Paul’s Letter to the Romans Part 35

This entry is part 35 of 35 in the series Paul's Letter to the Romans

His death for us opened a way through which we could be
reconciled to God, and his suffering for us so touched our hearts
that we wanted to be reconciled. If he accomplished so much for
us when he seemed to be so weak that his enemies put him to
death, much more, that he now lives to intercede for us and to
rule our hearts in our lives, shall we be eternally saved. Yet, it is
left to us, as to whether we avail ourselves of the benefits of
either his death or his life.

Part 35

“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord
Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement”
(Romans 5:11). We rejoice in God – rejoice in the glory of his
being and the perfection of his attributes, and we rejoice and
what he is to us and what he has done for us. These great
benefits and blessings come to us through our Lord Jesus Christ,
“through whom we have now received the reconciliation”. That is,
it was through the Lord Jesus Christ that we were reconciled to
God. It is easy to see that Paul was still setting forth the
blessings of the gospel justification, but it is not so easy to
understand some of his reasoning.
“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” (vs. 12). Though Eve first ate of the forbidden fruit,
Adam’s eating it completed the transgression and made it
unanimous. Paul follows the usual custom of speaking of the
man instead of the woman. He indulges in no reasoning as to
why they sinned; he merely States the fact that they did sin. He
speaks of it merely to draw a contrast between the effects of
what Adam did and the effects of what Christ did; and he did this
to show how the gospel of Christ more than overcomes the

effects of Adam’s sin. Christianity is not concerned with the origin
of sin so much as with the fact of sin. The gospel did not bring
sin into the world, but it was brought into the world as the
panacea (remedy/cure) for sin and all its ills. Death resulted from
sin. But what death is here meant? It is true that physical death
came as a result of sin, but so also does spiritual death. The
context and the nature of Paul’s argument must determine which
death is here meant. In this Roman letter Paul frequently uses
the word death, without saying which death he means, leaving
the reader to determine from the context which death he means.
The context favors the idea that death in verse 12 is spiritual
death. The moral and spiritual condition of man and the gospel
plan of justification had been the matter under discussion.
Besides, the death here mentioned passed upon all men on
account of their own sins. Physical death came upon all on
account of Adam’s sin, but the death here mentioned came only
upon those who sinned. Facts are against the idea that all men
suffer physical death on account of their own sins; but spiritual
death does come in that way, and in no other way. It is generally
agreed that versus 13-17 of chapter 5, are parenthetical
(inserted as a parenthesis), and that the thought started in verse
12 is resumed in verse 18.

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