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Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament
Romans 5

 

 

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Verse 1

Being therefore justified by faith (δικαιωτεντες ουν εκ πιστεωςdikaiōthentes oun ek pisteōs). First aorist passive participle of δικαιοωdikaioō to set right and expressing antecedent action to the verb εχωμενechōmen The ουνoun refers to the preceding conclusive argument (chapters 1 to 4) that this is done by faith.

Let us have peace with God (ειρηνην εχωμεν προς τον τεονeirēnēn echōmen pros ton theon). This is the correct text beyond a doubt, the present active subjunctive, not εχομενechomen (present active indicative) of the Textus Receptus which even the American Standard Bible accepts. It is curious how perverse many real scholars have been on this word and phrase here. Godet, for instance. Vincent says that “it is difficult if not impossible to explain it.” One has only to observe the force of the tense to see Paul‘s meaning clearly. The mode is the volitive subjunctive and the present tense expresses linear action and so does not mean “make peace” as the ingressive aorist subjunctive ειρηνην σχωμενeirēnēn schōmen would mean. A good example of σχωμενschōmen occurs in Matthew 21:38 (σχωμεν την κληρονομιαν αυτουschōmen tēn klēronomian autou) where it means: “Let us get hold of his inheritance.” Here ειρηνην εχωμενeirēnēn echōmen can only mean: “Let us enjoy peace with God” or “Let us retain peace with God.” We have in Acts 9:31 ειχεν ειρηνηνeichen eirēnēn (imperfect and so linear), the church “enjoyed peace,” not “made peace.” The preceding justification (δικαιωτεντεςdikaiōthentes) “made peace with God.” Observe προςpros (face to face) with τον τεονton theon and διαdia (intermediate agent) with του κυριουtou kuriou f0).


Verse 2

We have had (εσχηκαμενeschēkamen). Perfect active indicative of εχωechō (same verb as εχωμενechōmen), still have it.

Our access (τεν προσαγωγηνten prosagōgēn). Old word from προσαγωprosagō to bring to, to introduce. Hence “introduction,” “approach.” Elsewhere in N.T. only Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12.

Wherein we stand (εν ηι εστηκαμενen hēi hestēkamen). Perfect active (intransitive) indicative of ιστημιhistēmi Grace is here present as a field into which we have been introduced and where we stand and we should enjoy all the privileges of this grace about us.

Let us rejoice (καυχωμεταkauchōmetha). “Let us exult.” Present middle subjunctive (volitive) because εχωμενechōmen is accepted as correct. The exhortation is that we keep on enjoying peace with God and keep on exulting in hope of the glory of God.


Verse 3

But let us also rejoice in our tribulations (αλλα και καυχωμετα εν ταις τλιπσεσινalla kai kauchōmetha en tais thlipsesin). Present middle subjunctive of same verb as in Romans 5:2. ΚαυχωμαιKauchōmai is more than “rejoice,” rather “glory,” “exult.” These three volitive subjunctives (εχωμεν καυχωμεταechōmenkauchōmetha twice) hold up the high ideal for the Christian after, and because of, his being set right with God. It is one thing to submit to or endure tribulations without complaint, but it is another to find ground of glorying in the midst of them as Paul exhorts here.


Verse 4

Knowing (ειδοτεςeidotes). Second perfect participle of ειδονeidon (οιδαoida), giving the reason for the previous exhortation to glory in tribulations. He gives a linked chain, one linking to the other (tribulation τλιπσιςthlipsis patience υπομονηhupomonē experience δοκιμηdokimē hope ελπιςelpis) running into Romans 5:5. On δοκιμηdokimē see note on 2 Corinthians 2:9.


Verse 5

Hath been shed abroad (εκκεχυταιekkechutai). Perfect passive indicative of εκχεωekcheō to pour out. “Has been poured out” in our hearts.


Verse 6

For (ετι γαρeti gar). So most documents, but B reads ει γεei ge which Westcott and Hort use in place of γαρgar

While we were yet weak (οντων ημων αστενων ετιontōn hēmōn asthenōn eti). Genitive absolute. The second ετιeti (yet) here probably gave rise to the confusion of text over ετι γαρeti gar above.

In due season (κατα καιρονkata kairon). Christ came into the world at the proper time, the fulness of the time (Galatians 4:4; Ephesians 1:10; Titus 1:3).

I or the ungodly (υπερ ασεβωνhuper asebōn). In behalf, instead of. See about υπερhuper on Galatians 3:13 and also Romans 5:7 here.


Verse 7

Scarcely (μολιςmolis). Common adverb from μολοςmolos toil. See note on Acts 14:18. As between δικαιοςdikaios righteous, and αγατοςagathos good, Lightfoot notes “all the difference in the world” which he shows by quotations from Plato and Christian writers, a difference of sympathy mainly, the δικαιοςdikaios man being “absolutely without sympathy” while the αγατοςagathos man “is beneficent and kind.”

Would even dare (και τολμαιkai tolmāi). Present active indicative of τολμαωtolmaō to have courage. “Even dares to.” Even so in the case of the kindly sympathetic man courage is called for to make the supreme sacrifice.

Perhaps (ταχαtacha). Common adverb (perhaps instrumental case) from ταχυςtachus (swift). Only here in N.T.


Verse 8

His own love (την εαυτου αγαπηνtēn heautou agapēn). See note on John 3:16 as the best comment here.

While we were yet sinners (ετι αμαρτωλων οντωνeti hamartōlōn ontōn). Genitive absolute again. Not because we were Jews or Greeks, rich or poor, righteous or good, but plain sinners. Cf. Luke 18:13, the plea of the publican, “μοι τωι αμαρτωλωιmoi tōi hamartōlōi f0).”


Verse 9

Much more then (πολλωι ουν μαλλονpollōi oun mallon). Argument from the greater to the less. The great thing is the justification in Christ‘s blood. The final salvation (σωτησομεταsōthēsometha future passive indicative) is less of a mystery.


Verse 10

We were reconciled to God (κατηλλαγημεν τωι τεωιkatēllagēmen tōi theōi). Second aorist passive indicative of καταλλασσωkatallassō for which great Pauline word see note on 2 Corinthians 5:18. The condition is the first class. Paul does not conceive it as his or our task to reconcile God to us. God has attended to that himself (Romans 3:25.). We become reconciled to God by means of the death of God‘s Son. “Much more” again we shall be saved “by his life” (εν τηι ζωηι αυτουen tēi zōēi autou). “In his life,” for he does live, “ever living to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).


Verse 11

But also glorying in God (αλλα και καυχωμενοι εν τωι τεωιalla kai kauchōmenoi en tōi theōi). Basis of all the exultation above (Romans 5:1-5).

Through whom we have now received the reconciliation (δι ου νυν την καταλλαγην ελαβομενdi hou nun tēn katallagēn elabomen). Second aorist active indicative of λαμβανωlambanō looked at as a past realization, “now” (νυνnun) in contrast with the future consummation and a sure pledge and guarantee of it.


Verse 12

Therefore (δια τουτοdia touto). “For this reason.” What reason? Probably the argument made in Romans 5:1-11, assuming our justification and urging exultant joy in Christ because of the present reconciliation by Christ‘s death and the certainty of future final salvation by his life.

As through one man (ωσπερ δι ενος αντρωπουhōsper di' henos anthrōpou). Paul begins a comparison between the effects of Adam‘s sin and the effects of the redemptive work of Christ, but he does not give the second member of the comparison. Instead of that he discusses some problems about sin and death and starts over again in Romans 5:15. The general point is plain that the effects of Adam‘s sin are transmitted to his descendants, though he does not say how it was done whether by the natural or the federal headship of Adam. It is important to note that Paul does not say that the whole race receives the full benefit of Christ‘s atoning death, but only those who do. Christ is the head of all believers as Adam is the head of the race. In this sense Adam “is a figure of him that was to come.”

Sin entered into the world (η αμαρτια εις τον κοσμον εισηλτενhē hamartia eis ton kosmon eisēlthen). Personification of sin and represented as coming from the outside into the world of humanity. Paul does not discuss the origin of evil beyond this fact. There are some today who deny the fact of sin at all and who call it merely “an error of mortal mind” (a notion) while others regard it as merely an animal inheritance devoid of ethical quality.

And so death passed unto all men (και ουτως εις παντας αντρωπους διηλτενkai houtōs eis pantas anthrōpous diēlthen). Note use of διερχομαιdierchomai rather than εισερχομαιeiserchomai just before, second aorist active indicative in both instances. By “death” in Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:19 physical death is meant, but in Romans 5:17, Romans 5:21 eternal death is Paul‘s idea and that lurks constantly behind physical death with Paul.

For that all sinned (επ ωι παντες ημαρτονEphesians' hōi pantes hēmarton). Constative (summary) aorist active indicative of αμαρτανωhamartanō gathering up in this one tense the history of the race (committed sin). The transmission from Adam became facts of experience. In the old Greek επ ωιEphesians' hōi usually meant “on condition that,” but “because” in N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 963).


Verse 13

Until the law (αχρι νομουachri nomou). Until the Mosaic law. Sin was there before the Mosaic law, for the Jews were like Gentiles who had the law of reason and conscience (Romans 2:12-16), but the coming of the law increased their responsibility and their guilt (Romans 2:9).

Sin is not imputed (αμαρτια δε ουκ ελλογειταιhamartia de ouk ellogeitai). Present passive indicative of late verb ελλογαωellogaō (εω̇eō) from ενen and λογοςlogos to put down in the ledger to one‘s account, examples in inscription and papyri.

When there is no law (μη οντος νομουmē ontos nomou). Genitive absolute, no law of any kind, he means. There was law before the Mosaic law. But what about infants and idiots in case of death? Do they have responsibility? Surely not. The sinful nature which they inherit is met by Christ‘s atoning death and grace. No longer do men speak of “elect infants.”


Verse 14

Even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam‘s transgression (και επι τους μη αμαρτησαντας επι τωι ομοιωματι της παραβασεως Αδαμkai epi tous mē hamartēsantas epi tōi homoiōmati tēs parabaseōs Adam). Adam violated an express command of God and Moses gave the law of God clearly. And yet sin and death followed all from Adam on till Moses, showing clearly that the sin of Adam brought terrible consequences upon the race. Death has come upon infants and idiots also as a result of sin, but one understands Paul to mean that they are not held responsible by the law of conscience.

A figure (τυποςtupos). See note on Acts 7:43; note on 1 Thessalonians 1:7; note on 2 Thessalonians 3:9; and note on 1 Corinthians 10:6 for this word. Adam is a type of Christ in holding a relation to those affected by the headship in each case, but the parallel is not precise as Paul shows.


Verse 15

But not as the trespass (αλλ ουχ ωςall' ouch hōs). It is more contrast than parallel: “the trespass” (το παραπτωμαto paraptōma the slip, fall to one side) over against the free gift (το χαρισμαto charisma of grace χαριςcharis).

Much more (πολλωι μαλλονpollōi mallon). Another a fortiori argument. Why so? As a God of love he delights much more in showing mercy and pardon than in giving just punishment (Lightfoot). The gift surpasses the sin. It is not necessary to Paul‘s argument to make “the many” in each case correspond, one relates to Adam, the other to Christ.


Verse 16

Through one that sinned (δι ενος αμαρτησαντοςdi' henos hamartēsantos). “Through one having sinned.” That is Adam. Another contrast, difference in source (εκek).

Of one (εχ ενοςex henos). Supply παραπτωματοςparaptōmatos Adam‘s one transgression.

Of many trespasses (εκ πολλων παραπτωματωνek pollōn paraptōmatōn). The gift by Christ grew out of manifold sins by Adam‘s progeny.

Justification (δικαιωμαdikaiōma). Act of righteousness, result, ordinance (Romans 1:32; Romans 2:26; Romans 8:4), righteous deed (Romans 5:18), verdict as here (acquittal).


Verse 17

Much more (πολλωι μαλλονpollōi mallon). Argument a fortiori again. Condition of first class assumed to be true. Note balanced words in the contrast (transgression παραπτωματιparaptōmati grace χαριτοςcharitos death τανατοςthanatos life ζωηιzōēi the one or Adam του ενοςtou henos the one Jesus Christ; reign βασιλευωbasileuō in both).


Verse 18

So then (αρα ουνara oun). Conclusion of the argument. Cf. Romans 7:3, Romans 7:25; Romans 8:12, etc. Paul resumes the parallel between Adam and Christ begun in Romans 5:12 and interrupted by explanation (Romans 5:13.) and contrast (Romans 5:15-17).

Through one trespass (δι ενος παραπτωματοςdi' henos paraptōmatos). That of Adam.

Through one act of righteousness (δι ενος δικαιωματοςdi' henos dikaiōmatos). That of Christ. The first “unto all men” (εις παντας αντρωπουςeis pantas anthrōpous) as in Romans 5:12, the second as in Romans 5:17 “they that receive, etc.”


Verse 19

Here again we have “the one” (του ενοςtou henos) with both Adam and Christ, but “disobedience” (παρακοηςparakoēs for which see note on 2 Corinthians 10:6) contrasted with “obedience” (υπακοηςhupakoēs), the same verb κατιστημιkathistēmi old verb, to set down, to render, to constitute (κατεστατησανkatestathēsan first aorist passive indicative, καταστατησονταιkatastathēsontai future passive), and “the many” (οι πολλοιhoi polloi) in both cases (but with different meaning as with “all men” above).


Verse 20

Came in beside (παρεισηλτενpareisēlthen). Second aorist active indicative of double compound παρεισερχομαιpareiserchomai late verb, in N.T. only here and Galatians 2:4 which see. See also εισηλτενeisēlthen in Romans 5:12. The Mosaic law came into this state of things, in between Adam and Christ.

That the trespass might abound (ινα πλεονασηι το παραπτωμαhina pleonasēi to paraptōma). It is usual to explain ιναhina here as final, as God‘s ultimate purpose. So Denney who refers to Galatians 3:19.; Romans 7:7. But Chrysostom explains ιναhina here as εκβασιςekbasis (result). This is a proper use of ιναhina in the Koiné{[28928]}š as we have seen. If we take it so here, the meaning is “so that the trespass abounded” (aorist active subjunctive of πλεονασωpleonasō late verb, see note on 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 8:15). This was the actual effect of the Mosaic law for the Jews, the necessary result of all prohibitions.

Did abound more exceedingly (υπερεπερισσευσενhupereperisseusen). First aorist active indicative of υπερπερισσευωhuperperisseuō Late verb, in N.T. only here and 2 Corinthians 7:4 which see. A strong word. If πλεοναζωpleonazō is comparative (πλεονpleon) περισσευωperisseuō is superlative (Lightfoot) and then υπερπερισσευωhuperperisseuō goes the superlative one better. See υπερπλεοναζωhuperpleonazō in 1 Timothy 1:14. The flood of grace surpassed the flood of sin, great as that was (and is).


Verse 21

That - even so grace might reign (ιναουτος και η χαρις βασιλευσηιhinȧ̇houtos kai hē charis basileusēi). Final ιναhina here, the purpose of God and the goal for us through Christ. Lightfoot notes the force of the aorist indicative (εβασιλευσενebasileusen established its throne) and the aorist subjunctive (βασιλευσηιbasileusēi might establish its throne), the ingressive aorist both times. “This full rhetorical close has almost the value of a doxology” (Denney).

 


Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

Bibliography Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Romans 5:4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/romans-5.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

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