Lesson 5 w/AnswersRomans Chapter 5
We continue our study of Romans and again look at a key piece of doctrine as Paul tells us about what happens after we are saved. We will be examining two key terms in our Christian faith and walk: justification and reconciliation. Once we can fully understand both of these, we can begin to live a life that does not fear death, that puts our sins behind us, and gives us a greater understanding of our relationship and walk with God.
One of the obstacles that we to need to help the lost overcome as they try to understand God’s calling and their relationship to Him is that of the effect of sin, and the need for them to find justification and reconciliation through accepting the Gospel message and believing in Christ. This means of course that we must first fully understand these things as well. I pray that this lesson will open your eyes more fully, to gain a complete understanding of the effect of sin on mankind and on all of God’s creation, and what justification and reconciliation mean in relation to our salvation experience.
Before you begin to read this lesson’s passage, find a regular dictionary and write down in the space below the definition for the words listed below; then answer the question that follows.
- Justified or Justification means:
- ANSWER: To declare innocent or guiltless; absolve; acquit.
- Reconciled or Reconciliation means:
- ANSWER: To bring into agreement or harmony; make compatible or consistent.
- Now look up 2 Corinthians 5:17-20, and write here what the role of the saved, i.e., the Christian, is. What are we told that we are to do, once we have been saved?
- ANSWER: God has reconciled us, brought us into harmony, made us compatible, with Him. He has done this because we are justified—declared innocent or guiltless. He has acquitted us of our sins, and this makes us a new person, a new creature, that now can be reconciled to God, since our sins are no more. He did this through Christ. Today we are God’s Ambassadors, and we are to go out for God and implore people to be reconciled to God.
Now, please read Romans 5 from the Contemporary English Version (CEV) below, or Romans Chapter 5 from your favorite version.
What It Means To Be Acceptable to God
1By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. 2Christ has also introduced us to God’s undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. 3But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. 4And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope 5that will never disappoint us. All of this happens because God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his love. 6Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful. 7No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person. 8But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
9But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life’s blood, we will also be kept safe from God’s anger. 10Even when we were God’s enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son’s life. 11And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us.
Adam and Christ
12Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. 13Sin was in the world before the Law came. But no record of sin was kept, because there was no Law. 14Yet death still had power over all who lived from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. This happened, though not everyone disobeyed a direct command from God, as Adam did.
In some ways Adam is like Christ who came later. 15But the gift that God was kind enough to give was very different from Adam’s sin. That one sin brought death to many others. Yet in an even greater way, Jesus Christ alone brought God’s gift of kindness to many people.
16There is a lot of difference between Adam’s sin and God’s gift. That one sin led to punishment. But God’s gift made it possible for us to be acceptable to him, even though we have sinned many times. 17Death ruled like a king because Adam had sinned. But that cannot compare with what Jesus Christ has done. God has been so kind to us, and he has accepted us because of Jesus. And so we will live and rule like kings.
18Everyone was going to be punished because Adam sinned. But because of the good thing that Christ has done, God accepts us and gives us the gift of life. 19Adam disobeyed God and caused many others to be sinners. But Jesus obeyed him and will make many people acceptable to God.
20The Law came, so that the full power of sin could be seen. Yet where sin was powerful, God’s kindness was even more powerful. 21Sin ruled by means of death. But God’s kindness now rules, and God has accepted us because of Jesus Christ our Lord. This means that we will have eternal life.
© Copyright 1995 by American Bible Society
Finally, consider the following questions:
- In Romans 5;1-2, what do we now have, based on our accepting God’s gift of salvation through the blood of Jesus?
- ANSWER: We have been justified, our sins have been forgiven, we have been made right in God’s eyes. This has given us peace with God through Jesus.
- What does Philippians 4:7 tell us of this relationship with God, now that we are saved?
- ANSWER: We have living in us "the peace of God," which will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. This peace is something that most of us do not understand how valuable it is. Through our faith in Christ, we have a deep inner peace when the world around us is upside down. Jesus guards our hearts and minds; He protects us from Satan’s schemes and foolish ideas so that we are not tricked, and so that we do not worry. With Jesus, we can live in peace at all times. What a precious gift!
- Paul has spent the previous four chapters of Romans telling us about the importance of faith, not works; and that through this faith, we are "justified" in God’s presence. He then shows us that because of our justification, we are therefore "reconciled" with God, and this reconciliation brings us peace with God. This produces a peace that will pass all worldly understanding and greatly influence how we live out our new eternal lives. Read Colossians 1:20-23. Considering this passage, and the definition for reconcile that you looked up earlier, how would you define "reconcile" now? Write it out in the space below. What does being reconciled mean to you, based on this passage and your study so far?
- ANSWER: Satan and sin bring violence, death, unrest, and a total lack of peace. But through Christ we are brought into harmony with God, and we enter God’s peace. We are free from accusation, and our sins have been forgiven.
- Having peace with God gives us two important things: access to God and security with God, both of which are impossible to have while living a life lost in sin. What do the following two verses tell us about the benefits of having peace with God, i.e., being reconciled with Him?
- Ephesians 3:12
- ANSWER: We have access to Him. Now that we are reconciled with God, we can approach Him with "freedom and confidence."
- Hebrews 4:16
- ANSWER: The NIV text reads "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Being reconciled to God allows us to boldly approach His throne and ask for His mercy and grace—something that we could never do as evil sinners. It’s amazing to think about, that now we have the opportunity to actually speak to the creator of the entire universe, to the God who spoke with Moses and David, and the God who sent Jesus, His only son, to die and be raised for us. We, as his children, have that opportunity. It’s totally amazing! Accordingly, do we honor God as the Creator of all and the Provider of our salvation? We should consider how wonderful it is that we can go before His throne, reconciled to Him, and ask for grace and help. What a wonderful blessing.
- Ephesians 3:12
- Romans 5:3-11 speaks of suffering and what it produces in Christians. Fill in the blanks from these verse excerpts: "...suffering helps us to ________, and endurance builds ___________, which gives us a _____ that will never disappoint us."
- ANSWER: "...suffering helps us to endure, and endurance builds character, which gives us a hope that will never disappoint us."
- Have you ever personally known a "mature" Christian? Based on what you know or remember about that person, does what Paul says about suffering make sense?
- ANSWER: Absolutely. In fact, it is during times of suffering that the maturity of a Christian is made evident. James 1:2-4 tells us this: "My friends, be glad, even if you have a lot of trouble. You know that you learn to endure by having your faith tested. But you must learn to endure everything, so that you will be completely mature and not lacking in anything."
- The suffering that Paul is referring to in this passage is specific to what we suffer as a result of our relationship to God and His Son Jesus, i.e., suffering for the sake of the kingdom and the Gospel message. But all of us have also known suffering that comes with living an imperfect life in an imperfect world. Let&rquo;s take a moment and see what God’s word says about suffering. What does each of the following verses tell us about suffering?
- 2 Corinthians 4:17
- ANSWER: "These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing."
- Romans 8:18
- ANSWER: "I am sure that what we are suffering now cannot compare with the glory that will be shown to us."
- 2 Thessalonians 1:5
- ANSWER: "All of this shows that God judges fairly and that he is making you fit to share in his kingdom for which you are suffering."
- Acts 14:22
- ANSWER: They encouraged the followers and begged them to remain faithful. They told them, "we have to suffer a lot before we can get into God’s kingdom."
- 2 Corinthians 4:17
- Now re-read Romans 5:12-14 and contrast these verses with Romans 5:15-21. You will see that the first group of verses tells how peace with God was lost, and the second group tells how peace with God was recovered, i.e., reconciled, and restored to it’s original state. There are two Adams mentioned in these verses, as Paul sees Christ as a type of Adam, a second Adam, if you will. What similarities do you see between Adam and Christ that would cause Paul, and us, to see Christ as a second Adam? (Hint, jot down each thing that Adam did that is mentioned in these verses, as well as the "but" that Paul says about God and Christ. See how many parallels you can find between Adam and Christ.)
- ANSWER: There is a direct contrast in these verses between Adam and Christ. The work of the first man is contrasted with the work of Christ. One resulted in death for all, while the other resulted in life for all. Just as sin and death entered the world through one man, so also did life enter through Christ.
- Universalism can at times be a lost person’s response to your message about the gospel and the need for repentance. In fact they sometimes will cite Romans 5:18-19 as one of their references. In Universalism, the belief is held that in the end, the God of love who desires "all" to be saved, will indeed save all. The reasoning then follows that, if this is so, then one can live their life in their own way, e.g., be kind to neighbors, don’t kick the dog, etc.; and God, in his great love for all mankind, will save all of them. How can we respond to this approach? What do the following verses tell us about salvation and Christ’s role?
- Hebrews 9:27-28
- ANSWER: These verses tell us that Christ is coming back "...to save everyone who is waiting for him."
- 1 Corinthians 15:22
- ANSWER: Jesus died for all—no exceptions.
- Ephesians 1:10
- ANSWER: Christ is the unifying factor; he..."will bring together everything in heaven and in earth."
- Mark 16:16
- ANSWER: Refusing to believe in Christ will condemn a person; they will not be saved.
- Hebrews 9:27-28
In summary then, we see that peace with God is a gift, and not something we can earn or a function of how we "feel". It gives us direct access to God at all times, and it teaches us that suffering and tribulation in a believer’s life can have purpose and meaning. That which was lost in Adam was regained even more in Christ.
Being reconciled with God means that He has restored us to our original intended relationship with Him. It means that we each become "a new creature", and God sees us without the sin that came with our old life. Because of our access to God, the peace we have with God, and the certainty of our salvation, we can live a life free from worry, assured of our heavenly home and eternal destination.
When we understand that the life we live today on this earth, and the suffering that comes with it, is only temporary and doesn’t compare to the "joy that awaits us", then we can indeed live a life of victory. Living this reconciled life is what will set each of us apart from our lost loved ones, our neighbors and co-workers. It is this witness that each of them will notice and will surely ask you about.
Peter tells us in 1 Peter 3:15 to "Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of your life. Always be ready to give an answer when someone asks you about your hope." [CEV]
I pray that this lesson’s study will build up that hope, that joy, and that freedom within you, as you consider what it means to now be fully reconciled with God. May each of us live the life of victory that Christ’s shed blood has purchased for us.
May He richly bless you as you study His Holy Word with us this week.
Yours in Christ,