Romans chapter 5

Show Notes for Romans 5:1-21

Study Notes

5.1  Romans 5:1-11
5.2  Romans 5:12-21


5.1 Faith Brings Joy (5:1-11)


5:1  A New Relationship
5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” NIV

Definition:  “Peace (5:1), access (5:2), enemies… reconciled (5:10)”
Paul envisions God as a King whose subjects rebelled.  While war raged, those enemy subjects were unable to approach their Lord.  However, the Sovereign has sent His Son to achieve reconciliation between the rebels and the King, so now the reconciled subjects have access to the throne room.

I.  … and now that Paul has said all that he has, he says what is to come…
“Therefore” NIV

II.  Once we have been justified by faith, our relationship with God changes
“Through Jesus” NIV

III.  The first change in our relationship with God is the end of hostility
“Through our Lord Jesus Christ” NIV

IV.  Christians have peace with God
“We have peace with God” NIV


5:2  Grace with Purpose
5:2, “through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” NIV

Definition: “Hope” (5:2, 4-5)
Not a mood of wishfulness, but rather something that we expect with certainty.  We have a sure expectation of attaining “the glory of God” (5:2) and salvation from God’s wrath at the Judgment (5:9-10).

Definition: “Glory of God”
What God intended people to be.  The glory that people had before the fall.

I.  Paul uses poetic repetition to emphasize important truth
“Access… into this grace” NKJV

II.  Two points about grace
“Grace in which we stand” NKJV

i.  It was initiated by God

ii.  It is the only reason why we have a daily relationship with God

III.  Our access to God has been established
“Gained access” NIV

Definition: “Access”
The word “access” (prosagogein), has also been translated “introduction” NASB, “brought us into” TLB, “been allowed to enter” NEB.  The use can include permission to enter or the act of entering itself.  The thought here (5:2) is not about possible access, but about accomplished access.

IV.  God will redeem His image in us
“Rejoice in the hope of the glory of God” NIV

V.  Paul gives us three reasons to rejoice

i.  “In the hope of the glory of God (5:2)

ii.  “In our suffering” (5:3)

iii.  “In God” (5:11)


5:3-4  Suffering
5:3-4, “Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; [4] perseverance, character; and character, hope.” NIV

I. Early Christians suffered because of consistent persecution

II. Suffering is not an indication that God has stopped loving us, it is an opportunity to apply God’s love and learn to endure

III.  Our level of confidence in our expectation of salvation grows as our character grows through perseverance

Definition: “Character”
The word character (dokime) includes the idea of “approved as a result of testing.” A person with this kind of character is known for his or her inward qualities rather than any outward appearances. The end result is confident expectation of salvation—confidence that God is in control and will see us through.


5:5  Trusting God
5:5, “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” NIV

I.  Our trust in God is only as good as God’s ability to keep His promises
“Hope does not disappoint us” NRSV

II.  The gift of the Holy Spirit confirms that God will keep His promises
“By the Holy Spirit” NIV


5:6  God’s Timing
5:6, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” NIV

I. God’s plan of salvation was not determined by the events of history or the human condition
“At just the right time” NIV

II. Salvation was accomplished because of God’s initiative
“Christ died for the ungodly” NIV


5:7-8  Highest Expression of Love
5:7, “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” NIV

I. Sacrificing one’s life for another is the highest expression of human love
“For a good person someone might actually dare to die” RSV

II. God’s expression of love transcends the highest human expression
“While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” NIV


5:9  Sin and Judgment
5:9, “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!” NIV

I.  God declares justification based on His work, not ours
“Justified by his” NIV

II.  Because God is holy He could not ignore our sin

III.  Since God paid the highest price to deal with sin, He will not withhold from us something that is of lesser price (that is, being saved from judgment)
“How much more shall we be saved” NIV


5:10-11  Reconciliation
5:10-11, “For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! [11] Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” NIV

Definition: “Reconciliation”
Reconciliation is the act of restoring peaceful relationships where there had previously been hostility and alienation. Ordinarily, reconciliation requires the removal of whatever caused the disruption of peace and harmony.  The point of the reconciliation is that God, for Christ’s sake, now feels toward sinners as though they had never offended him.

I.  Christ’s death has restored friendship
“When we were God’s enemies” NIV

II.  There are two steps in the process of reconciliation
“We were reconciled to him through” NIV

i.  God made the first move by sending His Son

ii.  Believers accept the work that Christ has done

III.  We have a great reason to rejoice
“We also rejoice in God” NIV




When we place our faith in Jesus we enter into a new relationship.  The hostility that once existed because of our rebellion against God is removed and we have peace with God.  This would not have been possible without God initiating a plan of salvation as an act of grace.  God has not left us to follow our sin into judgment, but has determined to recreate His image in us who place our faith in Jesus.

Salvation is a matter of trusting God, from beginning to end.  And, we can trust God.  He has the ability to keep His promises, His timing is perfect, and by giving us the Holy Spirit He has deposited into us an intimate seal confirming His commitment to the promises He has made.  God has dealt with sin by paying a price higher than anyone ever could.  And now, through Jesus’ blood, we have been reconciled to God.


5.2 Adam and Christ Contrasted (5:12-21)


5:12  Sin & Death
5:12, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned–” NIV

Definition:  “Because all sinned”
Two interpretations of this phrase are possible.  1) Each person dies because he personally sins, and 2).Each person dies because he is part of the human race, all of which sinned when its representative head (Adam) sinned.  Christians who hold either (1) or (2) agree that Adam’s descendants all inherit his sinful nature, his will to sin.  We are not sinful because we sin; we sin because we are sinful.

I.  Adam’s sin corrupted all humanity
“Just as sin entered the world through one man… death came to all men” NIV

II.  The consequence of sin is death
“Death through sin” NIV

III.  All people are sinners who will one day die


5:13-14  Sin
5:13-14, “for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. [14] Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.” NIV

Definition: “Sin by breaking a command, as did Adam”
“Adam’s transgression” in KJV.  “The offense of Adam” in NASB.  The Greek word for “transgression” means breaking a known law.

Definition: “Pattern”
A “type” (Greek: typos) is literally a mold or pattern.  In the Bible, it is a person or thing in the Old Testament that prefigures a person or thing of the Messianic Age.  The resemblance between the Old Testament type and the New Testament “antitype” is limited and should not be pushed too far.  For this reason, Paul takes care to show how Adam and Jesus are different (5:15-17) before he explains how they are alike (5:18-19).

I.  Sin causes all people to act independently of God
“Before the law was given, sin was in the world” NIV

II.  The Law did not cause sin, it revealed sin
“Before the law” NIV

III.  Death is the evidence of sin
“Death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses” NIV

IV.  The contrasts of Adam and Christ
“Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come” NIV

i.  Adam:

ii.  Christ


5:15  Adam & Christ
5:15, “But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” NIV

I.  God’s gift is greater than Adam’s sin
“The gift is not like the trespass” NIV

II.  The act of both Jesus and Adam affected many people
“If the many” NIV


5:16  The Gift
5:16, “Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.” NIV

I.  Jesus overcame sin and now brings righteousness to everyone who accepts Him


5:17  Moving Beyond Sin
5:17, “For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.” NIV

I.  Because of Adam, death now comes to all living things
“By the trespass of the one man, death reigned” NIV

II.  The remedy for sin is God’s gift
“Gift of righteousness” NIV

III.  The promise of eternal life has an immediate impact

i.  Death loses its sting

ii.  We are subject to death, but free from eternal separation from God

iii.  We can overcome temptation (8:17 reveals more of our privileged position in Christ)


5:18-19  Contrasting Roles
5:18-19, “Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. [19] For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” NIV

I.  Verse 18 and 19 communicate the same information

II.  The emphasis is on the contrasting roles of Adam and Christ
“Just as one… so also… just as through… so also through” NIV


5:20  Grace Over Law
5:20, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,” NIV

I.  The Law functioned as a spot light revealing sin
“The law was added so that the trespass might increase” NIV

II.  Grace is greater than sin
“Grace increased all the more” NIV


5:21  This Section’s Final Thoughts
5:21, “so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” NIV

I. Victory over sin was accomplished through Christ’s death and resurrection
“Grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life” NIV

II.  The end of Paul’s first section





Paul’s discussion of sin is alarming, clarifying, and hopeful.  Because of Adam’s initial sin death has entered humanity.  Death was not a part of God’s initial design, but is the consequence of sin.  Fortunately, there is a remedy.  God’s gift, Jesus’ death and resurrection providing a way of forgiveness, is greater than Adam’s sin.

As Paul concludes this section of his letter he provides some remarks about the Law.  The Law is not the cause of sin, it reveals sin.  The Law shows where the responsibility of sin lies.  Also, the Law is not the remedy of sin.  Paul will continue to refer to the Law later in the book.  However, Paul now concludes his discussion of the Law as it relates to salvation.