Romans Chapter 5

Part 5

KLMX Radio

Jan 2009

Bryan Kimsey

First Baptist Church

Des Moines, NM

 

Here we are on Friday morning and weíre finishing up Chapter 5 of Paulís letter to the Romans. Iíll finish up with the last two verses first and then do a quick review of what weíve seen in this chapter. May God give me the words to speak and you ears to hear, to His glory, through the name of Jesus Christ- Amen.

Hereís a little bit of yesterdayís passage to get the context and then todayís and the end of the chapter:

Romans 5:18-21 Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, (21) so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now, yesterday, I discussed the interesting parallelism in v. 18-19 in which Paul says "judgment came to all menÖthe free gift came to all men" and "many were made sinnersÖmany will be made righteous." This can be a confusing section and itís very easy to take one of the verses out of context and use it to show either that all men are saved or that not all men are sinners. But taken as a whole, as it was written, we see whatís going on. The first phrase "judgment came to all menÖand the free gift came to all men" is written in the context of "all regions of men" or "all kinds of men." In other words, judgment has come to the Jews and the Gentiles, to those in Rome and to those all over the world- all men. And likewise, the free gift has come to these same groups. The message of the cross is universal. The second phrase, "Ömany were made sinnersÖmany will be made righteous" refers to the number of people involved. Itís not like weíre talking about a couple hundred people here, but many, many people- a large number, the entire population actually. And likewise, "by one Manís obedience, many will be made righteous." Not necessarily all of the first "many" but "many" nevertheless. Iíll be the first to admit that this can be a confusing parallelism but in the context of the letter as a whole it makes sense. This is what Paulís been showing all through the text leading up to this point.

When Paul says "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much moreÖ" heís pushing this point further. The law was given to convict and show our transgressions. Everyone sins and the worse the sins the greater the grace required to cover those sins. Some people will immediately say "Well, then, I should sin as bad as I can so that Godís grace will be magnified even more!" Paulís got you covered in the next chapter:

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

And Peter echoes this:

1 Peter 2:15-16 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (16) as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

Paul now concludes his train of thought:

Romans 5:(21) Öso that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

And thereís the gospel message- "grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is by grace that God even offers the free gift of salvation. He doesnít have to. God owes us nothing and He might very well just say "All sinners die. End of story." But thank God that He is merciful and full of grace. As a result, Heís provided atonement for us. Instead of us dying forever and ever, Jesus Christ died in our place for us. As Paul says "Örighteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Again, I note that Paul offers no other option here- this eternal life comes only through Jesus Christ. And I also note his qualification- "our Lord." Jesus canít be simply someone from whom we take the free gift and then go about life as we previously did. I just quoted from the next chapter when I said:

Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

Just a few sentences after that statement Paul says:

Romans 6:15-18 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! (16) Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? (17) But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. (18) And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

And so, if we are truly delivered from sin, then we no longer obey sin, but obey righteousness. To be sure, your obedience is imperfect. You will still listen to sin and you may follow itís directions, but if Jesus is your Lord, youíll also quickly realize the error and return back to your real master. Sin is deceptive and its goal is to trap us. Watch what these passages say about sin:

Genesis 4:7 If Ö sin lies at the door. And its desire is for youÖ."

Hebrews 12:1 Ö, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,

And watch what Paul himself says a few chapters later:

Romans 7:22-25 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (25) I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

But, as Paul says here:

Romans 6:13-14 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (14) For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

Sin shall not have dominion over you. Itíll try to trap us and weíll sometimes fall into the trap, but it canít hold the one whom Christ has claimed. Sin shall not win because grace has triumphed over it and Christians are under grace. As Paul says "I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!"

Well, thatís the end of Chapter 5 in Paulís letter to the Romans. As Iíve said before these chapter and verse divisions are a fairly recently added thing to help us reference sections of the Bible. Donít lose sight of the fact that this is a letter and should be taken as a whole. But anyway, weíve come to the end of this section and now Iíd like to summarize what weíve seen.

Possibly the single most important statement in this chapter is the one that was started with:

Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

From this, we saw that we are justified by faith. From other readings we see that faith itself is a gift of God, not of works. No man can earn, buy, or sell faith- it is given by Godís mercy, according to how He sees fit. Having been justified by faith, we have peace with God. Prior to this peace, we were at war with God, we were enemies of him- we saw this concept expanded later in Romans 5 where Paul says "For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His SonÖ" This peace comes not through our own discoveries or our own efforts but "through our Lord Jesus Christ." Here again, we see that Jesus is Lord. We see that it is through Jesus that we access- again, by faith- into Godís grace. We see that in His grace we will stand- that is, stand against the dominion of sin, as I just discussed. And finally, realizing all this, we rejoice in hope and our hope is in the glory of God.

After this opening statement, we saw Paul explaining the spread of sin into the world through Adamís transgression. Just as Adamís transgression opened the door for sin, so will Christís perfect obedience shut the door to that sin. You really canít have one without the other. I have seen people deny that Adamís transgression is imputed to them, but at the same time try to claim the righteousness of Christ. I donít see how you can have Christís righteousness imputed and yet deny the imputation of sin from Adam. We see that Adamís sin spread to the entire world, but Christís righteousness is able to cover those transgressions.

And thereís a quick summary of Romans Chapter 5! Consider carefully what Paulís saying here and ask yourself honestly if Christís righteousness has been laid to your account. Does sin still have dominion over you, or are you able to call Jesus Lord and thus break the hold of sin on your life. Do you still like sin, or can you say with Paul "with the mind I myself serve the law of God." These things donít produce salvation, but they are evidence of it. If you answer "No" to these questions, then I urge you to ask God to apply the atonement of Jesus Christ to your sins. Accept that atonement and begin a new life. God commands all men everywhere to repent and you need no more warrant than that to reach out and grasp the righteousness of Christ.

That concludes our study of Romans 5. If you missed any of the messages, feel free to visit the church website at www.fbcdesmoines.org or call us at 575.278.2421 for a free CD. Thanks again for listening, thanks to KLMX radio for giving the Ministerial Alliance air time. May God bless you and open your ears and heart to the truth of Jesus Christ- Amen.

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