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Results of Justification

 5

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.


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Ro 5:1-11. The Blessed Effects of Justification by Faith.

The proof of this doctrine being now concluded, the apostle comes here to treat of its fruits, reserving the full consideration of this topic to another stage of the argument (Ro 8:1-39).

1. Therefore being—"having been."

justified by faith, we have peace with God, &c.—If we are to be guided by manuscript authority, the true reading here, beyond doubt, is, "Let us have peace"; a reading, however, which most reject, because they think it unnatural to exhort men to have what it belongs to God to give, because the apostle is not here giving exhortations, but stating matters of fact. But as it seems hazardous to set aside the decisive testimony of manuscripts, as to what the apostle did write, in favor of what we merely think he ought to have written, let us pause and ask—If it be the privilege of the justified to "have peace with God," why might not the apostle begin his enumeration of the fruits of justification by calling on believers to "realize" this peace as belonged to them, or cherish the joyful consciousness of it as their own? And if this is what he has done, it would not be necessary to continue in the same style, and the other fruits of justification might be set down, simply as matters of fact. This "peace" is first a change in God's relation to us; and next, as the consequence of this, a change on our part towards Him. God, on the one hand, has "reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ" (2Co 5:18); and we, on the other hand, setting our seal to this, "are reconciled to God" (2Co 5:20). The "propitiation" is the meeting-place; there the controversy on both sides terminates in an honorable and eternal "peace."

2. By whom also we have—"have had"

access by faith into this grace—favor with God.

wherein we stand—that is "To that same faith which first gave us 'peace with God' we owe our introduction into that permanent standing in the favor of God which the justified enjoy." As it is difficult to distinguish this from the peace first mentioned, we regard it as merely an additional phase of the same [Meyer, Philippi, Mehring], rather than something new [Beza, Tholuck, Hodge].

and rejoice—"glory," "boast," "triumph"—"rejoice" is not strong enough.

in hope of the glory of God—On "hope," see on Ro 5:4.

3, 4. we glory in tribulation also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience—Patience is the quiet endurance of what we cannot but wish removed, whether it be the withholding of promised good (Ro 8:25), or the continued experience of positive ill (as here). There is indeed a patience of unrenewed nature, which has something noble in it, though in many cases the offspring of pride, if not of something lower. Men have been known to endure every form of privation, torture, and death, without a murmur and without even visible emotion, merely because they deemed it unworthy of them to sink under unavoidable ill. But this proud, stoical hardihood has nothing in common with the grace of patience—which is either the meek endurance of ill because it is of God (Job 1:21, 22; 2:10), or the calm waiting for promised good till His time to dispense it come (Heb 10:36); in the full persuasion that such trials are divinely appointed, are the needed discipline of God's children, are but for a definite period, and are not sent without abundant promises of "songs in the night." If such be the "patience" which "tribulation worketh," no wonder that

4. patience worketh experience—rather, "proof," as the same word is rendered in 2Co 2:9; 13:3; Php 2:22; that is, experimental evidence that we have "believed through grace."

and experience—"proof."

hope—"of the glory of God," as prepared for us. Thus have we hope in two distinct ways, and at two successive stages of the Christian life: first, immediately on believing, along with the sense of peace and abiding access to God (Ro 5:1); next, after the reality of this faith has been "proved," particularly by the patient endurance of trials sent to test it. We first get it by looking away from ourselves to the Lamb of God; next by looking into or upon ourselves as transformed by that "looking unto Jesus." In the one case, the mind acts (as they say) objectively; in the other, subjectively. The one is (as divines say) the assurance of faith; the other, the assurance of sense.

5. And hope maketh not ashamed—putteth not to shame, as empty hopes do.

because the love of God—that is, not "our love to God," as the Romish and some Protestant expositors (following some of the Fathers) represent it; but clearly "God's love to us"—as most expositors agree.

is shed abroad—literally, "poured forth," that is, copiously diffused (compare Joh 7:38; Tit 3:6).

by the Holy Ghost which is—rather, "was."

given unto us—that is, at the great Pentecostal effusion, which is viewed as the formal donation of the Spirit to the Church of God, for all time and for each believer. (The Holy Ghost is here first introduced in this Epistle.) It is as if the apostle had said, "And how can this hope of glory, which as believers we cherish, put us to shame, when we feel God Himself, by His Spirit given to us, drenching our hearts in sweet, all-subduing sensations of His wondrous love to us in Christ Jesus?" This leads the apostle to expatiate on the amazing character of that love.




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