• Brian O'Kelly

Romans 5 - Part 1

Updated: Oct 3


Romans 5 (Part 1)


1. Housekeeping

2. Today’s text:

3. 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.


4. Peace with God - Verse one 1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

4.1. Paul is continuing his theme of justification by faith this could mean that we have peace when we are with God.

4.2. Peace with God can mean No longer at war with God that we are No longer his enemies.

4.2.1. Exodus 24:5 Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.

4.2.2. Matthew 10:34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.

4.2.3. Luke 11:21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.

4.2.4. Luke 14:31 31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

4.2.5. The idea here in each of these is that obtainable with God only through surrendering to God. Going to war with someone stronger than you is always a bad idea it’s an especially bad idea it’s God since there is literally it could have is your enemy, no army, no person, no power, no demon. None of these and certainly not any of us as individuals can stand against God in his power as a conquering king.

4.2.6. Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

5. Access to Grace – Verse Two 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

5.1. What does it mean to have access to this “this grace” by faith?

5.1.1. Look at the start of verse one. It begins “therefore” the therefore connects us back to chapter four. When we left off on that last week, we had just discussed Abraham’s imputed righteousness.

5.1.1.1. Romans 4:23-24 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,

5.1.2. Many Christians, including me, at least for a long time have a stunted or incomplete picture of grace. I’ve said before this podcast that grace means unmerited favor. Probably the most famous verse dealing with this is Ephesians 2:8-9 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,

5.1.3. The word grace in Greek is Charis. It’s where we get the word charismatic from. Grace is a gift. But most Christians are thinking of grace only in terms of the gift of salvation. The grace is much more than that grace represents gifting’s from God of all kinds. It is strength, it is healing, teaching and what we commonly refer to as the gifts of the spirit. Along with other gifts from God.

5.1.4. Operating your life in and with the gifts God has bestowed on you is to live a life “full of grace”.

5.1.5. I mostly operate in two gifts, the gift of teaching and the gift of exhortation or encouragement. I also count on God to give me other gifts as needed. Strength, patience, lovingness, compassion, and more.

5.1.5.1. You may find teachers or college professors who understand and can teach theology, yet aren’t Christians and who even deny Christ. To the extent that they are teaching from the Bible itself, the word of God is effective to accomplish its mission, but the teaching around it is empty of the power of God.

5.1.5.2. Similarly, you may find people like Tony Robbins or other speakers and coaches who are good at encouraging people in their natural state but who yet lack the spiritual power to encourage people to a life of Godliness. Instead, they are encouraging people toward a life of “success” that doesn’t include God and may even create the impression that one should be the god of their own life.

5.1.6. Paul asked three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed and what God say? 2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” God promised to Paul that he would give him the gift of being able to withstand or tolerate the thorn in his flesh.

5.1.7. It says of Jesus in Luke 2:40 And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

5.1.8. 1 Corinthians 3:10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it.

5.1.9. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone.

5.1.10. 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

5.1.11. This grace given of God is not grace on demand or gifts on demand. It is grace as needed. When you have children, you supply for them their food, their shelter, their healthcare, in fact all their needs are supplied by parents to a child. But you do not supply them with these things all at once, nor on demand. But rather you supply them on an as needed basis. You give them enough food to eat, one meal at a time. You are more protective of them in a public setting then you are in a private setting where you know the people and the boundaries of the space that you are in, for example in your own living room.

5.2. In which we stand? Paul is referring to strength to stand and using another courtroom idea here. The idea here is one of “Standing” even though we don’t deserve it. When you have standing in a courtroom, it means you have the right to be there.

5.2.1. When Trump sued over the election in several states the judges denied him this standing.

5.2.2. The Supreme court often denies standing to a plaintiff.

5.2.3. For example, we know that the NY post’s stories about Hunter Biden were suppressed by Twitter before the 2020 election. The NY Post would have standing to sue Twitter. But if I sued Twitter based on this suppression, I wouldn’t have standing as I’d have no claim to be part of this action or that I was the injured party.

5.2.4. This is about the right to stand before God despite our sin and lack of inherent righteousness. It is the righteousness that is imputed into us as a free gift that allows us to be in the presence of the king.

5.2.5. Exodus 9:13 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Rise early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh…

5.2.6. 1 Peter 5:12 By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand.

6. Suffering Produces Character – Verses 3-5 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

6.1. Perseverance means to “not sever” or to “not cut off”

6.2. Many of us will find that our faith is strengthened at times of extreme difficulty. Health challenges, the death of a loved one, conflict with the spouse or other family member, dealing with an unreasonable or difficult employer or coworker. Currently in the aftermath of hurricane Ian there are many people in Florida and the Carolinas are finding that through the tragedy which has befallen them, they are learning to lean on God for the first time as their faith is strengthened.

6.3. Suffering produces perseverance and perseverance character.

6.4. This is kind of like working out. The more you do, the more you can do. I’ve climbed Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental US three times. The last two times were seven and eight years ago. My plan is to go back and do it a fourth time in 2024 for my 60th birthday. To accomplish this going to have to lose at least 20 to 25 pounds from where I am today. I’m also going to have to considerably rehabilitate myself from hip replacement surgery that I had last year. I’ve been going to the gym, hitting the treadmill, the elliptical, the stationary bike and getting out on the trail with my backpack. And trust me, it has been painful after a total hip replacement, but the more I do the more am able to do. The more I subject myself to the pain of getting stronger the stronger I get.

7. Dying out of Love - Verses 6-7 6 For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

7.1. The strength that we were without is something that we now have.

7.2. Who are these ungodly people? Remember the start of the book. It is us. The hugeness of this gift. God is always the initiator. He does not wait for us.

7.3. Occasionally we’ll find a man willing to die for another, typically or often a family member. But we also know of occasions in war where one soldier throws himself on a grenade to protect the rest of his platoon.

7.4. But which of you would die for Vladimir Putin, or for a terrorist bomber? This is the love of God toward us. While we are still enemies and have not reconciled with Him, he is nevertheless loving us and decided to die for us.

7.5. One of the challenges of the Christian life, is our unwillingness to die to self.

7.5.1. Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

7.5.2. A.W. Tozer said in his book “Root of the Righteous” that every man has in his heart but the cross and a throne in the man remains on the throne until he puts himself on the cross.

8. Saved from wrath Through Him – Verse 9 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

8.1. The wrath of God is real and not to be trifled with. When you believe in something you act on it. I’ve noticed a trend in Christian circles that is concerning to me. The trend is that of thinking that God is far off and not near to us and not actively part of our life. There is an idea that somehow having the right theology and the right doctrine and attending the right church is what makes one a Christian. As though somehow being a Christian is to simply have the right set of ideas about God and about who Jesus is or to know and understand Christian theology. The Christian life is about living in the presence of God and being a disciple. He is a living God not a dead God. He is no further than He has ever been and no closer than he has ever been. Realistically, no matter where you are in the universe you are exactly the same distance from God and that is no distance at all. The reason that people continue to live in sin is because they have forgotten the presence of God. While we are spared from the ultimate consequence of our sin, we are not spared from the consequences of sin altogether. Our sins have consequences, not least of which is in the bad example we set. If you came from somewhere outside of the Christian west and went to most evangelical churches on a Sunday morning, then observed those same people on a Sunday afternoon, you might conclude that they have two different religions. We have so focused on the “gift of salvation” that we have forgotten about the gift of a righteous life and the blessings that come from it. If we have a palpable sense of God’s presence, we will treat it like every other important relationship. I’ve seen men who swear enough to make a sailor blush who will tell you it's a habit hard to control and then these same men can suddenly control their tongue in the presence of their mother, grandmother, or their Pastor. Why? Because it would damage that person’s opinion that of that man and this is something they can’t or won’t allow to happen. And why not? They are focused on the preservation and enhancement of that relationship. The difference is two things, the presence of the person, so that they see this bad behavior and the value of the relationship. When we act sinfully, we have forgotten the presence of God or we have minimized the value of the relationship. The problems with this are manifest. God’s wrath is real and while we may be spared that in the end that will not be true for everyone. In this life, living according to God’s instructions is the key to the best life God has for you. This is the winsome life. The life that attracts people to you. I think that Jesus when he was here on earth was a very magnetic person. When the life of Christ is shining through you, you are a magnetic person too and this will draw others to the cross. Even if God’s best life for you is one of suffering. Consider Polycarp a disciple of John who was burned at the stake for the sake of the cross. While this was a difficult end, God’s grace was sufficient for him and his impact is still felt today. I’d rather die on my knees in front of the King with an witnessing impact for the Kingdom than to live a life devoid of difficulty as a result of my own self-indulgence, a life in which I am no witness at all. One of the indictments of the Muslim world toward America is that they see us as a Christian nation and also as the home of pornography and violence of every kind. When your activities outside of the church and the things you value outside of the church are indistinguishable from the unbelieving world, your witness to the world is that there is simply no difference. This is so unloving toward the unbeliever as it may ultimately be part of the formula that condemns them.

8.2. Let me tell you about an old boss of mine. The man was named Buster and he was a homosexual. Buster was from Mississippi. Like many homosexuals, he moved across country, to avoid living as a gay man in proximity to his evangelical southern family. I discussed this with him and he told me that while he was growing up in the church, he knew no Christians who weren’t serious hypocrites. He specifically cited an uncle who he said had “pirated” every kind of software (back when software came on a CD) and was proud of how much money he had saved himself (or how much money he had stolen). Buster knew of no one who actually lived out the creed they professed. He knew no one who appeared to really know Jesus and to live accordingly. Now it’s likely that most of these people knew about Jesus and some even knew Jesus, but many didn’t know Jesus at all. These are those of whom Jesus said:

8.2.1. Revelation 3:15-17 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither [a]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—

8.2.2. Luke 13:27 But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’

9. Reconciled Enemies – Verses 10-11 10 For if when 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. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

9.1. Looking at what God has done for his enemies, think what more he will do for his friends. We have reason to rejoice.

9.2. Reconciled to God is to mean that the rift between God and man has been repaired.

9.2.1. I’m convince that the thing that causes a rift in a relationship is that one party has taken offense at something the other said or did. Have you ever noticed how when you reconnect with a friend you haven’t seen in a long time you can just pickup where you left off. Why is this? Because there has been no offense to reconcile. However, in a situation where one party (you or the other) has taken offense, it is the offense that causes and maintains distance or a broken relationship until a reconciliation. Typically, this means that the offending party recognizes the offense and apologizes for it or repents of their behavior and the offended party offers forgiveness.

9.2.2. Our sinful behavior is that which puts us at war with God and places us in the category of rebel enemy. The work of Jesus on the cross was that of healing the rift between God and man that started with the sin of Adam.

9.2.3. Therefore, since it is God who is offended, we then repent and ask forgiveness and through the blood of Jesus that forgiveness is received, and we are reconciled.

9.2.4. When we are reconciled in our human relationships, we do rejoice in that so how much more when we are reconciled with God.

10. Next week we will go through part two which is some of the most discussed and most misunderstood sections of the Bible.

11. Reminder that we are listener supported.