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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary
Romans 5

 

 

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Verse 1

Romans 5:1

I. We read in the New Testament, and especially in the writings of St. Paul, a good deal of the doctrine of justification by faith. Now, is there any distinction between this doctrine of justification, between this blessing of justification, and the blessing of pardon? Is pardon synonymous with justification? I take it that, while justification always involves pardon, and while in the case of an individual sinner it is never separated from pardon, and the pardoned man is always justified, and the justified man is always pardoned,—while in the processes of God's grace to an individual soul, these are never found apart, yet theologically they are to be carefully distinguished. The type and symbol of a justified man is not Joshua simply washed, but Joshua clothed, and clothed in such garments, so fair in holiness, so perfect in their beauty, that we may put into his mouth the song in which the Church, under God's mercy, breaks out into the jubilant language of thanksgiving and praise, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord; my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He hath clothed me with garments of salvation."

II. "Peace with God." It is undeniable that there is such a thing as peace which does not arise from faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. There is: (1) The peace of ignorance. There are men who know nothing of the law of God; they know nothing of the nature of God; they have never been roused to spiritual anxiety or to spiritual inquiry. Their hopes are of the vaguest and dreamiest kind; or they are simply those hopes of which we hear much in the present day, resting upon the great mercy of God, as if somehow or other we are all to get back to God at last—whether we die in Christ or not. (2) And then there is the peace of the Pharisee. He lives and dies in the buckram of his self-righteousness. He thanks God that he is not as other men are. He is going to heaven perfectly satisfied with himself, or perhaps, just trusting a little to Christ to make up the balance which he may think is against him. Therefore we should ask, not only, "Have you peace?" but "Upon what is that peace resting?"

J. C. Miller, Penny Pulpit, No. 717, new series.

I. The common meaning which is put upon the word justified may not be all that St. Paul intended by it, nor all that we need to see in it. But it must have a great worth. God accounts me righteous, He justifies me, He does not account me that which in my proper legitimate state, as united to Christ, I am not; He treats me as that which, in this my proper and reasonable state, I am. The justified man is not only one who is acquitted, not only one who is set down as righteous, but one who, in the strictest sense, has become, or has been made, righteous.

II. And thus we are able to feel the force of the next words, "Being justified by faith." God is the Justifier, He who accounts man righteous and makes him righteous, and man is justified or made righteous by faith. He believes the witness which God has given of Himself in His Son, and therefore he has faith in God, faith in what He has done, faith in what He is. He is righteous only by this faith, for only by it does he claim any relation to Him who is righteous, only by it can he ascend out of his own nature. Having faith in God, he becomes a true man; otherwise he possesses only the torments of a man with the instincts and pleasures of an animal.

III. Being justified by faith, we have peace. Peace must come by rising into life. To suppose that this peace is something won by a certain momentary act of belief, and thenceforth guaranteed to the believer as his treasure and property, is to subvert the whole doctrine.

IV. The great question which every man asks is, How can I be at peace with God? The answer St. Paul makes is, "God has made peace with thee, through Jesus Christ." In Him He has manifested to thee what He is; in Him He sees thee. Thou mayest see God in Him; thou mayest rise thyself to be a new creature in Him. For thou art not what thou supposest thyself to be—a separate atom in the universe, a creature who has no relation to any other. Thou hast wonderful affinities with all these beings about thee; and when thou art driven by thy wretchedness and despair of thyself to trust in Him who has taken thy nature upon Him, thou wilt find out that secret as well as the secret of thy own emancipation.

F. D. Maurice, Sermons, vol. ii., p. 1.


References: Romans 5:1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ix., No. 510; vol. xxv., No. 1456; Expositor, 1st series, vol. ix., p. 215; Church of England Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 83; Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 123; E. Johnson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 234; Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 235; Homiletic Quarterly., vol. iii., p. 376; W. Hay Aitken, Around the Cross, p. 65; Archbishop Magee, Sermons at Bath, pp. 63, 88.


Verse 1-2

Romans 5:1-2

The State of Grace.

There are some who seem only to fear or to have very little joy in religion. These are in a more hopeful state than those who only joy and do not fear at all; yet they are not altogether in a right state. Let us consider how the persons in question come to have this defective kind of religion.

I. In the first place, of course, we must take into account bodily disorder, which is not unfrequently the cause of this perplexity of mind. Many persons have an anxious self-tormenting disposition, or depression of spirits, or deadness of the affections, in consequence of continued or peculiar ill-health; and though it is their study, as it is their duty, to strive against this evil as much as they can, yet it often may be impossible to be rid of it. Of course in such cases we can impute no fault to them. They must be patient under their fears, and try and serve God more strictly.

II. But again, the uncomfortable state of mind I have described sometimes, it is to be feared, arises, I will not say from wilful sin, but from some natural deficiency which might be corrected, but is not. The sins I speak of arise partly through frailty, partly through want of love; and they seem just to have this effect of dimming or quenching our peace and joy. The absence of a vigilant walk, of exact conscientiousness in all things, of an earnest and vigorous warfare against our spiritual enemies, in a word, of strictness, this is what obscures our peace and joy.

III. This fearful anxious state of mind arises very commonly from not having a lively sense of our present privileges. There are persons highly respectable indeed and serious, but whose religion is of a dry and cold character, with little heart or insight into the next world. They are most excellent men in their line, but they do not walk in a lofty path. There is nothing unearthly about them; they cannot be said to be worldly; yet they do not walk by things unseen, they do not discern and contemplate the next world. They are not on the alert to detect, patient in watching, keen-sighted in tracing the movements of God's secret providence. They do not feel they are in an immense unbounded system, with a height above and a depth beneath. Such men are used to explain away such passages as the text. Their joy does not rise higher than what they call a rational faith and hope, a satisfaction in religion, a cheerfulness, a well-ordered mind, and the like—all very good words, if properly used, but shallow to express the fulness of the gospel privileges.

IV. What is it, then, that these little ones of Christ lack who, without wilful sin, past or present, on their consciences, are in gloom and sorrow? What but the great and high doctrines connected with the Church? Fall down in astonishment at the glories which are around thee and in thee, poured to and fro in such a wonderful way that thou art, as it were, dissolved into the kingdom of God, as though thou hadst nought to do but to contemplate and feed on that great vision. In spite of all recollections of the past or fear for the future, we have a present source of rejoicing. Whatever comes, weal or woe, however stands our account as yet in the books against the Last Day, this we have and this we may glory in—the present power and grace of God in us and over us, and the means thereby given us of victory in the end.

J. H. Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, vol. iv., p. 138.


Reference: Romans 5:1, Romans 5:2.—Homilist, new series, vol. iv., p. 413.



Verses 1-11

Romans 5:1-11

Immediate Results of Justification.

To be acquitted of guilt through the death of Jesus is the most elementary blessing which the gospel brings to our condemned race, shut up in its prison-house of wrath. But it cannot come alone. It opens a door of hope through which each reconciled sinner may look forward unto a new world of lovely blessings following in its train. Hope is the keyword of this section, therefore—exultant hope of future glory; and the three ideas which successively emerge in its very rich and vivid sentences are these: (1) Our hope reposes on this new relation, established between us and God, that we are at peace with Him. (2) Our hope is not impaired but confirmed by our present tribulation. (3) Our hope is warranted by the proof which we already possess of the love of God for us.

I. There is room now in men's hearts for the hope that God will bless them with that glory which is His own blessedness, since now they are at peace with Him (vers. 1, 2). Enemies of God could never expect to behold His glory, or be satisfied with His likeness. His friends may. Standing thus near, within sight of that Eye that kindles with a Divine delight over His banished brought back; standing thus near, introduced by the Hand that was pierced, and accepted in the Beloved who was slain, what is there for a justified believer to fear? What is there not for him to hope?

II. It is far off, that glory of God which we hope for; at least, it is still in the future. The present is for all of us a life of trouble. Our mean, grieved, dying days, do they not flout and mock at such splendid expectations? Quite the contrary. In the long run life's trouble is found rather to confirm our hope. The Christian who perseveres under trouble is an approved or accredited believer. Is it not clear that, when the tested Christian finds his faith has proved itself genuine, his hope will wax so much the more confident?

III. The triumphant hope of a justified believer in what God is yet to do for him finds a still more sure and inexpugnable foundation of fact in what God has already done to prove the greatness of His love.

J. Oswald Dykes, The Gospel according to St. Paul, p. 113.


References: Romans 5:1-12.—Expository Sermons on the New Testament, p. 178. Romans 5:5.—G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 97; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv., No. 829; vol. xxxii., No. 1904; T. T. Carter, Sermons, p. 309; E. H. Gifford, The Glory of God in Man, p. 90. Romans 5:6.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. vi., p. 1. Romans 5:6-8.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. iv., p. 424; W. Hubbard, Ibid., vol. vii., p. 339; Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. viii., No. 446; vol. xx., No. 1184; vol. xx., No. 1191; vol. xxiii., No. 1345. Romans 5:6-10.—H. W. Beecher, Christian World Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 340; Preacher's Monthly, vol. iv., p. 16; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 265.


Verse 7-8

Romans 5:7-8

God's Love Magnified in Christ's Death.

I. In considering how God appointed our Lord and Saviour to suffering and death as the most perfect proof of obedience, it seems necessary to begin by removing a difficulty which will certainly occur to every one: that is, that the death of the Saviour seems by no means so obvious an evidence of the love of God, His and our heavenly Father, as of the Saviour's own love to His brethren; and that it is only, as it were, on the ground of His love to us that we have any right to see in His death the love of God towards us. And yet the case stands as I have stated it. It is indeed difficult to separate things which are in the very closest connection; and who could wish to make a division between the Saviour's love to us and His obedience to His and our heavenly Father? And yet the two are so related that His love to us is shown most directly in His life and His obedience to His Father in His sufferings and death. God shows forth His love to us in this; says Paul, that according to His command and will Christ died for us while we were yet sinners; not for the sake of the righteous, not for a good man nor for a circle of friends, but for the whole world of sinners. And so we cannot doubt that this was the most perfect act of obedience, and that God called Christ to it for our sakes; for it was necessary that He should endure this death, not for His own sake nor with any other good object but that of effecting the salvation of sinners.

II. This brings us to consider, in the second place, what was meant to be accomplished, and therefore was accomplished—for when we speak of a Divine purpose we cannot separate design from fulfilment—by this death of the Saviour, that we may see how it was the full glorification of the Divine love. The greatest love is that which effects the most good to the person who is the object of it. We should try in vain to give another definition of it. Now, the Apostle says, "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of the One the many are made righteous." This then is what was to result from the Saviour's obedience unto death on the cross. He needed to die for us, Paul says, when we were yet sinners. We become righteous, only it is not because and so far as we have set Him before our eyes as an ideal, for thus we shall never reach it, but really because and in so far as we have received Him into our hearts as the fountain of life. We become righteous if we no longer live in the flesh, but Christ the Son of God lives in us—if we are fully identified with that common life of which He is the centre. For then each of us can say of himself, "Who is there that can condemn?" It is Christ that justifies. We are in Him, He is in us, inseparably united with those who believe on the Son of God; in this fellowship with Him we are truly righteous. But if we come back to ourselves and consider our individual life just in itself, then we are glad to forget what is behind and to reach forth towards that which is before. Then we know well that we must ever anew take refuge in Him, ever be looking to Him and to His obedience on the cross, ever be filled with the power of His life and His presence, and thus we shall attain to that growth in righteousness and holiness and wisdom, in which truly consists our redemption through Him, through His life and His love, His obedience and His death.

F. Schleiermacher, Selected Sermons, p. 372.


References: Romans 5:7, Romans 5:8.—E. D. Solomon, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xv., p. 280; G. Brooks, Five Hundred Outlines, p. 7.


Verse 8

Romans 5:8

What Proves God's Love?

I. It is a strange thing that the love of God needs to be either proved or pressed upon men. (1) There never was, there is not, any religion untouched by Christianity that has any firm grip of the truth "God is love." (2) Even among ourselves and other people that have drunk in some form of Christianity with their mother's milk, it is the hardest possible thing even for men who do accept that gospel in their hearts to keep themselves up to the level of that great truth.

II. Notice the one fact which performs the double office of demonstrating and commending to us the love of God: "In that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Christ's death is a death, not for an age, but for all time; not for this, that, or the other man, not for a section of the race, but for the whole of us, in all generations. The power of that death, as the sweep of that love, extends over all humanity, and holds forth benefits to every man of woman born.

III. Look at the force of this proof. Has it ever struck you that the words of the text, upon every hypothesis but one, are a most singular paradox? "God commendeth His own love to us, in that Christ died for us." Is that not strange? What is the connection between God's love and Christ's death? Is it not obvious that we must conceive the relation between God and Christ to be singularly close in order that Christ's death should prove God's love? The man who said that God's love was proved by Christ's propitiatory death believed that the heart of Christ was the revelation of the heart of God, and that what Christ did God did in His well-beloved Son.

IV. Consider what is thus proved and pressed upon us by the Cross. (1) The Cross of Jesus Christ speaks to the world of a love which is not drawn forth by any merit or goodness in us. (2) The Cross of Christ preaches to us a love that has no cause, motive, reason, or origin, except Himself. (3) The Cross preaches to us a love which shrinks from no sacrifice. (4) The Cross proves to us and presses upon us a love which wants nothing but our love, which hungers for the return of our love and our thankfulness.

A. Maclaren, Christian Commonwealth, June 4th, 1885.

Suffering Love.

I. This verse is a direct assertion of the deity of Jesus Christ. For it does not mean, "The Father commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us," but that "Christ commends His love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us." It is plain that He who loves is He who dies—otherwise there is no argument at all, if one loves and another dies.

II. When it was God's will to present to our world a perfect view of His adorable Being He embodied it into flesh. He made it palpable to man's understanding. He made it speak by tears and smiles and humility and sympathy and anguish; and then He hung it upon a cross, and that image of God's love He called Christ. All that is truth in this world is a copy of the highest, and the greatest original of all love was suffering love, and therefore none can be a picture of love except it bear something of sadness.

III. The language of the Apostle at once conducts us to one leading trait in the love which characterised the sufferings of Jesus Christ—for it was not reflecting love, but originating love. It went forth to sinners. We must take care that we understand the full force of the expression. The love that is in the life and death of Jesus is the seed of every spark of love that is worthy the name of love upon the whole earth.

IV. One marvel of the love of Christ is its simple endurance of things conspiring to disturb it. He passed through every diversity of irritating circumstance, and yet there is not a moment in which we can discover a want of affection. He pursues His path of high love without one single deviation.

V. We cannot admire too much the beautiful proportion of the love of Christ—blending the general interest with particular tenderness. He grasped the universal kingdom of God. Nevertheless, His heart was so disengaged for any one that wanted it, that He loved and bled as if for that one. He has a look for Peter in the hall. He has an eye for Mary upon the cross. He could descend at once from the grand rangings of His comprehensive work to the minutest incident and the smallest work that comes nearest Him. He recollects the cock must crow twice. He has compassion upon the poor servant's wounded ear. He studies the comfort of His mother's future home. These are beautiful traits in the face of love; and is it not just such love that we want?

J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 2nd series, p. 107.


God's Inexhaustible Love.

I. We often forget that God is our Father when sorrow overwhelms us. We forget it still more when all is prosperous and happy. Nay, it would be truer to say that in sorrow we are not tempted to forget this truth, but to deny it; in happiness we are tempted to forget it. There is indeed such a thing as an innocent forgetting. Just as a child may forget the presence of a loved earthly father because that father is so completely a part of the happiness which is shed around, so, too, the Christian may go on his way rejoicing in what God has bestowed—health and strength and happy thoughts and enjoyments suited to youth—and certainly will not be blamed for letting his thoughts be full of the innocent pleasures that his Father gives. But this forgetfulness of God, which may be innocent in the beginning, is liable to slip into a coldness of love simply by its own continuance.

II. We are tempted to forget, or to disbelieve, or even to deny that God is our Father when we have done wrong. And, indeed, there is a kind of truth in what we feel; for we rightly feel that our wrong-doing has taken us away from Him. We feel cast off; out of His sight; we feel as if it were useless now to try to hold a place in His love, that place which our misdeed has forfeited; too often we add sin to sin in a kind of recklessness, because it seems not worth while to battle for a completely lost cause. But this is a temptation of our weak nature, and not the direction of conscience nor the teaching of the Bible. If we feel cold in heart, let us turn to Him for warmth; if we feel doubtful, let us beg Him to increase our faith; if we have done very wickedly, let us be all the more sorrowful and all the more earnest in our endeavours to cast out the evil spirit. But let us never forget that He is our Father, and that without our prayer, out of the depths of His love, He sent His Son to bring us back to His Home, to Himself.

Bishop Temple, Rugby Sermons, p. 326.


References: Romans 5:8.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. ii., No. 104; vol. xxiii., No. 1345; T. Arnold, Sermons, vol. iv., p. 182; C. G. Finney, Gospel Themes, p. 307; J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons, 2nd series, p. 107; J. Edmunds, Sermons in a Village Church, p. 96. Romans 5:10.—Homilist, new series, vol. iii., p. 422; J. Vaughan, Sermons, 9th series, p. 181.


Verse 12

Romans 5:12

Perhaps there is no more awful thought than this, that sin is all around us and within us, and we know not what it is. We are beset by it on every side: it hangs over us, hovers about us, casts itself across our path, hides itself where our next footstep is to fall, searches us through and through, listens at our heart, floats through all our thoughts, draws our will under its sway and ourselves under its dominion, and we do not know what it is.

I. The entering in of sin proves the presence of an evil being. We talk of powers and qualities and principles and oppositions and the like; but we are only putting words for realities. They do not exist apart from being create or uncreate; they are the attributes and energies of living spirits. Sin entered in through and by the evil one—that is, the devil.

II. Another truth to be learned is this, that by the entering in of sin a change passed upon the world itself. I am not now speaking of physical evil, such as dissolution and death and the wasting away of God's works, but only of moral evil. A change passed upon the condition of man. His will revolted and transferred its loyalty from God to the evil one. Thenceforward man was the representative of the alien and antagonist power which had broken the unity of God's kingdom; and his will was bent in a direct opposition to the will of God. Such, then, is sin.

III. This awful principle of sin has been ever multiplying itself from the beginning of the world. It so clave to the life of man that, as living souls were multiplied, sin in them was multiplied also. As sin has multiplied in its extent, so it would seem also to have become more intense in its character. The mystery of original sin is begun over and over again with each successive generation. Men grow up to a certain height of the moral stature, and are cut down and laid in the earth; their children rise up more or less to the same standard, within certain limits which are the conditions of our being and our probation. But it is no less true that there is a growth and accumulation of evil which in the life of the world is analogous to the deterioration of character in the individual man. The full unfolding of sin has ever been at the close of the dispensations of God; it has been at its worst when He was nighest. It shall at last stand forth in the earth, at the full stature of its hate and daring against heaven, and by the coming of the Son of man in glory shall be cast out for ever.

H. E. Manning, Sermons, vol. i., p. 1.


I. Note first how naturally and reasonably faith may link the mysterious record of the Fall with the plain facts of our present state. There is a clear and familiar analogy between the childhood of each one of us and the childhood of the race. It is from others that we learn the story of our earliest days; we trust others for all knowledge of the time of our birth and the first shelter of our life; others tell us to whom we owed the care and love in which self-knowledge woke; we must ask others how our place and lot were first marked out for us among our fellow-men. It is faith in others, the evidence of things not seen, which links our present and our past, which gives us the bare outline of our infancy, and shows us our own life continuous beyond the bounds of memory. Now, is it not exactly thus with the childhood of mankind? Natural reason tells us as little of the childhood of humanity as memory can tell us of our own. All the wondrous vision of man's infancy God offers to our faith. He bids us trust Him here. The facts of life force our thoughts to the recognition of the Fall, just as the attractions and repulsions of the heavenly bodies guide the astronomer to believe in the existence of an undiscovered star. "All hangs on that imperceptible point." And so, I believe, it has come to pass that the doctrine of the Fall, and of a flaw and fault inherent in our manhood, has been at once the most scornfully rejected and the most generally acknowledged truth in all the Christian faith.

II. Over against the great fact of the sin of the world there stands the great fact of the sinlessness of Christ. We realise the full import of one side of the contrast only as we enter into the reality of the other. Only in the light of His holiness can we see how far the world has fallen away from God; only as we represent to ourselves the range and subtlety and cruelty of sin can we recognise the arresting and controlling miracle of His perfect holiness. And as we realise what He, All-perfect and All-love, vouchsafed to bear for us within the misery of our loveless life, it will lead us to kneel with a new glow of gratitude and adoration at His feet, to cry with a new longing that we may never fall away from Him, fall back under the darkness of sin. "O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us. For Thou only art Holy, Thou only art the Lord; Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father."

F. Paget, Cambridge Review, March 3rd, 1886.

References: Romans 6:12.—C. Kingsley, National Sermons, p. 228; C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of the Cross and Passion, p. 214; Homilist, 3rd series, vol. vii., p. 149; W. Cunningham, Sermons, p. 72; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iv., p. 157. Romans 5:15.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxvii., No. 1591; E. de Pressensé, The Mystery of Suffering, p. 1; E. Bersier, Preacher's Lantern, vol. i., pp. 13, 94, 160.


Verses 17-21

Romans 5:17-21

The Chapter of the Five Kings.

Where do we find these five kings? There is King Sin, for Sin reigned. There is King Death, for I read "Death reigned." There is King Grace, for Grace reigned. There is King Jesus, for we reign by One, Jesus Christ; and then, as a consequence, you have kingly saints, for "they which receive abundance of grace shall reign."

I. King Sin. His laws are the lusts of man's own heart. One of the saddest things about him is that we can say all his subjects are voluntarily so. They are willingly captives. He does not hold them with a grip against their wish. His reign is a cruel one, for he reigns "unto death."

II. King Death. Death reigns by sin. Satan reigns by both. It is a triple empire. They stand or fall together. Who can compete with Death? He can say what no monarch on earth can utter. I have never suffered a defeat. I have entered into the lists with the wisest and the strongest and have overcome them. The wealthy have not been able to bribe me, and the longest life has had to succumb at last.

III. King Grace—King Jesus. By His teaching and by His life, by His death and by His resurrection, Jesus opposed Sin.

IV. Kingly saints. How little the world understands the Church! The world cannot see our royal robes, for they are made of such peculiar texture that you must have a sanctified eye to behold them. The world cannot see the crown that is on every believer's brow. Only the saint can perceive it on the brow of his brother. In a little while King Jesus shall come again, and then shall be caught up to Him all His saints, and the text shall be literally and perfectly fulfilled, and we shall reign with Him. There are thrones waiting for the redeemed. There are unfading crowns awaiting the Divine bestowal. "They shall reign by One, Jesus Christ."

A. G. Brown, Penny Pulpit, No. 1108, new series.

References: Romans 5:18.—W. J. Woods, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xviii., p. 198; Homilist, new series, vol. iii., p. 90. Romans 5:19.—E. Cooper, Practical Sermons, vol. iii., p. 144. Romans 5:20.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. i., No. 37; Homilist, new series, vol. ii., p. 260; vol. iii., p. 90; Preacher's Monthly, vol. vii., p. 373.


Verse 20-21

Romans 5:20-21

Abounding Sin; Over-abounding Grace.

I. Grace. Here are the two antagonists—grace and sin. Both would be kings; one only has the power to reign. Grace is not just synonymous with love, though love is at the heart of it. It is love in a certain relation—the love of a Redeemer working to its ends. It represents the whole sum of the forces and influences by which the love that would redeem aims at the accomplishment of its hope. Ye know the grace of the Lord Jesus, but the measure of it One only knows. That grace is the conqueror of sin. That triumphs where law fails.

II. The relation between grace and sin. (1) Sin is the condition of its manifestation. No sin, no grace, and none of that special glory which grace alone can win—the glory of the redemption of the world. God suffers sin to be born because He knows that grace can conquer it, strip its spoils, and reign in triumph over worlds which His victory has glorified eternally. (2) There is a glory which no feat of omnipotence even can create, which grace, by the conquest of sin, can win and wear through eternity. No sin, no grace, and in the highest sense no glory.

III. The relation between grace and righteousness. Grace must reign through righteousness, if it reign at all. (1) None but a righteous soul can be a blessed soul. (2) The righteousness which is by grace has a glory and blessedness which is all its own.

IV. The complete and final end of God "unto eternal life." Death is simply isolation. Life is the opposite of isolation. It is the faculty of communion with all things—receiving their tributes, and repaying them with fruits. The work of grace is as the "baptism of a new life for man. The eye kindles again when it feels the inspiration, the blood glows, the limbs and organs of the spirit brace themselves to new vigour and swiftness, while a solemn joy fills the heart which is unspeakable and full of glory.

J. Baldwin Brown, The Divine Mysteries, p. 81.


References: Romans 5:20, Romans 5:21.—S. A. Tipple, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxxi., p. 104. Romans 5:21.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. vi., No. 330; Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxv., p. 56; C. J. Vaughan, Lessons of the Cross and Passion, p. 201. Romans 6:1, Romans 6:2.—F. W. Farrar, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xii., p. 385.



 


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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Romans 5:4". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/romans-5.html.

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