Radical Contrasts

Chapter five is a chapter of radical contrasts. Here are some examples:

1.  Our weakness….. and Christ’s strength – verse 6
2.  Once enemies…….now friends – verse 10
3.  Death reigned……now life reigns – verses 10 and 17
4.  Adam and guilt……. Christ and pardon – verses 14 and 16
5.  The offense………. the free gift – verse 15
6.  Many dead…….. many made alive – verse 15
7.  Condemnation……. justification – verses 16 and 18
8.  Disobedience……. obedience – verse 19
9.  Sinners……….. righteous – verse 19
10.  Sin abounded……. grace abounds, verse 20

A key thought in Romans five is God’s love for us and our love for God. Read 5:5-11 right now. Note that Paul states that our hope in God “does not make us ashamed” (verse 5). This means that His love will never disappoint us. The concept of His love being “shed abroad” means “to be poured out like a river.”

In verses 6-8, Paul shows how God demonstrated His love for us. The Sinless One died for sinners. The concept of “due time” in verse 6 means “in a strategic time; a time set or predetermined.”  Jesus knew what He was doing when He went to the cross. He was not captured and killed, but rather laid His life down for us deliberately. Note the contrast in verse 6 concerning Christ’s strength and our weakness.

In verses 7-8, consider the three types of men represented:

A. A Righteous Man
This refers to a good man who generally does what he should throughout his life. He is a law abiding man, but not a redeemed man.

B. A Good Man
This term means an even better man, a kind, generous and honorable one. He is a cut above the righteous man, but he is not born-again. Paul is saying that one might sacrifice his own life for such a noble person.

C. The Sinner Man
Jesus gave His life, not just for righteous and good men, but for all sinners. No one has a right to claim God’s mercy on his or her own merits. Christ died for all who were His Father’s enemies by virtue of sinning against Him. Jesus died for us “even while we were dead in our sins” (Ephesians 2:5). We were neither righteous nor good, but Jesus gave His life for us anyway, thus God “commends” (demonstrates) His love toward us. Being justified by His blood that He shed on the cross, we do not have to face the wrath of God. What a tremendous freedom is pictured in these verses. Praise God for the truth of His Word right now and throughout this day. “Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).

Maxim of the Moment

Love is made sweet by compliments; not commands.