Principle of Salvation (Righteousness Imputed)
1. The Good News‑‑Justification By Faith V. 21‑31
1) Apart From The Law V. 21
1. "But now" = shows contrast to what has just been stated; Paul, having shown the entire failure of all attempts to be justified by the law, whether Jew or Gentile, proceeds to state fully the plan of justification by Jesus Christ in the gospel; these words are like a big hinge on a door that opens up something to us.
2. "Is manifested" = to make visible; to make clear; to make plain; self evident; the tense refers to past accomplishments with present and future benefits.
3. "Righteousness of God" = in this verse it is not referring to an attribute of God nor to the changed character of the believer, but to Christ Himself who fully met every demand of the law for us and in our place. (Rom. 1:16-17; I Cor. 15:1‑4; 1:30)
4. "Without the law" = this does not mean that justification without the law was now revealed for the first time and that earlier men had reason to believe that they could be justified by works of the law; this fact is stated plainly as Paul says there are two witnesses. (Deut. 19:15; II Cor. 13:1)
5. "Being witnessed" = refers to one who can give a first hand detailed account of; this is not a new doctrine; there are two witnesses found in the OT:
A. "The law" = refers to the first five books of the OT which details the pattern of the tabernacle and ceremonial law and its requirements which witness of Jesus who is the righteousness of God:
1) Lamb = Lamb of God. (John 1:29)
2) Door = I am the door. (John 10:9)
3) Sacrifice = cross.
4) Bloodshed for covering of sin = Jesus shed His blood to take away sin. (Heb. 9:12; 10:11‑12)
B. "The prophets" = refers to the remainder of the OT where the prophets time and again witnessed a true witness by the Holy Ghost (II Peter 1:21); there are many but just look at one in Isa. 53:4‑11 which bears out that God will not put His stamp of approval on our self righteousness but was satisfied with the finished work on Calvary.
2) Available Through Christ V. 22‑26
1. "Even the righteousness of God" = here refers to the changed character of the believer which is a result of receiving the Lord Jesus Christ (who is the righteousness of God) by faith. (Col. 1:27)
2. "By faith" = "through faith" = the means through which this righteousness is given; faith does not do the saving but it is the channel through which one is saved and receives Jesus, the righteousness of God. (Heb. 11:1)
3. "Of Jesus Christ" = this shows that it is faith possessed by Christ which He gives to those who are made willing to receive it. (Eph. 2:8‑9; John 3:27; Gal. 2:16,20; 3:22; Phil. 3:9)
4. "Unto all" = this righteousness of God is manifested or made evident unto all mankind (John 1:9 accomplished by Rom. 1:19‑20; Titus 2:11); Jesus did not die for a select few but whosoever. (John 3:16; II Peter 3:9)
5. "Believe" = trust; heart commitment; cessation of self effort and total reliance upon Him; the requirement for the righteousness of God to be imputed or placed upon one's account. (Rom. 4:3)
6. This means to believe on and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. (Acts 13:38‑39; II Cor. 5:21; Titus 3:5‑7; Mat. 5:20; Isa. 64:6; I John 5:12)
7. "Difference" = distinction; there may be differences yet no distinction is made; the Jew, we found in Rom. 2:9ff was first in privilege but in getting right with God there is no distinction, the heathen, hypocrite, and Hebrew are all saved the same way.
1. "Sinned" = to miss the mark; the tense gathers up the whole race into one statement.
2. "Come short" = deficient in regard to; means man had failed to obtain or to be destitute of; refers to the fall of man in the garden when Adam ate the forbidden fruit and lost the Shekinah Glory covering and realized he was naked but the tense also refers to right now‑‑man has come short; means to be left behind in a race and to fail to reach the goal or to fall short in the end.
3. "Glory" = refers to the praise or approval of God; man sought to be justified or approved by God but all had failed.
4. The law commands "Do this and live," but gives man neither hands nor feet. The proof is clear and convincing that man failed in obeying the law. God has made no charges that He has not substantiated. There is no appeal and no reversal of the verdict but there is hope and help in the gospel.
1. God condemns all in one breath and in the next declared "justified freely."
2. "Justified" = saved from the penalty of sin; to render just or innocent; to hold guiltless; to treat as righteous; to be in a just or right position before God; being regarded and treated as if one kept the law; could be pronounced "Just‑if‑I'd" never sinned; a legal court term opposite of condemned.
3. Paul declares seven things about our justification:
4. "Freely" = without just cause; gratuitously; for naught; free of expense (to the one who is justified; this does not mean that it has been obtained without any price or merit from any one, for the Lord Jesus has purchased it with His own blood; Isa. 55:1; John 1:12; John 6:27; Rev. 22:17; I Cor. 6:20; I Pet. 1:18‑19)
5. "Grace" = unmerited favor; Greek word is "charis" which means a favor freely done for a friend out of the generosity of the heart, expecting nothing in return, but Jesus went farther and died for His enemies (Rom. 5:8); spelled G = God's, R = riches, A = at, C = Christ's, E = expense.
6. Grace gives us what we do not deserve and puts us on the road to heaven.
c. Through The Redemptive Work Of Christ Jesus.
7. "Redemption" = the deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin by paying the ransom price; the complete truth of this word is set forth in three Greek words.
A. "Agorazo" = to buy in the slave market; translated "bought" in I Cor. 6:20, and "redeemed" in Rev. 5:9.
1) Christ bought us in the slave market of sin with the purchase price of His own blood; therefore, we are His private property.
2) The subjects of redemption are sold under sin. We were sold in Adam when he sinned.
3) We are under the sentence of death. (Rom. 6:23; John 3:18)
4) Now I am His because I have been bought with a price.
B. "Exagorazo" = to buy out (implies to bring out also) of the slave market; the payment of a price to recover from the power of another; translated "redeemed" in Gal. 3:13; the redeemed are never to be put up for sale in any slave market again.
C. "Lutroo" = to set free by paying a price; to release on receipt of the ransom; translated "redeem" in Titus 2:14.
8. All three of these words give the full meaning of redemption = the deliverance of sinners from the bondage of sin by paying a ransom.
9. "In Christ Jesus" = He is the author and provider of our redemption; He fulfilled the OT picture of the Kinsman Redeemer, because He met the qualifications.
A. Must be a Kinsman. (Gal. 4:4; John 1:1,14)
B. Must be able to redeem. (Heb. 4:14‑15)
C. Must be willing. (John 10:17‑18, Heb. 12:2)
10. Man was sold in bondage of sin in Adam but the Lord Jesus Christ met the qualifications of the Kinsman Redeemer and was willing to pay the price to purchase all mankind out of the slave market of sin and set them free. Verse 25 reveals how He did that.
1. "Whom" = refers to Christ Jesus.
2. "Set forth" = to place before; to set forth; to be looked at; expose to public view; the Greek prefix of this word is "pro" = means "before" and indicates two things:
A. God set Christ before Himself; purposed that He be the propitiation for man's sin.
B. God set Christ publicly before the world, showing that He is definitely the propitiation for the world's sin (I John 2:2); He did this when He placed Christ on the cross.
3. "Propitiation" = means bringing together, making favorable, thus enabling someone to act with mercy and forgiveness; a sacrifice or gift which averts the wrath of God and enables Him to be merciful and favorable to the sinner; means to be a sacrifice, a covering, a satisfaction, a payment, an appeasement for sin; a sacrifice that appeases the wrath of God.
4. The word "propitiation" with its root word in the Greek refers to Christ being our sacrifice, substitute, and mercyseat, thus fulfilling the OT types on the day of atonement (really covering in OT), found in Lev. 16:5‑24,34. (Heb. 10:12) The root word is translated "merciful" in Luke 18:13 which means this Hebrew publican realized Jesus was his Sacrifice, Substitute, and Mercyseat. He was not just saying the word "merciful."
5. On the cross God treated His Son as a hell deserving sinner, therefore we could say, "God killed Jesus."
d. Through Faith.
6. "Through" = by means of; a preposition denoting the channel of an act.
7. "Faith" = to trust; to rely on; to commit; refers to faith operating in the heart and not the head; that which is produced and given by God. (Rom. 10:17, Eph. 2:8‑9; John 3:27)
e. In His Blood.
8. Faith must be applied not just in any blood but the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ who died in my place‑‑my Substitute, my Sacrifice, and my Mercyseat.
9. The phrase "in His blood" means:
A. The willingness of Christ to die (shed His blood) for man.
B. The supreme sacrifice Christ paid for man's sins.
C. The terrible sufferings Christ underwent for man's sins.
D. The voluntary laying down of His life for man's sins. (John 10:17‑18; Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22,12)
f. Retrospective In Effect.
10. "To declare" = to show; demonstrate; prove; to exhibit.
11. "His righteousness" = His being righteous in His plan of justifying sinners thus vindicating His righteousness.
12. "Remission" = suspension of punishment for sins; passing over; letting pass; neglecting; this is the only place in the NT this Greek word is used; similar to "winked" (to overlook) in Acts 17:30.
13. "Past" = refers to all who had faith in His blood before the cross (from the thief on the cross all the way back to Adam); this verse is not referring to those who rejected truth; these he is referring to, were shut up in Abraham's bosom or the Paradise compartment of Hades during OT times; Proof texts: Luke 16:22‑26; John 3:3; Luke 23:39‑43; Mat. 12:40.
14. "Forbearance" = self‑restraint; delay in punishment or holding back punishment of sins.
15. How could a righteous, holy God overlook sin? He did not in the sense of forgetting them but passed over sins of those who applied faith in the blood of a coming Redeemer through forbearance, because He knew that at the cross He would exhibit a full display of His wrath against sin. What God required in His justice He provided in His mercy and love. This was done publicly at the cross which demonstrated or exhibited to the world that sin cannot escape the punishment of God. In OT times, man's sin was only covered when they offered their sacrifices by faith in a coming Redeemer. Their sins were not cancelled or put away. No wonder John cried out in John 1:29 as he did. (Heb. 9:26)
16. By the way, Christ emptied Abraham's bosom in the heart of the earth and now Paradise is in the presence of God in the third heaven. Proof texts: Eph. 4:8; II Cor. 12:2‑4; 5:8.
g. Prospective In Its Effect.
1. "To declare" = to show; demonstrate; prove; to exhibit.
2. "At this time" = at the present time; refers to the time since the cross = Paul's day, today, and any other day in the future until the Lord comes for His own.
3. "His righteousness" = His being righteous in His plan of justifying sinners, thus vindicating His righteousness; the cross declared, demonstrated, showed, and proved that God is righteous when He declares a believing sinner righteous.
4. "That" = in order that; so that.
5. "Just" = righteous; upright; refers to the fact that God had retained the integrity of His character as a moral governor; that He had shown a due regard to His law, and to the penalty of the law by His plan of salvation; should He forgive sinners without an atonement (as a governor who pardons offenders does), justice would be sacrificed and abandoned.
6. "The justifier" = to render just or innocent.
7. "Him who believeth in Jesus" = "him who is of the faith of Jesus."
8. "Believeth" = same word and Greek construction as "faith" in verse 25; means to trust, to rely on, to commit; this is in contradistinction from him who is of the work of the law, that is, who depends on his own works for salvation.
3) Accepted By Faith V. 27‑31
a. Pride Is Eliminated (There is no place for
boasting.) V. 27-28
1. "Boasting" = glorying or bragging; Paul is referring to the glorying of the Jew (Rom. 2:17) proclaiming his own goodness and the merit of his ceremonial observances; he asked a question he knew was on the Jew's mind and then answered his own question.
2. "It is excluded" = to shut out completely; barred from happening; the tense indicates "it was excluded" by the coming of the revelation of righteousness through faith.
3. "By what law" = "by what kind of law."
4. "Law" = principle; standard of judging.
5. "Works" = deeds done; labor; toil; the Greek has a definite article with this word, thus "the work" = refers to the works which the Jews made so much boasting of, the works which the law commanded.
6. Paul asks if boasting was excluded by the principle (law) of works and then answered his question with a strong negative, "Nay" = no! but by the principle of faith in harmony with God's love and grace.
7. The principle (law) of works does not exclude boasting, in fact it promotes boasting. When a man looks at what he has done, at the works of his hands, he is led to boast and to glory in himself. Think about all the scientific and technological advancements, the medical and health advancements, the commercial and farming advancements, the comfort and recreational advancements. They all encourage boasting, because they are works of man's hand (we understand man could do nothing without the help of God, but many men don't understand that).
8. But when it comes to being justified before God, it is by the principle of faith not works; therefore, boasting is excluded.
1. "Therefore" = in view of what was stated in verse 27, Paul made a conclusion.
2. "Conclude" = to count; compute; calculate; to make account of by reckoning all the reasons; refers to a reasoned conclusion; denotes a conclusion drawn from evidence, all of which has been gathered and looked at carefully.
3. The conclusion from the evidence is, "Man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
4. "Man" = general word for mankind; male and female; Jew and Gentile; Hebrew, heathen, and hypocrite.
5. "Justified" = to render just or innocent as if one had never sinned; saved from the penalty of sin.
6. "Faith" = to trust; to rely on; to commit.
7. "Without" = apart from.
8. "Deeds" = works.
9. In other words, man is saved by faith and faith alone. (Eph. 2:8‑9; Titus 3:5) There can be no boasting if man examines his record. It is black (Rom. 1:18-32). There can be no boasting if man considers the law, for the law is a rigid, impartial measuring rod (Rom. 2:17-3:8). There can be no boasting if man remembers the cross, for there man's helplessness and God's love and mercy are revealed.
10. This doctrine by no means interferes with the doctrine that good works are to be and will be performed by the saved. Jesus, Himself, stated in Mat. 23:25‑26 that there will be a change on the outside when the inside is changed. This happens so men will notice the difference. James refers to this doctrine in James 2:14‑24.
11. Paul brings out several times in his epistles that if one is justified by faith before God, he will perform works whereby men may see his faith. (II Cor. 9:8; Eph. 2:10; I Tim. 2:10; 5:10,25; 6:18; II Tim. 3:17; Titus 2:7,14; 3:8; Heb. 10:24)
12. Paul urged and repeated with great power and frequency the doctrine that man is not justified before God by his works. (Rom. 4:2,6; 9:11,32; 11:6; Gal. 2:16; Eph. 2:9; II Tim. 1:9)
b. Prejudice Is Eliminated (There is no favored group
or special person.) V. 29‑30
1. "Is he the God of the Jews only?" = the answer to this question is "no"; he is also the God of the Gentiles.
2. If justification were possible by the Law, then God belonged only to the Jew, but since justification is by faith, He is God of both Jew and Gentile.
3. The nation of Israel was a chosen nation, not to the rejection of all other nations, but that they might be a light to all the other nations whereby they could come unto God by way of Israel.
4. In these verses, Paul shows that all had sinned, Jew and Gentile; and that the way of salvation which is by faith was adapted to sinners, without any special reference to Jews; so God could show favors to all, and all might be admitted on the same terms to the benefits of salvation.
1. "Seeing" = since indeed; used about that of which is not doubt; refers to justification by faith being retrospective and prospective in its effect; there has only been one Gospel (first preached in Gen. 3:15) and man is cursed if he receives another. (Gal. 1:8‑9)
2. "It is one God" = the same God; there is but one, and His plan is equally fitted to Jews and Gentiles.
3. "Justify" = to render just or innocent.
4. "The circumcision" = refers to the Jews.
5. "The uncircumcision" = refers to the Gentiles; all who were not Jews.
6. "By faith" = "through faith" = there is no difference in the meaning of these expressions; both denote that faith is the instrumental cause of justification or acceptance with God.
7. "Faith" = to trust; to rely on; to commit.
c. Presumption Is Eliminated (No one should dare
presume upon the grace of God.) V. 31
1. "Make void" = to be entirely idle; to render useless; to render inoperative; to put an end to.
2. "The law" = here has reference to the moral law.
3. Paul's question was an objection that would naturally be made. Do we destroy its moral obligation? Do we prevent obedience to it, by the doctrine of justification by faith? He answers his own question.
4. "God forbid" = be no means; let not this be; horrors to even think such a thing; this is an explicit denial of any such tendency.
5. "Yea" = contrariwise.
6. "Establish" = confirms; cause to stand; the law reveals my need for grace, and God's grace enables me to obey the law.
7. The law was established through God's act in fulfilling it. All its benefits come to the believer through faith in the work of Christ. The believer through Christ attaches a new sacredness to the command of the law and finds a new power to fulfill its demands. (Mat. 5:17; Heb. 2:9; Rom. 8:2‑4; Phil. 4:13)
8. Three statements are made in verses 27‑31
A. Since the way of salvation is by faith alone, there is no place for human effort.
B. Since the way of salvation is by faith alone, there is no difference between Jew and Gentile.
C. Since the way of salvation is by faith alone, it does not mean an end of the law.
9. Man is saved by the Lord through faith not law.
2. Justification By Faith‑‑Not Works V. 1‑8
1) Abraham, The Head Of The Physical Family Used As
An Example V. 1-5
1. "What shall we say then" = Paul states the objection of the Jew, "How does your doctrine of justification by faith agree with what the Scriptures say of Abraham?"
2. "Abraham our father" = the Jew's ancestor whom they respected and reverenced; the father and founder of the nation of Israel.
3. "Hath found" = hath obtained; signifies attained by his own efforts; connected with the phrase "as pertaining to the flesh"; the question is, "Was Abraham justified by anything which pertained to the flesh?"
1. "If" = assuming that; the Greek construction (condition of first class) assumed as true for the sake of argument, though untrue in fact.
2. "Justified" = to render just or innocent.
3. "By works" = out of works as a source of justification; the Rabbis had a doctrine of the merits of Abraham who had an abundance of credits to pass on to the Jews but this was refuted by John the Baptist in Luke 3:8.
4. "Glory" = brag; boast.
5. "Not before God" = not towards God; Abraham deserved all the respect from men that came to him, but his relation to God was a different matter; before God he had no ground for boasting at all; this phrase is the key phrase in Romans concerning justification by faith and in no way contradicts James 2:21‑24 where the key phrase is "ye see" referring to man who cannot see faith except by works while God sees faith in the heart.
1. Paul calls the Scripture to testify as he quotes Gen. 15:6.
2. "Scripture" = OT.
3. "Believed" = to commit to one's trust; refers to saving faith; a faith that is a cessation of self effort thus no boasting in self; Example: a drowning man reaches out his hand making it possible for the life guard to save him; no praise or glory is given to the drowning man, because he stretched out his hand, instead the praise goes to the one who saves; in salvation it is even the work of the Holy Spirit that enables one to reach out his hand in faith; to God be all glory.
4. "Counted" = reckoned; to place to the account of; translated "accounted" in Gal. 3:6 and "imputed" in James 2:23.
5. "It" = refers to the outstretched hand of faith of a sinner reaching out for salvation that God grasps in His own to lift him out of the mire of sin and places him upon the rock, Christ Jesus. (Psa. 40:1-3)
6. "Righteousness" = the state acceptable to God which becomes a sinner's possession through faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory (means of atonement) death of Jesus Christ.
7. Abraham believed the promise of God with saving faith in Gen. 15:6, nine years after he entered the land of Canaan. Up until that time, his faith consisted of a seeking faith. (Heb. 11:8,10; Gen. 15:1) When he understood the promise, he believed from the heart. At which time God placed on the credit side of his ledger for righteousness until the Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, and then Abraham had Christ who is the righteousness of God. (I Cor. 1:30; I John 5:12; Rom. 3:25)
8. Since the cross, when an individual exercises saving faith, at that instant he receives the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God.
1. "Worketh" = to do that from which something results.
2. "Reward" = dues paid for work; wages.
3. "Reckoned" = to put to one's account; counted.
4. "Grace" = speaks of a favor.
5. "Debt" = that which is justly or legally due; something owed. 6. In this verse, Paul makes a comparison from everyday life of a laborer (employee) to prove his point. The reason the workman works is in order to earn wages. When the employer gives the workman his pay, it is not counted (reckoned) as a favor, but it is a legal obligation by which the employer is bound‑‑a debt which he owes his employee. The employee earned the wages and he deserves them.
1. "But" = contrast to verse 4.
2. "Him that worketh not" = refers to those who do not rely on their conformity to the law for his justification; those who do not depend on their work for salvation; those who seek to be justified in some other way.
3. "Believeth" = to commit to ones trust; faith; refers to saving faith.
4. Second "him" = the One that justifieth; the only one who can place a person in a just position before God = the Lord Jesus Christ.
5. "Justifieth" = to render just or innocent; placed in a just position before God.
6. "Ungodly" = irreverent; wicked; describes a person who is destitute of reverential awe towards God; this is who the Lord died for and saves. (Rom. 5:6; Luke 19:10; Mat. 9:12‑13)
7. "His faith" = it becomes the person's faith only after it is given to him from above. (John 3:27; Eph. 2:8)
8. "Counted" = to put on one's account.
9. "Righteousness" = the state acceptable before God.
2) David, The Head of The Royal Family Used As An
Example V. 6‑8
1. "Even as" = refers to Paul having used the example of Abraham to show that the doctrine which he was defending was not new nor contrary to the OT, proceeds on to use the case of David to show that he (David) understood the same doctrine of justification without works as Abraham also understood.
2. "Describeth" = speaks of; Paul is referring to Psa. 32:1‑2.
3. "Blessedness" = to pronounce one blessed; happiness; the desirable state or condition.
4. "Imputeth" = counted; to put on one's account.
5. "Righteousness" = the state acceptable before God.
6. David described the blessedness of man as being one whom God imputes righteousness without works.
1. "Saying" = in italics, thus not in the original; placed by the translators showing what David spoke of in verse 6.
2. "Blessed" = supremely blest; spiritually prosperous; happy; highly favored.
3. "Iniquities" = lawlessness; wickedness; contempt and violation of the law.
4. "Forgiven" = to put away; pardoned; remission of not only the penalty but also the guilt; letting them go, as if they had not been committed as far as the sinner is concerned because they were paid for by Christ on the cross.
5. "Sins" = to fall short of the mark; included all kinds of sins not just violations of the law (iniquities).
6. "Covered" = concealed; hidden from view; that on which God will no more look, and which He will no more remember; this does not refer to "atonement" of the OT (which was only a covering of sin one year at a time) but is expressive of hiding or concealing, such as sin being forgiven.
1. "Blessed" = same as verse 7.
2. "Impute" = to put on one's account.
3. "Not" = the Greek construction has a strong double negative = "not, not."
4. The Lord will not, He will not charge sin to anyone who has been justified by faith.
5. The blessed man is a man:
A. Who is counted righteous without works.
B. Whose sins are forgiven and covered.
C. Whose sins are not imputed or counted against him.
3. Justification By Grace‑‑Not Law V. 9‑17
1) Not By Rites V. 9‑12
1. "Cometh" = in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators because in the Greek a question is asked.
2. "Blessedness" = happy state or condition which is the state of being justified by God.
3. "Circumcision" = refers to the Jews; this word is used many times in next few verses referring to the Jews.
4. "Uncircumcision" = referring to the Gentiles.
5. "Only" = in italics, thus not in the original but supplied by the translators, because the Jews thought they were the only ones who had a corner on God; placed here because it is in the Greek text in verse 12.
6. "For we say" = admit; conceded the point = that faith was reckoned (counted) for righteousness. (Gen. 15:6)
1. "How" = in what way; by what means; in what manner; refers to time = before or after he was circumcised?
2. Paul answered this question by stating that righteousness was reckoned (counted) to Abraham before he was circumcised, in uncircumcision when he would have been counted as a Gentile. Therefore, by this fact we know that circumcision does not confer righteousness.
1. Paul repeats himself so that the truth might sink in. This has always been God's way. (Isa. 28:10,13)
2. "Sign" = that by which anything is shown, or represented; also called a "seal" = a mark to confirm a contract or engagement, in this case it was circumcision which was:
A. Outward testimony of inward righteousness.
B. Outward proof of inward reality.
C. Visible declaration of the invisible work of grace.
3. Circumcision did not confer righteousness but confirmed what had already transpired in Abraham's heart.
4. Today baptism is the "sign" or "seal" of one's faith counted for righteousness. Baptism is:
A. Outward testimony of inward righteousness.
B. Outward proof of inward reality.
C. Visible declaration of the invisible work of grace.
5. One is not baptized to be saved but because he has been.
6. Abraham was justified by grace through faith while in uncircumcision that he might be the father of all them that believe, even Gentiles (though they be not circumcised), that they might have righteousness imputed unto them also.
1. "Father" = founder of a race; refers to a spiritual race of all who possess the same faith he did whether they be Jews (circumcision) or Gentiles (not of the circumcision only).
2. "Walk" = conform to or imitate his example.
3. "Steps of faith" = refers to the different kinds of faith that Abraham had which led him to receive imputed righteousness; this included:
A. Intellectual faith‑‑which consist of recognizing that God is or exists (Heb. 11:6); this faith will lead to:
B. Seeking faith‑‑the kind of faith that caused Abraham to leave his country (Heb. 11:8,10); this faith will lead to:
C. Saving faith‑‑which he exercised in Gen. 15:6, 9 years after entering into the land of Canaan. (Gen. 15:1 confirms this.)
D. Saving faith will always lead to a serving faith which was evident in Abraham's life (Gen 22) and will be evident in all those who are saved. (James 2:20)
4. A man could be a Jew with no mixed blood line, and yet in a spiritual sense not be a descendant of Abraham. Abraham could only be his father if he exercised faith‑‑the way Abraham did.
5. Circumcision provides neither God's saving grace nor immunity from punishment but the Jews failed to understand this essential truth, believing the rite of circumcision brought them rightness with God. Today many believe baptism does the same thing.
2) Not By Rules and Regulations (Law) V. 13‑17
1. Paul had just proved that salvation was not by circumcision, now he excludes all the law as having any saving power.
2. "Promise" = an announcement; primarily a legal term denoting a summons or promise‑-undertaking to do or give something; this promise, that Abraham was to be the heir of the world, was given 430 years before the law was given to Moses; an unconditional promise which means that Abraham did not have to keep the law for the promise to be fulfilled. (Gen. 17:6‑8)
3. "Heir" = one who succeeds or is to succeed to an estate.
4. "World" = refers to the entire earth; the promise is that the seed of Abraham should succeed to that or should possess the earth as their inheritance; indicates the glorious Kingdom ruled over by the Promised Seed, Christ; (Psa. 37:11; Mat. 5:5); the meek are the saints of God.
5. "His seed" = posterity; spiritual descendants in Christ. (Gal. 3: 16‑18)
6. "Through the law" = by the observance of the law; made in consequence of observing the law; depending on the condition that he should observe the law; negated by "not."
7. "Through the righteousness of faith" = refers to the strong confidence (faith) which Abraham exercised in the promises of God which in turn caused God to place righteousness on his account.
1. "If" = a big word; hypothetical situation; Greek construction assumed as true for argument's sake.
2. "Made void" = to make empty; to make of no effect; the tense is perfect which means faith has been voided and as a present result is in a state of invalidation.
3. "Made of none effect" = one word in the Greek; to render inoperative; to be entirely idle; this means that faith is emptied of all meaning and the promise to Abraham is made permanently idle.
4. If fulfillment depends on keeping the law, the inability of men to keep the law makes certain that the promise would never be fulfilled.
1. "Because" = assigns a reason.
2. "Worketh" = to result in; achieve an end; produces.
3. "Wrath" = judgment of God; condemnation; used here in the sense of punishment.
4. "Transgression" = violation; overstepping the boundary into forbidden territory.
5. There is no responsibility for the violation of a non‑existent law. But the law reveals sin and its guilt and condemnation.
6. The law:
A. Was never given to save but to administer condemnation and death. (Rom. 3:20; 6:23)
B. Is like a crowbar--it will pry out of you the worst.
C. Declares what is right and requires conformity to it.
D. Does not give power to obey nor atonement for not obeying.
E. Worketh wrath not righteousness.
F. Never gives a promise or anything.
G. Can only measure out justice.
H. Does not offer an inheritance but a penalty.
I. Can not give hope but terror.
J. Can not give a promise but death.
1. "Therefore" = in view of what has just been said, Paul comes to the conclusion, "it is of faith," thus sweeping away all Jewish hope in the law.
2. "Of faith" = "out of faith" as a source.
3. "By grace" = as a matter of mere undeserved mercy; if men were justified by law, it would be by their own merits.
4. "To the end" = for the purpose.
5. "Sure" = stable; firm; established; valid; something realized; faith is the only way the promise could be established for if it had depended on entire conformity to the law, it would have never been established, for none yield such obedience.
6. "To all the seed" = referring to the spiritual seed, Christ.
7. "Not to that only which is of the law" = not to that part of his descendants alone who were Jews, or who had the law.
8. "But to that also which is of the faith of Abraham" = to all those who possess the same faith as Abraham.
9. "The father of us all" = refers to all who believe, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.
1. "It is written" = Gen. 17:5; the tense is perfect meaning it was written down in past time and stands on record today.
2. "Made" = to place; to set; to constitute; the tense is perfect thus meaning a completed action when God spoke it and would have continuing results; God spoke of a thing as already done, which He had promised or purposed to do; the same is true of John 19:30 when He said, "It is finished."
3. "Of many nations" = Paul understood this promise referred not to his natural descendants only, but to a great multitude (Gentile nations) who should believe as he did.
4. "Before him" = in His view or sight.
5. "Him" = "whom" = "God" = "who":
A. "Quickeneth the dead" = gives life to the dead. (Eph. 2:1,5)
B. "Calleth those things which be not as though they were" = that which He foretells and promises are so certain, that He may speak of them as already in existence.
6. "Believed" = to have faith; to trust; to rely on; to commit.
4. Justification By Resurrection Power--Not Human Effort
1. "Hope" = desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
2. "Against hope" = contrary to hope (expectation); humanly speaking, his case was hopeless, because Sarah was past child bearing age, and he was unable to produce seed. (verse 19)
3. "Believed in hope" = trusted in that which was promised, in that which was anticipated.
4. "That which was spoken" = Gen. 15:5.
5. "So shall thy seed be" = the seed singular, will be numerous as the stars in heaven in multitude; this refers to those saved by faith who will be in Christ, the seed, even though they will be from many nations.
1. "Being not weak in faith" = having strong faith.
2. "Considered not" = did not regard the fact that his body was now dead.
3. "Dead" = aged; dead as to the purpose under consideration; he was at the age when it was highly improbable that he would have any children; the tense is perfect which means as far as procreative functions (child bearing capabilities) were concerned, his body had died, (ceased to function) and was as a result in a condition in which it would stay dead (never function again).
4. "Deadness of Sarah's womb" = she was past the age of being able to have a child.
5. "About an hundred years old" = rounded off; he was actually 99 years old (Gen. 17:17); he was 100 years old when Isaac was born.
6. The tense of "being not weak in faith" is point action and not continuous action. Abraham was strong in faith in Gen. 15:6 when he was saved at about 84 years of age, when he saw his seed numerous as the stars and also saw Christ as that seed. (John 8:56) Later Abraham yielded to Sarah's request to produce an offspring by Hagar, her handmaid. It seems that Abraham's faith was weak when he was 99 in Gen. 17:15‑18, but when God spoke in Gen. 17:19 he had strong faith to believe the promise of God as these verses in Romans bring out.
7. When we understand these thing about Abraham, it helps and gives us hope that God can use even me with all my faults and weaknesses of faith. If He did it for Abraham He can do it even for us‑‑grant us faith to believe when we need to.
1. "Staggered" = to be divided in one's mind; to hesitate; doubt; waver between two opinions (James 1:6,8); negated by "not"; tense is point action and consisted with verse 19, "being not weak" and "considered not."
2. "Unbelief" = faithlessness.
3. "Strong" = to make strong; endure with strength.
4. "Strong in faith" = this phrase means that his faith was strengthened in God to meet his impossible difficulty with a miracle; the thought here is not that Abraham's faith was strengthened so that his physical powers again became equal to bringing children into the world; Isaac was a result of a biological miracle performed by God in answer to Abraham's faith; therefore, he gave all glory to God.
5. "Glory" = praise; honor; his conduct gave honor to God; he recognized that even the strong faith he had came from God. (John 3:27)
1. "Being fully persuaded" = convinced without doubt; thoroughly or entirely convinced; to settle fully; the tense is point action.
2. "He had promised" = announced; asserted; stated; what God says, He will perform; the tense is perfect meaning completed action having future effect.
3. "Able" = to have capacity, power, and capability.
4. "To perform" = to do; to accomplish.
5. His persuasion was built on an omnipotent God, who was and is able. (Eph. 3:20)
1. "Therefore" in view of what has just been said.
2. "Imputed" = counted; to place on one's account.
3. "Righteousness" = to state acceptable to God which becomes a sinner's possession through faith by which he embraces the grace of God offered him in the expiatory (means of atonement) death of Jesus Christ; by product of forgiveness.
5. Abraham-‑Our Example Of The Way In Which Men May Be Accepted Of God (V. 23‑25)
1. Paul states plainly that this was not written for Abraham's sake only but for the saints in Rome and also for ours or all who would believe by having an example to follow.
2. "Shall be" = it is about; not future tense in the Greek; speaks of action that will shortly take place, something that will definitely happen when the requirement is met‑‑believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.
3. "Him" = God; the same object of faith that Abraham had; the one who giveth life to the dead; the one who has resurrection power.
4. "Believe" = to trust; commit; means more than believe with the intellect, for the devils believed and even trembled and they are not saved; they believed that:
A. There is one God. (James 2:19)
B. Jesus is the Son of God. (Mat. 8:29)
C. God raised Jesus from the dead because they could not hold Him down in the grave.
5. "Lord" = controller; supreme in authority; notice Paul stated plainly that one must receive (to believe is to receive) Him as Lord at the point of salvation not later on as a second work of grace as many teach these days. (John 1:12)
1. This verse spells out in more detail what it fully means to believe on Him.
2. "Was delivered" = yielded up; to deliver over; to hand over; to be betrayed; Judas betrayed our Lord thus handing Him over but God allowed it to happen; speaks of the judicial act of God the Father delivering God the Son to the justice that required the payment of the penalty for human sin.
3. "For" = used twice in this verse; means on account of; He was delivered up on account of our offenses-‑to make atonement for them and He was raised on account of our justification--that it might become an accomplished fact--that we might be justified.
4. "Offences" = offenses; to deviate from the right path; to turn aside; transgression or overstepping the fence (law) into forbidden territory.
5. "Raised again" = from the dead after death on the cross.
6. "Justification" = acquittal; placed in a just position before a holy God.
7. This account of Abraham's faith and justification was written for the benefit of believers of all ages. Just like life came from his dead seed and Sarah's dead womb, God can bring life to your dead spirit when you trust Him who died in your place for your sins and rose again for your justification. This means to believe the gospel. (Rom. 1:16; John 16:8,10; I Cor. 1:30; 15:3‑4)
8. The resurrection signaled not only Christ's victory over death but also His living to testify that He had completed the redemption work laid out by God (the work for which He became man) and that He lives to plead the cause of those who believe in Him and His saving work
6. The Benefits of Justification V. 1‑11
1. "Therefore" = mean in view of what has been discussed in Rom. 3:21‑4:25 which is that one is justified by faith and faith alone.
2. "Justified" = to render just or innocent; to pronounce or treat as righteous; the tense signifies once for all time-‑eternally justified.
3. "We have" = tense reveals continuous action, habitual lifestyle.
1) Glorious Peace With God
4. "Peace" = to set at one again (so translated in Acts 7:26); the verb form of this word means to bind together that which has been separated; tranquility of soul and spirit based on the consciousness of a right relation with God; does not mean escapism, a quiet atmosphere, the absence of trouble, the control of situations by positive thinking, the denial of problems, or the ability to keep facing reality.
5. "Through our Lord Jesus Christ" = He is the source of peace by means of atonement (Col. 1:20) and the person--peace. (Eph. 2:14)
6. "With" = facing; toward; His wrath no longer threatens the justified. (Rom. 1:18)
2) Glorious Position In Grace
1. "By whom" = Lord Jesus Christ.
2. "We have" = tense in perfect, thus past completed action with existing results; received when saved and still have it; refers to permanent access.
3. "Access" = admission; freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another; also means introduction; one who came to see a king needed both access--the right to come, and an introduction--the proper presentation; by Jesus Christ the way is opened for us to obtain the favor (grace) of God; in Him we have both access and introduction.
4. "Grace" = unearned or unmerited favor; presented 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. (Heb. 4:16)
5. "Wherein we stand" = the tense is perfect (past completed action with existing results), thus double emphasis of our permanent standing.
3) Glorious Prospect For The Future = Hope
6. "Rejoice" = to glory; to boast; same word translated "glory" in verse 3; the tense reveals a habitual continuous action.
7. "Hope" = expectation; confidence; desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
8. "The glory of God" = refers to that honor and dignity which will be conferred on the redeemed when they are raised up to the full honors of redemption, when they shall triumph in the completion of their work, and be freed from sin, pain, and tears, and permitted to participate in the full splendor that shall encompass the throne of God in the heavens.
9. Saints have the prospect of higher and richer blessing in the fullness of His glory when they enter heaven.
10. Where the desire of obtaining an object is attended with an expectation of obtaining it, in proportion to that desire there exists that peaceful, happy state of mind. (I Peter 1:8; Titus 2:13)
4) Glorious Perspective In Tribulation
1. "Not only so, but" = not only rejoice in hope but rejoice in tribulations.
2. "Glory" = rejoice; give a shout of triumph; the tense reveals a habitual continuous action. (I Thess. 5:18; Mat. 5:10‑12; James 1:2,12)
3. "Tribulations" = grievous afflictions; pressure; distress; to be in a strait (between a rock and hard place); refers to all kinds of trials which men are called to endure as Christians.
4. "Knowing" = to have positive knowledge of a fact once for all; being assured of this; the Greek construction is perfect, revealing that in past time (at point of justification) the saint came to the knowledge of this fact and he has continued to know that tribulation worketh patience.
5. "Worketh" = accomplish; achieve; produces; to do that from which something results; the tense is continuous action.
6. "Patience" = steadfastness; constancy; endurance; a calm temperament, which suffers evil without murmuring or discontent; the characteristic of a man who is not sidetracked from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith by even the greatest trials; the quality of an individual who does not surrender to circumstances or succumb to the trials he faces; the verb form means "to remain under" = thus means to remain under trials in a God‑honoring way so as to learn the lesson they are sent to teach, rather than attempt to get out from under them in an effort to be relieved of their pressure because the saint knows Rom. 8:28 is true.
1. Patience produces experience.
2. "Experience" = tried integrity; proof of genuineness; trust-worthiness; the meaning is that afflictions borne patiently show a Christian what he is, they test his profession and prove that it is genuine.
3. Experience produces and increases hope.
4. "Hope" = expectation; confidence; desire of something good with the expectation of obtaining it.
5. The experience of what God has done and what He can do energizes with new vigor the hope with which the life of faith begins.
1. "Maketh not ashamed" = does not disappoint; does not bring shame, as with disappointed expectation; the tense reveals continuous action.
2. These benefits form a complete circle that just keeps going on: hope brings tribulations which produces patience which produces experience which produces more hope which in turn bring more tribulations and the cycle continues on and on all because of:
5) Glorious Pity = Love
3. "Love" = agape love; God kind of love; refers to His love to us.
4. "Shed abroad" = poured out; gushed out; conveys the idea of giving largely or freely; not like dew drops or a small shower but like a flood or heavy rain; the tense is perfect thus meaning that this love was poured out in one's heart the moment he was saved and it still floods his heart in an abundant amount; this corresponds to the fruit of the Spirit being in every child of God (Gal. 5:22) and if this love is not present one is not saved. (I John 3:14)
5. "Heart" = denotes the center of moral and spiritual understanding, emotion, will, and activity.
6. This is done "by the Holy Ghost" = means this love is produced by the influence and work of the Holy Spirit (Ghost) who (which) is given unto us.
7. "Is given" = imparted; the Greek construction reveals point action; this does not refer to the giving of the Spirit at Pentecost but to the act of the Spirit, at the time of conversion of the individual, taking up His permanent abode in the believer's inner being. (John 14:16‑17)
8. The Holy Spirit is:
A. The seal. (Eph. 1:13)
B. The earnest (a little of a whole lot more to come). (Eph. 1:14)
C. The love of God in the believer's heart giving him greater assurance which in turn causes our hope never to be ashamed or disappointed.
1. Verses 6‑10 points to the proof and demonstration of God's love for us.
2. He loved us enough to die for us when we were "without strength" = powerless; without ability (to save self); signifies the disease ridden ones that have no hope of life; denotes spiritual impotence from willful indulgence in sin; implies no consciousness of God thus revealing man being dead spiritually (Eph. 2:1); from root word where we get our word "anesthesia" which means loss (partial or total) of bodily senses (smell, touch, taste, see, and hear) by drugs or disease; there are also five senses of the spirit which cannot operate when one is dead or without strength; these five senses are faith, love, fear (reverence), worship, and hope; weak for good.
3. "In due time" = a strategic time, a time determined by a set of circumstances which make that particular point of time part of the efficient working of an action or set of actions; Christ:
A. Was born on time. (Gal. 4:4)
B. Died on time. (John 7:6,8)
C. Arose on time. (Mat. 12:40)
D. Will come again on time. (Mat. 24:44; Dan. 12:1)
E. And His working in your life is according to His schedule = on time.
4. "Died" = shed His blood on the cross.
5. "For" = for the sake of; in behalf of; instead of; a preposition of replacement (John 11:50; Gal. 3:13); our Lord died instead of us, taking our penalty, and in behalf of us, in that His death was in our interest.
6. Why did He do that? Because He loves us and when we are saved that love is shed abroad in our heart by the presence of the Holy Ghost.
7. "Ungodly" = lack of reverence toward God; impiety (lack of respect); one who actively practices the opposite of what the fear of God demands; strong for sin.
1. Paul is using an illustration from human experience and comparing it to what Christ has done for us.
2. "Righteous man" = a just man; denotes the law abiding citizen and not speaking of one in right standing with God; one who lives lawfully and is just in the eyes of the court and law yet without sympathy (attitude) toward others.
3. "Scarcely" = hardly; with difficulty; implies it would be difficult to find someone to be a substitute in death for a man whose righteousness has barely escaped the penalties of the law.
4. "Good man" = benevolent; kind; generous; refers to the man who has moral qualities (proper attitude) in addition to conformity to the law; this would be the best man outward and inward that you know and he would probably be lacking in some areas.
5. "Peradventure" = perhaps; the Greek has a definite article in front of "good" thus "the good man" implies this was an event which would be a rare and special exception. (Rom. 3:12; Isa. 64:6a)
6. "Dare" = to venture; to have courage to give his life.
7. If a human being was found who would give his life for someone else, then that person would be either a friend or at least someone who had not done the person wrong nor be his enemy. But this is not the case with the Lord Jesus because He gave His life for those without strength, the ungodly, sinners, and His enemies. (verse 10)
1. "But God" = contrast; what man could not do, God and Christ, who is God, did. (John 3:16)
2. "Commendeth" = to prove; exhibit; denotes that God has showed His love in this unusual and remarkable manner (died for us); the tense reveals that God continuously exhibits His love in that the death of Christ remains as its most striking manifestation.
3. "Love" = agape; God kind of love; a love that is beyond human love.
4. "Sinners" = those who fall short of the glory of God, which is everyone (Rom. 3:23); refers not only to being corrupt by nature but sinners by choice by choosing to actively sin against a holy, loving God.
5. "Died" = refers to Christ's death on the cross.
6. "For us" = in our stead; in our place; by His dying on the cross He saved us (those who exercise saving faith) from dying eternally in the lake of fire.
1. "Much more" = in a great degree; if when we were without strength, ungodly, and sinners He overcame all that was in the way of our salvation, much more have we reason to expect that he will afford us protection now that we are his friends.
2. "Justified" = to render just or innocent; pardoned; accepted as His friends.
3. "By his blood" = by His death. (Lev. 17:11)
4. "Shall be saved" = delivered from danger and destruction.
5. "Wrath" = anger, indignation, and divine reaction toward evil; the Greek has a definite article, "the wrath" = points out a particular wrath; that of the lake of fire which is a manifestation of God's wrath against sin; all the justified will also be saved from any and all wrath.
6. "Through" = a preposition denoting the channel of an act; instrumentality.
7. "Him" = Christ.
1. "If" = in view of the fact; since; the Greek speaks of a fulfilled condition; means in view of the fact we were enemies.
2. "Enemies" = adversaries; full of hatred and hostility; one who opposes and fights against another, in this case God; we fought Him before He saved us, but He still loved us.
3. "Were reconciled" = to change; exchange; to change the relation of hostile parties into a relation of peace; this involved:
A. A movement of God toward man with the purpose of breaking down man's hostility, to commend God's love and holiness to him, and to convince him of the enormity and the consequences of sin; this is the work of reproval of John 16:8‑11; God initiates this movement in the person and work of Jesus Christ and by godly sorrow produced by the Holy Ghost. (II Cor. 7:10)
B. A corresponding movement on man's part toward God, yielding to the appeal of Christ's self‑sacrificing love, laying aside his enmity, renouncing his sin and turning (repenting) to God in faith and obedience (Lord); God also enables man to do this or he would never move toward God, thus salvation is of the Lord.
4. "Shall be saved" = shall be delivered.
5. "By his life" = refers to the life principle; in John 14:19, Jesus referred to His life in resurrection power; the fact our Lord lives after death, He is able to save completely and to the end (Heb. 7:25); in context Paul is not referring to our Lord's life on earth as an example of how one should live (His example saves no one, but His blood does) but he is referring to the second and third part of salvation:
A. Sanctification = the progressive work of the Holy Spirit during our Christian life; saved from the power of sin day by day.
B. Glorification = the glorifying of our bodies at the rapture; saved from the presence of sin once and for all.
6. "Being reconciled" = changed from enmity to friendship; at peace with God, because He imputed (put on account) His righteousness.
7. "Much more" = in a greater degree; if He did all that for me when I was his enemy "much more" will He do for me now that I am His friend. (Rom. 8:32)
6) Glorious Pleasure = Joy
1. "Not only so" = not only have the other five benefits of justification but we have this sixth one as well.
2. "Joy" = rejoice; to glory; to boast; same word is translated "rejoice" in verse 2, and "glory" in verse 3; the Greek construction reveals the justified as glorying in God Himself; in His existence; His attributes; His justice, holiness, mercy, truth, and love.
3. The justified rejoices that God is such a being as He is and glories that the universe is under His control.
4. "Through" = a preposition, denoting the channel of an act; means by the mediation of our Lord Jesus, who has revealed the true character of God.
5. "Atonement" = reconciliation; at‑one‑ment; the making two estranged parties at one.
6. "By whom" = Lord Jesus Christ.
7. "We have now received" = the Greek construction requires this to be looked at as a past realization, "now" in contrast with the future consummation and a sure pledge and guarantee of it; at the point one is saved.
8. We rejoice because salvation is of the Lord and our name has been written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)
7. Basis of Justification V. 12‑21
1. Paul explains how men are sinners and how that one man's death (Christ's) can give an ungodly sinner a right standing before God.
2. In these verses the key thought is that, when God looks upon the human race, He sees two men‑‑Adam and Christ. Every human being is either "in Adam" and lost, or "in Christ" and saved. There is no middle ground.
1) Universal Reign Of Sin Came Through One Offens V. 12
1. "Wherefore" = on account of; for this reason; what reason? refers to the argument made in verses 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; thus, Paul continues to show the advantages of the plan of justification by faith.
2. "As" = indicates a comparison.
3. "One man" = Adam.
4. "By" = by means of; by the crime of one man; his act was the occasion of the introduction of all sin into all the world; Paul is referring to the well known historical fact of Adam's disobedience of God's law. (Gen. 2:16,17; 3:6‑7)
5. "Sin" = refers to the corrupt and fallen nature; here this word is a personification of sin and represented as coming from the outside into the world of humanity.
6. "Entered" = to come in; to come into existence; the tense is point action; Adam was the channel for sin to enter the human race, but sin originated with the archangel Lucifer, who in rebelling against God received a sinful nature; Satan tempted Eve and she, being deceived, partook of the forbidden fruit and then gave the fruit unto Adam who willingly partook, thus becoming the channel for sin to enter the human race. (Ezk. 28:13‑15; Isa. 14:12‑15; Gen. 3:1‑7; I Tim. 2:14)
7. "World" = refers to the human race as it also does in John 3:16.
8. "Death" = separation; consequences of sin; the teeth of the law in Gen. 2:17 and the pronouncement of the curse in Gen. 3:19; denotes both physical (separation of body from soul and spirit) and spiritual death (separation from God).
9. The moment Adam sinned his spirit died, and he was separated from God in the sense of being outside of God's protective shelter. Also at that moment, his body started the dying process.
10. "Passed upon" = pervaded; passed through; spread over the whole human race (all men); the tense is point action; thus, man is born dead in trespasses and sins, inherited through the human race. (Eph. 2:1)
11. The reason death is passed to all men is "for that all have sinned" = the tense is point action, thus indicating that when Adam sinned, all sinned in that all were in Adam; therefore, we are sinners, not because we have committed acts of sin, but because Adam sinned and we were in him.
2) Paul Proceeds To Explain That Death Comes From
The Sinful Nature Rather Than From Transgression
1. "Law" = speaks of the law given to Moses.
2. "Sin was in the world" = men sinned; men did that which was evil.
3. "Not imputed" = not charged or put on man's account; man is not held guilty of sin where there is no law.
4. Adam had a divine law (Gen. 2:17). Moses was given the law = moral, social, civil, and dietary. Between Adam and Moses, there was no law, yet sin was in the world, but sin was not known. (Rom. 3:20; 7:7)
5. If sin was not known, what happened? (Acts 17:30); "winked at" = overlooked; did not come forth to punish; this does not mean that God approved of their sin, but that He was longsuffering and forbearing. (Rom. 2:4; Acts 14:16)
6. Therefore sin could not and was not imputed (charged to their account) to man during this time, because there was no law.
1. "Nevertheless" = notwithstanding that sin is not imputed where there is no law, yet death reigned.
2. "Death reigned" = death ruled as king; men died, because they were under the dominion of death.
3. "Death" = refers to physical death which came, "even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression."
4. "Similitude" = manner; same way.
5. "Transgression" = overstepping of God's boundary into forbidden territory; violation; Adam broke a plain, positive revealed law. (Gen. 2:17)
6. Men had no positive revealed law from Adam to Moses, but they still died. Why? Because death came by reason of Adam's transgression. All (adults, babies, and mental retarded) were in Adam and their sin was the corrupt and fallen nature inherited from Adam.
7. This verse may be more proof that those who have not reached the knowledge of accountability will not die a spiritual death even though they die physically. Paul indicates that they are not held responsible by the law of conscience.
8. "Figure" = type; a person or thing prefiguring a future person or thing; in this case Adam is a type of Christ (him that was to come; referring to His birth), also called the last Adam (I Cor. 15:45), in that each exercised a great influence upon the human race.
A. The first Adam has a destructive influence in that the sin nature was passed upon all men.
B. The last Adam had a saving influence in that He died for sin, for whosoever, for all and will save from sin all who come to Him by faith in His blood.
3) Contrasts Between The First Adam And The Last
Adam V. 15‑20
a. The Offense‑‑The Free Gift V. 15‑16
1. "But not as" = reveals the contrast between the evil consequences that flowed from the sin of one man, Adam, and the benefits that flowed from the work of one man, Jesus Christ, the God‑man.
2. "Offence" = offense; a fall; the falling where one should have stood upright; a willful sin.
3. "Free gift" = unmerited favor; a favor which one receives without merit of his own.
4. "One" = Adam; the law was given to Adam not Eve; she was deceived not Adam, and he willfully ate the fruit knowing full well the penalty.
5. "Dead" = physical death.
6. First "many" = the many; all; the whole race; numerous.
7. "Much more" = in a numerous, greater degree; if through one the offense came, much more the grace of God will abound unto many; the fall of Adam caused untold evil, but the work of one man, Jesus Christ (the last Adam), by grace shall do much more good.
8. "Hath abounded" = has been abundant or ample; to be more than enough; will be more than a counterbalance for the ills which have been introduced by the sin of Adam.
9. Second "many" = the many; all; the whole race; numerous; refers to God's grace sufficient to all mankind not just a few. (Titus 3:11; John 1:9; Psa. 19:1‑4a; Rom. 1:20)
10. The Greek construction says the same in both cases. If death came on all men, then God graced all men. It is true that not all will be saved, because they do not believe (saving faith which is produced by the Holy Ghost) but grace has appeared to all as Rom. 3:22 makes very clear.
1. "And not as" = reveals the contrast between the evil consequences that flowed from one crime; one act of guilt, and the favor had respect to many acts of guilt.
2. "By" = through; a preposition denoting the channel of an act; out of the source of.
A. Out of the source of one (Adam) that sinned, God's judgment fell, resulting in condemnation.
B. Out of the source of many offenses as an occasion for the display of God's grace, the free gift of salvation came and resulted in justification to those who believed.
3. "Judgment" = a decree; a decision; refers to God declaring sin to be punishable with death which was issued in "condemnation" = verdict. (Rom. 6:23; John 3:18)
4. "Justification" = saved from the penalty of sin; to place in a just position before God.
5. The gift by grace is much more than the consequence of the offense. Adam's offense brought physical death, but it could not doom all men to eternal death. Men go to hell for their own sins, not Adam's.
6. Summary of verses 15‑16: Adam's offense brought condem-nation to all mankind, while the free gift of God's grace brings justification and life‑‑available to all and upon all who believe (trust, saving faith) in the shed blood of Jesus Christ for their sin.
b. Death--Life V. 17
1. This verse is reinforcing what the previous verses state.
2. "If" = since; a statement assumed to be true; death does reign, because of one man's offense.
3. "Receive" = to claim; lay hold of by faith (John 1:12); this does not include all because many reject God's grace.
4. "Abundance" = superabundance; overflowing; something above the ordinary; the verb form of this word carries with it the sense of being plentiful to the point of excess.
5. "Grace" = unmerited and undeserving favor.
6. "Gift of righteousness" = refers to righteousness imputed to one's account at the point saving faith is exercised.
7. "Shall reign" = refers to the condition of saints in heaven; means that they shall be exalted to a glorious state of happiness in heaven and shall be triumphant over all their enemies. (II Tim. 2:12)
8. "In life" = this stands opposed to the death that reigned as the consequence of the sin of Adam; denotes complete freedom from condemnation, temporal death, sickness, pain, and sin; usual expression denoting the complete bliss of the saints in glory.
9. "By one, Jesus Christ" = as the consequence of His work.
10. Christ's atoning death is God's marvelous way of combining in one great and glorious act, His holiness, righteousness, and justice together with His love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. He bridges the great gulf which no man could span. The eternal Son of God, the perfect Son of Man, became the one Person who could take on Himself the guilt, the penalty, and the effects of sin for time and eternity, thereby making it possible for the believer to become righteous in God's sight.
11. The point of this entire passage is to stress how "much more" effective God's grace is than any effects of sin.
c. Condemnation‑‑Justification V. 18
1. "Therefore" = a restatement of what has been said in previous verses.
2. "As by the offence of one" = admitting this as an undisputed and apparent fact, a fact which no one can call into question.
3. "Judgment came" = in italics, thus not in the Greek but implied and is stated in verse 16.
4. "Upon all men" = whole race.
5. "To condemnation" = to declare guilty; verdict of guilty; a court room term.
6. "By the righteousness of one" = the righteous act of our Lord in satisfying the demands of the law which man broke.
7. "Free gift came" = in italics; thus not in the Greek, but implied and is stated in verse 16.
8. "All men" = the free gift was made available to all men but only upon those who believed (saving faith); if we took these words literally without interpreting in the light of all scripture, we could assume a doctrine of universal salvation; II Peter 1:20 is plain that any doctrine we hold must fit all scripture.
9. "Justification" = acquittal; the act of God declaring man free from guilt and acceptable to Him; also a court term.
10. Christ's atonement is capable of saving all men potentially, for no man unconditionally, and for all believers efficiently. (I Cor. 15:22)
d. Disobedience‑‑Obedience V. 19
1. "Disobedience" = from one of nine words in the Greek for sin; means failing to hear; carries the idea of active and willful disobedience which follows careless or inattentive hearing; Adam heard what God said, but willfully disobeyed as if he did not hear God which resulted in many (numerous; all mankind) being made sinners.
2. "Made" = set; place; put; to constitute; by one act of disobeying God the human race was constituted "sinners."
3. "Sinners" = transgressors; those who deserved to be punished; refers to fallen man who received a corrupt, depraved nature.
4. "Obedience" = attentive hearkening; to hear; the idea is that of a willingness to listen to authority. (Heb. 10:7; Phil. 2:8)
5. Through this obedience of one, Jesus Christ, many (all that apply saving faith in His shed blood) shall be made (constituted) righteous.
6. "Righteous" = just; right standing before God; the one righteous act of Jesus perfects more than the one sinful act of man destroyed.
e. Law‑‑Grace V. 20
1. "Entered" = to come in along side; intruded into the process; the tense is point action.
2. "Abound" = increase; the tense is point action; therefore, it is not referring to there being more sin but to bring knowledge of sin, to bring added guilt to sin already present, and to reveal the penalty of sin.
3. "Grace" = unmerited; undeserved favor; G=God's, R=riches, A=at, C=Christ's, E=Expense.
4. "Did much more abound" = super-abound; the tense is point action; means that the pardoning mercy of the gospel greatly triumphed over sin.
5. The law caused man to see the great wickedness of sin already present. But as the reality of sin became apparent, God's grace, which was already present, became even more apparent.
4) Summary V.21
1. That whereas sin reigned in the sphere of death, now grace is supplied in superabundance in order that it might reign as king through righteousness, resulting in eternal life which is made possible in a believing sinner through the Lord Jesus' work on the cross.
2. On one side, we see the first Adam‑‑sin, offense, death, disobedience, law, judgment, and condemnation.
3. Contrast with that one the other side, the last Adam‑‑free gift, grace, obedience, righteousness, justification, and life.
4. The list of the last Adam is able to perfect more than the first Adam, and all that is associated with him, destroyed.
5. Paul brings this section on the Principle of Salvation to a close as he has proved beyond doubt that man is justified before God by faith and faith alone.
6. Neither the heathen with his perverted religion, the hypocrite and his pretended religion, nor the Hebrew with his powerless religion, could be justified before God by their works and religion. If they are to be saved, they must come God's way and that is by faith and faith alone.