Romans 5

* The happy effects of justification through faith in the

righteousness of Christ. (1-5) That we are reconciled by his

blood. (6-11) The fall of Adam brought all mankind into sin and

death. (12-14) The grace of God, through the righteousness of

Christ, has more power to bring salvation, than Adam's sin had

to bring misery, (15-19) as grace did superabound. (20,21)

1-5 A blessed change takes place in the sinner's state, when he

becomes a true believer, whatever he has been. Being justified

by faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous God, cannot

be at peace with a sinner, while under the guilt of sin.

Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace.

This is through our Lord Jesus Christ; through him as the great

Peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints' happy

state is a state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, which

teaches that we were not born in this state. We could not have

got into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardoned

offenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotes

perseverance; we stand firm and safe, upheld by the power of the

enemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God hereafter,

have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, not

in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and

with the tribulation. Patient sufferers have most of the Divine

consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works

needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint,

because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love.

It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed abroad the

love of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense of

God's love to us, will make us not ashamed, either of our hope,

or of our sufferings for him.
6-11 Christ died for sinners; not only such as were useless,

but such as were guilty and hateful; such that their everlasting

destruction would be to the glory of God's justice. Christ died

to save us, not in our sins, but from our sins; and we were yet

sinners when he died for us. Nay, the carnal mind is not only an

enemy to God, but enmity itself, chap. #8:7; Col 1:21|. But God

designed to deliver from sin, and to work a great change. While

the sinful state continues, God loathes the sinner, and the

sinner loathes God, #Zec 11:8|. And that for such as these

Christ should die, is a mystery; no other such an instance of

love is known, so that it may well be the employment of eternity

to adore and wonder at it. Again; what idea had the apostle when

he supposed the case of some one dying for a righteous man? And

yet he only put it as a thing that might be. Was it not the

undergoing this suffering, that the person intended to be

benefitted might be released therefrom? But from what are

believers in Christ released by his death? Not from bodily

death; for that they all do and must endure. The evil, from

which the deliverance could be effected only in this astonishing

manner, must be more dreadful than natural death. There is no

evil, to which the argument can be applied, except that which

the apostle actually affirms, sin, and wrath, the punishment of

sin, determined by the unerring justice of God. And if, by

Divine grace, they were thus brought to repent, and to believe

in Christ, and thus were justified by the price of his

bloodshedding, and by faith in that atonement, much more through

Him who died for them and rose again, would they be kept from

falling under the power of sin and Satan, or departing finally

from him. The living Lord of all, will complete the purpose of

his dying love, by saving all true believers to the uttermost.

Having such a pledge of salvation in the love of God through

Christ, the apostle declared that believers not only rejoiced in

the hope of heaven, and even in their tribulations for Christ's

sake, but they gloried in God also, as their unchangeable Friend

and all-sufficient Portion, through Christ only.
12-14 The design of what follows is plain. It is to exalt our

views respecting the blessings Christ has procured for us, by

comparing them with the evil which followed upon the fall of our

first father; and by showing that these blessings not only

extend to the removal of these evils, but far beyond. Adam

sinning, his nature became guilty and corrupted, and so came to

his children. Thus in him all have sinned. And death is by sin;

for death is the wages of sin. Then entered all that misery

which is the due desert of sin; temporal, spiritual, eternal

death. If Adam had not sinned, he had not died; but a sentence

of death was passed, as upon a criminal; it passed through all

men, as an infectious disease that none escape. In proof of our

union with Adam, and our part in his first transgression,

observe, that sin prevailed in the world, for many ages before

the giving of the law by Moses. And death reigned in that long

time, not only over adults who wilfully sinned, but also over

multitudes of infants, which shows that they had fallen in Adam

under condemnation, and that the sin of Adam extended to all his

posterity. He was a figure or type of Him that was to come as

Surety of a new covenant, for all who are related to Him.
15-19 Through one man's offence, all mankind are exposed to

eternal condemnation. But the grace and mercy of God, and the

free gift of righteousness and salvation, are through Jesus

Christ, as man: yet the Lord from heaven has brought the

multitude of believers into a more safe and exalted state than

that from which they fell in Adam. This free gift did not place

them anew in a state of trial, but fixed them in a state of

justification, as Adam would have been placed, had he stood.

Notwithstanding the differences, there is a striking similarity.

As by the offence of one, sin and death prevailed to the

condemnation of all men, so by the righteousness of one, grace

prevailed to the justification of all related to Christ by

faith. Through the grace of God, the gift by grace has abounded

to many through Christ; yet multitudes choose to remain under

the dominion of sin and death, rather than to apply for the

blessings of the reign of grace. But Christ will in nowise cast

out any who are willing to come to him.
20,21 By Christ and his righteousness, we have more and greater

privileges than we lost by the offence of Adam. The moral law

showed that many thoughts, tempers, words, and actions, were

sinful, thus transgressions were multiplied. Not making sin to

abound the more, but discovering the sinfulness of it, even as

the letting in a clearer light into a room, discovers the dust

and filth which were there before, but were not seen. The sin of

Adam, and the effect of corruption in us, are the abounding of

that offence which appeared on the entrance of the law. And the

terrors of the law make gospel comforts the more sweet. Thus God

the Holy Spirit has, by the blessed apostle, delivered to us a

most important truth, full of consolation, suited to our need as

sinners. Whatever one may have above another, every man is a

sinner against God, stands condemned by the law, and needs

pardon. A righteousness that is to justify cannot be made up of

a mixture of sin and holiness. There can be no title to an

eternal reward without a pure and spotless righteousness: let us

look for it, even to the righteousness of Christ.
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