Spurgeon Verse Expositions - Romans 5:1 - 5:21

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Spurgeon Verse Expositions - Romans 5:1 - 5:21


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Rom_5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with, God —

It is a matter of present possession, and present enjoyment. Whatever tribulation there may be in the world, “we have peace with God.” Blessed be God for that glorious fact! We may not have peace with all men, though we would seek to have that; but “we have peace with God.”

Rom_5:1-2. 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.

So we ascend this golden ladder, from faith to peace, from peace to access with God, and from this to joy by the way of hope. Happy people, who know this blessed way of climbing out of the sorrows of the present into the glory that shall be revealed!

Rom_5:3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:

Present trials even become subjects for thanksgiving. Surely, they have lost their sting when patience accepts them, and faith rejoices in them.

Rom_5:3-5. Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, and experience, hope: 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.

Like a sweet perfume, which enters every room, and fills every nook and cranny in the house, so does the delightful love of God fill the entire soul when, by the Holy Ghost, it is shed abroad in the heart. Beloved, may you feel that blessed influence this evening! This next verse may help us to love God, and to feel the love of God shed abroad in our hearts.

Rom_5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

He did not regard us as saints, but as actually ungodly, when he died for our redemption. It was not man’s righteousness that brought Christ from heaven; but man’s sin, and the infinite pity of God.

Rom_5:7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:

Though he were as just as Aristides, though be were renowned for justice, nobody would die for him. There is no such attraction in the virtue as would win anyone’s love, so as to die for the man who displays it.

Rom_5:7. Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

For a benevolent, large-hearted, kindly-disposed man some might dare to die. Such a thing is not likely; but it is possible.

Rom_5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

We were without any attraction, without any righteousness, without any goodness, yet Christ loved us. Out of the graciousness of his own heart he loved us, according to that text, “I will love them freely.”

Rom_5:9. Much more then,

See how the apostle, when he had uttered a great truth, proceeds to say, something greater still. Just before, he had written, “And not only so,” and now he says, “Much more then,”

Rom_5:9. Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

If Christ died for us when we were sinners, will he not save us now that he has made us saints? If, when we were condemned, he redeemed us, will be not preserve us now that we are justified? This is a strong plea for the final perseverance and ultimate salvation of all believers

Rom_5:10-11. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so,

The apostle is again up on the wing; he cannot fly high enough to describe all Christ’s work. “And not only so,”

Rom_5:11. But we also joy in God —

That is a delightful experience, joying in God himself, in the very character and person of God. So perfectly reconciled are we that, not only do we rejoice in God’s gifts, and in his mercy; but we swim in a sea of delight in God himself: “We also joy in God” —

Rom_5:11. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Now comes an admonition.

Rom_5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Sinned, that is, in the first man.

Rom_5:13-14. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

I suppose that Paul refers even to little children, who “had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression,” and yet died as the result of Adam’s sin.

Rom_5:15-20. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one: much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon, all men, unto Justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.

Just as, sometimes, a physician may give a medicine which causes the disease to be more fully developed in order to its ultimate cure, so does the law make a discovery of our sin to us, and it also excites us to greater sin, by reason of the enmity of our nature, which is opposed to the law of God, and becomes the more active the more clearly the law is known, even as Paul says, further on in this Epistle, “I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

Rom_5:20-21. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Blessed be his holy name! Amen.



Rom_5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Do not let us simply read these words, but let us each one say in our hearts, “That is true; I have believed in Christ, therefore I am justified in the sight of God, and therefore I have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” There is nothing in the world that is half as valuable as the two precious gems in this verse, — justification and the peace which follows it.

Rom_5:2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

See what we owe to Christ, — not only justification and peace, but we have access into the grace in which we stand; for, when a man is at peace with God, then he longs to get to God, and to speak with God. Christ is the door, and Christ is the way; we come to God by Jesus Christ. This is no small privilege. Oh, you who have ever felt what it is to be shut out from God, let your heart sing as you know that you now have access by faith into this grace wherein you stand! Well may the apostle add, “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God;” or, if there is any man who may and must rejoice, it is the man who has peace with God, and expects to dwell with God for ever, having access to God by Jesus Christ.

Rom_5:3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:

Paul is going upstairs, as it were, — rising from one platform to another. There is enough of glory in Christ to wrap up all our troubles in; it makes the black white, and the dark bright.

Rom_5:3. Knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

A man who never suffers does not know what patience means; but trial works patience, yet not of itself. Trials work peevishness and murmuring and discontent; but grace brings sweet out of bitter, and — “tribulation worketh patience;” —

Rom_5:4-5. And patience, experience and experience, hope: 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.

Do you know what this means, dear friend, or is it all Greek to you? The Lord make it indeed plain every-day English to you! May you understand it, feel it, know it, prove it, taste it, enjoy it! If you do so, happy indeed are you.

Rom_5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Not, “Christ died for saints, because the saints were such gracious people.” No, no; but, “when we were yet without strength,” — when we could lift neither hand nor foot to help ourselves, — “in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Rom_5:7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:

For a man who is perfectly just, — there are few who would be willing to die for him.

Rom_5:7. Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

For a generous, noble-hearted man, some might be willing to die; yet there is a peradventure even about that.

Rom_5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When we were not righteous, when we certainly were not good, when the whole description of our character could be summed up in that one word “sinners” — rebels offending against God: “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Rom_5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

He died for us when we were unrighteous; so, now that he has made us righteous in his own righteousness, he will never cast us away. That doctrine of believers falling from grace, and perishing, is clean contrary to Scripture: “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”

Rom_5:10-11. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God —

See, the apostle has gone up to another platform. The gospel is a tale that we may be always telling, but it can never be fully told. It is a light that keeps on breaking upon us more and more; and even when we have come to what we suppose is the fall noontide of it, there is still seven times as much glory yet to be revealed. Yes; we go “from strength to strength:” “and not only so, but we also joy in God “ —

Rom_5:11-21. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin/ and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.



Rom_5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

This verse deserves to be printed in letters of gold. If you can truthfully say this, if it is indeed true of you, you are the happiest people under heaven. Let us read the verse again: “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Rom_5:2. By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

We are not only at peace with God, but we are permitted to draw near to him, we have access to him, we have access to his favor, to his grace. We may come to God when we will; for he is reconciled to us, and we are reconciled to him, so we may now think of him with joy and gladness.

Rom_5:3. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also:-

Somebody seemed to say to the apostle, “You talk about peace with God, and access to God; but you are troubled in mind, you are sickly in body, you are poor in estate, just as other people are;” so Paul replies, “Yes, we know that it is so, “but we glory in tribulations also:’” —

Rom_5:3. Knowing that tribulation worketh patience;-

It is sent for our good; we accept our trials as a part of our estate, and in some respects, the very richest part of our estate. We get more good out of our adversity than out of our prosperity. Our troubles have made men of us, whereas our joys might have unmanned us. Trials have braced us up, and we glory in them, “knowing that tribulation worketh patience;” —

Rom_5:4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

The longer we wait, the brighter do our eyes get. Our very trials when they have passed over us, leave us stronger and happier than we were before.

Our experience works in us hope.

Rom_5:5. 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.

What a blessed thing it is that, when troubles are shed abroad outside us, the love of God is shed abroad inside us; when we are tried without, we are comforted within; and so we are made strong, and we have no cause to fear.

Rom_5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

And as he died for us when we were ungodly, what will he not do for us now that he has sought us as his own? He gave the highest proof of his love to us when we were most unworthy of it, so will he leave us now? God forbid!

Rom_5:7. For scarcely-

Now the apostle goes away from his theme, carried away by the still greater subject of the love of God in Christ Jesus, and the way of reconciliation by Christ, he goes on to that theme: “For scarcely” —

Rom_5:7. For a righteous man will one die:-

However “just” Aristides might be, nobody would die for him. However “righteous” a man might be, he would not, by his justice or righteousness, win enough affection to induce anybody to die for him.

Rom_5:7. Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

There might possibly be some who would die for a John Howard, or a man of that ilk.

Rom_5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

When we were not even just, much less good, “Christ died for us.”

Rom_5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

As he died for us, he will certainly save us. He who died for the ungodly will never cast away those whom he has justified. The death of Christ for his own people is the guarantee that he will love them even to the end.

Rom_5:10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Did he love us when we were his enemies? Then most assuredly he will love us now that we are his friends. Did his death save us? Then, will not his life also save us? As he took such pains to reconcile us to his Father, will he not take equal pains-nay, “much more” to preserve us safe to the end?

Rom_5:11. And not only so,-

Paul seems to go up a ladder, and when he gets to the top of it, he sets up another on the top of that one, and proceeds to mount that. This is the second time that we have read, “And not only so,” —

Rom_5:11. But we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Christ has made atonements for us, and God has accepted that atonement on our behalf. We also have received it ourselves and now we are glad in God-glad that there is a God, glad that there is such a God, and glad that he is our God and Father in Christ Jesus.

Rom_5:12. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

It was by one man’s sin that we all fell through the first Adam. Does anyone object to the justice of that? I pray you, do not object to what is your only hope. If you and I had each one sinned for himself or herself apart from Adam, our case would probably have been hopeless, like the case of the fallen angels, who sinned individually, and fell never to be set up again, but inasmuch as we fell representatively in Adam, it prepared the way for us to rise representatively in the second Adam, Christ Jesus our Lord and Saviour. As I fell by another, I can rise by another; as my ruin was caused by the first man, Adam, my restoration can be brought about by the second Man, the Lord from heaven.

Rom_5:13-14. (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, ever over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Infants die, although they have never sinned; they die, because death is the penalty of sin; and as they die for faults not their own, so are the saved by righteousness not their own. They die, for Adam sinned; they live, for Jesus died.

Rom_5:15-17. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Adam’s fall was terribly effectual, it has brought death upon the human race age after age; and Christ’s death is wonderfully effectual, for on behalf of all those for whom he died his atonement so prevail as to put their sins away for ever.

Rom_5:19. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

That is the wonderful doctrine of “the gospel of Christ.” It is rejected in these evil days; they call it simple, and I know not what beside; but here it is put as plainly as words can put it, “As by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.”

Rom_5:20. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.

The law was not given to Moses to stop sin, or to forgive sin, but to make men see how evil sin is, and to make it evident to them how evil they are.

Rom_5:20. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

There was more grace than terror even in the law. It has served a gracious purpose, for it was given to make us realize our guilt, and so might drive us to seek the grace of God for its forgiveness. Salvation is all of grace. Sin cannot conquer grace; it has had a hard struggle for it, but grace will ultimately win the victory in all who believe in Jesus.

Rom_5:21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

The drift of the whole chapter is to comfort believers in the time of trouble by the fact of the great love of God to them in the person of Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour.



Rom_5:1. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

These are matters of fact; not of fanatical delusion, but of logical conclusion, for Paul begins with a “therefore.” God’s people are justified on solid grounds, on reasonable grounds, on grounds that will bear the test even of the last great judgment day. “therefore, being “ — now, at the present time, this very moment, — “ justified by faith, we have peace:” not only we hope to have it, and trust we shall have it, but we have it. “We have peace,” — not only peace of conscience, and peace with our fellow-men, but “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.:’ Mark that; we have it. O dear people of God, do not be satisfied unless you can talk in this confident fashion: “therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Rom_5:2. By whom also —

What! is not that first verse all? Oh, no! there is more to follow. When you get a hold of one golden link of the blessed chain of grace, it pulls up another, and then another, and then another: “By whom also “ —

Rom_5:2. We have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand,

We come into this grace by Jesus Christ, and to this heavenly standing, this justified condition, through Jesus Christ who is the door.

Rom_5:2. And rejoice in hope of the glory ofGod.

Our joy is in the past and the present in some measure, but it is still more in the future: “We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We have three windows. — the one out of which we look back with gratitude upon the past, the one out of which we look with joy in the present, and the one out of which we look with expectation upon the future.

Rom_5:3. And not only so,-

There is for every child of God grace upon grace; every line of the apostle’s writing tells of more blessing: “And not only so.” Is not that enough? Justified, enjoying peace, having access into grace, rejoicing in hope of the glory of God; what can there be more? Why, there is something on the road as well as at the end of it: “And not only so,”-

Rom_5:3. But we glory in tribulations also: —

We are not only acquiescent in the divine will; but, tutored by the Spirit of God, we come even to “glory in tribulations also: “ —

Rom_5:3. Knowing that tribulation worketh patience; —

“Knowing.” Paul was no agnostic, he was a “knowing” man, and all God’s people ought to be the same. they are a very dogmatic people when they are what they ought to be; they have nothing to do with “ifs “, and “ands”, and “butt”, and “peradventures”; but they believe and are sure: “Knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” the natural tendency of tribulation is to work impatience, it produces peevishness in many; but where the Spirit of God is, there is a heavenly counteraction of natural tendencies, and “tribulation worketh patience;” —

Rom_5:4. And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Again I cannot help observing how we seem to go through one door just to pass through another. We get into a silver chamber that we may go into a golden one; and before we can take stock of all the gold, we are ushered into a gorgeous palace of pearls and rubies and diamonds of priceless value.

Rom_5:5. 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.

If you have the Holy Ghost given unto you, then the love of God fills your nature like a sweet perfume. As when the woman broke the alabaster box, and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment, so, when the Spirit of God comes, and brings the broken alabaster of the Saviour’s sacrifice, and we feel the love of God poured out among us, what a delightful perfume there is! “thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.” the way to make us love God is for the love of God to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.

Rom_5:6. for when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Are not these very wonderful words? “Christ died for the ungodly.” Pick out all those who are the naturally good people, and this text has nothing to do with them; but find out the ungodly, the sinful, the wicked, and here is a text exactly suitable for them: “Christ died for the ungodly.”

Rom_5:7. for scarcely for a righteous man will one die:

He is very righteous, but he is very stern; nobody cares much about him.

Rom_5:7. Yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

He is “a good man “ — benevolent, kind, and tender.

Rom_5:8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

While we were neither righteous nor good, “while we were yet sinners, Christ” did the most he ever could, or ever can do for us, he “died for us.” this is the best gift for the worst of men, and that best gift given to them when they are at their worst state: “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Rom_5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

“Much more.” Paul has been giving us “alsos” and “ands”; now he takes a bigger leap still, for he says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” If he saved us when we were sinners, he will certainly save us now that we are justified. If he called us when we were dead, he will not leave us now we are alive.

Rom_5:10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

You see, there are three points here. When we were enemies, he blessed us; much more, now that we are reconciled, will he do so. If, in the second place, when we were enemies he reconciled us, how much more, after he has reconciled us, will he save us! And, thirdly, if he did all this for us by the death of his Son, much more will he do for us by his life; reconciled by his death, we shall be saved by his life.

Rom_5:11. And not only so,-

there is no end to the blessing, dear brethren and sisters. the apostle seems to be always going up, and up, and up. this Paul, calm and cool and logical as he is, makes the fire burn most wondrously: “And not only so,” —

Rom_5:11. But we also joy in God —

We are glad that he is God, glad that he is such a God as he is; we would not wish to have him altered. the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, — the God of the Old testament, and the God of the New testament, — we love him altogether just as he is, and “we joy in God —

Rom_5:11-21. through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned .. (for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. for if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

I have not expounded the latter part of the chapter, as time fades me, and I shall dwell upon it somewhat in the sermon.

This exposition consisted of readings from Jonah 3; Jon_4:1-2; and Romans 5.