1 Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ 2 through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and 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.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person -- though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die.  8 But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9 Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11 But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned --13 sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. 14 Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come. 15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. 16 And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. 17 If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. 19 For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 But law came in, with the result that the trespass multiplied; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, just as sin exercised dominion in death, so grace might also exercise dominion through justification leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. 



  • Just to review so far, Paul has shown that the entire world is lost (chapters 1-3), There is no way to earn our salvation -- this isn't not like wages (4:2). Rather, we can only be justified by faith (chapter 4). Paul continues his discussion of justification in chapter 5.
  • Since God has justified us in Christ, we have peace (v.1). This means that we are no longer his enemies (in the sense of Colossians 1:21).
  • The hope of which Paul speaks (v.2) refers to the end of time, when we will receive our reward. Hope in the N.T. normally refers to the resurrection of the dead (Acts 23:6), and is a central teaching of scripture (Ephesians 4:4).
  • But true Christians glory not only in the promise of the next world, but in the sufferings of this one? Why?
    • Suffering -- provided we persevere through it -- leads to character.
      • We are born with a personality, and this remains fairly constant throughout our lives. Character, on the other hand, can be modified. It can grow.
      • There are no short-cuts to character. It is not conferred at baptism. It must be built!
    • Hope, the product of character, does not disappoint us. That is, our hopes are not hollow or vain.
      • Those who have persevered will receive what they hope for. (See James 1:12.)
      • Character change comes through the Holy Spirit, whom God has poured into our hearts. This of course took place when we received the Spirit of Christ in baptism (Galatians 4:6, Titus 3:5, etc).
  • In the past, we were not just falling short of the glory of God; we were his enemies! But now we have been justified through the blood of Christ (v.9).
  • Sin came into the world through Adam (v.12), and salvation also comes to the world through one man, Christ.
    • We became lost because of our own conscious choices, not because we were born sinners. Sin spread, and continues to spread, throughout mankind by personal contact and personal choice.
    • In the same way (v.19), no one is born a Christian. Following Christ is a conscious choice. We become righteous by choosing to accept the Lordship of Christ.
    • All people are responsible for their spiritual condition.


  • The "righteous [upright, not righteous in the saved sense] person" might stand in contast to the "good person," but perhaps they are meant to be synonymous. Thus the distinction between "good" people (like Barnabas) and others is invalid.
  • The doctrine of original sin was formulated by Augustine (354-430 AD), bishop of Hippo (in North Africa). It is a central tenet of Reform Theology, though difficult to justify biblically.
  • In this chapter, as well as in 1 Corinthians 15, Christ is presented as the "second Adam." The parallels, though retrograde, are many.
  • The phrase "the many" (v.19) is synonymous with all. Paul has already stated that there are no exceptions. In other words, all became sinners, not just most.

Thought questions

  • Do I seek short-cuts to character, or am I willing to persevere through years of spiritual effort and faithful obedience?
  • Paul has already said (in chapter 2) that God will give eternal life to those who seek glory. Am I put off by the notion of seeking glory -- does it sound "unspiritual"? Or does my soul "boast" or "glory" in the Lord and in the things he is working in my life?
  • Do I think about this chapter only during the weekly Lord's Supper, or do I dwell on what the Lord has done for me on a daily basis?