Romans 5:1-11


The world is at war.  It has been for a long time.  In the past hundred years, we’ve learned to number our world wars, but even prior to that time, the world has been involved in a great war.  One aspect of our war is with ourselves.  We fight and we argue and we strive.  Someone once defined peace as that brief moment in history when everyone pauses to reload.


Why can’t we learn to live together in peace?  The answer is that the war in which we are embroiled transcends us.  It is first a war with God.


The good news of the gospel is called the Gospel of Peace.  That is what the angels sang when they first announced the birth of Jesus to a group of humble shepherds - peace on earth and good will toward men.  It is why Jesus came — to bring about peace and reconciliation between God and men.





            Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2).


This chapter opens with the word “therefore.”  This word “therefore” is there for a reason.  It points to a conclusion based upon what has been said in the previous chapter.  What was taught in the previous chapter?  That we have been justified by faith.


In chapter 3 we were presented with the fact of our justification - that we have been declared to be righteous, not on the basis of our obedience or our ability to keep the commandments, but through faith in Jesus Christ.


Chapter 4 showed us the examples of Abraham and David, that they were justified through faith and apart from works of merit.


Now, because of that justification described in the previous chapter, there is a result.  The result is PEACE.  If we now have peace, this implies that there was a time when we did not have peace.  There was a time when we were at war with God.  We were His enemy and He was our enemy.


Back in chapter 1, Paul said that "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18).  God’s revelation toward the sinner is characterized by the word “wrath.”  But in Christ we have peace.


Romans 1:17-31

Romans 5:1-11

The wrath of God is directed against unrighteous men.

The peace with God is the result of men being declared righteous.

Men are condemned by their works.

Men are justified through their faith.


It is common to speak of one who is near death as having “made his peace with God.”  I would like to suggest that such a phrase is incorrect.  It is impossible for a man to make peace with God.  That is why Christ came.  He made peace for us.  In Him we have peace with God.  Indeed, Christ not only MADE peace for us, He IS our peace.  This is reflected in the fact that He is our PROPITIATION (Romans 3:24).


Propitiation refers to the appeasing nature of Christ’s sacrifice.  It is because Jesus is our propitiation that we have peace.


Divine Point of View

Human Point of View


Peace with God

Jesus satisfied the holy anger of God against sin.

Jesus reunites us with God from whom we had been separated.


That is not all. 

Verse 2 is the last time we see “faith” mentioned until chapter 9.

In Christ we also have our standing.  It is through Him that "also we have obtained our INTRODUCTION by faith into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2).


My older brother has been over 30 years as a missionary in Germany.  A number of times, people have shown up on our doorstep saying, “I am a friend of your brother.”  I didn’t know these people.  But they had an introduction.  They were my brother’s friends.  That was enough. 


When you go to the Father, you have an introduction from your elder brother.  His name is Jesus.  You will find a welcome waiting for you.  This introduction has brought us "into this grace in which we stand" (Romans 5:2).  Where we were once at war, now we are at peace.  Where we once stood under the judgment of God, now we stand in grace.


What is “grace?”  It is unmerited favor.  It is the Greek word charis.  It is closely related to the Greek word describing a gift.  This is quite different from MERCY.  Mercy is when you are relieved from the punishment which you justly deserve.


We could illustrate it this way.  A traffic policeman pulls you over when you have been doing 50 in a 30 mile per hour zone.  But he merely speaks to you and doesn't give you the ticket which you deserve - that’s MERCY.


Then the police officer says, “I want you to come to my house where I will throw you a party, adopt you into my family and give you a brand new car” — that’s GRACE.


Grace involves giving.  As such, you do not pay for grace.  Once you pay for a gift, it is no longer a gift.  It is a purchase.  And so, those who seek to work for their salvation are denying the grace of God.


In Greek usage, this described a gift that you gave or a favor that you performed for a FRIEND.  After all, you don't give gifts and you don't do favors for enemies.  But the New Testament usage is quite different.  In this chapter, we come to understand that God granted grace to us when we were His ENEMIES.


Ephesians 2:8-9 say that we are saved by GRACE through faith, “not as a result of works, that no one should BOAST.”  That same word for “boasting” is used here in verse 2 when Paul says that "we EXULT in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).  As Christians, we do have a ground of boasting.   But it is not in ourselves.  It is in hope of the glory of God.


These first two verses picture the three tenses of our salvation.


Past Tense

Having been justified

Present Tense

We have peace with God

Future Tense

We exult in hope of the glory of God


Our justification is a completed action.  We can never become “more justified.”  You can take a man who has been a Christian for fifty years, who prays daily and who is faithful in his service to the Lord and stand him next to a boy who has just come to faith in Christ and you will find that the degree of their justification is identical.  Why is this?  It is because the degree of our justification corresponds to the degree of the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  We have been credited with His perfect righteousness.  And the measure of our justification accords with the measure of His righteousness.





            And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5  and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:3-5).


Notice how this verse begins.  “And not only this...”  This passage sounds a little like one of those television commercials advertising a handy-dandy thing-a-majig for the low price of $19.95.  But not only do you get this handy-dandy thing-a-majig, but if you also get these five other balli-wicks as well as a matching thing-a-mabob.


Paul does the same thing here.  He has already outlined a reason that we ought to boast.  He said that we exult or boast in the glory to come.  But that is not the only reason we exult or boast.  Our rejoicing isn’t limited to the future by and by.  We also have rejoicing in the nasty here and now.


“We also exult in our tribulations...”  Notice what the passage doesn’t say.  It doesn’t say that tribulation is fun.  It isn’t.  And it doesn’t say that we rejoice or exult or boast BECAUSE OF our tribulations.  I don’t go around saying, “I had more tribulations this week than you did and so that makes me more spiritual than you!”  No!  We exult IN THE MIDST of our tribulations.  Not because tribulations are fun or exalting, but because of what God produces in us THROUGH those tribulations.  Because of the positive fruits of those tribulations.  Because that short-term tribulation brings about a long-term benefit.


1.         Tribulation.


The word “tribulation” is translated from the Greek word that was used in secular Greek to describe the squeezing of olives to produce oil and the squeezing of grapes to produce wine.  When pressure hits us, we get squeezed.  And what comes out will depend upon what was in us to begin with.


If you have bitterness within you, then pressure will only cause that bitterness to grow and to fester within you.  But if you have the fruit of the Spirit, then that pressure will set up a spiritual chain reaction.


Tribulation brings about...

m Perseverance

m Proven character

m Hope


When I was a lot younger, I went through the Broward Fire Academy.  It was sort of a “boot camp” for aspiring fire fighters.  There was a lot of calisthenics and running and climbing and lifting.  It was not easy.  It was not meant to be.  It was meant to train you to do a rugged and a difficult job and not break under pressure.  The result was a person who could hold up and do the arduous work for which that profession called.  And that is what tribulation accomplishes in the life of the believer.


2.         Perseverance.


This is the Greek word hupomone.  It is a compound word.


Hupo is “under.”

Meno is “to remain.”


Perseverance is the act of holding up under pressure.  The only way you can develop the ability to hold up under pressure is by holding up under pressure.  There isn’t any other way.  There are no instant pressure pills that you can take.  No shortcuts.


3.         Proven Character.


The Greek term is the single word dokime.  It is alternately translated “proof”, “test”, or “ordeal.”  The point is that the way you prove or test character is by submitting it to a test to see whether it holds up.


When I was in the fire service, we would conduct annual tests of every single one of our fire hoses.  We did this by filling each hose with water and then pumping it up to a specified pressure.  Then we waited.  The test is to see if it would hold up under pressure.  When it had held up, it had passed the test.


Now, I know that Christians are not merely a length of fire hose.  There are places where the illustration breaks down.  But the point is that character is proven under pressure.


Winston Churchill was one of the great orators of the 20th century.  He had been invited to speak at Eaton and the students were filled with anticipation as to what he might say.  The day came and there was a hushed expectancy as Churchill stepped up to the podium.  He looked out at these students, representing the future of the nation and he said, “Never, never, never quit!”  And then he sat down.  It was a lesson that was to take those students throughout the rest of their lives.  It is a lesson which we need to take to heart.


4.         Hope.


We have a basis of hope in the face of tribulation.  It is a hope based on the fact that we know the end of the story.


I’m one of those people who, when I’m reading a novel, sometimes turns to the last page to see how the book is going to end.  We have the end of the story.  Jesus wins.  And we are going to win with Him.


            And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. (Romans 5:5).


Notice that this hope “does not disappoint.”  God has never broken any of His promises and He isn’t going to start with you, especially when you consider what He has already invested in you.


This hope is not based upon your own strength of will.  It is based upon...


The love of God

Poured out within our hearts

The Holy Spirit

Given to us


Notice, the love of God hasn’t merely been sprinkled or dribbled into our hearts.  It has been POURED OUT.  The picture is of this love pouring in and then overflowing.  That is exactly what it does.  It goes into us from God.  And then it overflows to everyone.





                6  For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7  For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8).


Do you ever find yourself questioning the love of God?  Perhaps when things go bad?  When you don’t feel good?  When you don’t see your prayers answered and you wonder if they are making it past the ceiling?

There have been instances when, in the midst of a battle, a soldier would throw himself onto a hand grenade to give his life for his friends.  This a measure of great love and self-sacrifice.  But what would you think of a man who threw himself on a hand grenade to save the life of an enemy?  This is what Christ did for us.

 There is a promise here for you.


Verse 6 says we were helpless.  But verse 8 goes beyond that.  It says that while we were SINNERS.  It is bad enough to be helpless.  How much worse to be a sinner!


Notice, it wasn’t merely while we were sinners.  It was while we were STILL sinners.  It was not while we were in the midst of repentance or attending church or sitting in a Bible study or seeking the truth.  It was while we were sinners in the midst of our sin that Christ died for us.


Paul distinguishes between a “righteous man” and a “good man.”  Perhaps the difference is that the “good man” is pictured without the quality of “self‑righteousness.”  You might die for a good man, but few would die for the self-righteous.

Here is a question.  For whom would you die?  I would not expect you to have a very long list.  Even if a person were righteous, you might think twice about giving up your own life for another — though perhaps if it were a really good man, you just might trade your life for his.  But Christ died for us when we were neither righteous nor good.  We were sinners.  We were ungodly.  We were set at enmity against God.  And it was at such a time that Christ died for us.





                9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:9-10).


We have already seen that God saved us while we were...

• Helpless (5:6).

• Sinners (5:8).


Now he adds that God saved us while we were ENEMIES.  It is one thing to be helpless.  It is much worse to be a sinner.  But the worst possible condition would be that of an enemy of God.


“If we were enemies” (and we were).  This is a first class condition.  It assumes the condition stated to be a true one.  We were reconciled to God while we were enemies.  We were fighting Him and He made peace with us through the death of His own Son.


This is spectacular.  Do you see the imagery?  The picture is of a war.  We are seen fighting against the King.  And one of the casualties of that war is the King’s own Son.  What will be His reaction?  Will He increase His efforts to destroy those who have brought about the death of His beloved Son?  No!  Instead, He uses that death to bring about peace.


That is not all.  If the DEATH of the Son can bring about peace (and it did), how much more shall be brought about by the LIFE of the Son?


While we were Enemies

Now that we are at Peace

Through the death of His Son

By His life

We were reconciled

We shall be saved


The argument that Paul proposes is from the lesser to the greater.  If God did the most for us when we were His enemies, how much more will He do now that we are at peace?  The answer - Much more than the most!





What Jesus accomplished in His death


What a Living Savior is able to accomplish





            And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Romans 5:11).


We have already seen that we boast...

m In hope of the glory of God (5:2).

m In our tribulations (5:3).


But that is not all.  There is an even greater cause for boasting.  We also boast in GOD.  Why?  Because He is the Peacemaker.  And His Son is rightfully called the “Prince of Peace.”  This is what Paul is speaking of when he refers to the “reconciliation.”


After the War Between the States, Lincoln was asked what would be the status of the Southern States in the new Union.  He replied, “It will be as if they had never left.”  That is what God has done with us.  He has made peace with us and has adopted us into His family.


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