Romans 5* The happy effects of justification through faith in therighteousness of Christ. (1-5) That we are reconciled by hisblood. (6-11) The fall of Adam brought all mankind into sin anddeath. (12-14) The grace of God, through the righteousness ofChrist, has more power to bring salvation, than Adam's sin hadto bring misery, (15-19) as grace did superabound. (20,21)1-5 A blessed change takes place in the sinner's state, when hebecomes a true believer, whatever he has been. Being justifiedby faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous God, cannotbe 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 greatPeace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints' happystate is a state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, whichteaches that we were not born in this state. We could not havegot into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardonedoffenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotesperseverance; we stand firm and safe, upheld by the power of theenemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God hereafter,have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, notin and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in andwith the tribulation. Patient sufferers have most of the Divineconsolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It worksneedful 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 thelove of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense ofGod'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 everlastingdestruction would be to the glory of God's justice. Christ diedto save us, not in our sins, but from our sins; and we were yetsinners when he died for us. Nay, the carnal mind is not only anenemy to God, but enmity itself, chap. #8:7; Col 1:21|. But Goddesigned to deliver from sin, and to work a great change. Whilethe sinful state continues, God loathes the sinner, and thesinner loathes God, #Zec 11:8|. And that for such as theseChrist should die, is a mystery; no other such an instance oflove is known, so that it may well be the employment of eternityto adore and wonder at it. Again; what idea had the apostle whenhe supposed the case of some one dying for a righteous man? Andyet he only put it as a thing that might be. Was it not theundergoing this suffering, that the person intended to bebenefitted might be released therefrom? But from what arebelievers in Christ released by his death? Not from bodilydeath; for that they all do and must endure. The evil, fromwhich the deliverance could be effected only in this astonishingmanner, must be more dreadful than natural death. There is noevil, to which the argument can be applied, except that whichthe apostle actually affirms, sin, and wrath, the punishment ofsin, determined by the unerring justice of God. And if, byDivine grace, they were thus brought to repent, and to believein Christ, and thus were justified by the price of hisbloodshedding, and by faith in that atonement, much more throughHim who died for them and rose again, would they be kept fromfalling under the power of sin and Satan, or departing finallyfrom him. The living Lord of all, will complete the purpose ofhis dying love, by saving all true believers to the uttermost.Having such a pledge of salvation in the love of God throughChrist, the apostle declared that believers not only rejoiced inthe hope of heaven, and even in their tribulations for Christ'ssake, but they gloried in God also, as their unchangeable Friendand all-sufficient Portion, through Christ only. 12-14 The design of what follows is plain. It is to exalt ourviews respecting the blessings Christ has procured for us, bycomparing them with the evil which followed upon the fall of ourfirst father; and by showing that these blessings not onlyextend to the removal of these evils, but far beyond. Adamsinning, his nature became guilty and corrupted, and so came tohis children. Thus in him all have sinned. And death is by sin;for death is the wages of sin. Then entered all that miserywhich is the due desert of sin; temporal, spiritual, eternaldeath. If Adam had not sinned, he had not died; but a sentenceof death was passed, as upon a criminal; it passed through allmen, as an infectious disease that none escape. In proof of ourunion with Adam, and our part in his first transgression,observe, that sin prevailed in the world, for many ages beforethe giving of the law by Moses. And death reigned in that longtime, not only over adults who wilfully sinned, but also overmultitudes of infants, which shows that they had fallen in Adamunder condemnation, and that the sin of Adam extended to all hisposterity. He was a figure or type of Him that was to come asSurety of a new covenant, for all who are related to Him. 15-19 Through one man's offence, all mankind are exposed toeternal condemnation. But the grace and mercy of God, and thefree gift of righteousness and salvation, are through JesusChrist, as man: yet the Lord from heaven has brought themultitude of believers into a more safe and exalted state thanthat from which they fell in Adam. This free gift did not placethem anew in a state of trial, but fixed them in a state ofjustification, 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 thecondemnation of all men, so by the righteousness of one, graceprevailed to the justification of all related to Christ byfaith. Through the grace of God, the gift by grace has aboundedto many through Christ; yet multitudes choose to remain underthe dominion of sin and death, rather than to apply for theblessings of the reign of grace. But Christ will in nowise castout any who are willing to come to him. 20,21 By Christ and his righteousness, we have more and greaterprivileges than we lost by the offence of Adam. The moral lawshowed that many thoughts, tempers, words, and actions, weresinful, thus transgressions were multiplied. Not making sin toabound the more, but discovering the sinfulness of it, even asthe letting in a clearer light into a room, discovers the dustand filth which were there before, but were not seen. The sin ofAdam, and the effect of corruption in us, are the abounding ofthat offence which appeared on the entrance of the law. And theterrors of the law make gospel comforts the more sweet. Thus Godthe Holy Spirit has, by the blessed apostle, delivered to us amost important truth, full of consolation, suited to our need assinners. Whatever one may have above another, every man is asinner against God, stands condemned by the law, and needspardon. A righteousness that is to justify cannot be made up ofa mixture of sin and holiness. There can be no title to aneternal reward without a pure and spotless righteousness: let uslook for it, even to the righteousness of Christ.
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