Faith in Romans - Chapter 5 - Part 2 - Grace & Death; God’s Grace Shown, Proved, Established, Exhibited To Us By His death:Volume 5, Number 12
Created Date: April 19, 2020
Posted Date: April 19, 2020
In Romans, the Apostle Paul established that no one can be justified (stand righteous) before God by any kind of work/s, including adherence to the Law, religion or by any other means by quoting passages from the Old Testament (OT); “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”. He added: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” (see also ). Since God is totally righteous and cannot condone or abide sin/unrighteousness, humanity was totally lost and alienated from Him. However, the end of the fourth chapter of Romans provides the good news as to how righteousness can be imputed to us, just as it was to Abraham, “But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” . Jesus Christ was delivered to death, which means God delivered Him, i.e., He was handed over to death, for our sin/s and was raised from the dead for our justification/righteousness.
The fifth chapter of Romans proceeds from that premise and recaps the good news that God has provided a way out of our dilemma. It is by faith (simply believing) that we can be justified (be righteous before God) and can have peace with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access (we can actually approach Him) by faith. We stand (are established or made firm) in God’s grace and rejoice knowing we will partake of God’s Glory,. Our last study pointed out that the word “Grace” and “death” are found in this fifth chapter of Romans more frequently than in any other chapter in the New Testament (NT) and we will observe how God’s Grace (His loving kindness and favor to us) and death go hand in hand, so to speak, to accomplish our justification/righteousness. Death is required to expiate (extinguish the guilt incurred by) sin as “… the wages of sin is death;” a. Sin inevitably causes death. Therefore, it took death to make possible our justification, our peace with god, our standing in His Grace and our partaking of God’s glory. But our deaths in these mortal bodies cannot expiate our sin. It took sinless God to die and be resurrected to do so.
In the beginning, animals had to die to cover Adam and Eve after they sinned,. Anyone living throughout the OT times and during the time Christ was here on earth, as recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke, had to offer an animal sacrifice for their sin/s. Of course, to be efficient, those offering the sacrifices had to realize/believe he/she was a sinner and offer the required sacrifice/s by faith in the Word of God. “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” . By faith, they did what they knew God required, unaware at the time that their sacrifices alone were incapable of giving them righteousness. That fact was not known until revealed to the Apostle Paul; “For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.” . “And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:” .
The shedding of the blood of all those animals pointed to the only blood that can make anyone righteous, that of the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw back in the third chapter that God forbear, or tolerated, the sins of those in the past who offered sacrifices for their sin/s. Their sins were actually propitiated, or expiated, by the Lord Jesus Christ when He died for them: “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;”. Put another way, the OT Saint’s sins were not actually taken care of until Jesus Christ came and died for them: “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” . “But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;” .
Now back to the fifth chapter of Romans where we left off in our last study. I don’t think the following three verses quoted are understood by many: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”. Most don’t understand and accept the premise and impact of these 3 verses; which is that no human being has ever truly deserved the fact that Jesus Christ died for them; no one will ever be able to say that God died for them because they even minutely deserved it. The fact is that Christ died for us when we were sinners. The Lord of Glory came to earth as a man and suffered the worst painful and humiliating death possible even though no one who ever lived before or after that event deserved it. He commended (showed, proved, established or exhibited) His love toward us when He died, regardless of our sinfulness. Please re-read Romans 5:6 - 8 and let that sink in.
Believers today may die physically, but that’s not the end. We know for sure that Christ’s death is our death and His life is our life; “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”, because “… the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” Romans 6:23b, and "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory" .