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Commentary on Romans

by Michael Bugg

Chapter 5

Obtaining Shalom and Grace

Rom 5:1  So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.

Rom 5:2  Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God's glory.

  1. “considered righteous”
    1. Usually translated “justified”
    2. Gr. δικαιωθέντες, from δικαιόω,

                                                              i.      to be declared right, proper, or just in the eyes of the law, other people, etc.

                                                            ii.      translates tzedek (צדק), a righteous man

    1. That is, we have been declared by God to be righteous men because we have trusted in and become loyal to Him through His Messiah.
  1. “let us continue to have shalom
    1. The voice of the verb “have” (ἔχομεν) is active, not passive
    2. R. Gavri’el:  “Your shalom is the place where you can most easily hear God; that’s why Satan always tries to take away your shalom.”
    3. What is shalom?

                                                              i.      “In addition to ‘peace,’ this word can be translated as ‘prosperity, well-being, health, completeness, safety.’” (Mounce, Dictionary 502, “Peace”)

1.      “Completeness” is probably the primary meaning, the others following by implication”

                                                            ii.      Gr. εἰρήνην, “In classical Gk. eirene describes a situation that results from the cessation of hostilities or war and can also refer to the state of the law and order that makes the fruits of prosperity possible.”  (ibid., 503)

                                                          iii.      “Peace can, ironically, prevail internally even when the violence of war is at its peak externally.  Conversely, inner spiritual turmoil can be raging out of control when peaceful conditions prevail in the land.  In other words, ‘peace’ is a state of being that lacks nothing and has no fear of being troubled in its tranquility . . .” (ibid.)

    1. A Biblical shalom is contrary to our natures, but it is commanded by our Master:

                                                              i.      Mat 6:25, 27 - "Therefore, I tell you, don't worry about your life -- what you will eat or drink; or about your body -- what you will wear. Isn't life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . .  Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to his life?”

                                                            ii.      John 14:27 - "What I am leaving with you is shalom -- I am giving you my shalom. I don't give the way the world gives. Don't let yourselves be upset or frightened.”

                                                          iii.      John 16:33 – “I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris. But be brave! I have conquered the world!”

                                                          iv.      Mingled with the assurance that Yeshua gives us His shalom is the command to actively receive that shalom.

  1. “access to this grace”
    1. The word “access” (προσαγωγὴν) carries the sense of being granted audience with a king and is used in the LXX “with reference to bearing sacrifices to the altar or entering the Holy of Holies.” (Edwards, Romans 135)
    2. “Grace is conceived as a field into which we are brought” (VWS), a picture of the court of the Temple into which the true worshippers of God are admitted not by their own worthiness, but by God’s sovereign grant.
  2. “boast about the hope of experiencing God’s glory”
    1. “boast” = Gr. καυχώμεθα, in the sense of rejoicing in; Heb. halal (הלל)

                                                              i.      Boasting and rejoicing are good . . . if we boast in the Lord alone.

    1. “in” = lit. “upon”
    2. “hope of experiencing God’s glory”

                                                              i.      You don’t hope for something you already have (Rom 8:24)

                                                            ii.      Tit 2:13 - . . . while continuing to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope, which is the appearing of the Sh'khinah of our great God and the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah.

    1. We are to rejoice on the grounds of our hope of experiencing the return of the Sh’khinah of God in the Second Coming of Yeshua our Messiah.

Why Do Good People Suffer?

Rom 5:3  But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance,

Rom 5:4  endurance produces character, and character produces hope;

Rom 5:5  and this hope does not let us down, because God's love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh who has been given to us.

  1. “boast in our troubles”
    1. lit. “rejoice within/in the midst of our tribulations”

                                                              i.      “troubles” = θλίψις (cf. Mat 24:21; Rev. 2:22, 7:14)

    1. We are appointed to experience tribulations, troubles, and persecutions (1Th 3:4), but we should not confuse this with God’s wrath (5:9)
  1. The growth of character
    1. “endurance” = ὑπομονὴν, “can be understood either in an active (steady persistence in doing good) or a passive (patient enduring under difficulties) sense.” (Mounce, Dic. 214, “Endurance”)
    2. “character” = δοκιμήν, a tested trustworthiness
    3. “hope” = ἐλπίδα, confident anticipation of a sure event
    4. From a motivational poster I saw in a prison lobby:  “Be careful of your thoughts, because thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny.”
    5. Our trials, troubles, and persecutions in life produce the discipline to do good and reject evil, which in turn produces a trustworthy character as actions become habits and habits become character, and this in turn produces an ever-greater confident expectation of the sure event of our Master’s return.
  2. “hope does not let us down,” lit. “does not bring us shame”
    1. How do we know that our hope is not in vain?  Because we have already experienced the present reality of the Breath of God, as evidenced by:

                                                              i.      A new and different life from the one we had.

                                                            ii.      The gifts of the Spirit—some overtly supernatural (prophecy, miracles, etc.), most not (teaching, helps, etc.).

    1. The question over whether Gentiles had to become Jews by the ritual of circumcision in order to be saved was settled in part on the evidence that God’s Breath was already residing within them (Acts 15:8, Gal. 3:2)
    2. The Spirit is the down-payment on our redemption and inheritance (2Co 1:22, Eph 1:14)
    3. Sha’ul will be revisiting this subject in chapters 8 and 12.

At the Right Time

Rom 5:6  For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people.

  1. “at the right time”
    1. The time prophesied in Dan. 9:24-27, after the 69th Week but before the destruction of the Temple
    2. In the time of the Second Temple

                                                              i.      Hag 2:6-9 - For this is what ADONAI-Tzva'ot says: "It won't be long before one more time I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasures of all the nations will flow in; and I will fill this house with glory," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot.  "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot.  "The glory of this new house will surpass that of the old," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot, "and in this place I will grant shalom," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot.'"

                                                            ii.      Mal 3:1 - "Look! I am sending my messenger to clear the way before me; and the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to his temple. Yes, the messenger of the covenant, in whom you take such delight - look! Here he comes," says ADONAI-Tzva'ot.

    1. After four thousand years of human history

                                                              i.      A Tannaite authority of the house of Elijah [said], “For six thousand years the world will exist.  For two thousand it will be desolate [of the Torah], two thousand years [will be the time of] Torah, and two thousand years will be the days of the Messiah, but on account of our numerous sins what has been lost [of those years, in which the Messiah should have come but has not come] has been lost.  (b. Sanh. 97a-b)

Dying For His Enemies

Rom 5:7  Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die.

Rom 5:8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.

  1. Most of us could conceive dying for our families, friends, or other people that we consider “good”
  2. But how many of us could die for the sake of a person who had spent several hours gleefully torturing us?

The Future Deliverance, The Present Reconciliation

Rom 5:9  Therefore, since we have now come to be considered righteous by means of his bloody sacrificial death, how much more will we be delivered through him from the anger of God's judgment!

Rom 5:10  For if we were reconciled with God through his Son's death when we were enemies, how much more will we be delivered by his life, now that we are reconciled!

Rom 5:11  And not only will we be delivered in the future, but we are boasting about God right now, because he has acted through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, through whom we have already received that reconciliation.

  1. “will we be delivered” = future tense
    1. Throughout Romans, Sha’ul speaks of salvation almost always in the future tense (except 8:24 – aorist)
    2. Though in other books, he speaks of being saved as a present reality, here in Romans he emphasizes that we are reconciled to God now, and will be saved from His wrath on the Day of Judgment.

                                                              i.      Eschatology was very much on Sha’ul’s mind, and he taught others accordingly (cf. Acts 17:1ff, 2Th. 2:5).

The One Man

Rom 5:12  Here is how it works: it was through one individual that sin entered the world, and through sin, death; and in this way death passed through to the whole human race, inasmuch as everyone sinned.

Rom 5:13  Sin was indeed present in the world before Torah was given, but sin is not counted as such when there is no Torah.

  1. Once again, we see that God judges us by the light we are given.  However, those who sin without Torah can still be judged, per 2:1-4

Rom 5:14  Nevertheless death ruled from Adam until Moshe, even over those whose sinning was not exactly like Adam's violation of a direct command. In this, Adam prefigured the one who was to come.

  1. Messiah as the Second Adam
    1. 1Co 15:45 - In fact, the Tanakh says so: Adam, the first man, became a living human being;o but the last "Adam" has become a life-giving Spirit.
    2. The First Adam

                                                              i.      In rabbinic literature, before the Fall Adam was conceived of as a near-divine being, “of an enormous size, extending . . . from heaven to earth [Gen. R. 8:1] . . . possessed of a glory derived from God Himself. . .  The First Man was therefore altogether glorious; his fall was correspondingly disasterous.” (Davies, Paul 46)

                                                            ii.      When his bride sinned, Adam joined with her in her sin, in effect trying to save her by breaking the Law.

    1. The Second Adam

                                                              i.      Starts off with the appearance of a common man, but after His Resurrection, “wearing a robe down to his feet and a gold band around his chest.  His head and hair were as white as snow-white wool, his eyes like a fiery flame, his feet like burnished brass refined in a furnace, and his voice like the sound of rushing waters” (Rev. 1:13-15)

                                                            ii.      When His bride sinned, Messiah became a kinsman to her but did not sin Himself, saving her through obedience to the Torah and then giving up His life for her.

Rom 5:15  But the free gift is not like the offence. For if, because of one man's offence, many died, then how much more has God's grace, that is, the gracious gift of one man, Yeshua the Messiah, overflowed to many!

  1. True unity in both Adams
    1. 1Co 15:22 - For just as in connection with Adam all die, so in connection with the Messiah all will be made alive.
    2. “Adam, then, stands for the real unity of mankind in virtue of his creation . . . The nature of Adam’s creation is made the basis of the duty of love, equality, and peace among men.  To quote . . . M. Sanhedron 4:5: ‘Again but a single man was created for the sake of equality and peace among mankind that none should say to his fellow, My Father was greater than thy Father . . .’” (Davies, Paul 55)
    3. Discord and reconciliation

                                                              i.      But because of the sin of the First Adam, that unity was broken as sin sowed discord among the sons of Adam.

                                                            ii.      Gal 3:26-28 - For in union with the Messiah, you are all children of God through this trusting faithfulness; because as many of you as were immersed into the Messiah have clothed yourselves with the Messiah, in whom there is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor freeman, neither male nor female; for in union with the Messiah Yeshua, you are all one.

Rom 5:16  No, the free gift is not like what resulted from one man's sinning; for from one sinner came judgment that brought condemnation; but the free gift came after many offences and brought acquittal.

Rom 5:17  For if, because of the offence of one man, death ruled through that one man; how much more will those receiving the overflowing grace, that is, the gift of being considered righteous, rule in life through the one man Yeshua the Messiah!

  1. Mortality and death
    1. Adam’s mortality

                                                              i.      Though many have conceived that Adam was made immortal, this was apparently not the case, else there would be no need for the Tree of Life.

                                                            ii.      When Adam sinned, God took away access to the Tree of Life.

                                                          iii.      This was a mercy:  Adam had cut himself off from God by the shame of his sin.  Immortality + sin and shame = hell

    1. Messiah’s gift of eternal life

                                                              i.      Barnes’ Notes on v. 16:  “If, under the administration of a just and merciful Being, it has occurred, that by the offence of one, death hath exerted so wide a dominion; we have reason much more to expect under that administration, that they who are brought under his plan of saving mercy shall be brought under a dispensation of life.”

Rom 5:18  In other words, just as it was through one offence that all people came under condemnation, so also it is through one righteous act that all people come to be considered righteous.

Rom 5:19  For just as through the disobedience of the one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the other man, many will be made righteous.

  1. Original sin vs. propensity to sin
    1. Original Sin:  We inherited not only Adam’s propensity to sin, but also the guilt of his sin, so that we are born condemned and worthy of hell. 

                                                              i.      This theology is against Torah.

1.      Deu 24:16 - "Fathers shall not be put to death for their sons, nor shall sons be put to death for their fathers; everyone shall be put to death for his own sin.”

2.      Eze 18:20 - The person who sins is the one that will die - a son is not to bear his father's guilt with him, nor is the father to bear his son's guilt with him; but the righteousness of the righteous will be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked will be his own.

    1. Propensity to sin

                                                              i.      In Jewish thought, no son is greater than his father (cf. 4:1-3)

                                                            ii.      Therefore, since our first father rebelled against God, it is a natural given that we will do so as well – we inherit his yetzer hara, his evil inclination.

                                                          iii.      Nevertheless, we also have free will and a choice, so we are not condemned for Adam’s sin, but for the sins that we ourselves choose to commit.

Rom 5:20  And the Torah came into the picture so that the offence would proliferate; but where sin proliferated, grace proliferated even more.

  1. “sin would proliferate”
    1. The Torah has many purposes, not just one
    2. While Christians tend to fixate on this one, it is nevertheless true that having a Law—any law—does tend to excite our yetzer hara against that Law.

                                                              i.      A man who puts a “keep off the grass” sign in his yard will find more people walking through his grass than if he put up no sign at all.

                                                            ii.      An ever-increasing number of laws in this country intended to regulate human life has not curbed the tendency towards lawlessness.

Rom 5:21  All this happened so that just as sin ruled by means of death, so also grace might rule through causing people to be considered righteous, so that they might have eternal life, through Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.



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