Cover to Cover
Verse 1 starts, THEREFORE. The word “therefore” is used because Paul is continuing his teaching on GRACE THROUGH FAITH when discussing the Mosaic Law. Verse 1 says, “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We are whole and sound in a restored relationship with God because JESUS accomplished what we could not do on our own.
Verse 2 says that through Jesus WE HAVE ACCESS by faith INTO THIS GRACE in which we STAND. Before Jesus, we didn’t have that access to the POSITION of right standing with God. We didn’t have the RESTORED UNION with God where we are IN HIM until Christ. In the same way that Jesus surrendered to the Father in His death, we too, experience God’s glory when we learn to submit to the Father. This makes us REJOICE in hope of the GLORY of God.
Verses 3-4 talks of the GLORY OF GOD we can know even in this world and in our current condition. Because of Jesus, we can know GLORY as we grow through what we go through!
Verse 5 says we won’t be disappointed in God because we know God’s LOVE, EXPERIENCING this complete, whole, saving RELATIONSHIP with God through the Holy Spirit.
Verse 6 says, “when we were STILL without strength.” It had been thousands of years for the Jews knowing of Jehovah and His Law, and STILL they were without strength. The fact is, none of us has what it takes to attain the life of God on our own. In our weakness, CHRIST DIED for the ungodly (which describes us all).
Verse 7 makes the point that it is rare to find someone who would give up their life to save a person that benefits others with good, so it is even more rare to find someone who would give up their life for an undeserving person.
Verse 8 says that God DEMONSTRATES HIS KIND OF LOVE by dying for sinners. “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” We are so undeserving of this kind of love that would redeem us out of our sin and back to life. However, this shows us how blessed we are to have a Father who unconditionally loved us and wanted to restore us back to Himself. God knew what He was getting into when sent His Son to us. God knows what sin does to a person. God knows that in a world full of sin that there are tremendous hurts, lies, dysfunctions, crimes, and abuse that will twist and distort a person’s soul. GOD IS NOT INTIMIDATED BY OUR MESS. He is PATIENT. He is LONG-SUFFERING. He is MERCIFUL! And if the Father would send His Son to DIE FOR THE SINNER, shouldn’t we also have confidence that the Father will CONTINUE THE PROCESS of transformation, even when we sometimes fail Him? GOD DOESN’T GIVE UP!
Verse 9 says we are saved from wrath through Christ; otherwise, our unholy self would come into contact with God’s holiness, and experience opposing God.
Verses 10-11 say we were reconciled with God. The word reconcile means to restore relationship. We get to come back home to the Father - all because of JESUS!
In verses 12 through 21, Paul talks about the death of two men. One is Adam, and one is Jesus, also known as the second Adam (verse 14, the first a type of the second). The first Adam sinned, and through his sin, death spread to the entire human race. Jesus was born of God, as a man, and there was no sin in Him. He was the start of a NEW LINEAGE, A SPIRITUAL LINEAGE. Jesus was a FIRST, known as the first-fruits of the resurrection! The first-fruits belong to God! The firstborn male belonged to God! Why do we think God required us to RETURN those first-fruits in an OFFERING? And as many came after Adam in sin and death, MANY will follow after Christ in life and peace and righteousness and joy! Come on, somebody, let’s shout praise! JESUS was returned to God in resurrection life after Jesus offered His life as the ransom for sin. I cannot imagine what was happening in heaven when the Holy Spirit went to raise Jesus from the dead, demanding Jesus back from Hades because restitution had been made!
Remember that in context, Paul is teaching about FAITH in CHRIST to Jews who only haven known the Law. In verse 13, Paul mentions how the Law showed mankind what was right and what was wrong. Before the Law, there were many generations from Adam up until Moses. Because there was no Law to show righteousness, Paul says that death dominated the human race. People were FAR FROM GOD, separated from Him and His life without knowledge.
Verses 14 - 16 mention Adam’s “offense” or crime against God. A crime for which he was not qualified to pay or serve a sentence. There was a spiritual death and a natural death that entered into the human race, separating people from God, their life source. The only hope we had was that someone would come and GIVE A RANSOM FOR US. Jesus gave that gift. We couldn’t earn it. We don’t deserve it.
In verses 17-19, we see the second Adam, Jesus, compared to the first Adam. The first Adam, ONE MAN, committed an offense that passed to every person. With that sin, came judgment and condemnation. The second Adam, ONE MAN, paid the price in full so that every person has the opportunity to receive grace through faith. If someone does not obey and surrender to Jesus’ lordship, they’re decision is to stay under the bondage of sin, death, and Satan. God will not force salvation on anyone. The key that opens the door to eternal life is only accessed through dying to self and yielding to Christ. Our life is found in the dependent relationship of God, like an infant to its mother.
Again, back to the Law in verse 20, the purpose of the Law brought knowledge of God, but it also brought condemnation, and it abounded. BUT JESUS BROUGHT GRACE, a grace that ABOUNDS! And as sin reigned in death, GRACE REIGNS! HALLELUJAH! Grace reigns through righteousness, or RIGHT STANDING, and it leads to LIFE, life HERE and life FOREVERMORE! WHAT A GIFT! THE GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE!
Psalm 73 starts Book Three of Psalms, which is a compilation of mostly Asaph’s songs. Asaph is King David’s choirmaster (1 Chronicles 16:4-7). Both Psalm 73 and 74 are songs of Asaph. Psalm 73 is about the blessing of trusting in God. Psalm 74 is a psalm that cries out to God for help from oppressors.