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Bible Commentaries

Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Romans 5

Verse 1

Have peace with God ; are reconciled to him, and in a state of favor with him. Faith in Christ makes a great and blessed change in the state, character, condition, enjoyments, and prospects of men.

Verse 2

Into this grace ; into this gracious state of peace and love.

The glory of God ; that glory which he has promised and will bestow upon his believing people.

Verse 3

Tribulations ; trials-not because they are pleasant, but because they are useful.

Patience ; in the old sense of endurance-the quality of bearing suffering with calmness and unwavering fortitude.

Verse 4

Experience ; also in the old Latin sense of trial, and then proof, tried integrity which comes from trial rightly endured, and is the object of God’s approval. The same Greek word is used in Philippians 2:22 , where our version renders it, "proof." Hope ; the confident "hope of the glory of God," verse Romans 5:2 .

Verse 5

Maketh not ashamed ; it will not be disappointed-the glory hoped for will be realized.

The love of God is shed abroad ; the sweet sense of God’s love towards us, which is always accompanied by the exercise of our love towards him. Both are caused in us by the Holy Ghost, and are a sure earnest of eternal life. Philippians 1:6 . The love of God reigning in the heart is a sure evidence of having received the Holy Spirit, and under his influence, of being in a course of preparation for heaven.

Verse 6

Without strength ; were wicked, lost, and destitute of resources to save ourselves, or provide for our own salvation.

In due time ; at the proper time in God’s estimation-the right time.

Died for the ungodly ; in their stead, that they, by believing in him, might live for ever.

Verse 7

A righteous man ; just, upright, and honest.

A good man ; not only just, but kind, compassionate, and governed by love to God and men.

Verse 8

God commendeth his love ; shows it to be unspeakably greater, more disinterested, and abundant.

Sinners ; enemies to him, and deserving his displeasure.

Verse 9

Being now justified by his blood ; the argument is from the less to the greater: If while we were yet enemies to God an expiation was made for our sins, much more, now that through that expiation we have been brought into an actual state of justification, shall we be saved from God’s wrath.

Verse 10

We were reconciled ; not personally and actually, for the apostle is speaking, as in verse Romans 5:8 , of the expiatory death of Christ. He means, then, that a way of reconciliation was opened to us by death of Christ.

Being reconciled ; that is, personally and actually, through faith in Christ’s expiatory death.

We shall be saved by his life ; both the death and resurrection of Christ are necessary to complete the work of our redemption. But here, as in chap Romans 4:25 , he ascribes to his death the expiation of our sin, and to his life after his resurrection our actual introduction to a state of justification and eternal life. For Christ lives with all power in heaven and on earth to intercede for his saints and overrule all things for their good. Matthew 28:18 ; John 14:19 ; Romans 8:28-39 ; Hebrews 7:25 . A change in men from a state of enmity to God manifested by rebelling against him, to a state of love for him manifested by obeying him, is proof that they have passed from death unto life, and that they will be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 1 Peter 1:5 .

Verse 11

Joy in God ; greatly rejoice in his character and will; especially in the gift of his Son and the way of life through him.

By whom ; Christ.

The atonement ; reconciliation to God and the enjoyment of his favor.

Verse 12

Wherefore as by one man ; that is, Adam. The apostle, in this verse, evidently begins a comparison between Adam and Christ, the same for substance as that contained in verses Romans 5:18-19 . But before completing it, he pauses to throw in sundry remarks pertaining to it.

Death by sin ; as a consequence of sin.

And so ; as a consequence of sin, death passed upon all ; all became subject to it.

For that ; because.

Verse 13

Until the law ; before it was written, or communicated by Moses.

Sin was in the world ; men committed it, and suffered the consequences; God treated them as sinners.

Sin is not imputed ; it is not charged to men, or laid to their account; they are not held responsible and punished for it.

When there is no law ; because sin is a transgression of a wise and good law. It follows that there was such a law binding on men before the time of Moses, and before any written revelation of the will of God was made to men. There was a law given to Adam from the mouth of God, by the violation of which sin entered, and death by sin. There was a law, too, written upon the hearts of all men as moral beings. Chap Romans 2:14-15 . Of course there could be, and there was, transgression-violation of law. This was proved by the fact that there was death as universal as after the giving of a written law by Moses.

Verse 14

Similitude ; manner or likeness; namely, by violating a positive revealed law.

Figure ; in the original, type. Adam is the type of Christ, especially in the wide influence exerted by him on the human family.

Of him that was to come ; the Messiah. This was among the Jews a common mode of designating their expected Messiah. Compare Matthew 11:3 ; John 6:14 ; John 11:27 .

Verse 15

Not as the offence ; having called Adam the type of Christ, it was natural that the apostle should show that there is not a likeness in all respects between Adam and Christ; or between the evil which comes through the one, and the good which comes through the other. In several respects there is a difference; some of which he proceeds to mention.

Many be dead ; there is a difference in the kind of extent of influence. That of Adam works death; that of Christ brings to all who receive him superabounding grace and life.

Hath abounded ; hath, to those who embrace Jesus Christ, gone beyond the mere removal of the evil which comes upon them through Adam; giving them good which is more safe, more abundant, more glorious than he or they ever lost, or could in any way, except through faith in him, ever have enjoyed. John 10:10 . The evil which one offence of Adam brought on him and his posterity, shows in a wonderful manner the evil nature and destructive tendency of sin, and the great guilt and danger of committing it, and should lead all to hate and at once forsake it.

Verse 16

By one that sinned ; Adam. There is a difference between the evil which came through Adam, and the good which comes through Christ, in another respect.

By one ; one offence, by which sin entered. The evil, expressed by the words judgment, death, and condemnation, came through and were made sure by one sin; but the grace of God in Jesus Christ pardons and triumphs over many sins, and bestows an exceeding and eternal weight of glory upon those who have committed numerous offences.

Verse 17

By one man’s offence ; that of Adam.

By one ; Adam.

Much more ; the reasons for saving believers in Christ appear much more numerous and strong than those for subjecting them to sin and death through Adam. As the latter has been done, they may be sure, from the character and word of God, that the former will in due time be accomplished.

Verse 18

Upon all men unto justification ; the blessings provided by Christ are sufficient for all; they are offered to all to whom they are revealed; they should be accepted by all; and all who do accept them, as offered in the gospel, will be pardoned, justified, and saved.

Verse 19

As all who believe in Christ will be saved, all to whom he is made known are bound both by duty and interest to believe in him, and thus, through grace, prepare to live and rejoice with him for ever in heaven. If they do not, their destruction will be more dreadful than if they had never heard of him, or he had never come into the world.

Verse 20

The law entered ; a written revelation of the will of God was given and embodied in the moral and ceremonial law of the Old Testament.

That the offence might abound ; as men, after the giving of the written law, had more commands and obligations which they knowingly violated, the number and guilt of their sins was greatly increased. Thus the law, through their opposition to it, and their voluntary disobedience of it, aggravated their condemnation; and was adapted to make them feel that if they were ever saved, it must be by grace, and thus prepare them to believe on Christ. Galatians 3:24 .

Grace did much more abound ; it triumphed over all obstacles, and saved those who believed in Christ, notwithstanding their greatly multiplied and aggravated transgressions.

Verse 21

Through righteousness ; the righteousness which God gives through faith in Christ, who died for our sins according to the Scriptures, rose for our justification, and ever lives to make intercession for us. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ; Hebrews 7:25 .

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Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Romans 5". "Edwards' Family Bible New Testament". American Tract Society. 1851.