Faith in Romans - Chapter 5 - Part 1: Joy/Glory In Tribulations:Volume 5, Number 11
Created Date: April 3, 2020
Posted Date: April 3, 2020
Note these key words in Romans, chapter 5:
• “Grace” is found 6 times in the fifth chapter, which is the most often in any chapter in Romans. It’s found 25 times in Romans, the most often in any New Testament (NT) book and is translated from the Greek “charis” (G5385).
• Two different Greek words are used to describe death. The Greek word “Thanatos” (G2288) is found 22 times in the book of Romans, the most often of any NT book and 6 are in the fifth chapter. (Interestingly, Thanatos was the personification of death in Greek mythology; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanatos.)
• The other word for death in chapter five is “apothnesko” (G599) found 23 times in Romans, second only to John and 5 times here in the fifth chapter. Thus, words for death or dying are used a total of 11 times in the fifth chapter.
• Contrary to death, the Greek word “dzoe” (G2222), translated “life” is found 4 times in the fifth chapter.
The chapter begins “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”. “Faith,” the primary word we are studying is found only twice in this chapter, once in the first verse and once in the second. This chapter begins with the word “therefore,” which is defined as: “for that reason; consequently; because of that; on that ground and to that end.” So, these verses look back and are based on what has been taught previously while at the same time they introduce what follows in the fifth chapter. We must remember that this epistle, like all of Paul’s, is written to believers; we who are “called saints,” so the “we” referred to as having peace with God and access by faith into His grace in Romans 5:1 - 2 are those of us who are saved out of sin by faith in the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Previous chapters have taught that we are all sinners, but when we believe we are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ and our justification is given freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus Who God set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood that He might justify all who believe,. We know from chapter 4 that just as God imputed righteousness to Abraham because he believed God; God imputes righteousness to we who believe that Jesus Christ was delivered to death for our sins and was raised from the dead for our justification, . Therefore, or to that end, we are justified by faith and we have access by faith into the grace wherein we stand, Romans 5:1 - 2.
After being assured it is by faith that we have access to God’s grace where we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God,b, we read: “not only that” but we also “glory in tribulations,” a. This is an amazing contrast when you think about it, i.e., we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but we also glory in tribulations. The two words translated “glory” in these verses are different in the original. The Greek word in “glory of God” at the end of verse 2 is the Greek “doxa” (G1391), which describes the glory, splendor, brightness, magnificence or preeminence that belongs to God. He is “The God of Glory” who appeared to Abraham, and when Stephen was stoned to death, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and saw the “glory of God” and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, . On the other hand, the “glory” we have in tribulations in verse 3 comes from the Greek “kauchaomai” (G2744) which means “to glory on account of a thing.” For example, we might “glory” in the birth of our healthy new-born baby. This same word, Kauchaomai” is translated “joy” in , where we read “we also joy in God” and is also translated “boast” and “rejoice” elsewhere in the NT. Thus, the passages under immediate consideration teach that we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, Romans 1:2b, because that is our position in the heavenlies now and will finally be realized when we are with our Lord for eternity. But in the meantime, while we live our lives here on earth, we boast, or have joy in the tribulations we endure.
Naturally, the question is, why would anyone boast, or have joy in tribulations? Anyone who has lived for very long knows that life brings tribulations, and this is true for non-believers as well as believers. But Romans is written to believers, so the tribulations spoken of here are about the believer’s experiences. The passage goes on to tell us why we boast or have joy in our tribulations. Paul informs us that tribulations achieve, bring about or accomplish patience,. The Greek word translated patience here means steadfastness, consistency, endurance. True believers experiencing tribulations come to endure tribulation and stay steadfast in faith. And then patience brings about or accomplishes experience, a. The Greek word translated experience means an approved or tried character, proof or “a specimen of tried worth.” But patience is not the only thing that brings about experience or an approved or tried character, as Paul tells us this also comes from staying in God’s Word: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” .
And finally, our approved or tried character brings about or accomplishes hope, Romans 5:4b. The Greek word translated hope means a joyful and confident expectation and for us, this hope is eternal salvation. This hope is not the same as something we might hope for with no real reason to know for sure it is going to happen. No, our hope is a confident expectation of eternal salvation of which we are assured and so asb teaches, we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” . We are sure of our hope because the Love of God is poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, for when we had no power what-so-ever to make ourselves righteous, Christ died for us.
The fact believers must expect tribulation, Romans 5:3 shoots down the teaching we hear from preachers who proclaim a “name it and claim it” gospel, that is, if we live our lives for Christ, He will provide material and physical blessings to us here and now. Paul also debunks this false teaching in another place where, after describing the persecutions and afflictions he endured, he advises; “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”. Persecution is tribulation against believers, but that ends in our undeniable hope, which cannot be matched by anything here on earth, ours is the hope of the Glory of God and it is ours because Christ died for us.
Paul had a serious physical affliction and his testimony concerning it is applicable to any tribulations we face. We can identify with what he wrote about it: “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”.
To be continued.