Romans Lesson 31

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Believer’s Blessings (part 3)

Romans 5:10—21

Chapter 5 lists a number of blessing we have received because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Many people only consider their escape from hell, or eternity in heaven as the gift given them when saved. However, this is very short-sighted and simplistic. Our Christian life is so much richer and blessing-filled than we can even imagine. Paul tries to present just a few as he uses the key words “much more” throughout this chapter, showing how our God-given blessings go way beyond merely being saved from hell.

Previous lessons looked at what happens when we are declared righteous (justified). We are no longer enemies of God, but are now at peace with Him. Since we are at peace with God, we now have access to Him, thanks to the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit and of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:26—27, 34). This relationship with the Father, made possible by the Son, Jesus Christ, has also given us hope. This is the assured confidence, or confident expectation, that we will enjoy life eternal with God. We also can be assured that we will not experience God’s wrath. This is the wrath of God poured out on the world during the Tribulation. Since we will never experience God’s condemnation (Romans 8:1), we will not be going through the seven-year Tribulation, and we will never need to worry about being sent to the Lake of Fire. How reassuring to know our future when we understand Scripture properly, rightly divided. This assurance of salvation is a result of not just Christ’s death, but by His life (Romans 5:10).

Joy (verse 11)

Our joy in God is because we have received the reconciliation. Reconciliation is the process of bringing two parties together. When two people are at odds with each other, reconciliation is needed. This process is usually started when one of the offended parties reaches out to the other party in a conciliatory act of mending the relationship.

God and man were enemies (Romans 5:10) and were unable to come together. In an act meant to mend the relationship between God and man, The Father sent Jesus Christ to die for our sins, and to appease (propitiate) the Father of His wrath against sinful men. Jesus Christ reconciled the world unto the Father (2 Corinthians 5:19). Once we accept that offer of reconciliation, by faith, we are regenerated. It’s through that saving act of Jesus Christ (death, burial and resurrection) that we are assured of our eternal destiny with Him.

Note: some Bible versions have translated the Greek word katakkaga (G2643) as atonement. Verse 11 thus reads that, “we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” This particular Greek word is always translated as reconciliation in all other verses.

An atonement is a payment to appease wrath. Hebrew words that are translated as atone include; kippur (h3725) and kaphar (H3722). The idea of covering is incorporated in the Hebrew word kaphar, as seen in Genesis 6:14 were Noah is told to pitch the ark, or cover the ark with pitch. Sins of the Old Testament were paid for through an atonement, the shed blood of an animal. This atonement was a covering, and like the ark, the covering of sins by the shed blood of animals was a place of safety away from God’s wrath. The same can be said about the mercy seat. The Hebrew word likely is related to kaphar or covering. Atonement in the Old Testament seems to always be about a covering. Once Christ died on the cross, sins were no longer covered, they were done away with and no longer passed over (compare Psalm 32:1, Hebrews 10:4—11 with Romans 3:35).

Going back to Romans 5:11, it does not make sense to say that we have received the atonement. It was the Father who received the atonement (the payment for our sins). We did, however, receive the benefit of reconciliation, the appeasement of God’s wrath against us as a result of the payment for our sins. It is  much more accurate to say that we have received the reconciliation.

Once Jesus died on the cross, sins were no longer covered by the atoning blood of animals. These sins were then permanently dealt with by getting rid of them (Romans 3:25).


Verse 12 begins with wherefore because Paul is taking all he said in past chapters and summing it up in one neat condensed package and then expand on everything just stated. With past chapter of Romans in mind, he states that all men have sinned (Romans 3:23), and that it was thought the Law that man was awakened to sin (Romans 3:20). He now clearly states the relationship between Adam’s sin and man’s death. This was actually a warning back in Genesis 2:17 when God states that if Adam were to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that he would surely die. Adam certainly did not understand the full implications of what God told him. It was because of Adam’s sin that death was introduced to the human race. This was made quite evident through the book of Genesis where the phrase “and he died” is repeated  time and time again.

Now, in Romans 5, Paul shows that death is inextricably tied to Adam’s sin. So, just as mankind is tied to Adam, all men are tied to his sin, and therefore all men will die. We all prove our connection to Adam by sinning, since sinning is the result of having a sin nature. It’s interesting that Paul mentions sin 50 times in the book of Romans as he shows mankind’s condition and reveals the remedy in Jesus Christ.

Paul makes an interesting comment in verse 13 saying that sin was not imputed before the Law. However, he makes it clear that from Adam to Moses, death reigned, showing that even without the Law man was a sinner. When there is no law, there can be no sin. This is why Paul says in Romans 7:9 that he was alive until the commandment came and produced death. In other words, understanding the requirements of the Law only brought condemnation when breaking the Law.

The good news is that while one man brought sin and death into the world, one Man brought righteousness and life. The failure of the first Adam only magnified the obedience of the second Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45—49). The first Adam was given the test as a representative of the entire human race. He was created without sin, but was given the freedom to choose to follow the Lord, or follow his own desires. He did what any of us would do today, choosing to follow self rather than God. Many say this test was unfair to those coming after Adam. Why should I be held accountable for Adam’s sin? In reality, God made it more than fair by using a man who would have been voted the most likely to succeed. Adam’s failure indicated that everyone following him would have done the same thing.

To make it possible for God to save sinful mankind, He needed to become man. We are all born into the nature of Adam, and thus are in a hopeless condition. Only a perfect Man, Jesus Christ, would be qualified to become the second Adam and give mankind the opportunity to be saved from his hopeless condition. We are born into Adam and we all need to be born into Christ. Being born into Christ is called regeneration (new birth paliggenesia G3824) in Titus 3:5. All those who have experienced a physical birth now need to experience a spiritual birth. Those who believe go from being in Adam to being in Christ.