Romans 5


Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith [believing], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

There's that word therefore again. What is the therefore there for? The word therefore informs us that the understanding of the truths that follow is dependent on understanding the truths that have already been set. To understand what follows we must understand what has already been said. So at this juncture we are going to refresh our memories on what we have already learned in Romans, because it is crucial to understanding what's coming.

In chapter 1 we saw the state of men everywhere, of both Judeans and Gentiles, regardless of social or religious status, and all of us are guilty of death. In chapter 2 Paul showed us that going to the synagogue, or any other church or temple for that matter, made no difference. The Judeans going to the home churches were pointing their fingers at all the Gentile sinners there, and Paul showed them they were all sinners as well and had no right to point their fingers at anyone else. He continued with this through chapter 3 and taught us that no one who has ever lived can be justified by doing the works of the Old Testament laws, because we have all broken them. He then showed us that justification was made available by Jesus Christ, that he paid the price for us to have it. Chapter 4 then showed us that it is believing rather than doing works that is required for us to receive the righteousness of God.

So here in chapter 5 Paul is still addressing people with vile affections, those who worship and serve the creation rather than the creator, all those filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, the whisperers, the backbiters, the haters of God, those who are despiteful proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, those who are disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, the implacable and the unmerciful.

This is remarkable when you consider that Paul wrote this by revelation. This is the word of God, not the word of Paul, so obviously God doesn't hate people regardless of who or what they are. He loved all of us enough to send his son Jesus Christ to die for us, regardless of who we are. Listen to what God said to the shepherds when he sent an angel to tell them about the birth of his son.

Luke 2:13.14
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

God's will is good toward men. If we give up our evil ways, he will be there for us and we will be at peace with him.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

God doesn't wish evil men dead, he wants them to change.

Ezekiel 33:11
Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

We need to get our heads around this. When we open our homes and make home churches available to the world, people with vile affections, those who worship and serve the creation rather than the creator, all those filled with unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, the whisperers, the backbiters, the haters of God, those who are despiteful proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, those who are disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, the implacable and the unmerciful will come looking for answers. We have to make them welcome and help them to change.

As well as all their bad habits and evil ways, people coming in off the streets looking for answers will have attitude problems, and will suffer terribly from things like guilt. Some of them will have tortured and killed people, like Paul did before he was born again. Hey, did you know the hymn Amazing Grace was written by a human trafficker? That's right, John Newton trafficked black Africans as slaves before he was born again. Can't you feel his heart in his words?

Amazing grace how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me.

I once was lost, but now I'm found, Was blind but now I see.

When people like John Newton come to our home churches we have to see beyond the people they are and help them to become the people they desperately want to be. Some of them will have done deeds so evil they will think God hates them. Nothing could be further from the truth and we have to show them that, and love them and be there for them.

Let's now get into chapter 5 and see how Paul deals with this.

Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith [believing], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Jesus Christ paid the price for our justification. If I am justified, and Jesus Christ paid for all the evil I've ever done, is God still mad at me? No, we are at peace with God and being at peace with him means he isn't looking for excuses to punish us. We are justified by believing and we have peace with God. It doesn't matter what we have done or how evil we were, Jesus Christ paid the price so we could believe to receive justification and be at peace with God. I know this is difficult to comprehend, but it is the truth. I don't care what you've done, if you believe you can receive justification and be at peace with God.

Romans 5:2
By whom [Jesus Christ] also we have access [prosagogē] by faith [believing] into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Those of us who believe and have the gift of holy spirit receive the righteousness of God and with that righteousness comes justification and that gives us direct access to God. Access is the Greek word prosagogē, which means a leading to or bringing to the presence of someone, freedom of access, an introduction. Jesus Christ led us into the presence of God and we now have that introduction and freedom of access. We all have immediate and intimate access directly to God by way of the holy spirit within us which Jesus Christ paid the price for us to have. I know this can be a difficult concept to get your head around, but we need to think this through. Men just seem to want to work for stuff all the time and find it difficult to accept something for free. Well, it wasn't free. It may be free to us, but it cost Jesus Christ his life.

Colossians 2:13,14
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened [made alive] together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

We were all dead in sins, all of us. There are no degrees of death, dead means dead. It makes no difference how evil we were, we were all dead in sins and someone can't be any deader than anyone else. Jesus Christ put his hand up and volunteered to die in our place. The sins and evil of the whole world were put on him and he died for them when he was nailed to the cross. If all your sins were put on Jesus Christ and he died for them, are they any longer on you? No, and that's why we can believe to receive the righteousness of God and be forgiven.

Okay, so you've done some terrible things in your life, and you don't think God would be interested in you. Well, Paul wrote the book of Romans. Have you any idea the kind of man he was before he was born again and received the gift of holy spirit? He imprisoned, tortured and murdered men and women before he changed and was forgiven. Forgiveness is always available. Paul went on to become one of the greatest men of God the world has ever seen. And what about the woman taken in adultery?

John 8:2-11
And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

I don't care who you are or what you've done, the question is do you want to believe? Do you want to receive the righteousness of God and be forgiven? It's available if you want it. Just change, put your past behind you, move on and sin no more.

Romans 5:3-5
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations [mental pressure] also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost [holy spirit] which is given unto us.

Okay, so it's not all plain sailing through a bed of roses once we get born again, the world hasn't changed and we still have to deal with it. Mental pressure is part of life because the devil is the god of this world and he does not like us. I don't like the arrogant child murdering shithole either, but that's the way things are right now. This will change in the future, but for now we still have to live in this world and we have to deal with it. There is a positive side to this however as working through mental pressure will build patience, which in turn gives us experience, which in turn fuels our hope so we never have to feel ashamed. No matter what the world says or does we have the gift of holy spirit which is freely given to us when we believe and nothing will ever change that.

The first major issue Paul dealt with in Romans was the religious prejudices and hatreds new people coming to home churches carry with them. Now he's dealing with another major issue, that of people thinking they can't possibly be good enough to receive anything from a God who they are sure must hate them. Hey, if God hated evil men and women and wanted nothing to do with them, none of us would be here. I should have been dead in 1977 but God was there when I asked him for help, and he will be there for you too.

Isaiah 55:6,7
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:

Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

Listen to how Paul addresses this. He was a master of the scriptures and people's hearts.

Romans 5:6
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

We were all ungodly. There are no degrees or shades of grey in ungodliness. Murdering babies is no worse than sticking your dick up another man's backside as far as ungodliness is concerned. Robbing a business and shooting someone dead is no worse than shoplifting as far as ungodliness is concerned. Ungodliness is ungodliness and we were all guilty of it. Remember Manasseh, Hezekiah's son? How much more evil can a man be? Yet he gave up his evil ways and God was right there for him. Give up your evil ways and like Manasseh you will be forgiven as well.

2 Chronicles 33:1-16
Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty and five years in Jerusalem:

But did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, like unto the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD had cast out before the children of Israel.

For he built again the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them.

Also he built altars in the house of the LORD, whereof the LORD had said, In Jerusalem shall my name be for ever.

And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the LORD.

And he caused his children to pass through the fire [walk on hot coals] in the valley of the son of Hinnom: also he observed times [astrology], and used enchantments, and used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with wizards: he wrought much evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.

And he set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen before all the tribes of Israel, will I put my name for ever:

Neither will I any more remove the foot of Israel from out of the land which I have appointed for your fathers; so that they will take heed to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.

So Manasseh made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to err, and to do worse than the heathen, whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of Israel.

And the LORD spake to Manasseh, and to his people: but they would not hearken [they wouldn't listen].

Wherefore the LORD brought upon them the captains of the host of the king of Assyria, which took Manasseh among the thorns, and bound him with fetters, and carried him to Babylon.

And when he was in affliction, he besought the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers,

And prayed unto him: and he was intreated of him, and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God.

Now after this he built a wall without the city of David, on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, even to the entering in at the fish gate, and compassed about Ophel, and raised it up a very great height, and put captains of war in all the fenced cities of Judah.

And he took away the strange gods, and the idol out of the house of the LORD, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the LORD, and in Jerusalem, and cast them out of the city.

And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel.

God has no problems with your past, he only cares about where you are now and where you want to be. If you apologise to him and believe, you will be forgiven, and it really does not matter what you have done. God doesn't wish evil against you, he wants you to change, and if you do he will be there for you. Jesus Christ died so we could have this.

Romans 5:7,8
For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

In real life we sometimes hear courageous stories about folks giving their lives for people they love, but you never hear stories about folks giving their lives for arseholes and deadbeats. Well, Jesus Christ gave his life for us when we were all arseholes and deadbeats. Think that one through sometime.

Romans 5:9
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

The wrath is the period of time fast approaching known as the revelation or appearing adminstration which is recorded in the book of Revelation. It will not be a pleasant time. As we are justified by Christ, we will not have to go through the wrath, we have been saved from it.

Romans 5:10,11
For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

We were reconciled back to God by the death of his son, but the story doesn't end there because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Right now Jesus Christ is alive, and as it was his death that reconciled us back to God, how much more does his life save us from the wrath to come? Once we are born again and have the righteouesness of God there is nothing we will ever have to answer for.

Romans 5:12-14
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Here's some truth to wrap your head around. Were you there when Adam and Eve sinned and man suffered death? No, you were not, you had nothing whatsoever to do with it. Neither did I, but we all still suffer the consequences of Adam's sin because death passed onto all men.

Romans 5:15-17
But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one [Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many [those of us who believe].

And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

For if by one man's offence [Adam] death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

See the simplicity of truth here? Our righteousness has nothing to do with us. Whatever we may have done in the past is not the issue. Jesus Christ died for us and took away all our evil, all our unrighteousness, he took it to the grave with him. He died in our place, and that's why we are justified. It has nothing whatsoever to do with us. Jesus Christ is our justification. All we have to do is believe.

Romans 5:18-21
Therefore as by the offence of one [Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [Jesus Christ] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

For as by one man's disobedience [Adam] many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one [Jesus Christ] shall many be made righteous.

Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Adam sinned, man died, Jesus Christ put his hand up and gave his life to reconcile us back to God and when we believe we receive eternal life. It's yours if you want it.