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5:1 Being therefore justified by faith [dikaiōthentes oun ek pisteōs]. First aorist passive participle of [dikaioō], to set right and expressing antecedent action to the verb [echōmen]. The [oun] refers to the preceding conclusive argument (chapters 1 to 4) that this is done by faith. Let us have peace with God [eirēnēn echōmen pros ton theon]. This is the correct text beyond a doubt, the present active subjunctive, not [echomen] (present active indicative) of the Textus Receptus which even the American Standard Bible accepts. It is curious how perverse many real scholars have been on this word and phrase here. Godet, for instance. Vincent says that “it is difficult if not impossible to explain it.” One has only to observe the force of the tense to see Paul’s meaning clearly. The mode is the volitive subjunctive and the present tense expresses linear action and so does not mean “make peace” as the ingressive aorist subjunctive [eirēnēn schōmen] would mean. A good example of [schōmen] occurs in Mt 21:38 [schōmen tēn klēronomian autou] where it means: “Let us get hold of his inheritance.” Here [eirēnēn echōmen] can only mean: “Let us enjoy peace with God” or “Let us retain peace with God.” We have in Ac 9:31 [eichen eirēnēn] (imperfect and so linear), the church “enjoyed peace,” not “made peace.” The preceding justification [dikaiōthentes] “made peace with God.” Observe [pros] (face to face) with [ton theon] and [dia] (intermediate agent) with [tou kuriou].
5:2 We have had [eschēkamen]. Perfect active indicative of [echō] (same verb as [echōmen], still have it. Our access [ten prosagōgēn]. Old word from [prosagō], to bring to, to introduce. Hence “introduction,” “approach.” Elsewhere in N.T. only Eph 2:18; 3:12. Wherein we stand [en hēi hestēkamen]. Perfect active (intransitive) indicative of [histēmi]. Grace is here present as a field into which we have been introduced and where we stand and we should enjoy all the privileges of this grace about us. Let us rejoice [kauchōmetha]. “Let us exult.” Present middle subjunctive (volitive) because [echōmen] is accepted as correct. The exhortation is that we keep on enjoying peace with God and keep on exulting in hope of the glory of God.
5:3 But let us also rejoice in our tribulations [alla kai kauchōmetha en tais thlipsesin]. Present middle subjunctive of same verb as in verse 2. [Kauchōmai] is more than “rejoice,” rather “glory,” “exult.” These three volitive subjunctives [echōmen, kauchōmetha], twice) hold up the high ideal for the Christian after, and because of, his being set right with God. It is one thing to submit to or endure tribulations without complaint, but it is another to find ground of glorying in the midst of them as Paul exhorts here.
5:4 Knowing [eidotes]. Second perfect participle of [eidon] [oida], giving the reason for the previous exhortation to glory in tribulations. He gives a linked chain, one linking to the other (tribulation [thlipsis], patience [hupomonē], experience [dokimē], hope [elpis] running into verse 5. On [dokimē], see 2Co 2:9.
5:5 Hath been shed abroad [ekkechutai]. Perfect passive indicative of [ekcheō], to pour out. “Has been poured out” in our hearts.
5:6 For [eti gar]. So most documents, but B reads [ei ge] which Westcott and Hort use in place of [gar]. While we were yet weak [ontōn hēmōn asthenōn eti]. Genitive absolute. The second [eti] (yet) here probably gave rise to the confusion of text over [eti gar] above. In due season [kata kairon]. Christ came into the world at the proper time, the fulness of the time (Ga 4:4; Eph 1:10; Tit 1:3). I or the ungodly [huper asebōn]. In behalf, instead of. See about [huper] on Ga 3:13 and also verse 7 here.
5:7 Scarcely [molis]. Common adverb from [molos], toil. See on Ac 14:18. As between [dikaios], righteous, and [agathos], good, Lightfoot notes “all the difference in the world” which he shows by quotations from Plato and Christian writers, a difference of sympathy mainly, the [dikaios] man being “absolutely without sympathy” while the [agathos] man “is beneficent and kind.” Would even dare [kai tolmāi]. Present active indicative of [tolmaō], to have courage. “Even dares to.” Even so in the case of the kindly sympathetic man courage is called for to make the supreme sacrifice. Perhaps [tacha]. Common adverb (perhaps instrumental case) from [tachus] (swift). Only here in N.T.
5:8 His own love [tēn heautou agapēn]. See Joh 3:16 as the best comment here. While we were yet sinners [eti hamartōlōn ontōn]. Genitive absolute again. Not because we were Jews or Greeks, rich or poor, righteous or good, but plain sinners. Cf. Lu 18:13, the plea of the publican, “[moi tōi hamartōlōi].”
5:9 Much more then [pollōi oun mallon]. Argument from the greater to the less. The great thing is the justification in Christ’s blood. The final salvation [sōthēsometha], future passive indicative) is less of a mystery.
5:10 We were reconciled to God [katēllagēmen tōi theōi]. Second aorist passive indicative of [katallassō] for which great Pauline word see on 2Co 5:18f. The condition is the first class. Paul does not conceive it as his or our task to reconcile God to us. God has attended to that himself (Ro 3:25f.). We become reconciled to God by means of the death of God’s Son. “Much more” again we shall be saved “by his life” [en tēi zōēi autou]. “In his life,” for he does live, “ever living to intercede for them” (Heb 7:25).
5:11 But also glorying in God [alla kai kauchōmenoi en tōi theōi]. Basis of all the exultation above (verses 1-5). Through whom we have now received the reconciliation [di hou nun tēn katallagēn elabomen]. Second aorist active indicative of [lambanō], looked at as a past realization, “now” [nun] in contrast with the future consummation and a sure pledge and guarantee of it.
5:12 Therefore [dia touto]. “For this reason.” What reason? Probably the argument made in verses 1-11, assuming our justification and urging exultant joy in Christ because of the present reconciliation by Christ’s death and the certainty of future final salvation by his life. As through one man [hōsper di’ henos anthrōpou]. Paul begins a comparison between the effects of Adam’s sin and the effects of the redemptive work of Christ, but he does not give the second member of the comparison. Instead of that he discusses some problems about sin and death and starts over again in verse 15. The general point is plain that the effects of Adam’s sin are transmitted to his descendants, though he does not say how it was done whether by the natural or the federal headship of Adam. It is important to note that Paul does not say that the whole race receives the full benefit of Christ’s atoning death, but only those who do. Christ is the head of all believers as Adam is the head of the race. In this sense Adam “is a figure of him that was to come.” Sin entered into the world [hē hamartia eis ton kosmon eisēlthen]. Personification of sin and represented as coming from the outside into the world of humanity. Paul does not discuss the origin of evil beyond this fact. There are some today who deny the fact of sin at all and who call it merely “an error of mortal mind” (a notion) while others regard it as merely an animal inheritance devoid of ethical quality. And so death passed unto all men [kai houtōs eis pantas anthrōpous diēlthen]. Note use of [dierchomai] rather than [eiserchomai], just before, second aorist active indicative in both instances. By “death” in Ge 2:17; 3:19 physical death is meant, but in verses 17, 21 eternal death is Paul’s idea and that lurks constantly behind physical death with Paul. For that all sinned [eph’ hōi pantes hēmarton]. Constative (summary) aorist active indicative of [hamartanō], gathering up in this one tense the history of the race (committed sin). The transmission from Adam became facts of experience. In the old Greek [eph’ hōi] usually meant “on condition that,” but “because” in N.T. (Robertson, Grammar, p. 963).
5:13 Until the law [achri nomou]. Until the Mosaic law. Sin was there before the Mosaic law, for the Jews were like Gentiles who had the law of reason and conscience (2:12-16), but the coming of the law increased their responsibility and their guilt (2:9). Sin is not imputed [hamartia de ouk ellogeitai]. Present passive indicative of late verb [ellogaō] [-eō] from [en] and [logos], to put down in the ledger to one’s account, examples in inscription and papyri. When there is no law [mē ontos nomou]. Genitive absolute, no law of any kind, he means. There was law before the Mosaic law. But what about infants and idiots in case of death? Do they have responsibility? Surely not. The sinful nature which they inherit is met by Christ’s atoning death and grace. No longer do men speak of “elect infants.”
5:14 Even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression [kai epi tous mē hamartēsantas epi tōi homoiōmati tēs parabaseōs Adam]. Adam violated an express command of God and Moses gave the law of God clearly. And yet sin and death followed all from Adam on till Moses, showing clearly that the sin of Adam brought terrible consequences upon the race. Death has come upon infants and idiots also as a result of sin, but one understands Paul to mean that they are not held responsible by the law of conscience. A figure [tupos]. See on Ac 7:43; 1Th 1:7; 2Th 3:9; 1Co 10:6 for this word. Adam is a type of Christ in holding a relation to those affected by the headship in each case, but the parallel is not precise as Paul shows.
5:15 But not as the trespass [all’ ouch hōs]. It is more contrast than parallel: “the trespass” [to paraptōma], the slip, fall to one side) over against the free gift [to charisma], of grace [charis]. Much more [pollōi mallon]. Another a fortiori argument. Why so? As a God of love he delights much more in showing mercy and pardon than in giving just punishment (Lightfoot). The gift surpasses the sin. It is not necessary to Paul’s argument to make “the many” in each case correspond, one relates to Adam, the other to Christ.
5:16 Through one that sinned [di’ henos hamartēsantos]. “Through one having sinned.” That is Adam. Another contrast, difference in source [ek]. Of one [ex henos]. Supply [paraptōmatos], Adam’s one transgression. Of many trespasses [ek pollōn paraptōmatōn]. The gift by Christ grew out of manifold sins by Adam’s progeny. Justification [dikaiōma]. Act of righteousness, result, ordinance (1:32; 2:26; 8:4), righteous deed (5:18), verdict as here (acquittal).
5:17 Much more [pollōi mallon]. Argument a fortiori again. Condition of first class assumed to be true. Note balanced words in the contrast (transgression [paraptōmati], grace [charitos]; death [thanatos], life [zōēi]; the one or Adam [tou henos], the one Jesus Christ; reign [basileuō] in both).
5:18 So then [ara oun]. Conclusion of the argument. Cf. 7:3, 25; 8:12, etc. Paul resumes the parallel between Adam and Christ begun in verse 12 and interrupted by explanation (13f.) and contrast (15-17). Through one trespass [di’ henos paraptōmatos]. That of Adam. Through one act of righteousness [di’ henos dikaiōmatos]. That of Christ. The first “unto all men” [eis pantas anthrōpous] as in verse 12, the second as in verse 17 “they that receive, etc.”
5:19 Here again we have “the one” [tou henos] with both Adam and Christ, but “disobedience” [parakoēs], for which see 2Co 10:6) contrasted with “obedience” [hupakoēs], the same verb [kathistēmi], old verb, to set down, to render, to constitute [katestathēsan], first aorist passive indicative, [katastathēsontai], future passive), and “the many” [hoi polloi] in both cases (but with different meaning as with “all men” above).
5:20 Came in beside [pareisēlthen]. Second aorist active indicative of double compound [pareiserchomai], late verb, in N.T. only here and Ga 2:4 which see. See also [eisēlthen] in verse 12. The Mosaic law came into this state of things, in between Adam and Christ. That the trespass might abound [hina pleonasēi to paraptōma]. It is usual to explain [hina] here as final, as God’s ultimate purpose. So Denney who refers to Ga 3:19ff.; Ro 7:7f. But Chrysostom explains [hina] here as [ekbasis] (result). This is a proper use of [hina] in the Koinē as we have seen. If we take it so here, the meaning is “so that the trespass abounded” (aorist active subjunctive of [pleonasō], late verb, see on 2Th 1:3; 2Co 8:15). This was the actual effect of the Mosaic law for the Jews, the necessary result of all prohibitions. Did abound more exceedingly [hupereperisseusen]. First aorist active indicative of [huperperisseuō]. Late verb, in N.T. only here and 2Co 7:4 which see. A strong word. If [pleonazō] is comparative [pleon] [perisseuō] is superlative (Lightfoot) and then [huperperisseuō] goes the superlative one better. See [huperpleonazō] in 1Ti 1:14. The flood of grace surpassed the flood of sin, great as that was (and is).
5:21 That—even so grace might reign [hina—houtos kai hē charis basileusēi]. Final [hina] here, the purpose of God and the goal for us through Christ. Lightfoot notes the force of the aorist indicative [ebasileusen], established its throne) and the aorist subjunctive [basileusēi], might establish its throne), the ingressive aorist both times. “This full rhetorical close has almost the value of a doxology” (Denney).
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