, the word however did not make way in the depth of the heart to change it and it did not therefore produce the fruit of regeneration, true faith, see also Jesus’ parable in [Matthew 13:20-21]. The knowledge of the truth is the Gospel, the sinning willfully after having received the knowledge of the truth does not mean the generic sinning of a person. If it were such no one would be saved because this would mean that we would have to be perfect while instead we all know that even after having been regenerated we still willfully sin, in fact, now more than ever we sin willfully because only now we can practice our true free will. Before we were slaves to sin and we did what we wanted to do,it was still willful but it was also because we could not help ourselves. Now however, we are not enslaved by our sinful nature and yet we sin, this time because we willfully, knowingly sin, we want to disobey God. So, if the sinning here in question, willfully, is this, then there would be no more sacrifice for sins? This is really bad then because non one can stay saved then.

    No, obviously then it does not mean this, no one is perfect even after their conversion, everyone sins willingly, so what does this mean then? If a Hebrew in that case, but really any person receives, in other words hears, because receiving is hearing, even according to the parable of Jesus in Matthew 13, if one receives, hears, the Gospel which gives the knowledge of the truth, if a person lives under the constant preaching of the Gospel, the word of God and remains unbelieving, in other words does not fully accept the Gospel as truth, this person, in this particular case the Hebrew, there remained no more sacrifice for their sin. The sacrifices of the Hebrew religion could not forgive their sins. They refused, rejected the only valid sacrifice that takes away their sins, the Lord Jesus Christ. This was, is, in fact the whole context of the epistle to the Hebrews which the author went to great length to explain in the previous chapters. If they went back to the Jewish religion they would not be in the grace of God but they would remain int heir sins.

    Even today however a person who hers the Gospel, becomes curious, perhaps even accepts the concept of the Gospel mentally but does not truly accept it and does not become regenerated, if this person remains in unbelief and returns to the futility of his life without Christ, religious or worldly futility, if they reject the one and only grace and fount of salvation, the most precious gift of God’s grace, these will undergo the worst possible punishment ever, why? Because first of all their sins will not be forgiven and their guilt will not be taken away, they will remain guilty before God, the worse possible punishment in fact will be because of the fact that they trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace

    Attention at this verse because the Greek grammar and Scripture indicates that the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified is not meant for the person who tramples underfoot the Son of God and considers common thing this blood, rather it is meant for the Son of God. He, the Son of God, Jesus is the One who was sanctified, set apart by the blood of the covenant, His own blood with which He was set apart as the perfect sacrifice, the only sacrifice [John 17:9], in this way He sanctified us. However, a person who never truly believed such as these described here, these were not sanctified by the blood of Christ. He was the One set apart, sanctified by the blood He shed, the blood of the covenant, that person then who rejected Jesus has also insulted the Spirit of grace.

    The blood of the covenant was holy, sacred. It is the blood shed on the cross by Jesus. By that shed blood Christ was set apart to God as the perfect sacrifice. He entered into the Holy of Holies and, there, being the perfect sacrifice by shedding His own blood, He entered into the Holy of Holies in the presence of God even as the high priest did symbolically in the OT where he sprinkled the blood on the mercy seat. Christ, the Chief High Priest, bearing His own blood, as it were, finalized that great sacrifice and established the new covenant and brought His own blood in the presence of God. So it was the covenant sealed in His blood and these are the people who count that blood, His blood set apart to seal the covenant, as an unholy thing. What are these people declaring, then? They’re rejecting the covenant God made with Jesus and all who are in Him. Watch this now! The first statement was a rejection of God who exalted the Son; this is a rejection of Christ who set Himself apart as the perfect sacrifice, then they reject also the Spirit of grace who is the Holy Spirit. So the apostate rejects God the Father and he rejects Christ the Son and He rejects the Holy Spirit, therefore rejecting God and His only way of salvation.

    John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    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.

    Adam’s disobedience gave sin and death to mankind, but the obedience of Jesus instead provided for many righteousness, justification, the forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

    Adam’s disobedience cursed mankind, Jesus’ obedience removed the curse from those who by God’s grace are saved.

    Adam’s disobedience plunged man into unrighteousness while Jesus’ obedience provided righteousness and holiness for many.

    Here again Paul uses the word many even in reference to those who were made sinners. Once again this does not mean that only many became sinners while others not. No, we have seen previously that God has ALL men without exceptions, each and every individual on earth, every single human being under sin [Romans 3:10-23]. We also explained somewhat this very concept in the comments of verse 15 where we also addressed the concept of the use of the word many. However, we do realize that the word many used in the description of those who will be made righteous by Jesus’ obedience is literally many.

    Isaiah 53:10-12 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.

    Hebrews 9:28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.

     

    So, although ALL of mankind is under sin, considered sinners, corrupt at the core etc. because of Adam’s disobedience, only many, not all of mankind ,will be made righteous by Christ’s obedience, those who believe in Him, those who God chose. Only those who believe will be saved; however,only those who are chosen by God will believe [Matthew 20:16], [Matthew 22:14], [John 6:44-45], [John 6:63-71], [John 17:2-3], [Acts 13:48].

     

    Romans V Verses XX to XXI

    20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21 so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Once again we must tackle the meaning of this. The law has then increased the sinfulness of sin. Not that sin becomes more sin in its essence. Sin is sin even before the law. The absence of the law did not diminish the transgression in God’s eyes. Rather it is the knowledge of sin, the meaning of sin, that man receives through the law that increases the responsibility of mankind to obey it that makes sin more abundant because man cannot obey the law; and in fact, the law increases man’s desire to sin and actually provokes man to sin more, hence the increase of sin’s sinfulness. The knowledge of sin’s sinfulness by its description in the law is what increases man’s responsibility to obey the law. However, the law does increase sinfulness also in a practical way. Before the law man was to respond to the temptation to sin by conscience and the knowledge of sin was through conscience alone. Man did not know the direct prohibition of God through the law before the law, so man not knowing the written law did not have his or her desire to sin increased in the flesh by the knowledge and the prohibition of the particular sins described through the law.

    In simple words, through the law is the knowledge of what sin really is.

    Romans 3:19-20 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

    So in the end it does not matter, as Paul described in [Romans 2:14-15] and [Romans 3:10-23]. ALL men are sinners, Jews and Pagans alike, there is no difference, ALL are under sin, OK? However, through the law is the knowledge of sin so that those who are exposed to the written law of God now have double jeopardy. The Pagans who do not know the law are under sin the same, however judged by God as sinners solely through the revelation and light of conscience, while those under the law will be judged under sin by conscience and the law as well. Their responsibility to their disobedience just doubled. Their punishment and responsibility to obey the law and the conscience will be greater because their knowledge of their sinfulness is greater.

    This is not all, however. The law produces in man more sinfulness and even more desire to sin, and it proves to man also his inability to obey the law of God. So that as Paul is saying here, sin through the law may abound even more. Paul explains how this principle works in

    Romans 7:7-13 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.” 8 But sin, taking opportunity by the commandment, produced in me all manner of evil desire. For apart from the law sin was dead. 9 I was alive once without the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died. 10 And the commandment, which was to bring life, I found to bring death. 11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it killed me. 12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good. 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.

    So this is how sin became more abundant, it became known through the law and through the commandment it produced in mankind who has the knowledge of sin all manner of evil desire, verse 8. Did you ever notice when you tell someone, even a child, not to do something that prohibition riles up the desire to do that thing even more? That’s how the law works in man, that’s what the knowledge of sin does in man. It then proves to man that he or she is unable to obey it. Verse 13 tells us that when sin is known for what it is, not only it produces the evil desire to do what is prohibited, but man unable in his own power, because spiritually dead, cannot submit to the law of God [Romans 8:7]. This knowledge of sin produces all the more increased sinfulness and the commandment becomes all the more sinful to the person who cannot submit to the law of God.

    So that’s what Paul means when he says that the offense might abound. While the offense abounds all the more in mankind, the grace of God abounds even more. In other words, mankind cannot out-sin God’s grace. God’s grace is more abundant than all the sin man can ever commit. There is no sin and no quantity of sin that God’s grace cannot take away. God’s grace is able, in the life of the many who believe, even to eliminate the sin of unbelief. Man by himself will not believe but through God’s grace he is enabled also to believe. Unbelief is the sin which man commits that basically keeps man in a state of sinfulness, in a state of spiritual death. Therefore, when man remains in unbelief he or she remains in ALL of his sinfulness, and he or she will be judged according to every sin committed.

    John 8:24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

    God’s grace however, is so abundant and so great that it took care even of that sin as He gives grace to the elect and this includes the faith in Christ with which we believe and with which we receive the forgiveness and the justification of all our sins including the one of not having previously believed in God. Faith produces repentance and that is also the repentance of having not believed. Even unbelief then gets dealt with, forgiven by God’s grace.

    Acts 13:48 Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

    Ephesians 1:7-9 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,

    Ephesians 2:1-10 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

    This is God’s abounding grace toward us who were dead in our transgressions and sins, who could not by ourselves believe, who were children of the devil and objects of God’s wrath. By His grace He made us alive with Christ even when we were in that condition. It’s by absolute and only by grace we have been saved. This grace will be forever displayed in us and through us in eternity, by grace through faith we have been saved, our salvation is already complete really, we have to get there in time, but in God’s plan it’s finished, remember what Jesus cried out from the cross? This grace of which faith is a part of are not from ourselves it is the gift of God. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. So abundant is His grace we cannot out-sin it, it just keeps covering, forgiving, taking away our sins forever.

    Micah 7:18-19 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. 19 He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.

    I think the most beautiful description of God’s grace in our life in the OT perhaps in the whole Bible is found in

    Psalms 103:1-14 Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, 5 Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; 12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.

    The more mankind becomes sinful and the more God’s grace abounds more and more. God’s grace does not stop because of mankind’s utter demonstration of its sinfulness. This has been confirmed to us in Scripture. If we were to take a survey of the Bible history we would clearly see that as man’s responsibilities toward obeying God’s revelation and law increased, disobedience and sinfulness also increased. We also see this trend in the history of mankind after the first coming of Jesus Christ up until today. Although mankind is ALL under sin and completely corrupt at the root, in its nature, mankind has not yet reached the apex of its sinfulness. We are getting there ever so quickly and we are seeing this developing right under our eyes as we see how mankind’s wickedness is on the increase day after day, from one generation to the next. Jesus did warn us this would happen.

    Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.

    It’s really because of the increase and abundance of sinfulness, lawlessness is what is meant as man disregarding God’s law, hatred will increase and we are seeing this happening.

    To see that this is so all we must do is look at the book of Revelation, a book written to give us revelation of what will occur shortly before the return of Jesus. In the book of Revelation is described for us the condition of the world in the seven years preceding the Second Coming of Jesus. This period is known as the Tribulation and Great Tribulation, also known together with the actual bodily return of Christ, as the Day of the Lord.

    During these years mankind will become evermore utterly evil and wicked and God’s most severe judgments will begin to be poured out upon the world. Yet, in the midst of man’s darkest hour and man’s darkest most evil behavior, in the midst of God’s fiercest judgment God’s grace will abound toward mankind.

    Revelation 7:9-14 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” 11 All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

    “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,

    Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,

    Be to our God forever and ever.

    Amen.”

    13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” 14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    So we see that in the midst of man’s greatest wickedness and God’s fiercest judgment upon mankind, a remnant elected to be saved by God’s abundant grace is described as a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues.

    Did God so love the world? Yes, without a doubt He did, He does and He will even in mankind’s worst display of rebellion toward Him.

    Now if that is not a description of verse 20 Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, I do not know what would be.

    Habakkuk 3:1-2 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, on Shigionoth.

    2 O LORD, I have heard your speech and was afraid;

    O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years!

    In the midst of the years make it known;

    In wrath remember mercy.

    Habakkuk heard the prophecy of God, yes, he heard it and was afraid because God’s wrath and judgment is something to fear. Yet Habakkuk knowing the saving nature of God prayed a prayer that is in accord with God’s will. In God’s wrath that is just and what man deserves. However, LORD, in your wrath remember mercy, and God answers that prayer because where sin abounds, grace abounds much more.

    This is our LORD, in His wrath He does remember mercy and He does display His grace, abundantly giving salvation and forgiveness of sins to undeserving sinners, sinners who in reality would deserve nothing but wrath and judgment.

    So verse 21 concludes saying so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Sin abounded more and more with the law, and sin reigned in death. We have already seen quite often that the wages of sin is death, but Paul says here as ahead in the next chapter that grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus and Him only.

    We did see that because of Adam sin entered the world and through sin, death. The consequence of Adam’s disobedience caused mankind to become by nature sinful in all of its being, corrupt at the core, at the root, in his nature. Death entered into the world, all living things would now die physically, but man also died spiritually, morally. So, death reigned through sin from Adam to Moses and also after. In fact, sin through the law increased man’s sinfulness and death continued to reign as well. However, as we did already see, God’s grace always abounded in the midst of sin and death. God’s grace abounded before the law and after the law. Now, however, it abounds even more through Jesus Christ our Lord

    John 1:14-17 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.’ ” 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    God’s grace reached its fulness when sinfulness is still striving to reach it’s apex. In Christ the fulness of God’s grace is bestowed upon mankind. The grace of God given in Christ in advance before and after the cross has reached it’s fulness in Christ and it has been bestowed and is being bestowed upon undeserving mankind.

    Death has been swallowed up in victory, the power of sin has been defeated and we will see this better exposed for us by Paul in chapter VI.

    1 Corinthians 15:54-57 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

     

    The concept of sin and death losing their power and dominion will be better and widely exposed by Paul in the next chapter.

    God’s grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God’s gift of grace is God’s righteousness in Christ and eternal life.

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    The power of God unto salvation as Paul began explaining, is God’s righteousness given through Jesus Christ [Romans 1:16-17], justification, eternal life in Him.

    Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

    2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    Now as Paul concludes this chapter in this manner, with verses 20 and 21, a new question arises in the human mind, especially in the minds of those who truly do not understand fully the weight and the preciousness of God’s grace, the question that arises in some people’s minds is the one that Paul anticipates and with which he opens the next chapter we will see what that is very shortly. Also an unredeemed person, a person that believed in the Gnosticism of the day,would have taken Paul’s last two verses and would have tried to push their own false doctrinal view in which they would declare, in fact, that it would then be a good thing to keep sinning as in doing so God would make grace abound all the more. Paul had already in chapter three addressed a similar concept and had already denied that to commit evil to bring about God’s righteousness would not have been acceptable at all.

    Romans 3:5-8 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?–as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.