Romans Chapter Five

When we get to chapter five we see Paul still arguing in the same fashion of drawing stark contrasts and bringing home the point that it is all about God’s goodness to us, and not about how good we are. He tells us that because of God’s goodness we are brought into a place of intimate presence with God and that having now arrived, we can expect God to do even more wonderful things. He says that our hopes and expectations should rise so much in this experience that even if life gets more difficult and pressures build up, then we should have an even greater expectation of God’s goodness to come through.

Continuing in this paradigm of contrasts, Paul then relates how great the love of Jesus was for us, to die for us, when we were not only cut off from God in our minds, but we were hostile to him in our attitudes and behaviour. Nonetheless he laid down his life so that we could share in the oneness that he has with The Father.

Then comes the greatest contrast of all. It is the contrast between Adam, as the first man who sinned, and Jesus, as the first man who did not sin. This contrast is drawn out to its fullest extent, and if represented as a diagram it could be seen as a see-saw. Adam would be seen sitting on one side weighing the see-saw down because he had sinned and was therefore carrying extra weight. So one man (and one woman) tip the scales for humanity – against having harmony with God. But that’s just the beginning - all of humanity over centuries of time with their total combined baggage of sin pile on with them and weigh the see-saw down so that it is absolutely immovable.

Then Jesus comes and sits on the other side and the see-saw tips right over to his side and we are all lifted up while he goes down.

So Paul is able to get ALL of us onto one side of the see-saw and then he shows how Jesus gets onto the other side and lifts us ALL up. That’s what I call Good News.

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1. Therefore because of our faith in Jesus Christ we are brought into a peace where we actually share the same oneness with The Father that Jesus has.

2. And because of Jesus we have intimate access through our faith into a place of his empowering presence where we can stand firm and confident and even joyful, with a rising expectation of what good thing God will do next.

3. And not only that, but we maintain this rising expectation in the face of difficult times of pressure, knowing that these pressures bring about an endurance in our character.

4. This endurance makes us stronger in our life experience and this life experience now equips us to rise up with even greater hope and expectation of God's goodness.

5 That kind of hope allows us to hold ourselves with confidence because the experience of God's love starts to spill over in our hearts throughThe Holy Spirit who lives within us.

6 The appointed time finally arrived for Jesus to come and die for an impotent humanity, unable to lift itself into the condition of living a noble and virtuous life.

7 It would be a rare thing for someone to lay down their life for a virtuous and upright man, and perhaps someone would even bring themselves to consider dying for a person of exceptional virtue and distinction

8 But God so clearly demonstrates His great love for us in that while we had nothing of any virtue or distinction about us He laid down His life for us.

9 And now even more so, having been given a place of dignity and acceptance because He shed His lifeblood for us, we shall be totally made free from any kind of penalty we might have deserved by living a life that dishonoured Him.

10  For if, when we lived in that hostile attitude towards God, we were given the life of God through His Son’s death, how much more now that we have that life in us will we be totally sustained and fulfilled, and transformed by sharing His ongoing life.

11 And not only that, we can now live a life of wonder and delight, sharing the very exuberance of Jesus Christ Who restored us back into that place of favour and dignity.

12 So we see then, that through one particular man in the beginning of history on this earth, who because of his wrong thinking and wrong doing, ushered wrong thinking and wrong doing into the experience of all mankind, and through this, death itself became the experience of all mankind, because all of humanity lived and breathed wrong thinking and wrong doing.

13 And even though wrong doing was the way of life for everybody, there was no law as a standard, to measure its accountability.

14 Even so, death still ruled in the world of life from the time of Adam to the time of Moses over everyone that sinned, even though their sins were not in the same category as the violation of Adam when he first disobeyed God, and Adam was the example of Him who was to come.

15 But the example of Adam to Jesus is one of antithesis because just the opposite happened with Jesus. And just as Adam's violation of disobedience brought death and a mindset of separation from God, through one individual upon all humanity, so Jesus, alone, brought all of humanity back into togetherness with God, where they could receive of God's overwhelming goodness and fully appreciate it.

16 And the paradox gets greater - concerning the difference between the effect of one man's disobedience and the effect of another man's obedience on our behalf, because only one man sinned one sin to bring judgement, but it took the other man’s total sinlessness to counteract the accumulated offences of the sins of all humanity to freely spare all of us from judgement. 

17 This means that the bad that was done by one man, that brought an experience of death into our world, has been excessively outweighed by the good that was done by the other man, Jesus Christ, to bring a new experience of life into our world.

18 So it follows then, that if, by the crime of one man, the death sentence came upon all of humanity, then the absolute goodness of another man brought free pardon and amnesty upon humanity.

19 and what is more, if because of one mans disobedience, an immoral mindset of defiance against God came upon mankind, then because of the other man’s obedience, a moral mindset of harmony with God can come upon mankind.

20 On top of that, the Commandments came to highlight the fact of mankind’s moral defiance against God, but no matter how much that was highlighted; the free gift of a new moral mindset of harmony with God is now so much more dazzling.

21 So that just as the deathly effect of isolated independence once ruled mankind, so now freedom and harmony with God can become the new order of life, to rule us forever.

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