Verses 1-2 RECONCILIATION
1. Therefore: this conclusion word takes us back to the teaching on JUSTIFICATION in Romans 3:21 through chapter 4, but especially that last statement in verse 25, telling us that Jesus Christ was raised up from
the dead “BECAUSE OF our justification.”
That is, our justification was actually accomplished based on the resurrection of Christ. It is true that it is the sacrifice on the cross that PAID the ransom for the sins of the whole world . . .
(2 Cor. 5:14, Heb. 2:9; 1 Tim. 2:6; Titus 2:11; 2 Pet. 2:1)
See UNLIMITED ATONEMENT
. . . but it is the resurrection that establishes the validity of that sacrifice; that PROVES that the sacrifice was successful (Acts 17:31).
And if there was no resurrection, there would be no
forgiveness of sins and no justification (1 Cor. 15:12-19).
2. having been justified: This is an aorist passive participle of the verb, dikaioo. It means to make or declare righteous. Although, traditionally, “justify” is the accepted translation, that is theological language and does not actually GIVE THE MEANING. It is better to translate this as, having been MADE (or declared) RIGHTEOUS.
See Topic: JUSTIFICATION
3. by faith: the expression of trust in Christ as one’s savior is man’s part of the salvation equation.
God’s part is to provide it (Christ on the cross) and to reveal it (the DRAWING ministry of the Spirit), Man’s part is to accept it.
FAITH has already been established in the previous sections as the means by which man enters into God’s provision of salvation, but it cannot be emphasized enough.
Faith means that there is no contribution from man; no merit; no works; no talents; no social accomplishments; and no physical lineage.
John 1:12-13; Ephesians 2:8-9
At Titus 3:7, Paul uses the same construction except that he substitutes GRACE for faith. Both are used at Eph. 2:8, “for BY grace we have been saved THROUGH faith.”
Once again, GRACE is God’s part and FAITH is man’s part.
4. we have: The KJV translation is not accepted by most scholars today.
There, it is translated as a present active SUBJUNCTIVE, and is understood as a “hortatory subjunctive” that renders it, “let us have.”
Although the form is ambiguous, the present active INDICATIVE fits the context better. The indicative mood renders the meaning as a statement of fact based on the reality of justification. Thus, WE HAVE.
5. Peace with God: peace is the DEFINITION of reconciliation.
Peace indicates the absence of enmity and conflict.
Mankind is the enemy of God because of spiritual death (Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:21).
Reconciliation removes that enmity and unites the believer with God.
Thus, in the rest of this chapter, instead of PEACE, Paul uses the word group of reconciliation to teach us about this new relationship.
Rom. 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:18-20
6. through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Cor. 5:18, “God reconciled us to Himself through Christ.” God DID IT, but it is based on the work of Christ on the cross. And of course, there is no one else who is or CAN BE
our savior. Acts 4:12; John 14:6
See Topic: RECONCILIATION
THE SECURITY OF RECONCILIATION
1. through Whom also we have obtained by faith:
Again, it is THROUGH Christ that the whole salvation package is realized and secured. The verb is echo, and means TO HAVE; to possess. It occurs as a perfect active indicative. The perfect tense speaks of action that has occurred in the past, with results that continue on into the future, indefinitely. It is the tense of permanence. Thus, the idea of HAVE and RETAIN is in view with the translation, HAVE OBAINED. The only thing that can undo the FACT and RESULTS of the perfect tense is someone or something that is GREATER THAN the one who did the action in the first place. in
this case, God is the one who has ACCOMPLISHED our salvation, and there is no one greater than God to undo it - and that includes any thoughts or actions of the believer himself. Paul will address the FACT of SALVATION SECURITY in more detail at Romans 8:28-39.
2. our introduction: The word is prosagOgA. It is the combination of PROS, which means, face to face with, and the verb, ago, which means to lead or bring. This noun means ACCESS. We have ACCESS, not an introduction. It is ACCESS and POSSESSION of the whole salvation package.
3. into this grace: The word grace is used to refer to the entirety of our salvation which is represented here by the word PEACE, and of course refers to the FACT and RESULTS of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is a RETURN to unity of two opposing parties. ACCESS communicates this, and GRACE tells us once again, WHO IS RESPONSIBLE for providing the access. Grace means GOD DOES IT ALL. Man does not deserve, earn or contribute to salvation. Man simply ACCEPTS as a gift; freely - the provision of reconciliation - BY FAITH.
4. in which we stand: The verb is histAmi as a perfect active indicative, and once again shows us the permanence of our salvation.
It speaks of “taking” or “BEING GIVEN” a stand, or POSITION” at some point in the past, and having the STATUS of that position continuing on into the future indefinitely until or unless the ONE who gave us that position, rescinds it. But of course, God has promised NEVER to rescind the FACT and POSITION of our salvation.
See Topic: SALVATION SECURITY
5. and we exult: This is the verb, kauchaomai, which means to express great joy. Because “we” understand the reality of our salvation security - our PEACE WITH GOD - we have great joy as we confidently EXPECT the fulfillment of sharing in the glory of God. Paul refers to this GLORY as “glorified” at Romans 8:30,
“and whom He made righteous (justified), these He also glorified.”
Glorified refers to the possession of a resurrection body exactly like Christ’s. We do not have this yet, but we have the PROMISE of it, and are to view it as the COMPLETION of our salvation.
6. in hope: the word, elpis means confident expectation.
We do not HOPE this will happen. We are CONFIDENT that this will happen.
There is no DOUBTING concerning this.
7. of the glory of God: This refers to sharing in God’s glory through possession of a resurrection body. That is the fullness of our salvation.
Philippians 3:20-21 also speaks of this EXPECTATION in sharing the glory of God through resurrection.
“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we
eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who
will transform the body of our humble state into
conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion
of the power that He has even to subject all things to
And at 1 Cor. 15:42-43, “So also is the resurrection of the dead . . . it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.”
Col. 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Later at Romans 8:18-30, Paul amplifies it.
At v. 18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
At v. 21, “the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
THE ABUNDANT LIFE
1. and not only this, but we also exult: that is, not only is there reason for exultation; rejoicing and confidence because of our salvation, but there is also reason because of the quality of life that is provided as the believer applies truth to the pressures of life and experiences the abundant life of peace, joy and inner stability.
Exult is kauchaomai again and is a present middle indicative.
It refers to an attitude of happiness and peace based on knowledge of the character and plan of God. One cannot TRULY rejoice and exult unless the RIGHT OBJECT of that joy; the right object of our faith is securely
in focus in our soul.
2 Cor. 4:14-18, Here, once again, our RESURRECTION is in view.
“Knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise
us also with Jesus and will present us with you.”
And in the face of these physical and emotional pressures -
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer
man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed
day by day. For the present insignificance of our
pressure is producing for us an eternal weight of
glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at
the things which are seen, but at the things which are
not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal,
but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
2. in our tribulations: The word, thlipsis, refers to pressures in general. Here, it is all inclusive and thus refers to ANY thing that comes upon the believer that attacks his comfort zone.
The believer’s comfort zone should be based on confidence in the character and plan of God and not on details of life (money, things, people).
Thus, when any pressure is encountered, the believer should understand that in that pressure there is potential for advancement in growth and greater
consistency in experiencing the abundant life.
This should be the believer’s FIRST thoughts when he encounters the pressures because he should know that there is potential for great benefit. This is also what James taught at James 1:2-4.
And with the KNOWLEDGE that God is doing everything for our benefit; for our GOOD (Romans 8:28) should come the attitude of thanksgiving for all things. 1 Thes. 5:18.
3. knowing: This is a perfect active participle of oida, and refers to the possession of knowledge that has been learned in the past and is currently
influential in the soul.
4. that pressure brings about: The verb here is katergadzomai as a present middle indicative. The present tense is used to communicate a universal
principle. That is, this is what ALWAYS happens when the believer is able to use truth to handle the pressures of life.
5. perseverance: The word is hupomonA, and is a bearing up under something. In this case, it is pressure and thus refers to ENDURANCE.
Pressure does NOT bring about endurance AUTOMATICALLY.
It produces endurance WHEN and ONLY when the believer uses God’s word to deal with the pressure.
1. And endurance (brings about) a proven character:
The verb, “brings about” is not present but it is implied since we have another factor that COMES FROM the previous one.
The “proven character” is dokimA, and refers to something that is recognized as APPROVED after examination. In this case it is our CHARACTER that is demonstrated as APPROVED by God because we do not succumb to the pressure, but rather endure it. The endurance of the pressure SHOWS us that we have made progress in growth.
2. and an approved character (brings about) confidence:
The word is elpis, and although it is usually translated as HOPE, it actually has the idea of confident expectation.
When we recognize that we are experiencing progress in growth, it produces greater CONFIDENCE within us that God’s plan of salvation is a reality and we can be assured of our future hope - as seen at verse 2.
3. And confidence does not disappoint:
when there is greater confidence there is greater inner stability.
The verb is kataischuno, and means to make ashamed or to intimidate. When we are confident in God’s character and plan then we will not be ashamed of
being a representative of Christ and not be intimidated by any attacks from persecution. As we LEARN to have confidence in the character and plan of
God we also have confidence in the reality of our salvation. We are not ashamed or intimidated because we UNDERSTAND the magnificence of our salvation reality. Our salvation comes from God’s love.
This is Paul’s theme in this section.
Verse 6 EXPLAINS what Paul means by his use of LOVE.
It is what God has done to save us.
At v. 8, “but God demonstrates His own LOVE . . .”
4. because the love of God: Paul returns to his main topic - our salvation, which continues through verse 21. The word is agapA and refers to God’s love that seeks what is best for His creatures. In this case it refers to the love of God that has provided salvation and HAS SAVED us.
John 3:16 is the classic passage to proclaim God’s loving desire to save all who will come to Him through Christ.
5. has been poured out within our hearts: God’s LOVE has been PLACED within our HEARTS (soul). This is not His character of love, but the EVIDENCE of His saving love - the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The verb occurs as a perfect passive indicative and once again shows the permanence of our salvation.
God’s saving love THROUGH the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit has been placed within us in the past (at the moment of salvation) and will remain with us permanently.
6. through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us:
The Spirit as the PERSONAL evidence of God’s love was given to us at the very moment of salvation.
The word, given, here is didomi as an aorist passive participle.
The aorist tense shows us the POINT OF TIME that this “giving” occurred.
It was the moment that the person trusted in Christ as Savior.
AT that moment of time the Spirit came to dwell in the heart of the believer. 2 Cor. 1:22
See topic: HOLY SPIRIT - INDWELLING
DEMONSTRATION OF GOD’S SAVING LOVE
1. For: the explanatory GAR, introduces the
demonstration of God’s love in view of man’s sinfulness.
2. while we were still helpless: The Greek adjective, asthenos, means to be weak. Here, the idea is that man is UNABLE to do anything about the SINFUL situation that Paul is going to delineate next. I will develop the HELPLESSNESS of man after establishing man’s DEPRAVITY.
3. at the right time: This refers to the perfect timing within the plan of God. The right TIME, the right place, the right generation – the right EVERYTHING. At Galatians 4:4, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son . . .”
4. Christ died: This refers to the ENTIRE death
experience that Christ TASTED in order to accomplish the salvation provision
for the human race. Thus, both His spiritual and His physical death are
included, as both are pertinent to providing the gift of salvation.
Now even though it is the “spiritual death” of Christ that paid for sin, it is the physical death of Christ that paved the way for resurrection, which is the PROOF that the sacrifice for sin had been accomplished on the cross (Acts 17:31).
Accordingly, unless a particular emphasis is placed on one or the other of the deaths by a particular Biblical text, BOTH deaths should be in view as the “package deal” that provided salvation for the human race.
5. for the ungodly: The Greek word, asebAs, literally means, “un-worshipping.” The verb, SEBO means to bend the knee in worship. The “A” in front negates the action of the verb so that the new meaning is that of non-worship.
THE FIRST STRIKE AGAINST MANKIND
Ungodly refers to the general nature of man as an un-worshipping creature, with a NATURAL inclination to act independently from God. It refers to the presence and character of the sin nature. This SIN NATURE was inherited from the genetic gene pool of one’s parents and reflects sinful characteristics from one or both of them. It resides in the physical mentality genes and intricately “connects” with the immaterial soul and spirit to produce what the Bible describes as “an inclination to evil.”
Gen. 8:21, “the inclination of man’s heart is
evil from his youth.”
See topic: THE SIN NATURE
Dikaios, which is righteous; and agathos, which is good.
Righteous is the word that is used for our judicial acceptance before God as seen with the theological term, justification, and has been fully developed in the previous chapters. It is also used for OVERT religious and moral actions, either genuine or hypocritical, and giving no insight into the real character of the doer. This is expressed no better than when Jesus spoke about the Pharisees at Mat. 23:27-28, “Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Goodness has more to do with inner character, but that which is certainly expressed overtly as well. Jesus said at Mat. 5:16, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your GOOD works.”
At Gal. 5:22, one of the fruits of the Spirit is GOODNESS (agothosunA), which refers to the genuine beneficent character that “naturally” and “without a second thought,” does GOOD to others.
Paul uses the two words together at Ephesians
5:9, “for the fruit of the light is in the sphere of all GOODNESS,
RIGHTEOUSNESS and truth.”
So, here in Romans Paul is speculating as to the motives that one might have in sacrificing one’s life for another. In such RARE cases, the object of such sacrifice would most certainly be someone of moral or altruistic character.
1. For one will hardly die for a righteous man: The explanatory GAR is used to introduce the basis for a CONTRAST between what some person MIGHT do for someone else, and what Christ DID. It is very rare that anyone would consciously sacrifice their life in order to save the life of someone who is considered to be basically MORAL. The word, dikaios, is used to express such overt morality as discussed above.
The expression “hardly” comes from the Greek, molis, and means, “with difficulty,” (Acts 7:7-8, 16). It does not mean impossible, but simply the idea that the action in view can be or might be accomplished with great difficulty.
Thus, although not COMMON, it is possible that one would give his life for a morally upright person. Paul’s reason for mentioning this is to CONTRAST such a rare deed with Christ’s deed which UNIVERSALLY “died for” ALL the despicable and sinful humans.
2. or one might be courageous to die for the good one: The GAR, is repeated to add to the explanation. Thus, it gives us an OR idea, and then the CONTRAST is presented in the next verse. The adverb, tacha, occurs only here and again reflects the idea of RARITY. It MIGHT happen, but it is not very common.
The GOOD man refers to the generally ALTRUISTIC; characteristically kind and beneficent person who would most likely earn the attention and favor of others.
The point is not to some how dispute the occurrence of such deeds, but to clearly CONTRAST the NATURE of such deeds with what Jesus did.
1. But God demonstrates: the verb is sunistAmi as a present active indicative. The present tense shows this as a CONSTANT and UNIVERSAL demonstration.
2. His own love toward us: As seen above, it is the love of God as the divine motivator in providing salvation for the human race. “For God so loved the world that He gave.” John 3:16
3. in that while yet being sinners: THE SECOND STRIKE AGAINST MANKIND
The Greek is hamartOlos and refers to the many and various ACTS of personal sin committed by each and every member of the human race. The present participle of eimi (the TO BE verb) plus the noun, shows each member of the human race to be “a sinner;” one who commits sins. Personal sins are certainly the natural expression from the sin nature, but they are still committed by an act of human will. It is just that man’s soul; his self-consciousness is so enslaved to his sinful nature, that personal sin just CAN’T be avoided.
For, “there is no man who does not sin,” (2 Chron.6:36), and “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” (Rom. 3:23).
This SECOND STRIKE, personal sin, puts man ever so near to eternal condemnation. If, according to this “spiritual baseball” analogy, a THIRD strike were to occur, then the decreed judgment would be FINAL and the offender would spend eternity separated from God in the lake of fire.
The THIRD strike is UNBELIEF; failure to trust in
Christ as Savior.
Thus, in order to PREVENT the third strike from
occurring, each person must choose to trust in Christ.
4. Christ died for us: There are some who teach
that Christ died ONLY for the elect; that is, only for those who will
eventually believe instead of for all mankind. They think that the US requires such
an idea. However, the fact that Christ died for US, does not deny the fact
that He died for OTHERS as well. Of course, WE as believers would view the
death of Christ as FOR US, but the Scripture teaches that He died for ALL.
Verse 9 SAVED FROM THE WRATH
1. Much more then: This ADDS to the other result
of justification mentioned in verse 1.
Here, the result is what reconciliation accomplishes. Since the believer is now reconciled to God, the penalty has been paid, and such a one (believer) is delivered from the judgment of God’s wrath.
2. having now been justified: the aorist passive participle of dikaioO (the same form as at verse 1) indicates the completed action that is accomplished at the very moment that one trusts in Christ.
3. by his blood: At verse 1, MAN’S part is
stressed, “justified by faith.”
The term BLOOD OF CHRIST has generated some great
confusion, misunderstanding and controversy.
There, both FAITH and BLOOD are mentioned together. Here, they are mentioned separately (verse 1 and 8) but the parallelism unites them.
The term “faith in his blood” refers to trust in what Christ did to pay for sins. It refers to His spiritual death on the cross. The term blood is used to fulfill a representative analogy from the Old Testament where the animal sacrifice “shed” its blood to provide a judicial, although temporary, covering for sin so that man would be able to enter into a salvation relationship with God through faith in the promise of the coming Messiah.
See Topic: THE BLOOD OF CHRIST
4. we shall be saved from the wrath through Him:
Verse 10 EXPLANATION OF SAVED
1. FOR: the word GAR, is used to introduce an
explanation of the last phrase, “saved from His wrath.”
It is the RESULT of being “ungodly” and “sinners.” Our sinful NATURE and our acts of SIN, make us the enemy of God, but still He did what was necessary to give us the chance to be reconciled to Him.
3. we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son: The death that is in view is PRIMARILY His spiritual death on the cross when He experience separation from the Father by bearing in His own body (IN HIS SOUL) all the sins of the world.
4. MUCH MORE: the more crucial result; in fact, the prime object of all that was done on the cross.
5. having been reconciled: The aorist passive participle shows us something that has been completed.
Reconciliation was not accomplished on the cross.
PROPITIATION was accomplished on the cross.
6. we shall be saved through His life: This is reference to Christ’s resurrection, which has already been explained as necessary for two reasons.
A. To provide PROOF that Jesus WAS who He
claimed to be - the Son of God; and ACCOMPLISHED
B. And to provide deliverance from the physical curse by giving believers a resurrection body.
1. and not only this: that is, not only do we EXULT in the HOPE of or sharing God’s glory (v. 2) and exult in the many pressures that we encounter in this life (v. 3), BUT we also exult in God because of the reality of our RECONCILIATION to Him.
2. but we also exult in God THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ: God the Father is the CENTER of our worship and rejoicing. Christ is the MEANS by which we have salvation and the OCCASION to exult in the Father.
3. through Whom we have now received the
reconciliation: the FACT of peace WITH God.
The real focus here is on THROUGH WHOM. It is because of and through Christ that we have salvation.
Thus, in the next section – verses 12-21, Paul will explain EXACTLY WHAT was involved in THROUGH CHRIST, comparing it with man’s sinful condition that was acquired THROUGH ADAM.
Verse 11 – “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And that will then pave the way for Paul to develop the issue of LIVING our salvation here on earth in chapters 6 – 16.
©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com.
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