Romans 5 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Romans 5)
5:1 Therefore being 1 justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

(1) Another argument taken from the effects: we are justified with that which truly appeases our conscience before God: and faith in Christ does appease our conscience and not the law, as it was said before, therefore by faith we are justified, and not by the law.

5:2 2 By whom also we a have access by faith into this grace b wherein we c stand, 3 and d rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

(2) Whereas quietness of conscience is attributed to faith, it is to be referred to Christ, who is the giver of faith itself, and in whom faith itself is effectual.
(a) We must know by this, that we still receive the same effect from faith.
(b) By which grace, that is, by which gracious love and good will, or that state unto which we are graciously taken.
(c) We stand steadfast. (3) A preventing of an objection against those who, beholding the daily miseries and calamities of the Church, think that the Christians dream when they brag of their felicity: to whom the apostle answers, that their felicity is laid up under hope of another place: which hope is so certain and sure, that they rejoice for that happiness just as if they presently enjoyed it.
(d) Our minds are not only quiet and settled, but we are also marvellously glad, and have great joy because of the heavenly inheritance which awaits us.

5:3 4 And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: 5 knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

(4) Tribulation itself gives us different and various occasions to rejoice, and more than this it does not make us miserable. (5) Afflictions make us use to being patient, and patience assures us of the goodness of God, and this experience confirms and fosters our hope, which never deceives us.

5:5 6 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the e love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

(6) The foundation of hope is an assured testimony of the conscience, by the gift of the Holy Spirit, that we are loved by God, and this is nothing else but that which we call faith, from which it follows that through faith our consciences are quieted.
(e) With which he loves us.

5:6 7 For when we were yet without strength, in due f time Christ died for the ungodly.

(7) A sure comfort in adversity, so that our peace and quietness of conscience are not troubled: for he that so loved them that were of no strength and while they were yet sinners, that he died for them, how can he neglect them, having now been sanctified and living in him?
(f) At an appropriate and proper time which the Father had appointed.

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

(8) An amplifying of the love of God towards us, so that we cannot doubt it, who delivered Christ to death for the unjust and for them from whom he could receive no useful thing, and, what is more, for his very enemies. How can it be then that Christ, being now alive, should not save them from destruction whom by his death he justifies and reconciles.
(g) In the place of a just man.

5:8 But God h commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet i sinners, Christ died for us.

(h) He commends his love toward us, so that in the midst of our afflictions we may know assuredly that he will be present with us.
(i) While sin reigned in us.

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

(k) From affliction and destruction.

5:11 9 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

(9) He now passes over to the other part of justification, which consists in the free imputation of the obedience of Christ: so that to the remission of sins, there is added moreover and besides, the gift of Christ's righteousness imputed or put upon us by faith, which swallows up that unrighteousness which flowed from Adam into us, and all the fruits of it: so that in Christ we do not only cease to be unjust, but we begin also to be just.

5:12 10 Wherefore, as by l one man m sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, n for that all have sinned:

(10) From Adam, in whom all have sinned, both guiltiness and death (which is the punishment of the guiltiness) came upon all.
(l) By Adam, who is compared with Christ, and similar to him in this, that both of them make those who are theirs partakers of that which they have: but they are not the same in this, that Adam derives sin into them that are his, even into their very nature, and that to death: but Christ makes them that are his partakers of his righteousness by grace, and that to life.
(m) By sin is meant that disease which is ours by inheritance, and men commonly call it original sin: for so he calls that sin in the singular number, whereas if he speaks of the fruits of it, he uses the plural number, calling them sins.
(n) That is, in Adam.

5:13 11 (For until o the law sin was in the world: but sin is not p imputed when there is no law.

(11) That this is so, that both guiltiness and death began not after the giving and transgressing of law of Moses, is evident in that men died before that law was given: for in that they died, sin, which is the cause of death, existed then: and in such a way, that it was also imputed: because of this it follows that there was then some law, the breach of which was the cause of death.
(o) Even from Adam to Moses.
(p) Where there is no law made, no man is punished as faulty and guilty.

5:14 12 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over q them that had not sinned after the r similitude of Adam's transgression, 13 who is the figure of him that was to come.

(12) But that this law was not the universal law, and that death did not proceed from any actual sin of everyone particularly, it appears by this, that the very infants which neither could ever know nor transgress that natural law, are nonetheless dead as well as Adam.
(q) Our infants.
(r) Nor after the manner of sin of those who are older, following their lusts: but yet the whole posterity was corrupted in Adam when he knowingly and willingly sinned.
(13) Now that first Adam corresponds to the latter, who is Christ, as it is afterward declared.

5:15 14 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of s one 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.

(14) Adam and Christ are compared together in this respect, that both of them give and yield to theirs that which is their own: but the first difference between them is this, that Adam by nature has spread his fault to the destruction of many, but Christ's obedience has be grace overflowed to many.
(s) That is, Adam.

5:16 15 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 t justification.

(15) Another inequality consists in this, that by Adam's one offence men are made guilty, but the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us freely, does not only absolve us from that one fault, but from all others.
(t) To the sentence of absolution, by which we are acquitted and pronounced righteous.

5:17 16 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall u reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

(16) The third difference is that the righteousness of Christ, being imputed to us by grace, is of greater power to bring life, than the offence of Adam is to condemn his posterity to death.
(u) Be partakers of true and everlasting life.

5:18 17 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto x justification of life.

(17) Therefore, to be short, as by one man's offence the guiltiness came on all men to make them subject to death, so on the opposite side, the righteousness of Christ, which by God's mercy is imputed to all believers, justifies them, that they may become partakers of everlasting life.
(x) Not only because our sins are forgiven us, but also because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to us.

5:19 18 For as by one man's y disobedience z many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

(18) The foundation of this whole comparison is this, that these two men are set as two heads or roots, so that out of the one comes sin by nature, and from the other righteousness by grace springs forth upon others.
(y) So then, sin enters not into us only by following the steps of our forefathers, but we receive corruption from him by inheritance.
(z) The word "many" is contrasted with the words "a few".

5:20 19 Moreover the law a entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more b abound:

(19) A preventing of an objection: why then did the law of Moses then enter? So that men might be so much more the guilty, and the benefit of God in Christ Jesus be all the more glorious.
(a) In addition to that disease which all men were infected with by being defiled with one man's sin, the law entered.
(b) Grace was poured so plentifully from heaven that it did not only counterbalance sin, but beyond this it surpassed it.