Sunday, July 31, 2011

Chapter 15 
(6) For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (8) But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. (11) And not only so, but we also joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
Verse 6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. All men are sinners, utterly unable to redeem ourselves (Jer. ). We are powerless to deliver ourselves, and stand ready to perish. In our state of sin we are in a state of total impotency. We are “without strength” and “ungodly,” incapable of helping ourselves, having neither ability nor desire (John 15:5). We are undeserving of God’s deliverance. In our unregenerate state we are entirely devoid of ability and enablement to do any thing that is pleasing to God. In our fallen, darkened, alienated state we are utterly helpless, even incapable of receiving God’s help for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. ). Yet, the natural man is so self-confident and self-sufficient that he deems himself quite competent to determine his own destiny. But over all his fancied efficiency, egotism, and independence, God has written “without strength;” no spiritual ability at all for man is spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1). He is not only unable to perform a spiritual act in a spiritual way and from a spiritual principal but also devoid of any spiritual desires or aspirations, though he may be very devout in what the world considers to be “religion.” He is utterly “without strength” Godward. But religion, in both pulpit and pew, sneers at this truth. Few indeed have known and felt the power of this terrible depraved condition. Only as an awakened sinner is this experienced and confirmed in the soul. The boast of Christendom is, “I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing” — ignorant of her true condition, for the Sovereign Judge of the universe says to her that she “knoweth not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Rev. 3:17). Nothing but God’s great power can subdue the workings of such pride and bring the sinner as a humble suppliant and empty-handed beggar to the footstool of the living Christ.
So, just what is this impotency? We point out 4 things that show its nature. (1) It is a privation of power, a total absence of radical power. It is an absence of all power. While the religionists deny this truth and know nothing of the experience of it, the awakened, seeking sinner and the converted sinner know and feel that they have not the least degree of spiritual power to do anything. Their cry is “The Lord is my strength” (Exo. 15:2). “He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might he increaseth strength (Isa. 40:29). (2) It is universal in respect of the subjects of that power. Every part is impotent, deprived, spiritually dead, and wholly deprived of all mind, will, memory, affections. The awakened sinner finds that he cannot believe. He cannot repent. The testimony of the saints of God is, “In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul” (Psa. 138:3). (3) It is not a mere impotency only, but incapacity even to receive it. Nothing but infinite power can bring the sinner to life (John 3:6); that power which brought heaven and earth out of nothing, calls things which are not as though they were; hence called a creation, “his workmanship, created,” (Eph. 2:10). “He that is in Christ is a new creature” (2 Cor. ; Eph. ), and the sinner in put into Christ by the Holy Ghost. (4) There is not only absence and incapacity, but resistance; he is not able, and he is not willing to be able. He is dead in trespasses and sin, has turned to his own corrupt way, and “walks according to the course of this world” (Eph. 2:2). He has no will or heart for God (John ). He is more than unwilling, he is unable to be willing, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do his good pleasure” (Phil ). Without a new principal of grace and holiness placed within us by the regenerating Holy Ghost, we cannot even think of being willing: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor. 3:5). The Holy Ghost tells us in Psalms 110:3 that “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power” and there is no true belief of the truth without the “arm (power) of the Lord” (Isa. 53:1) enabling the broken sinner to “receive the engrafted word” (James 1:21).
“In due time” means that Christ died at the set time or “the fullness of time” (Gal. 4:4). It was at the appointed time; everything was according to plan and occurred at the proper time. It was the time that was before decreed and prefixed by the Trinity. The Scripture every where speaks of a certain season or hour assigned for the death of Christ our Lord: see Matt 26:45; John ; ; 17:1; Heb. 9:26. Saints of God will receive comfort from the following quote of Dr. Robert Hawker: “My soul! Fold up this sweet and precious Scripture, and carry it with thee in thy bosom, and in thine heart, that it may help thee on at any time, and at all times, when thy strength seems gone, and there is no power left. Was it not when the whole nature of man was without strength, that Christ was given of the Father? And was it not equally so, when Christ came to seek and save that which was lost? And was it not done in due time, when Christ died for the ungodly; due time in His resurrection, due time in His ascension, when He ascended up on high, led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, yea, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them? Go further yet, my soul, as it concerns thyself — Was it not due time indeed, when Jesus passed by, and saw thee in thy loathsome state of sin, cast out to perish, and when no eye pitied thee, that then His eye compassioned thee and bid thee live? Who more ungodly than thou? Who more weak? Who more undeserving? Did Jesus then look upon thee, call thee, strengthen thee when thou wast without strength, and hast helped thee to this hour? Oh! then trust Him now, trust Him for ever. His strength is made perfect in thy weakness. And depend upon it, when thou art most weak in thyself, then is the hour to be most strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. He that in due time died for the ungodly, will be thy strength in due time of need.”
Christ died for the ungodly” and the supreme demonstration of the love of God is seen in Christ’s propitiatory death for the ungodly sinner. He so loved the elect that He gave His only begotten Son to reconcile our salvation with His justice (Rom. 4:5). This love is at once original and unmerited, for it is extended to those who are completely powerless to help themselves. God found nothing in the “ungodly” to constrain His love. The amazing character of God’s love lies in the fact that it was and is exercised towards those whose natural condition is absolutely repugnant to His holiness. All who Christ died for, and that are saved by Him, are spoken of as being in their first state sinners, ungodly, enemies to God, exposed to divine wrath, and without strength, without ability to help themselves, or deliver their souls from this miserable state. Their character was so far from meriting any interposition in their behalf, and, in reality, was altogether repulsive to the eye of God. Yet, Christ died for the sake, or instead of, such as were enemies to God, (see vs. 10), and could deserve no such favor from Him.
“Christ died for the ungodly” and this is the sum and substance of the glorious Gospel. It was God’s own darling Son Who died — the only- begotten, well-beloved Son of God in human flesh (Rom. 8:34; Matt. 3:16, 17). He died a death of shame, under the wrath and judgment of God (Isa. 53:10; Phil. 2:8), bearing the sins of His elect. He died for, in the stead of, and as the Substitute of those whom the Father gave Him before foundation of the world, in order that God might be just and the justifier of those who savingly believe in the Lord Christ (Rom. 3:24-26). He died not for righteous men, nor deserving persons, but for those who are ungodly in nature and practice (Eph. 2:1-5). He died for us when we had no desire to please Him; we were without strength to keep His Holy Law and without all ability to help ourselves. He died to “save his people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). This is the greatest single proof of love — that He gave His life for the objects of His love. An apprehension of the love of Christ, as dying for us ungodly sinners, is that which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost (vs. 5). This was great love, indeed.
We give the words of the old school Baptist preacher, Gregg M. Thompson, as follows: “The object of Christ’s mission into this world was to ‘save his people from their sins.’ It was sinners, and not a holy, sinless, spiritual seed, that He came to save. ‘It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.’ Apply this subject to any class of beings other than lost and ruined sinners, and you strip the Gospel of all its comforts, and there is nothing in it adapted to the wants and necessities of lost and ruined sinners. It is not the life that is born again, but it is the child, the sinner, that receives a new life, is quickened into a new being, and becomes a new creature in Christ Jesus. The life is not the child, but it is that which gives sensibilities, feelings, thirsts, and desires to the child. Jesus said of His sheep, ‘I give unto them eternal life.’ The life given was not the sheep, but it was that which gave action and sensibilities to the sheep, and made them a living flock; and it is when spiritual life is given to the sinner that he is quickened into spiritual sensibilities, and spiritual thirsts and desires are begotten in the soul. This life is in Christ, and He gives it to the sinner, and by its quickening, regenerating, and resurrection power the sinner is born a second time, resurrected from his death in sin, and holy desires, spiritual appetites, and thirstings are begotten in the soul.”
According as our hearts are affected with the love of Christ, so will be our love to Christ, and no otherwise. How shall we know whether our hearts are under the powerful influence in dying for us? Why, the love of Christ in dying for us has 3 characteristics with it, which will have an influence on our souls, if we are truly affected by it: — (1) It has a transforming power and efficacy in the heart and walk of those who receive it. It will transform and change our whole souls in some measure into the likeness of Christ (Rom. 6:17; 2 Tim. 2:19). If we be truly affected with the love of Christ, it lays hold upon and possesses our affections; the affections being possessed, stir up many thoughts; thoughts are the very image of the soul and show you what the soul is. It is out of the heart the mouth speaketh (Mark 7:18-23). Let a professor claim what he will, if his thoughts are generally conversant about earthly and worldly things, he has an earthly and worldly mind; and if his thoughts are conversant about sensual things, he has a sensual and carnal mind: for, whatever he may outwardly say, as he thinks, so is he; — there is the image and likeness of the soul. If the love of Christ is truly shed abroad in our hearts, it will begat in our souls many thoughts of our Precious Lord Christ — in our lying down and in our rising up, in our beds, in our ways, in our walk, yea, in all occasions (1 Cor. 2:16). If, indeed, our hearts are renewed and affected with the love of Christ, our thoughts of Christ will bound; and those thoughts will work again on our affections, and conform our souls more and more unto the image of our Blessed Lord Christ. (2) If we are truly affected in our souls by the love of Christ, it has an attractive power: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). This love is that which converts all that truly believe. It was the Love of our Lord Jesus, set forth in His death as crucified for such sinners that drew us unto Him. It’s as if our Lord said, “When I am lifted up — when I have accomplished, manifested, and evidenced the unspeakable love which I have for the sinful elect, in being lifted up for them — I will draw them unto Me.” If you have a true sense, dear reader, of the love of Christ in dying for you, it will draw your souls unto Him. There is the first drawing to Christ unto truly believing and, also, the drawing of true believers nearer unto Him. “Draw me, we will run after thee” (Cant. 1:4). The soul will cleave to Christ with delight that is affected with the attractive, drawing power of His loving-kindness in His death. (3) This precious love of Christ, in the heart of a true believer, is accompanied with a constraining power. “The love of Christ constraineth us” (2 Cor. 5:14); and that constraint is unto obedience. We are constrained to judge that we ought to live only and solely for Him Who died for us. His yoke is easy to a regenerated soul, yea, it is a blessed thing to walk with our “altogether Lovely Lord Jesus” in obedience to Him Who loved us so. “His commandments are not grievous” (1 John 5:3). The inward and outward commands of Christ are grievous to mere professors, but when true believers work out of love for Him “who first loved us,” what we do is “not grievous,” but our joy and delight (Psa. 1:2; 119:24).
Verse 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. Paul amplifies the love of Christ in dying for ungodly sinners, and shows that it is unparallel and without example. He names the 2 types of men mentioned here to give satisfactory proof. This “righteous” man, or just man, is so only in the sight of men, for in the sight of God there is none righteous (Rom. 3:10). This is a man whom humanity considers to be moral, just, honest, and religious in all his ways, yet, no other man would be ready to ransom this life by the sacrifice of his own. By a “good” man you must understand one that is very kind and considerate to all, or one that is useful and profitable; that is, a public and common good to his fellow man. Again, there is none good in the sight of God but among men this man is loved and respected. Such a mark of regard may, as the highest proof of human love, be given to such a man by one he has laid under peculiar obligations. But these examples are not worthy of even being mentioned for we were not righteous nor good — we were not even just — we were sinners, righteously condemned rebels; yet for us our Lord Christ, Who is the incarnate God — “God manifest in the flesh” (1 Tim. 3:16) — died. There is no greater proof of love to be found, for our Lord Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down His life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you” (John 15:13-14).
Verse 8 But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The Spirit led apostle, for comfort to those who are justified, has given an account of several effects of this privilege. (1) Having pardon of sin and title to Heaven, hereby we know the Lord is appeased and reconciled, verse 1. (2) By our Lord Christ we have admission to this glorious state in which we are established, and rejoice in hope of a more glorious condition, verse 2. (3) We not only rejoice in our present happy state, and hopes of future glory, but even glory in our sufferings. Tribulation being sanctified, helps us to the exercise of patience, which, as other graces, grows and is increased by exercise, verse 3. (4) Experience; in the exercise hereof we have experiments of the grace of God in us and toward us, of His favor and our own sincerity, and this raises and increases our hope, verse 4. (5) That hope will not disappoint us, especially having our hearts replenished by the Holy Ghost, with the sense of the love of God in Christ, verse 5. (6) God’s love was herein expressed wonderfully, that when we were in a state of sin and damnation, without any power to free ourselves from this misery, in the fullness of time Christ died, even for those who were without God and opposite to Him, verse 6. (7) This was greater love than is to be found amongst men, for if perhaps one may be found who would die for a merciful, an obliging, an useful or public-spirited man, yet none can be found that would lay down his life for any other, though he were a just and righteous man. But who would die for those that are useless, or odious, as contrary to him, as sinners are to God?, verse 7.
But now in our 8th verse “God commendeth his love toward us”; i. e. He declareth or confirmeth, exhibited, displayed, or manifested (gave clear proof), as a certain sign (John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10). By this particular manifestation, or exhibition, the love of God appeared in its highest exaltation, that when we were yet sinners; before we were made alive spiritually by the quickening of the Spirit; when useless and impotent, when loathsome and hateful rebels, when enemies and haters of God; when there was nothing in us, that might move Him in the least to love us, when we were full of that which would oblige Him to express His hatred and indignation against us, even then He vouchsafed the very highest expression of love. The medium through which God manifested His love toward us was in the death of His Son; Christ died for us. This is a striking statement; almost baffling to a poor trembling sinner (Eph. 2:4). In the love of God, there are breathes, and lengths, and depths, and heights, passing knowledge” (Eph. 3:18-19). How sweetly is this shown to us in the gift of His dear Son, Jesus Christ!
When He sent the Son to be the Saviour of the elect world the Father gave Himself — “God was in Christ” —  in the completeness and perfection of the LOVE WHICH HE IS. Behold the Trinity in Unity and the Unity in Trinity, the Father and Son in the communion of the Spirit (which proceedeth from Both), in the Holy Mystery of God becoming Man, God surrendering Himself to death and the curse. This is the love of the Triune God and it is manifest in the Person of Christ by the following 3 properties by which the Holy Ghost describes it. (1) Christ loves poor sinners freely, even when we had neither love nor beauty, to attract His affections. The time of His love was when we lay polluted in our blood (Ezek. 16:6), in our filthy garments; when we were wallowing in sin, more filthy than the mire of the sow and more loathsome than the vomit of a dog (2 Peter 2:22). But Christ embraced us in the arms of love, when we had made ourselves worse than the beasts that perish. We were enemies to Him, yet He freely loved us and gave the highest expression of free love in dying for us. (2) God’s love in Christ is an unchangeable love. “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end’ (John 13:1). Read that beautiful language concerning this love in Romans 8:35-39. Not death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, etc., “shall be able to separate me from the love of Christ.” Not Satan, for our Lord rebukes him; not tribulations, or distress, or persecution, or famine; no, nothing can separate us from His love. These things are so far from separating us from His love , as they occasion sweeter expressions of His love; and we are more than conquerors, and may more than triumph, in this unchangeable love of Christ. (3) The love of our Triune God, manifested in Christ our Lord, is an incomprehensible love: “Love of Christ, which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:19). Our Lord said “As the Father hath loved me, even so love I you” (John 15:9). Oh the unparalleled love of God in Christ Jesus. This is such a love that we can neither express nor conceive. Herein both the greatness and freeness of His love appeared, to the wonder and amazement of all in whom the Holy Ghost shed it abroad in their hearts.
Christ died for sinners (1 Cor. 15:1-4). This is the sum of the Gospel, the foundation of true Christianity, the root and spring of all our comforts and hopes, of all true happiness here and hereafter. What exceeding great comfort to all of us who, under Holy Spirit conviction, have felt to be miserable wretches, feeling the horrid weight of sin, guilt, and uncleanness, knowing ourselves to be vile sinners before God. How beautiful to the soul it was when the inward revelation that CHRIST DIED FOR ME was made real in our hearts and we beheld His glory (John 1:14; 2 Cor. 4:6). The natural man understandest not and receives not this work of the Spirit. The regenerated understand, know and feel it in the new heart and spiritual mind given them at their new birth by the Holy Ghost. And as God gave His only begotten Son over to the death of the Cross for sinners, conviction of sin is the essential prerequisite to a saving interest in Christ, for He said, “They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Mark 2:17). Those, regardless of their profession or position, who know nothing of Holy Spirit conviction in their own soul, know nothing of salvation in Christ (1 John 1:8-10). The truly converted speak of the perception of that love of God for us that first softened our hearts, and awakened in us a responsive love for Him, for “we love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).
Verse 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. When we were “sinners,” righteously condemned enemies of God — wretched persons regarded with displeasure, God manifested His love and He will assuredly not cease to love now that we are “justified” by His grace —  we have been brought into circumstances of receiving benefits from our Lord that encourages hope. God “hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” and we are “kept by the power of God” (1 Peter1:2-5). Paul is saying that there is “much more” than justification. “Christ died for us” (vs. 8) and “being now justified” (vs. 9) gives Paul’s continuous flow of thought, that as a result of Christ dying in our stead we are “now” justified; and much more. We are justified “by his blood.” In verse 1 of our 5th chapter the Scripture tells us that we are justified by faith. In 4:25, God attributes justification to the resurrection of Christ in our behalf. In Romans 3:24, we are told that “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” And then in verse 26 of chapter 3, God is the justifier of those that believe. So the varied instruments of justification the Holy Ghost listed are: blood, faith, resurrection, grace, and believing. In light of this just how does God justify His chosen family? The Scripture is crystal clear that He justifies all for whom Christ died. God justifies us by more than faith alone; more than the resurrection alone; more than grace alone; more than belief alone; even more than the blood of Christ alone. The momentous work of God in the justification of sinners is more than any one of these when viewed separately; much more in fact. These are but 5 streams flowing out from the one “pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev. 22:1)
Being “justified by the blood” of Christ reverses our state of being condemned for sin by the Law; for His precious blood takes away sin, which is the cause of condemnation (1 Peter 1:18-19). Our Lord’s blood, shed at His death, was the finishing stroke of the wrath of God that He took in the stead of the elect, and includes His entire work as our Saviour. He made full satisfaction to God’s Law and God’s justice, for which we poor sinners are freed from the condemnation of the Law, and pronounced just by God Himself. It is God Who must be satisfied in this matter of our sin. And justification is the expression of the fact that God is satisfied because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in pouring out His life in our stead (Heb. 9:24-26). Poor sinners who believe on the Son of God, whether they have the sense and comfort of it in their own consciences, or not; — for they have received the atonement of Christ into their hearts by faith; — faith urges them to plead, and not rest satisfied till they find the peace of God in their consciences, flowing from justification in Christ’s blood. And the Holy Ghost assures us that the justified shall never perish at last under the wrath of God. Many of the free will, Arminians teach the lie that they can perish but the Scripture assures us here that it is impossible. “Much more,” say these precious words of Scripture, “being now justified by his blood we shall be saved” — the Son of God did not shed His blood in vain. He called us to Himself, justified us before God, through faith in His blood; He loves us without end (John 13:1), and cares for us throughout all eternity. By His grace He gave us “eternal life” and we shall “never perish.” We are actually justified by His blood and we shall be eternally saved from wrath through Him. Praise His name! His precious blood can never lose its efficacy; His gracious heart never abate in love; His mighty saving arm can never lose its power. As our Lord Christ died to redeem His people from all sin, He lives to save them from all wrath (1 Thes. 5:9). The pure, perfect Word of God assures the true believer that being justified “now” guarantees exemption from all wrath at the judgment seat (John 3:36; Rom. 8:1). We conclude our comments with the word of Pastor Henry T. Mahan: “If God’s love to us is so great and so rich that He gave Christ to die for us when we were ungodly sinners, it is much more certain and sure that being righteous, justified, and free from sin in Christ, we shall be delivered from God’s future wrath and punishment (Rom. 8:31-34).” Here is the true security of the true believer.
Verse 10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. We were “enemies,” obnoxious to His righteous judgment — the relation in which we stood to God as the objects of His displeasure, subject to the hostility of His Holy Law (Col. 1:21). Our enmity appeared in our judgments; in our judgment and very mean esteem of Him. Whatever honor and respect we pretended and made a show of in our religion towards God, if our practice was noted, it showed that we looked upon Him as a Being, that was little to be regarded. We thought of Him as unworthy of much honor or respect, not worthy to be taken much notice of. The language of our hearts was, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice” (Exo. 5:2). “What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what profit should we have if we pray unto him?” (Job 21:15). We counted Him worthy to be neither loved nor feared. God was last and lowest in our esteem. We were enemies in the natural relish of our souls. We had an inbred hatred, distaste, and disrelish of His perfections for He was not the sort of Being as our evil passions would have. We had a natural aversion to Him for when we heard that God was infinitely Holy, pure, and righteous, we did not like Him; for we had no relish for such qualifications or delight in contemplating them (Rom. 1:30). We saw the opposite of the real beauty, loveliness, and sweetness that is in Him. The natural tendency of our darkened hearts was to fly from God, and keep at a distance from Him; and stay as far away from Him as possible. Our mind was naturally averse to thinking of Him: “God is not in all his thoughts” (Psa. 10:4). Our wills were contrary to His will. God wills those things that the natural man hates; and we will, by nature, those things He hates. We were very opposite to His commands. It is from the enmity of our natural will, that “the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Rom. 8:7). All natural men are enemies to God’s government (Luke 19:14,27). We are not loyal subjects, but enemies to God, considered as Lord of the world. We are entirely enemies to His authority as we are enemies to Him in our affections. Our hearts are “desperately wicked” — like a viper, hissing and spitting poison at God. And we are enemies in our practice. “They walk contrary to him” (Lev. 26:21). By nature we are exceedingly active, rebels engaged in a war against God. We were enemies against Him who is the friend of sinners; the God of our salvation; to the Lord Jesus our God and Saviour; to God the Spirit our Sanctifier: to the Gospel of His grace, and Word of our salvation. We were “enemies,” the ungodly, and sinners; wicked rebels without God in the world. By nature we hate the Father, and would kill Him if we could. Moreover, we are enemies to and hate Christ, the only Saviour; we trounce His blood under our feet (Heb. 10:20) and regard His grace as foolishness. The Holy Ghost and His operations we despise; His influences we do not desire. Too, we are enemies to all the true people of God. We would never of ourselves bow under the Word and authority of God, under His Law and Gospel. The language of the natural heart is “Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways” (Job 21:14).
But my dear reader, it is indispensable for the salvation of the soul that we learn of this experimentally. Being correct on the doctrine of this issue or having a head-knowledge of this truth will only damn us; we must have heart-knowledge (Rom. 6:17; 10:10). By the saving operations of the Holy Ghost, discovering and uncovering us to the foundations, we must be made acquainted with our state of enmity. We must be taught by the Spirit and brought to know and mourn over the awful fact that we are naturally enemies of God and haters one of another, and that our carnal mind is enmity against God, and our corrupt hearts are incurably wicked (Jer. 17:9). If this happens to us and in us, then God becomes God in our life, and we become what we are — enemies. O, the mere religious professor will deny this, but the poor awakened and Holy Spirit convicted, convinced sinner and the true saints of God are those spoken of by our Lord Christ in Matt. 5:1-11 as those blessed with the saving benefits of His Kingdom. Once our eyes are opened to the truth of our enmity against our God, how we then grieve and lament! How we then weep with godly sorrow from a broken heart!  Whether it is gross sin or with a superficial religion we learn what wicked enemies we are. Our enmity is so deeply rooted that we can never cut it out of our heart, although as a taught one of God, we do our utmost to subdue that enmity, to destroy that enmity, to improve ourselves before God, and to make peace with Him. This is the result of the love of God being shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. That love returns to Him, for we love Him because He first loved us; that love seeks to serve Him, to fear Him, and to bow before Him. Yet, how impossible it is for us to make things right with God by our own activities; what depraved wretches we are. In His work of grace in the soul of His remnant the Lord makes us to feel and know what we are — poor and needy sinners, guilty and undone sinners; for enemies we are, hopeless and lost. As guilty transgressors we see that our enmity must be remedied — which is utterly impossible for us to perform — we see that God is angry with the wicked every day, for He hates sin and will in no means clear the guilty. Have you, dear reader, learned your wicked opposition to God — but also God’s Holy and righteous opposition to you and to all your enmity?
Hearken then to the blessed words of the Holy Ghost in this 10th verse. Our enmity requires that satisfaction to the broken Law be given, namely, extreme, everlasting punishment of body and soul. The wrath of God, — the strict demand of His justice required the death of His only begotten and beloved Son in accordance with the Covenant of Grace and Reconciliation. To this end the Father gave Him; and the Son, willingly and voluntarily, came to accomplish His work as Surety in the place of His elect. And O, what a gracious word this is, “reconciled to God!” God in Christ was reconciled to us. O what love and grace ever dwelt in His heart to us, enemies, traitors, and rebels against Him! that He manifested in reconciling us to Himself. Reconciliation is a covenant idea and it presupposes the eternal covenant of God with His elect people. When God, through Christ, reconciled us unto Himself He revealed His eternal covenant love and friendship toward us (Heb. 2:17). God loves His people with an eternal, unchangeable love and He never ceases to love them, although He may be angry with them in righteous wrath for a time, but even in His anger He loves them. With respect to Divine reconciliation, the cause of this separation and variance lies wholly with man. By our willful disobedience we, in Adam,  violated the covenant of God, and became an object of wrath by nature (Rom. 5:12). As such all men came into the world, also God’s own elect. By nature we are enemies of God, and have forfeited all right and claim to His favor. And the act of reconciliation consists of His removal of the cause of the separation and variance. It is that act of God whereby He changes the state of the sinner from one of guilt, in which we are the proper object of God’s wrath, into one of righteousness, in which we are the objects of God’s love and favor. God is the Reconciler and we may not misrepresent this fundamental truth as if God were the One that is reconciled. Nowhere do we read in Holy Scripture that God reconciled Himself to us, or that Christ reconciled God to His people. Always it represents God as the Reconciler, and His people as those that are reconciled to Him by His gracious act (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ is the revelation of God the Reconciler for “God was in Christ reconciling,” not Himself, but “the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Cor. 5:19). We are in a state of guilt and under wrath by nature, and God removes the guilt, and translates us into a state of favor and friendship. “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9), and everywhere Scripture states that in its plan, in its power, and in its appropriation, salvation is entirely of the Lord.
Those words “the death of His Son “show that the way of this reconciliation is that of satisfaction. The cause of our alienation from God must be removed and a basis of reconciliation must be established in the righteousness of God. The cause of our separation from God is our sin, the sin that is ours in connection with the whole human race in Adam. As before stated it is because of the guilt of sin that we lie under the judgment of damnation, and are the objects of the wrath of God. But how is it possible to remove sin? Only by the satisfaction, the perfect satisfaction of the justice of God against sin. The wrath of God was stilled because the demand of justice was met by the death of the Son of God. The penalty was born, the ransom was paid, the Law was disarmed of its curse, and the Father was satisfied. There is no other way. Whatever a supercilious modernism may mockingly object to this truth when it sneers at “blood religion,” and whatever it may try to offer instead about a “god” that is all love, and that is so merciful that He is ready to overlook sin, to wink at it, simply to act as if it had never been committed, the truth of satisfaction for sin is emphasized throughout Scripture, and must be strongly maintained as belonging to the fundamentals of real Christian faith.  God cannot deny Himself; He is righteous and just. There can be no reconciliation without satisfaction. O, ye trembling saints, look what the Cross of our Substitute, our Lord Jesus Christ, has done for us, and effected in us. Here, we view, believe, and know God’s love for us. This belief slays the enmity of our rebellious hearts, bows our stubborn wills; and attracts our alienated affections. We throw down our arms: embrace our reconciled God: desire for ever to cease all hostility against Him.
This reconciliation is an accomplished fact. It is not something that is taking place or being realized now for it has been done by God Himself in the Person of His Son. On the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ the work of reconciliation was finished once for all. Through God-given faith, and by sovereign grace, we enter into the state of reconciliation with God; but the reconciliation itself is an accomplished fact: the elect are reconciled to God — translated from a state of enmity and estrangement and wrath into a state of eternal and unchangeable favor and most intimate friendship. This was by God’s action of removing of the cause of the estrangement, namely, sin, and the establishment of an eternal righteousness.
“Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. By His life from the dead manifested in resurrection, and proved to us in the power and prevalency of His resurrection. In His resurrection it is, “I live, and ye shall live also.” In every standing of our life, yes, also after the conscious reconciliation has been granted unto His people whose sins are forgiven — in every standing of our life we need to be administered out of our living and exalted Redeemer, day by day and moment by moment. We are saved by the life that Christ our Lord has after His resurrection. Our salvation is ascribed to His resurrection and life, because He thereby does perfect our salvation, He ever living to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25); and because by His resurrection and life we shall be raised to eternal life at that day. By His life of intercession for us, we are as safe, and as sure of glory, as if already seated in the Heavenly mansions. God’s purpose according to election shall stand, not of works, but of Him who calleth (Rom. 9:11). “I assert that the life and obedience of Christ constitutes the righteousness in which the elect are clothed. His death washed away our sins; His life covers us from head to toe with holiness. His death was the sacrifice to God, and His life was the gift to us by which we satisfied the demands of God’s Law. You have as much to thank Christ for living for you as for dying for you!” (C. H. Spurgeon).
Verse 11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. In our 11th verse the revelation that God is giving sweeps to a climax. Christ has died, and in His death, the elect have been justified. Having been justified, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and by Him we have also received access into the grace wherein we stand. All the experiences of life contribute to our growth in Christ as the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts. For when we were helpless, ungodly sinners God reached down to lift us up. When we were enemies, our Lord Jesus Christ, died for us, and in His death furnished the basis for our reconciliation, so that having been justified we were sheltered from the wrath to come. Even more, much more, now that He is alive, He lives for us. “We also joy in God,” we exult in Him through Christ. As redeemed, we have not only received a joy from God such as this old world cannot impart, but we rejoice in God; and of this the world knows nothing. We rejoice in God Himself as our covenant God, as the God of all grace, peace and salvation, and we rejoice in His perfections, His providence, and His presence. Justified persons stand in a new and peculiar relation to the Lord. We have a personal interest in that sum and substance of all the exceeding great and precious promises, “I will be Thy God.” “I will be to thee, I will do for thee, all that may be expected from the infinite perfections of the Godhead — infinite power, eternal and unchangeable wisdom, righteousness, faithfulness, and love.” And in God thus related to him, the believer joys, exults, glories. The language of our heart is, “God is the portion of my inheritance. My God is my glory. My soul makes its boast in God. In God is my salvation and my glory: the Rock of my strength; and my refuge is in God. My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever” (Psa. 16:5; 73:26).
And this relation to God, and this glorying in Him, are “through our Lord Jesus Christ;” through His mediation do we obtain and enjoy these blessings. Through Him we receive the reconciliation. His propitiatory sacrifice was the ransom. Full redemption, satisfaction and expiation are made by His blood for sinners and received by faith. His Spirit is the Author of that faith which interests us individually in the ransom, and makes us partakers of the blessings which it procures. And we now receive the reconciliation. The enjoyment of the full and entire approbation of God, as perfectly holy, is something future, and is the object of hope; but the reception of the reconciliation is something present. “We now receive the reconciliation,” and this enables us now to “rejoice in God.” This result of the righteousness of God is thus, like all the rest, “freely, by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” It is the last clause of this verse that now claims our attention; the great doctrine of the atonement. We observe that in the margin the word atonement is reconciliation. And it is in fact the same word in its verbal form that we have in the previous 10th verse as a noun. We think the words of David Brown from the JFB Commentary sheds light upon this usage of words: “The earlier meaning of the English word ‘atonement’ was the ‘reconciliation of two estranged parties’ — that is, bringing them to be again ‘at-one;’ whereas now ‘atonement’ means that which constitutes the procuring cause of reconciliation.” In verse 10 Paul speaks of reconciliation in terms of its objective accomplishment. God reconciled us by the death of His Son. Nothing has happened in man; no internal change, no step towards God; all this follows as the consequence of receiving the atonement spoken of in verse 11. It is to this consequence the Scripture now turns. The knowledge that God has reconciled us as our Father in Christ Jesus our Lord suffuses the believing heart with exultant joy. Salvation is a wonderful reality for the true believer. God has reconciled us by the death of the Mediator; even so now believers receive the reconciliation through the mediation of the Risen Christ. As Charles Hodge said, “All we have or hope for, we owe to Jesus Christ — peace, communion with God, joy, hope, eternal life; see the whole section, and the whole Bible.” We can only really begin to understand what the atonement is, when we confront, or rather are confronted by, the awful truth of our alienation as sinners, as we saw and dealt with in verse 10.
“By whom we have now received the atonement.” The Holy Ghost is telling us that it is not enough that we should see the truth as it is set before us on the page of Holy Scripture. It is not enough to hear the Word preached and be doctrinally sound on the doctrine of the Gospel, the doctrine of the atonement. There must be a “receiving” of it. The needs of the sinner require more than the truth before us on the pages of Scripture. We thank God for giving to us His Holy Word, but we must have the engrafted Word. We must receive, with meekness, the engrafted Word, the implanted Word, that is able to save the soul (James 1:21). To receive that Word into our souls is to be receivers of the atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ. We can but receive it as He gives it. This word that Paul uses precludes any idea, any thought of merit on our part. By grace we simply receive the atonement. It is our sovereign God’s prerogative to give; it is our blessing to receive the gift at His gracious hand. The Holy Ghost spoke plainly through his servant John the Baptist when he said, “a man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven” (John 3:27). We can receive nothing unless it is given from God. He must give you and me the atonement. “Who maketh thee to differ from another?  and what hast thou that thou hast not received? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hast not received it” (1 Cor. 4:7). It is all received from God, it is all the gift of the grace of God, for “Of His fullness have all we received” (John 1:16). “Of his fullness,” the fullness that is in our Lord Christ, “have all we received, and grace for grace,” “who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). And to be receivers of the atonement, we must come on bowed knee before our Living Lord and ask that we might receive, to seek that we might find, to knock that it might be opened to us (Matt. 7:7).
“By whom we have now received the atonement.” As it is God’s prerogative to give as He will, so here in this verse, in this chapter, in the entire entire Bible, we see quite clearly that He, who made the atoning sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ, is God. He it is by whom, through whom, that is Christ, we have received. Salvation is full in our Lord Jesus Christ. He has finished the transgression, He has made an end of sin, He has made reconciliation for iniquity, He has brought in everlasting righteousness (Dan. 9:24). Our salvation is also free from our Lord Christ, He bestows it freely, and He gives it to sinners who but receive it. Look at the context, at what is said in the previous verse. “When we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” In that historical event of our Lord Jesus Christ’s death upon the Cross, the atonement was made; the elect sinner was reconciled unto God. Note what is said at the end of the 10th verse, “Being reconciled,” that was the historical event accomplished there at Calvary, “we shall be saved by his life.” His life is His resurrection life. It is our Lord Jesus who died, who is risen and who is ascended. It is by His resurrection life that we receive His atonement (Heb. 7:25). His session there by the right hand of God is that which secures this gift of atonement to the elect sinner. We must look to Him, the glorified Saviour, the Author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1). “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and the forgiveness of sins” (Acts 5:31). God has exalted His Son and there in heaven He rules and reigns, and from Heaven, in that resurrection life, He bestows that grace of repentance, He bestows the forgiveness of sins, He makes the application of all that He wrought by His death on the Cross.
Christ has sent forth His Spirit: “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted,” as Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost concerning the coming of the Spirit, “having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he (Christ) hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear” (Acts 2:33). Christ has given the Spirit, and the Spirit comes to us as the Spirit of Christ. Our Saviour said, “He shall testify of me” (John 16:14). That is the ministry of the Spirit, to reveal the things of Christ in the heart of poor sinners — that poor sinner who feels his awful state of alienation. We have to understand what we are and where we are, as sinners, what our natural condition is, the state of our carnal mind, our fleshly mind, and by nature the enemies of God. It is a fearful thing when God deals with us in our sinful condition and shuts us up to what we are. David said, “I am shut up and I cannot come forth” (Psa. 88:8). God shuts us up, to what we are as sinners. And we cry in our self despair, “I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes” (Psa. 31:22). But the Lord Jesus Christ has “received gifts of men, (the exalted Saviour has received gifts of men), yea for the rebellious also” (Psa. 68:18). This is how we feel in our experience when we come to receive the atonement; we feel first our separation from God in our state of enmity, this state of alienation.  But when we receive the atonement, we are able to rejoice in all that God is, in all that God has done for us. We rejoice not only for His love and compassion, but we rejoice in all that He is in all of His attributes; we rejoice in all that God is in holiness and justice and righteousness. “He is faithful and just to forgive our sins” (1 John 1:9). When we receive the atonement, we receive the fullness of God. In the Cross of Christ “mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psa. 85:10). Dear reader, there can be no true knowledge of God apart from the reception of this great doctrine of the Gospel, the atonement. God grant that we might be of those who are the recipients of such a favor and such a blessing.
This word Atonement means a covering, and it means that act of our Lord Jesus by which sinners are reconciled or made at one with God through the way Christ provided. This reconciliation is the result of our Lord Christ putting away sin (Heb. 9:26), the cause of variance, and covering the redeemed soul with His perfect righteousness, whereby the cleansed, clothed sinner is made acceptable, “accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6). There are 7 acts of free grace that flow out of this Atonement. (1) The Substitution of our perfect, sinless, innocent Lord Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for the sin of His people, taking the place of guilty sinners, to satisfy the broken Holy Law of God (2 Cor. 5:21). (2) The Imputation to Christ of the sin of His people. (Isa. 53:6).  This is shown in the Old Testament, set forth in type, by the sinner laying his hands on the head of the sacrifice (Lev. 4:33). Christ is our Sacrifice (Heb. 10:12) upon whom we lay our souls. (3) The Shedding of Blood, or the offering of life, for ‘the blood is the life” (Deut. 12:23). The death of the sacrifice was followed by the sprinkling of the blood, emblematical of the application by which forgiveness is made known. As poor sinners we come “to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speak better things than that of Abel” (Heb. 12:24). (4) The Vicarious death of our Lord Jesus, which imparts to our hearts the glorious truth that the poor sinner suffers the death penalty in our Substitute. “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes we were healed” (1 Peter 2:24). (5) The Blood accepted for after being shed and sprinkled it is presented and accepted on behalf of the sinner. (Heb. 9:13-14, 23). (6) The Remission of sins, as our Lord said, “For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins” (Matt. 26:28). (7) Perfect Reconciliation, or the establishment of the sinner in the favor of God. “In his favor is life” (Psa. 30:5), and “To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them” (2 Cor. 5:19). RCLVC.

Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 5:6-11.
Verse 6. NOW YOU preachers go ahead and pull your little punches. Go ahead and get sinners into a profession, but they will be made twofold more a child of Hell (Matt. 23:15; Luke 6:39). Some men brag that, given 15 minutes, they can lead a lost man to Christ. You also hear them bragging about how many souls they have won to Christ. Why, a man who makes a statement like that is blind—he doesn’t know the Lord. He has never seen the hopeless and helpless condition of a sinner. Have you ever seen that? If you have ever seen yourself a hopeless, helpless sinner, you will not go around bragging about how many you have led to Christ. You know you couldn’t lead yourself to Christ, much less someone else! It is only the Lord that can draw the heart, and no where in His Word does He speak of anyone leading another soul to Christ. — Tom L. Daniel (1906-1972).
The Scriptures and the experience of every true Christian declare against the notion that a natural man has the moral capacity of believing in or turning to Christ. Man’s only refuge is in the free grace of God. The idea of creature ability will soon be destroyed in the heart of him who hath had any spiritual dealings with Jesus Christ as to His merits and righteousness. Christ is every way too magnificent a Person for poor nature to apprehend. Christ is so infinitely holy, nature durst not look at Him; so infinitely good that nature can never believe Him, when it has a full sight and guilt. Christ is too high and glorious for nature so much as to touch. There must be a Divine nature first put into the soul to make a man lay hold on Him who lies so infinitely beyond his natural sight. That Christ which a natural man can comprehend is but a “Christ” of his own making, not Christ Jesus the Son of the Living God, to Whom none can come without the Father’s drawing (John 6:44-45,65). — Anonymous; supplied by Wylie W. Fulton.
Never can Christians sink beneath the everlasting arms; they will always be underneath you. You may be sorely tried — painfully bereaved — fearfully tempted — deeply wounded. Saints and sinners, the Church and the world, may each contribute some bitter ingredient to your cup; nevertheless, the heart of Jesus is a pavilion within whose sacred enclosure you may repose until these calamities be overpast. Your greatest extremity can never exceed His power or sympathy, because He has gone before His people, and has endured what they shall never endure. Behold what glory thus springs from the humiliation and sufferings of our adorable Redeemer. — Octavius Winslow (1808-1878).
Seeking sinner, what abundant encouragement does the Word of God afford thee! God is a God of truth: He never said to the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain. When Jesus was in our world, He distinguished Himself by His wonderful compassion to the poor and the needy; binding up the broken-hearted; liberating the captives; speaking peace and pardon to the most guilty, and cleansing from sin the most filthy. He came into the world to save sinners — the chief of sinners: and will He not be gracious unto thee, and heal the foul diseases of thy troubled soul? Dost thou complain of the hardness of thy heart, and of thy backwardness to every thing that is good? Hast thou had a little of the light of God’s countenance, and it is gone? Hast thou been overtaken by temptation, cast down, and sorely wounded? Canst thou find nothing in the Word that will suit thy case; and do the terrors of the Almighty fall upon thee? Thou art the very sinner, to whom Immanuel speaks, (Matt. 11:28) yes, to you is the word of salvation sent:  “Christ is exalted as A Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. — J. C. Philpot (1802-1869).
IN ORDER that grace free and unmerited might come to lost sinners, Christ died.  He died to satisfy and to answer every demand of divine justice against His people.  The death that we deserved to die, He did die.  The price we in justice should have paid, He paid. Because the people were given Him before the world began by His Father, it became Him to die for them.  He could not have died for them had they not been His.  Being His people because God had given them to Him, divine justice could charge their sins to His account and could thus credit them with His blood and righteousness.  Atonement comes by Jesus Christ.  Atonement being made, nothing can hinder the flow of mercy and grace unto them because of His perfect finished work. — H. H. Lefferts.
When we are most ready to perish, then is God most ready to help. — Martin Luther (1483-1546).
Give us a man in the state of nature, and, though all the ministers under Heaven should preach mercy unto him, though all the angels in Heaven should exhort and entreat him, though all glory and happiness were laid before him, and he were wished only to believe and take it and it shall be his for ever; yet in his natural condition he could have no power to receive so blessed an offer. — Ambrose (339-397).
Divine help is then nearest when our misery is at the greatest. Man’s extremity is God’s opportunity. When Mordecai is thoroughly humbled, Haman shall be hanged. — William Dyer (1600-1677).
How hast Thou loved us, Father, delivering up Thy only Son for us ungodly? — Augustine (354-430).
Verse 7. Recently an advertising slogan grabbed my attention, out of a health magazine. The statement was brief but suggestive: “IF YOU ARE IN PAIN YOU QUALIFY.” Methinks this has a spiritual application as well. We do not bounce the Gospel around as a product for the natural man to be excited about and lay hold of. No, the Gospel of God is one of those “things of the Spirit” that no natural sinner cares about (1 Cor. 2:14) — as, apparently, a person free of pain would not be responsive to the above mentioned advertising slogan. We say, rather, If you are tired of sin, broken in repentance before the God you have offended, and desire more than anything a right relationship with that God through the Lord Jesus Christ, then you qualify for the healing balm that is contained in the Good News that “Christ died for sinners.”
Apply to Him, the only Redeemer of God’s elect, and I believe He will receive you, cleanse you, pardon you, revive you and give you peace. You can charge us with preaching “qualificationism” if you wish, but the Bible is full of this. There is a spiritual condition necessary before a sinner will receive the salvation of God.  “Ho, everyone that thirsteth, come ye to the waters!” (Isa. 55:1).  “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink” (John 7:37). And our Lord Jesus plainly said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mat. 11:28). These characteristics, of course, are SPIRITUAL qualities, something that God’s Spirit gives when He is bringing one of God’s elect into the fold.  These are not natural traits whereby a sinner can merit anything from God. Salvation, then, is a relationship between a spiritually-bankrupt, needy sinner and his Saviour. No other type of sinner, left to himself and his natural condition, need apply. — Wylie W. Fulton (b. 1939).

All men may be divided into two classes — the righteous who know themselves to be sinners, and lost sinners who believe themselves to be righteous. — Anonymous; supplied by Wylie W. Fulton.

Verse 8. Redemption we have in Christ’s abasement (or humiliation), application of it is by His advancement (or, ascension). — John Trapp (1601-1669).
MAN in his natural state can enjoy no solid comfort, nor cherish any rational hope. He is by nature a child of wrath, dead in trespasses and sins, having no hope and without God in the world. The believing soul has been led to see himself a sinful, miserable creature, wholly unable to help himself; and by the influence of the Divine Spirit, faith has been wrought in his soul, by which he has been enabled to lay hold of the righteousness of Christ. Under the deep conviction of guilt and inability he has cast his all upon Jesus, his understanding being illuminated to discover the suitableness of Christ to all the wants and circumstances of the sinner, to see that He has offered a complete satisfaction for sin, and rendered it a fit and righteous thing with God to justify him that believeth in Jesus; therefore a sweet and holy hope of pardon and eternal bliss fills his soul.
It is not, however, in the believer himself either to begin or carry on the good work of hope and salvation. As Jesus alone has made atonement for sin, so the Divine Spirit alone can work faith, love, hope, and joy in the soul, or apply the atonement to the present comfort and coming felicity of the soul. In the great economy of redemption His office is to apply the purpose of the Father and the purchase of Christ for the redemption of the elect. He enables to the performance of every duty, strengthens to resist every temptation, and pours consolation into the afflicted soul. Great peace have they who love the Law of God; they abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
But a third source of sweet hope arises from the promises of the Gospel — “God hath given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.” These are not only yea and amen in Christ Jesus, but they are exactly adapted to every situation and circumstance into which the people of God may or can be placed. And these, under the guidance and by the application of the Spirit, afford hope, comfort and joy to the believer during all his pilgrimage here below. — Watts Wilkinson (1755-1840)
God’s love is infinite, boundless, bottomless, passing all knowledge. “God so loved,” that is so immeasurably, so incomparably, that we can have no similitude to express it by. Therefore Paul prays that they may be able to comprehend the breath, length, and depth of this endless mercy. We may quickly wade too far in other of God’s attributes, as in His wisdom, to know why He did this or that; but in His mercy never can we wade far enough. This serves for comfort. When Satan amplifies thy sins, and says thou hast so heinously sinned; unto that so oppose this so of Christ: “God so loved.” God’s mercy is infinitely more than man’s sin. My thoughts (of mercy) are not your thoughts (in sinning); My ways (in mercy) are not your ways (in offending); but as high above them as the heavens above the earth. — Daniel Dyke (1617-1688).
God’s people may lose the sense of His love, but never lose His love, for that is everlasting. But to lose the sense of His love is a grievous trouble to a gracious soul, that hath tasted and felt the love of God and His favor; for their great happiness is to have the favor of God. — John Bunyan (1628-1688).
Christ is wholly for miserable sinners; life, pardon, righteousness, peace, strength, joy, glory, “without money and without price.” — Hardy.
Verse 9. Have faith in the blood of Christ.  Killing the lamb (of the Passover) signified the death of Christ, sprinkling the blood signified the application of it by faith. It was not the blood contained in the veins of the lamb, or shed upon the ground, that was the mark of deliverance, but sprinkled upon the posts; nor is it the blood of Christ circulating in His body, or shed upon the cross, which solely delivers us, but as applied by faith to the heart. That was sprinkled upon every house that desired safety, and this upon every soul that desires happiness. Satan will have an undoubted right over all that are without the token of this blood, as the destroying angel had over every house that was not sprinkled with the blood of the Passover. This was the sanctuary of the Israelites, the want of it, the death of the Egyptian firstborn, from the prince to the peasant, from him that sat upon the throne to him that was in the dungeon (Exod. 12:29). Without this blood of sprinkling, neither prince nor beggar can possibly escape; the one’s grandeur cannot privilege, nor the other’s misery procure a pity.
The blood was to be taken and put upon the posts. This condition was requisite. To have a part in the great Passover of our Lord, the condition is to ‘sprinkle our hearts’ by faith with His blood (1 Pet. 1:2). Had an Israelite’s family neglected this, it had felt the edge of the angel’s sword; the lamb had not availed him, not by a defect of the sacrifice, but by their own negligence or contempt of the condition. Or had they used any other mark, they had not diverted the stroke; no work, no blood, but the blood and sufferings of the Redeemer, can take away the sin of the world; without it, every man in the world lies in the sin of his nature,  under the wrath of God. If anything else in the world had a virtue for it, it could not prevail unless God would accept it, because He did not appoint it. This only is designed to be our Passover; where else can we find any remedy against the stings of our consciences, any case under the weight of our sins, any consolation against divine wrath? … We must be in readiness to leave the confines of Egypt, all commerce with and service of sin and Satan, and have our faces set towards Canaan, our steps directed to observe His commands for our rule, to attain His promises for our comfort, and go forward rejoicing in His goodness, celebrating His name, offering our souls and bodies to Him, which is a reasonable service to Christ our Passover. — Stephen Charnock (1628-1680).
The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” 1 John 1:7.MOST PRECIOUS truth for guilty sinners!  Lord, help us to consider what is implied in these words. See the exceeding sinfulness of sin. It has brought upon us loss of God’s image; obnoxiousness to His wrath; rejection from His presence. We are by sin totally unclean. The pollution of sin has brought the curse of God upon us, armed His justice, shut His kingdom against us, and opened the gates of Hell to us. The bitter cries and torments of the damned in Hell will eternally proclaim the malignity of sin. The everlasting songs of the saints in glory will proclaim the praises of the Lamb who washed them from their sins in His own blood.
This proves the curse and defilement of sin. The blood of Jesus Christ, and that alone, cleanseth from all its deepest stains. Oh the infinite love of the Son of God, to shed His blood for guilty sinners! Oh the infinite virtue of His precious blood to cleanse us from all sin! Remember, God’s justice would have been eternally glorified, and thy soul eternally suffering His wrath due to thy sins, if the blood of His Son had not cleansed thee from all sin. Reflect on this, and say, canst thou think light of sin, or count the blood of Jesus of little value? Oh, see sin’s crimson dye in the purple gore of the Son of God, which was shed to atone for it and cleanse from it.“Cleanseth us.” Not only hath cleansed and shall cleanse, but it continually does so; whereby we stand before God as without spot in His sight, and freed from all condemnation.“The blood of Jesus Christ.” This means the last act of the tragedy in the life of our anointed Saviour; His blood being the ransom of our souls, the price of our redemption, and the expiation of our sins.“His Son.”  The Son of God; very God of very God. Here let faith fix and conscience be satisfied; not only the blood of the Son of the virgin but the blood of the Son of God. Neither the greatness nor the number of sins can expose any sinner to wrath who believes in the Son of God — no guilt so great but it can cleanse; no stain so deep but it can remove. Unbelief shuts this blood out of the conscience. By faith we receive its cleansing virtue and peaceful effects on our souls. — William Mason (1719-1791).  
When the set time to favour Zion arrives, nothing can prevent the manifestation of God’s delivering grace and mercy. The poor sinner’s eye is now turned from Mount Sinai to Mount Calvary, and he is brought to feel the preciousness of that blood which not only makes atonement for sin, but brings peace to a guilty conscience, washes the soul from defilement, and sets him at liberty. Never did I find peace and rest for my guilty soul until this took place, and I could experimentally say, “The blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” — John Grace.
WHO are justified by His blood?  Those for whom it was shed.  For whom was His blood shed?  For those for whom He died.  The apostle couples together the death of Christ and the justification of those for whom He died.  Will justified men go to Hell?  I answer, "No."  If the Saviour died for all the race of men, then what will be the result?  All the race of men will be saved, if He died for them. — Lemuel Potter.
I assure you that of all the voracious creatures that ever my eyes beheld, and of all the formidable monsters that I have ever heard of, whether in the sea or on the land, and of all that I have ever conceived or imagined of fallen angels, or devils, in all their rebellion, desperation, and endless woe; put all these together, and draw them in the blackest colors that imagination can paint, and then exhibit them in all their sin and fear, filth and shame; and as the Lord liveth, all of them in the worst light that nature can imagine, they never appeared half so bad, nor was I ever half so terrified at the most terrible thoughts of all these, as I was at the sight of myself, when God shined into my heart, discovered my inbred corruptions, and set all my secret sins in the light of His countenance. — William Huntington (1745-1813).
No guilt ever exceeds the merits of Christ’s blood. — Thomas Wilcox (1549-1608).
Verse 10. There is absolutely nothing unlovely about the Lord Jesus Christ!  But not a single natural man in the whole world can see and appreciate His ineffable beauty. They see in Him no comeliness, no beauty that they should desire Him, says the prophet (Isaiah 53:2-3). He is despised and rejected by the vast majority of mankind. Only a quickened elect sinner ever gets a glimpse of Christ’s “altogether lovely” Person (Song of Solomon 5:16), and of the glory of God in His face (2 Corinthians 4:6). 
 Not a person in my town or your town, in our state or in this nation — not a single person, regardless of his church affiliation — appreciates the Lord Jesus Christ as precious, except a quickened and believing elect child of God.  It is folly to think that you can teach an unrenewed sinner to love the Lord’s Christ.
 But, be sure of this:  If any sinner does not love Him, at His coming that man or woman will most surely be accursed (1 Corinthians 16:22), let his religious profession be what it may. Please remember that love for the Person and Work of Christ does not automatically come with profession and church membership. Seek a personal acquaintance with the LORD! So the question goes around:  Have you (Have I?) been called by an effectual call, coming to see yourself as the chief of sinners, and finding Christ and His atoning blood precious indeed?  Read 1 Peter 2:7. — Wylie W. Fulton (b. 1939).

What a fearful spot it is to be in—to feel and fear oneself an enemy to God! I think it is one of the most painful feelings that ever passed through my breast, to fear I was an enemy to God. For what must be the consequence, if a man live and die having God for his enemy? In that warfare he must perish. If God be his enemy, who can be his friend? Such sensations in the bosom are well-nigh akin to despair. Let a man fully feel that he is God's enemy, where can he hide his head? Hell itself seems to afford him no refuge. But he must be exercised with something of this before he can prize reconciliation. He must see himself to be an enemy of God by birth—that he was born in what our Reformers called "birth sin;" and that his carnal mind is enmity against God. O the painful sensations of the carnal mind being enmity against God! It is bad enough to be God's enemy; but that every fibre of our nature should be steeped in enmity against God, that holy and blessed Being to whom we owe so much, and to whom we desire to owe everything; that our carnal heart in all its constitution, in its very blood, should be one unmitigated mass of enmity to God, O it is an awful thought! If you are made to experience that enmity in your bosom, and to feel more or less of its upheavings and risings—that will cut to pieces all the sinews of creature righteousness; that will mar all your comeliness, and turn it into corruption.

Now, when a man is thus exercised, it will make him look out, if he has any root of spiritual feeling, for a remedy. God has provided such in the sacrifice of his dear Son, in the blood of the Lamb; in the sufferings, obedience, death, and resurrection of the blessed Jesus. Now when this is opened up in our soul by the Spirit of God; when faith is given to receive it; when the Holy Ghost applies it; when it is received into the heart (for the Apostle says, "We have received the atonement"), then a felt reconciliation takes place; we are then reconciled to God; love takes the place of enmity, praise of sighing, and blessing his name instead of writing bitter things against ourselves.J.C. Philpot (1802-1869).

Though Christ came “to save that which was lost” and saves none others, yet it is not necessary that He should save all those who are lost sinners. So far from this, Christ Himself clearly testifies that He came to call not those lost sinners who are both utterly ignorant of their lost state and swollen with an exalted opinion of their own righteousness, but those only who labor and are heavy laden with the burden of their sin. Whence He says He came to save that which was lost, in order to mark the character and condition of those who will be saved, but not all that are lost. He designates the quality, not the number, of those whom He would save. — Francis Turretin (1623-1687).
“Renew a right spirit within me” Psalm 51:10.THE NATURAL HEART is not right in the sight of God. It is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). We are right with God only in the imputed, imparted, implanted righteousness of Christ. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). We are rightly related to God by the death of Christ who met the demands of God’s righteousness, took our sin upon Him, and died, the Just for the unjust, that God might be both JUST and JUSTIFIER of all who believe. — Vance Havner (1901-1986).

"When Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed"   (Isaiah 53:10). Our LORD Jesus has not died in vain. His death was sacrificial: He died as our substitute, because death was the penalty of our sins. Because His substitution was accepted of God, He has saved those for whom He made His soul a sacrifice. By death He became like the corn of wheat which bringeth forth much fruit. There must be a succession of children unto Jesus; He is "the Father of the everlasting age." He shall say, "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given me." A man is honored in his sons, and Jesus hath His quiver full of these arrows of the mighty. A man is represented in his children, and so is the Christ in Christians. In his seed a man's life seems to be prolonged and extended; and so is the life of Jesus continued in believers. Jesus lives, for He sees His seed. He fixes His eye on us, He delights in us, and He recognizes us as the fruit of His soul travail. Let us be glad that our LORD does not fail to enjoy the result of His dread sacrifice, and that He will never cease to feast His eyes upon the harvest of His death. Those eyes which once wept for us are now viewing us with pleasure. Yes, He looks upon those who are looking unto Him. Our eyes meet! What a joy is this! — C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892).

Well may we wonder that the great God would stoop so low as to enter into such a covenant of grace and peace, founded upon such a Mediator, with such utter enemies, base creatures, sinful dust and ashes as we are. This is the wonderment of angels, a torment of devils, and the glory of saved sinners; and will be matter of administration and praising God for us to all eternity. — Richard Sibbes (1577-1635).

The very first motion of the soul towards God is the effect of His having loved, chosen, and reconciled that soul unto Himself in Christ Jesus; and the day of her espousal is when she is dead in trespasses and sins, and all her wedding garments are received at His hands, seeing she brings Him nothing but rags, yea, “filthy rags,” which cannot cover her nakedness. — Sir Richard Hill (1732-1808).

Verse 11. I am come to show you what great things God has done for me.  He loved me with an everlasting love.  He redeemed me from the curse of the law, and the threatenings of vindictive justice.  He saved me from the power and dominion of sin.  He cast the devils out of my heart, and made that heart, which was a den of thieves, the temple of the Holy Spirit. I cannot tell you how much I love my Saviour.  Jesus Christ is the foundation of my hope, the object of my faith, and the centre of my affections.  I can venture my immortal soul upon Him.  He is my best Friend.  He is altogether lovely --- the Chief among ten thousand.  He is my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.  There is enough in Him to make a poor sinner rich, and a miserable sinner happy.  His flesh and blood is my food, His righteousness my wedding garment, and His blood is efficacious to cleanse me from all my sins.
Through Him I can obtain eternal life; for He is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of His Person: in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.  He deserves my highest esteem, and my warmest gratitude. Unto Him who loved me with an eternal love, and washed me in His own blood, unto Him be glory, dominion and power for ever and ever!  For He has rescued my soul from hell.  He plucked me as a brand from burning.  He took me out of the miry clay, and out of a horrible pit.  He set my feet upon a Rock, and established my goings, and put in my mouth a new song of praise, and glory to Him!  Glory to Him for ever!  Glory to God in the highest!  Glory to God for ever and ever!  Let the whole earth praise Him!  Yea, let all the people praise HIM! — Christmas Evans (1766-1838).

The salvation of men is entirely of Divine grace. Grace is unmerited favor. Paul distinguishes between the reward of grace and the reward of debt. When good is conferred because it is due, it is not of grace. Whatever may be claimed on the score of justice cannot be regarded as unmerited favor. Justice gives to every man according to his works; and if salvation were of works, it could not be of grace. Paul has made this matter very plain: “To him that worketh, is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt … If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work”—Rom. 4:4 and 11:6. — J. L. Dagg (1794-1884).
MERCY is that quality of God’s attitude towards man that keeps back from man the punishment which he actually deserves, while the GRACE of God gives to man those saving and preserving favors of God which he does not deserve. — Rolfe Barnard (1904-1969).
Of all joy, that is the sweetest that is mixed with mourning over Christ. O it is a goodly thing to be on our knees with Christ in our arms before God. — John Bunyan (1628-1688).
What think ye, Sirs? Did Naaman feel when he was cured of his leprosy? Did the woman feel virtue coming out of Jesus Christ when she touched the hem of His garment and was cured of her disease? So surely wilt thou feel, O sinner, when Jesus Christ dwells in thy heart. — George Whitefeld (1714-1770).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chapter 14 

(1) Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: (2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) And patience, experience; and experience, hope: (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The 5th chapter of our epistle to the Romans has one great subject — that stated in the closing verse, verse 21, “grace reigning through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord,” in other words, it takes up the topic started at verse 24 of the 3rd chapter, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” The blessings secured by God’s method of justification, (1) “free,” (2) “by God’s grace,” (3) “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” — i. e. underserved — not wrought for by man, bestowed by God in the exercise of sovereign mercy entirely on account of the ransom paid by our Lord Jesus Christ.
The first part of the chapter is employed in an enumeration and description of some of the principal blessings which are secured and conferred by God’s method of saving sinners. This Scripture brings out strongly that these blessings are bestowed entirely by God gratuitously, and that they are bestowed entirely in consequence of the propitiatory sacrifice of Himself which our Lord Jesus gave as the ransom for sinners. And the first eleven verses of this chapter are but an elaboration, or conclusion, of the truth brought out in chapters 3 and 4. The two leading thoughts in these first 11 verses are: (1) God’s method of induction into the grace of salvation, (2) the happy estate of the justified. God’s method of induction is expressed in verses 1 and 2 in which a vital question is answered — “How do we get into Christ, in whom are all the blessings of salvation, each in its order?” The corresponding truth to our getting into Christ is Christ getting into us to complete that vital union with Him as He expressed Himself: “I in you . . . and you in me” (John 15:4).  The two truths referred to in this union are — (1) Justification through faith, or we into Christ. (2) Regeneration by the Holy Ghost, or Christ into us. Concerning this truth of “Christ into us” through regeneration see 2 Cor. 3:3; 2 Cor. 4:6; Col. 1:17. Concerning the truth that we are “into Christ” by faith as given us by Him see John 3:14-15; 1 John 5:1; John 1:12-13; Gal. 3:26.
The Campbellites (in our day known as The Church of Christ organization) put forth deadly error as their method of induction  into Christ, for their whole “gospel” is that it is by baptism, which they base on a false interpretation of Gal. 3:27.  The Roman Catholic theory of induction of Christ into us is through eating the Lord’s Supper, as they totally misapply 1 Cor. 11:24 and John 6:53 for their false conclusion. This is nothing but double heresy practiced by these two organizations, salvation by ordinances, i. e., salvation by water and material bread. The truth of these misapplied Scriptures is that there is a double method of induction, viz.: We into Christ by God-given faith and Christ into us by Holy Spirit regeneration, symbolized in the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
The elements of the happy state of the justified named here in the first 11 verses are: (1) Peace with God. (2) Joy in hope of the glory of God. (3) Joy in tribulation, because of the series of fruits which follows. (4) The gift of the Holy Ghost. (5) The love of God shed abroad in our hearts, by the given Holy Ghost. (6) The assurance that the justified shall be saved from the wrath to come, because; [a.] If reconciled, when enemies, much more will He continue salvation to His friends. [b.] If reconciled through His death much more will He, alive and on His throne, deliver us from future wrath. (7) Joy in God the Father, through whose Son we receive the reconciliation.
Verse 1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We “who believe in God, who raised up Jesus Christ our Lord from the dead, who was given for our offences, and raised again for our justification,” have faith “reckoned to us for justification.” We are “justified;” our sins are pardoned; and we are treated as righteous on the ground of “the redemption,” or ransom, which was paid when Jesus Christ was delivered as propitiatory sacrifice for our offences; and which was provided to be complete and acceptable when He was raised from the dead by the mighty power of God. There is absolutely nothing done by the sinner, but much received by him; and on the part of God, what is there but an act of sovereign kindness, harmonized with righteousness by the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
The idea of “justification” may be viewed in several different ways. It may be spoken of as existing for the children of God from eternity because they have been elected, eternally chosen unto righteousness in our Lord Jesus (Eph. 1:3-5). Again justification may be spoken of as taking place upon the Cross because there Christ actually met the debt of sin and fulfilled all righteousness (2 Cor. ). But when we speak of justification as a phase in the process of salvation, however, the Scripture presents to us that blessed experience which comes to the elect sinner whenever he stands in the awareness that he has become completely guiltless for all his sins before the presence of a Holy God. What it means to be justified by faith is made clear in the following Scriptures: Psa. 32:1-2; Hab. 2:4b; Acts ; Rom. ; Gal. ; Gal. 3:8. Always it is God who justifies and that, too, of free grace on the merits of Jesus Christ: Rom. ; Rom. 3:24-25; Rom. 5:9. Our Lord, in sovereign mercy, justifies the ungodly, Rom. 4:5.
As the Scripture speaks of both justification and righteousness, we must seek to understand fully what these terms imply. Though they deal with the same thing, yet they differ as to their significance. RIGHTEOUSNESS is a forensic, a juridical term that has to do with one’s state. It specifies one’s position over against the Law. It really is one’s legal status that is a result of a verdict of God. God is the Judge, and he always judges us. Judgment is not deferred unto the Day of Judgment which will be the revelation of the righteous judgment of God. No, the living God always judges. Man, in all his life and conversation, always stands in judgment. And God always passes sentence. Negatively speaking, one is righteous before God when God judges him to be without sin, in heart and walk. Positively, righteousness is the legal status of one whom God, declares to be in harmony with Himself and His Law. And we must realize that God does not judge as sinful man judges, i.e., only the external actions. But He also beholds and judges upon all that lies back of the outward deeds. Notice that it is a righteousness before God, and it is indispensable unto salvation and life. A man must be righteous to live. The sinner must be made righteous in order to be saved from the power of sin and death, for eternal life is possible only in God’s favor, and only the righteous can enjoy the favor of God. The unrighteous cannot possibly be the object of God’s favor and love, for the wrath of God abides on him (John ). And God is the only Criterion of man’s righteousness. He can be this because He alone is the absolutely righteous One. He is therefore also the perfect Judge, Who blesses the good and Who curses the evil. Moreover, the righteousness which God will bless, man by nature, since his fall, does not possess. We are all, as the Scripture says, unrighteous (Rom. ). Therefore, shall anyone become righteous in the sight of God, God Himself must make him righteous, and this is exactly what God does. There is a perfect righteousness, and He gives it freely of His grace, to the elect sinner by imputation (Rom. -24).
JUSTIFICATION, on the other hand, although it is also a forensic term, is to be distinguished from righteousness in that it is the application of righteousness. An illustration that should make this distinction clear is of a man who has been arrested and charged with murder, being accused on circumstantial evidence. But, in reality, he is perfectly innocent and is therefore righteous because he is in harmony with the law. But as far as the law is concerned, he can be acquitted and justified only when he passes before the judge to be tried. The declaration of the judge that he finds no guilt in him is his justification. When we are justified before God, therefore, He has already imputed unto us His righteousness which He prepares, and He declares us to be in a state opposite of that in which we are by nature, namely, guilty; and He positively declares us to be just, perfectly in harmony with His holy will and being. We are not now guilty and perverse, but we stand before Him as though we had never committed one sin, and that, too, according to His judgment. This is, indeed, justification before God.
Yet we now must consider what it means to be “justified by faith.” The faith of which the Scripture speaks here must be understood as true, SAVING FAITH. It is the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King. This faith is a complete going out of ourselves into a living bond with our Precious Lord Christ. Strictly speaking, it is a God-given power, a gift of grace, wrought in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whereby our soul, our mind and will clings to the Lord Jesus, becomes one plant with Him, and out of Him draws all the spiritual blessings of salvation, righteousness and life.  To savingly believe in Christ means that we know Him as a living reality. This is not a mere theoretical knowledge of the intellect, much in the same way we know about George Washington; but with a true, spiritual knowledge of the heart. So many in Christendom know all about Christ, and the doctrines of Scripture, without having the spiritual knowledge of faith whereby they can appropriate Him. We do not minimize intellectual knowledge for we can never know enough about our Lord. The more we know about Him, if we also possess the true knowledge of faith, the better we will know Him. But mere intellectual knowledge is insufficient, yea, it is damning. True saving faith experientially knows our Lord Jesus Christ in all the riches of His grace. It receives Him, spiritually eats and drinks Him, and knowing Him, we trust Him. We know that He died for our sins, and that God raised Him from the dead for our justification. And on our Precious Christ, we rely with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strength; for time and eternity, now and in the Day of Judgment. Christ becomes our all in all, “the fairest of ten thousands to our souls.”
As a power, faith is given to us in regeneration, the moment we are born again from above. As an activity, faith is brought to consciousness in us by the powerful preaching of the Gospel. Faith is God’s instrument in as far as it is the bond which makes us one with Christ, and He speaks thereby to us in our own consciousness of justification, setting us free also before the bar of our own conscience. Faith is a means only in as far as we now, by an operation of the Holy Spirit and the Word, are able to appropriate and receive the righteousness of God in Christ. This should eliminate the many false conceptions that are so abundant in professing religion as to the grounds of our justification. We are not justified before God because we believe. Faith is never the ground for our justification. Faith, as far as righteousness is concerned, always receives, it never gives; and it never adds anything to our righteousness. It has nothing in or of itself. Faith never asks us to look to ourselves to find any ground of hope for our salvation, but it always looks toward, reaches out for, and embraces Christ. Neither is it true that faith is the condition upon which God justifies us, for there are no conditions in God’s Covenant. All the benefits of grace are of God and are given to us unconditionally in Christ. True faith is an act of God, and a gracious benefit given to us sinners. Neither is faith our means whereby we receive Christ and His righteousness. It is often presented as such in our religious organizations today. It is presented as the hand that grasps Christ, but, in reality, faith is God’s means to raise our hand to grasp Christ. Faith is our activity only after God has first given us the power, and He stirs up that power by His Spirit and Word into a conscious living reality in us.
It is said by many preachers and religious leaders that every man has faith inherent in him. Charismatic leader Oral Roberts made this very boast in his ignorance of that Scripture “according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith “ (Rom. 12:3) by applying it to all mankind, when clearly it applies to the saints, and saints only (Rom. 1:7). This poor deceived man has evidently not read “for all men have not faith” (2 Thes. 3:2), nor does he seem to be aware of the deep depravity and inability of fallen man, nor does he seem to know the Scripture teaches plainly that faith is a gift of God and that God is sovereign in working, by the Holy Ghost, in the hearts of poor sinners. Mr. Roberts’ faith theory is not so. Of ourselves we have no faith, nor does any man, and therefore no means whereby to be justified. Saving faith is never inherent in us. And faith is never the means whereby we produce good works which will serve as the grounds of our justification. No where in Scripture do we read that God justifies us because of the works of faith. No more than we can be justified by the works of the Law, can we be justified by the works of faith which we perform. We are justified, as we are saved, out of pure grace.
The only ground of our justification therefore is the sovereign, free grace of God. God of mere grace justifies us, and that, too, on the only ground of the perfect and complete work of Christ Jesus, our Lord. Christ is our righteousness, from beginning to end.  And being united to Christ by faith, we are righteous as He is righteous. His perfect satisfaction in the Cross of Calvary is imputed to us. And before God we are righteous because He raised Christ Jesus from the dead as proof. So we have the experience of being justified by faith.
Having, in the preceding chapters, established the doctrine of justification, Paul proceeds to mention, in the opening of this 5th chapter, some of the fruits which spring from God justifying a sinner. The first is “peace with God.” Therefore, being justified by faith, we “have peace with God.” We speak of this first as an objective fact, a relation to the Lawgiver — that relation which arises from the expiation of sin and consequent justification. God is the enemy of the natural man, and man the sinner is the object of the holy disapprobation, the subject of the just sentence of condemnation of God. And on the other hand, man the sinner is the enemy of God; “an enemy in his mind by wicked works,” set in opposition to God’s holy and benignant purposes. But, being justified by believing, the state of war becomes a state of peace — God is pacified, and the sinner is reconciled: and this “through our Lord Jesus Christ,” who was given for our offences, and raised again for our justification. A Holy God no longer regards His elect as enemies, who in Christ are now the objects of His favor. It means that the sword of Divine justice, which smote our Shepherd (Zech. 13:7), is now forever sheathed. With that propitiatory sacrifice, which was the divinely appointed and every way suitable ransom for the elect, God is well pleased: and through that propitiatory sacrifice, He is well pleased with every true believing sinner who places all his hope in Christ — in His atonement or reconciliation. God was angry; but His anger is turned away. The sinner’s happiness was opposed to the ends of our Lord’s holy government: it is no longer. God is just in justifying him; and the same ransom, revealed in the sinner’s heart by the power of the Holy Ghost, destroys the enmity of that sinner’s heart. God and the believing sinner are then at one, joined in vital union. And the sinner is simply a receiver; God is a gracious Bestower; and it is all entirely through our Lord Jesus Christ, as the propitiatory ransom, that sinners thus receive, and God bestows peace.
But there is also the subjective experience within the believer of this “peace with God.” Being justified through the God-given gift of faith, which is a fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the fruit of peace is also wrought within by the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Inward peace always accompanies true faith, “The God of hope fill you with all peace in believing, that you may abound in hope through the Holy Ghost” (Rom. ). The power of the Holy Ghost is not only extended to our hope, but to our peace also in believing. Christ said, “I will give you the Comforter:” and what then? What follows that grant? “Peace,” saith He, “I leave with you; my peace I give unto you.” And He gives His elect His peace, by bestowing the Comforter upon them. The peace with God is the peace of Christ which consists in the soul’s sense of its acceptation with God in friendship. Christ is said to be “our peace,” by slaying the enmity between God and us, and in taking away the handwriting against us. A comfort of persuasion of our acceptation with God in Christ is the bottom of this peace; it includes deliverance from eternal wrath, hatred, curse, condemnation — all sweetly affecting the soul and conscience.
True spiritual peace is: (1) Ordained by the Lord God, “Lord, thou wilt ordain peace for us” (Isa. 26:12) — ordained in Covenant purpose, to be bestowed upon those who are by nature enemies to God, — by the impartation to them of Covenant grace, in the day of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). (2) True spiritual peace is the gift of the Holy Son of God (John ), and His is His legacy to His troubled disciples. Just as He is the Lord our Righteousness, He is the peace (Micah 5:5; Isa. 9:6), and those who have Him have peace. To be without Christ is to be without peace with God, and therefore an enemy. (3) True peace is the fruit of the Holy Ghost (Gal 5:22); and it is communicated and maintained by Him, through the application of the Blood of Atonement, removing guilt from the conscience, and softening the heart (Eph. 2:14-15). The peace with God, yea, peace of God, is enjoyed by true faith, both as an objective fact and subjective experience. (4) Justification by the grace of God is the cause of true peace. God justifies the sinner and, thus, clears us from the condemnation as well as every stain of sin; and so removing the sin, its guilt, and its penalty, He takes away everything that stands between our souls and our God. “And the work of righteousness shall be peace” (Isa. 32:17a). (5) The nature of this peace is “quietness and assurance for ever” (Isa.32:17b). It is complete reconciliation with God (2 Cor. ) and it “passeth all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).
Verse 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. The 2nd fruit springing from justification — and, Oh, the vast importance of it! — is true “access to God.”  In Adam we are as far away from God as sin and Satan could bring us; but our Blessed Saviour would not leave us there. In Christ we are as near to God as sovereign love could make us and it was there that our most precious Surety pledged to bring us. In saving sinners, our Precious Saviour, takes us by the hand and by the heart, arrays us in His glorious perfections, and introduces us to the Majesty of Heaven — to His Father and ours. In His sufferings He accomplished this: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” (1 Peter ). He is THE WAY, the only way, as He tells us Himself that there is no other way into God’s presence (John 14:6). This “access to God” is more than peace with God. It indicates not only a state of security from God, but a state of intimate and endearing friendship with Him. The justified sinner is not only freed from all hazard arising from God’s righteous displeasure, but as an object of His peculiar favor and everlasting love, is admitted to dwell in His presence, to enjoy the Fatherly love of his Heavenly Father. It is Christ “by whom” we have this access “For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to God” (Eph. ).  “By whom!” yes, Blessed Lord, Thou hast redeemed us from Hell, death, and sin, and dost cleanse us from all our uncleanness with Thy most precious blood, clothe us in Thy richest and most perfect robe of righteousness, sustain us by Thy sweet intercession, and bring us into the banqueting house of eternal love. Christ by the power of His Spirit and the preciousness of His truth which the Father entrusted to Him for our spiritual teaching, brings us to God, while the broken hearted confession flows from our heart and lips, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in Thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called Thy son” (Luke 15:21). By the merits of the Lord Jesus we are “made accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6), even “in Him, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sin;” and this is all “according to the riches of his grace” (Eph. 1:7).
This access to God the justified sinner enjoys by faith in reference to “this grace” — the grace which reigns through righteousness (vs. 21), or the manifestation of that grace in this gracious economy — the righteousness of God (1 John ). It is “precious faith in the righteousness of our God and Saviour” (2 Peter 1:1) — in the truth respecting God’s method of justification, that enables the sinner, through the new and living way, to draw near with a broken spirit and contrite heart, with God-given confidence, having his heart sprinkled with the blood of the propitiatory sacrifice by which atonement was made. This grace is not only of justification, but of freedom from sin, deliverance from death, peace with God, and oneness with Christ in His so great salvation, anointing and sovereignty. This grace is not only brought home to the poor sinner’s heart with living power by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, but we are brought into this grace. Here the favored sinner, the privileged saint, enjoys real, heartfelt communion and spiritual intercourse with the Majesty on high. O what condescension for our Lord Jesus to come and carry worms into the presence, the home, the heart of the glorious Three-in-One.
O what a stupendous mercy we have as in “this grace wherein we stand.” By grace we stand, and to stand is equivalent to preserve in, to maintain. The state of grace into which the Lord brings true believers is one “in which we stand” — continue — stand by faith — continue in by continued believing. By grace the redeemed of the Lord joy in “the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand” (1 Cor. 15:1) — which is secured by the continued influences of the Holy Ghost Who first lead us to believe, which the Saviour perfected by His sufferings, has shed forth on us, and will continue to impart to us. It is our relation to the good Shepherd, our being “in His hands,” His property, under His care, that secures us. Unceasingly safe and secure are all the favored sinners whom our Lord Jesus Christ introduces into this grace. We stand by His keeping in humble confidence “of this very thing, that he who has begun the good work, will perform it” (Phil. 1:6).
In the 3rd fruit springing from justification, all the justified “rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” “Hope” is an effect of those workings of the Holy Ghost in us and towards us, “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 15:13). This is the effect of the Holy Ghost upon the hearts of believers and from it springs the branches, in exultation, of assurance, boldness, confidence, expectation, glorying. The influence of this hope is all grounded on redemption in Christ Jesus. The saints of God are distinguished by the possession of a peculiar hope — they have this hope wrought in them. It is the hope of eternal salvation, the hope of being like Christ (Psa. ; 1 John 3:1-3). The hope of beholding His glory as a joint heir will produce joy. There can be no true joy without this hope. It is the “hope of salvation” (1 Thes. 5:8); that is, deliverance from evil, both physical and moral, in all its forms and degrees, forever. It is “the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:7); that is, not merely of immortal existence, but of an eternity of true life with the Three-in-One, true happiness. It is “the hope of the glory of God,” or the approbation of God. Men have sinned and lost God’s approbation. They are not, and cannot be, the objects of His approbation. They are the objects of His judicial displeasure, of His deep moral disapprobation. Sinful, blind, God hating mankind fail to see that this is the sum and substance of their misery; and the removal of this, and restoration to our Lord’s favor, are absolutely necessary, and this alone will make a poor sinner happy. The hope of the saints is a hope that we shall ultimately be just what God would have us to be, perfectly holy, perfectly happy, in intimate relation, in complete conformity, to our God; that the eye of our Father in Heaven shall yet rest upon us with entire moral complacency, and His word pronounce us, as a part of His completed new creation, very good.
“Hope” is a grace of the Holy Ghost which is imparted to a regenerated sinner’s heart by the application of the Gospel.  In Scripture “hope” always respects something future, and signifies far more than a mere wish that it may be realized. It sets forth a confident “expectation that it will be realized (Psa. 16:9). We point out 6 things in regard to this hope. [1] The great need of hope for the application of God’s Holy Law works self despair in the sinner, and, sin produces despair, Satan drives to despair, insurmountable difficulties cause despair, and deep sorrow soon leads to despair. With so much to cause such deep despair and dejection, the poor sinner convinced of sin, and the broken saint sunk in sorrow, needs hope to keep them from utterly sinking. [2] The Source of hope is in God (Psa. 39:7). He is the “God of Hope.” It is His gift and He communicates it in regenerating the soul. It is an accomplishment of eternal life, and it cannot fail, being an anchor to the soul both sure and steadfast (Heb. ). [3] The Foundation of hope is the precious blood and perfect righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Cor. ). This is the only foundation revealed in God’s Holy Word (Isa. 28:16). [4] The Object of hope, the thing expected (Rom. ), is future blessings revealed in the Promises of God. The trustworthiness of God’s promises, as He is the One looked to: “O Lord, the hope of Israel” (Jer. ; 50:7) is sure. “Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto his people Israel, according to all that he promised: there hath not failed one word of all his good promises” (1 Kings ). They are sufficient ground for hope and prayer, for they are backed by God’s oath (Heb. -20); Fulfilled on schedule (Acts 7:6, 17; Gal. 4:4); Centered in Christ (2 Cor. ); Confirmed by Christ (Rom. 15:8). [5] The trial of hope always follows its creation in the soul by a promise tried or any other way. Hope is tried by being deferred (Prov. ), and by everything going against it, which necessitates a “hoping against hope.” [6] The Consciousness of hope is certain (Heb. ), at God’s appointed time, for which we have to patiently wait: “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Hab. 2:3).
The believing, justified sinner rejoices “in hope of the glory of God.” “The glory of God” seems here to mean, as it did in Romans , the approbation, or official approval, of God. The reference is to the Heavenly state; but it is to that as a state of perfect conformity to the will and image of God. The ultimate object of the believer’s hope is to be, in character, conduct, and condition, just what God would have us to be. This the regenerate sinner hopes for, seeing God has promised it; and he knows that by the atonement of His Son, the mighty working of His Spirit, and the instrumentality of His Word and Providence, He is carrying forward such a transformation, which He will perfect in the Day of the Lord; and in this hope the believer rejoices, glories, exults. Amid a deep sense of deficiency and fault, it fills the saint with unutterable gladness, to think that he will one day be “unblamable and unreproveable” in His presence, and be as holy and happy as the infinitely Holy and good God could desire him to be. So we “rejoice in hope of the glory of God,” that is, of the glory we expect to receive from our gracious God. David Brown comments, “The meaning is, that as our gratuitous justification gives to us who believe present peace with God, so it secures our future glory, the assured prospect of which begets as triumphant a spirit as if it were a present possession.” This future manifestation of God’s glory is the consummation of His eternal purpose, which includes the glorification of His people in Christ (2 Cor. ; Phil. ; Col. 3:4; 2 Thes. ; 1 John 3:2). The redeemed are renewed in order that man’s chief end might be realized, which is “to glorify God and to enjoy Him for ever” (1 Cor. ; Rom. ).
Following is an extensive quote of the esteemed pastor Thomas Bradbury: “When blessed with the sweet enjoyment of our standing before our God and Father in the Beloved, with every needful want supplied, and every needful blessing given, do we not long to sit down with the whole family in our Father’s house, up yonder? Ay, indeed we do!  . . . We hope for the glory of God, and for God in His glory. He will give grace and glory. Nothing short of the experience of a good hope through grace can make a way worn pilgrim’s heart rejoice. This hope entereth into that within the veil and delights in the knowledge of secrets hidden by the Father from the world. While the proud professor and the babe in grace may be glorying in the things that are seen, the experienced saint rejoices because his name is written in Heaven (Luke ). Peter knew something of this when he wrote, ‘Whom having not seen ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls’ (1 Peter 1:8-9).
“Here I would delight in the ability to lead my dear fellow pilgrims to the Hope of Israel in whom alone true and unfading joys are found. In Him, by faith, and hope, and love, we come ‘to the spirits of just men made perfect’ (Heb. ). Yes, we are privileged to commune with the blessed ones who have through grace followed their Leader to His eternal joy . . . Jesus has full possession of your hearts. Stores of Covenant blessings and spiritual privileges are treasured up for thee, O child of God, in thy Covenant Head. Jesus is thine! He daily leads thee by the hand. He holds for thee all needful grace — He brings thee to thy Father’s house — He draws thee to His loving heart — He keeps thy feet, thou canst not fall — He cheers thy soul with His sweet love — He prays for thee, thy faith fails not — He comforts thee, thy hope revives — His love is thine, thy love to Him though weak shall never die.
“He is thy prophet to teach thee — thy Priest to bless thee — thy King to govern thee. By-and- bye He will come and take thee to the glory which the Father gave to Him for thee before the worlds were made.”
Verse 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience. The 4th fruit springing from justification is “glorying in tribulation,” a fruit of true faith, for as John Calvin says, “this is not the natural effect of tribulation, which, as we see, provokes a great part of mankind to murmur against God, and even to curse Him.” It is only the knowledge that these tribulations are the appointment of our Heavenly Father, which enables the saints of God to rejoice in them, even in tribulations, trials and afflictions (James 1:2; 3:2; 2 Cor. 12:10). In themselves these difficulties are evil, grievous and not joyous (Heb. 12:6; Rev. 3:19), and we do not rejoice in the suffering, not the trial itself, but we rejoice in the effect of the trial. The word “tribulation” means being pressed down and trials are worked by God in the saints to press down the soul and thresh out the chaff. The Lord’s people have many tribulations, for written in large letters on the strait gate is, “We must through much tribulation enter into the Kingdom of God” (Acts ). There is no short cut to glory. The Scripture emphasizes everywhere that true believers must always prefer suffering to fellowship with the world, and in this very suffering we have abundant reasons to rejoice. Some of our trials are outward, as persecution, oppression, scorn, contempt, contumely; these result from the position of the true Church in the world, as a witness for Christ; the Church suffers them as one with her suffering Head. “If the world hate you ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John -19). But our chief troubles are inward, and arise from the assaults of Satan, powerful temptations, the guilt of sin laid on the conscience, doubts and fears about our interest in Christ, distressing suggestions, and a daily, hourly conflict with a nature ever lusting to evil.  “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations,” James exhorts us (James 1:2). “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye: for the spirit of glory and of God restest upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1 Pet. ). And our Lord Christ teaches us, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matt. -11). And so the Scriptures admonishes us that we should be faithful even unto death, that we may obtain the crown of life Rev. 2:10). The believer must follow the path marked out for us by our Saviour, for the Cross always precedes the Crown (Phil. -30). All of our trials are appointed by God, our Father, they are weighed out and timed by His special appointment (Job 5:6), and are for His glory and our good (Rom. ; Heb. 12:9-11; Psa. 119:71). In the words of the puritan George Swinnock, “Peace with God hath such a sweetening property, that it will make the bitter portion pleasant. They need not fear the saddest fits, whoever carries this rich cordial about them; what dangers and deaths may not they look in the face who have a reconciled God to countenance and encourage them.” The apostles did “glory in tribulations” when they departed from the presence of the Jewish council “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name: (Acts ). It is strikingly stated, when suffering for Christ is represented to the Philippian saints as a privilege, on the possession of which the apostle congratulates them, “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ to suffer for His sake” (Phil. ). It is, as a gift of grace, given us, in the behalf of Christ, to suffer for His sake. The apostle contrasts his own feelings in the matter of suffering for his Lord with the Judaising teachers. While they were afraid and ashamed of bearing the Cross after Christ, Paul counted this his highest honor; and through the means of theses sufferings he rejoiced that the world was crucified to him — the pleasures, and honors, and riches of the world had become, in his estimation, things contemptible and valueless; and, on the other hand, these sufferings had made him an object of contempt and dislike to the men of the world (1 Cor. 4:9).
These sufferings, tribulations, and afflictions of the Lord’s children are all loving allotments from their gracious Father’s hand, and that to bring them nearer and nearer unto Himself. All the true saints of God know of a truth that the hard things He has shown us, causing unpleasantness and pain, are teachers of His own appointment. They are brought to us in His wisdom and prudence, and over time prove to be His antidotes to our petulance and pride. Predestined afflictions are healthful incentives. “Come and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn us, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up” (Hosea 6:1) shows the effect upon the wayward and rebellious. Listen to Eliphaz’s utterance to Job: “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth; therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for He maketh sore, and bindeth up; He woundeth and His hands make whole” (Job -18). Robert Hawker said, “That no trial to His people can arise which He knew not, nay, which He appointed not, and for which He hath not made a suitable provision. Well then, what trouble of thine can be so great, as to counteract and overcome Divine strength? What burden so heavy, that Jesus cannot bear? What afflictions so painful that Jesus cannot soften? What grief so scorching, as to dry up the streams of God’s love?”
To suffer with Christ is a great blessing. Being made conscious that we are deemed worthy, with all the dear old saints of God, to suffer in His behalf and for righteousness’ sake, — melts our hearts, while at the same time, brings us great joy and deep peace. Also, we reap the present fruit in the way of this suffering: for tribulation worketh patience, and patience, true experience, and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed. Lastly, there is at the end of this road of suffering for Christ’s sake, the crown of life, the glory with Christ! And the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with that glory.
“Tribulation worketh patience” and perseverance. “Patience” here is not to be understood in its usual acceptation, as signifying meekness and quietness of disposition, for the spiritual meaning of this word, here and elsewhere, is endurance. There are 2 different words in the Greek translated “patience;” the one used in James 5:11 means a quiet suffering disposition. The other Greek word, used here, means endurance, as we see also in James 5:11: “Behold, we count them happy. Ye have heard of the patience of Job;” or the endurance of Job, the 2 words being the same. In his trials Job was peevish and fretful; but they wrought endurance. Tribulations, however severe, they do not, as in the case of the false professor, lead to apostasy; they make us, if we be true believers, hold the faster by our Saviour, and by the God-given faith which makes Him known to us. All the hardships or hindrances in the Christian life produce a steadfastness and endurance and makes the real Christian take deeper roots in Christ and become more firmly established in Him. Endurance, in the Scriptural sense, implies submission to our Lord’s will. By means of the trials which faith encounters and the disciplines of daily life, we are taught humble submission to God and, notwithstanding obstacles and failures, to preserve in the path of duty. Our souls are brought to endure in silence and resignation the afflicting strokes of God’s hand. In patience we are brought to see in our trials the hand of God, and tribulations continue to work in us and produce submission to Him. Patience is to be content and wait upon the Lord (Heb. 13:5; Psa. 27:13-14). It is the opposite of covetousness, complaining, and haste.
“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:2-4). Temptations or trials try faith; and, “the trying of faith worketh patience” — the exact expression Paul uses, but “patience” must have its perfect work; that is, must be completely wrought out in the soul, and brought out in its real character. Tribulation thus “worketh patience,” sustains it, and is united to it.
Verse 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope. Patience worketh experience. The word “experience” here does not mean experience in the usual sense of the term; that is, the whole work of God in the soul. Here it means a special experience of the power, wisdom and grace of God in and under tribulation. The word “experience” literally means “proof,” and therefore signifies the proof that the soul has of the goodness of God in and under trial and affliction. And this patience, this perseverance, “works” — leads to — “experience,” that is trial or proof — or maturity of character and proof of genuine faith. Trials do not produce faith, but they prove the reality of our faith; they prove that we really possess the faith that we profess, and that our faith is that faith that overcomes the world. Actually these trials may detect and expose a hypocrite, harden his heart and cause him to give up his profession. But the true faith of a saint is made stronger by trials. With the apostle we glory in afflictions because it calls into exercise the Christian grace of endurance (2 Cor. 12:9). Our affliction calls into exercise that strength and firmness evinced in patient endurance of suffering, and in perseverance in fidelity to truth and duty under the most severe trials. And this experience leads to “hope,” increased hope, as we prove God and ourselves, our hope, instead of diminishing, grows stronger. As the genuineness of our faith is manifest and confirmed by trial, and as we grow in the grace and the knowledge of our Lord Christ, our hope of enjoying the glory promised in Him is strengthened. Steadfastness, under these trials, provides the Christian with subjective evidence of their own sincerity. True Christian character is proved by patience in tribulation, which in turn shows that that he does not have a delusory hope (1 Peter 1:7). The present trials of the believer must be viewed in light of their eternal sequel (1 Peter -13).
On the phrase “experience worketh hope” we give the words of the godly William Mason: “We first experience God’s power, in effectual calling, and then His love, in keeping us close to Himself, and obedient to His will. So we enjoy peace from Him, and our hearts are cheerfully devoted to Him. But, how oft doth the believing soul find coolness of affection, heaviness of heart, and dejection of mind? Doth not this destroy his hope? No: even this experience, sad as it seems, worketh hope. Hereby pride and self-confidence are slain — sin embittered — the soul humbled at the feet of Jesus, with ‘Thou, even Thou alone art my hope — I dare not trust in any other — my soul shall make her boast of Thee, and Thee only.’ We have the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves: And the more we live upon, and trust in the Lord, so shall we experience hope spring up, love flourish, and holiness abound. Praised be the Lord our God, who is ‘the God of hope, and who fills us with all joy and peace in believing that we may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost’ Rom. 15:13.”
“Experience worketh hope,” but what hope? Not hope in the general, but hope in the particular; that is, a hope connected with experience, as experience is connected with patience, and patience with tribulation. This is not so much “a good hope through grace” generally, as a special hope, connected with the experience gained through patience. This hope is wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost for weary, way-worn pilgrims, for it is made by God’s own hand out of “the preparation of the gospel of peace,” with which he is shod from the armory of God. See how this feeling of hope was wrought in the Apostle Paul’s soul. He writes to the Corinthian Church; “We would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life. But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God, who raiseth the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8-9). But let us take note, after he was slain to all creature hope, how our Lord stepped in: “Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver.” Now comes his hope, his trust: “in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us” (verse 10). First there was a heavy trial, which overwhelmed his soul almost in despair; this crushed out all creature trust. Trust wholly and only in God followed; then came deliverance; upon this followed hope for the future — that He who had delivered in the past, and was delivering in the present, would also deliver for the future.
Dear reader, has tribulation bowed your soul down, and was submission given to endure it? Did any sweet experience come into your heart; an experience of the mercy, goodness and love of God in tribulation? And did there spring out of this a sweet, childlike, blessed hope in the mercy of God, of an interest in the precious blood of Christ, and that the Lord would support you through every trial, and eventually set you before His face in eternal glory?
Verse 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.  The main reason why this “hope maketh not ashamed” is because the love of God is shed in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Thus we see how love, hope, experience, patience, and tribulation are all joined together. The saints of God are sustained under present trials by this hope and it gives us a bold profession of truth in our daily walk. By God’s grace we possess a good hope in Christ that is never ashamed (for in Him we are perfected), nor shall we ever be put to shame. A vain hope and a false profession will always fail, and prove to be empty and result in eternal loss (Rom. ; ).
That it is “the love of God” to us, and not our love to God, which is here put before us is beyond question. It certainly is not our love for God that gives us a strong hope and comfort (although the grace and fruit of love for God and others is produced in us by His Spirit), but the Holy Ghost reveals to us God’s love for us in Christ, and with the knowledge of that love comes the effects of it — which are peace, access to the presence of God and rejoicing in hope of eternal life (Rom. 8:35-39). Note:  we shall have much more to say on the love of God for us at Romans 8:35-39.
An apprehension of the love of Christ, as dying for us ungodly sinners, is that which “is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” When the Holy Ghost gives us a due apprehension of Christ’s love in dying for us, ungodly sinners as we are, then is His love shed abroad in our hearts. The Spirit led apostle proceeds to show how great this love is, in that Christ died (vs. 6-8). He died, not for good men, and righteous men, or for friends; but He died for the ungodly, for sinners, and for enemies. This was great love indeed. O, let us be melted before Him for that love of Christ wherewith He gave Himself to death for us when we were enemies, and would have continued so to eternity, had He not loved us, and given Himself for us. May this truth be shed abroad in our hearts in a felt sense of them — in a spiritual apprehension of them. “Shed abroad” is the same word that is used concerning the Comforter being given us (Titus 3:6). God sheds Him abundantly, or pours Him on us; so He sheds abroad, or pours out the love of God in our hearts. The Comforter gives a sweet and plentiful evidence and persuasion of the love of God to us, such as the soul is taken, delighted, satiated withal. This is His work and He does it effectually. To give a poor sinful sinner a comfortable persuasion, affecting it throughout, in all its faculties and affections, that God in the Lord Jesus Christ loves him, delights in him, is well pleased with him, has thoughts of tenderness and kindness towards him; to give a soul such an overflowing sense hereof, is unspeakable love and inexpressible mercy. It is the special work of the Holy Ghost to apply all the benefits of God’s love and Christ’s redemption to those for whom the Saviour suffered. The elect sinners are wooed and won, brought to a feeling knowledge of God’s love by the work of the Holy Ghost revealing it in our hearts and enabling us to believe it.
George Smeaton said: “These words intimate that the Holy Ghost as a Divine Agent does a certain work; that He is given according to a Divine economy; and that through His aid the redeeming love in God’s heart is shed abroad in our hearts, tasted and enjoyed, not only in the first stages of the Christian’s experience, but ever afterwards. It intimates that the Holy Ghost sheds abroad God’s boundless, free, unchanging love in our hearts, and that He is, given to believers as a perpetually indwelling guest — reminding the Christian of reconciliation, supplying the constant experience of the Divine love, and assuring him of its perpetuity as a gift never to be forfeited.”
The “love of God” is that especial affection that He bears to His elect people (1 John ).  All that He loved, in eternity, come to love Him, by regeneration. This love implies His absolute purpose and will to deliver, bless, and saved His people. The love of God to His people appears in His all-wise designs and plans for their happiness (Eph. -11). It is shown in the choice of them, and determination to sanctify and glorify them, (2 Thes. ). His love is vividly manifested in the gift of His Son to die for the elect, and redeem them from sin, death, and Hell (Rom. 5:9; John ). God’s love is again shown in the revelation of His will, and the declaration of His promises to His people (2 Peter 1:4). We see the love of God for His people in the awful punishment of their enemies (Exo. 19:4). His love speaks loudly in His actual conduct towards them; in supporting them in life, blessing them in death, and bringing them to glory (Rom. & Rom. ). The properties of this love may be considered as, (1) Everlasting, Jer. 31:3 & Eph. 1:4. (2) Immutable, Mal. 3:6 & Zeph. 3:17. (3) Free; neither the sufferings of Christ nor the merits of men are the cause, but His own good pleasure, Luke 12:32. (4) Great and unspeakable, Eph. 2:4, 6; Eph. 3:19 & Psa. 36:7.
“It is shed abroad — lit. ‘poured forth,’ i. e., copiously diffused (Cf. John ; Titus 3:6). By the Holy Ghost, which is (rather ‘was’) given to us — i. e., 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 expiate on the amazing character of that love.” (Jameson, Fausset & Brown).      
Some readers will no doubt say, “John says that God loves the world, and, world means world.” True, but world does not mean everybody, or all mankind. It means the elect world as opposed to the reprobate world. “Esau have I hated” (Rom. ). We shall deal with this thoroughly when we reach of the epistle. We ask the reader to consult the extensive quote of E. G. Cook in the “Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes” section below. It is at verse 5 under “God so loved the world.”

Worthy Doctrinal and Spiritual Notes and Quotes on Romans 5:1-5.
Verse 1. Faith in its first act discovers at once with one eye a man to be poor and ungodly, and with the other looks up to Christ’s riches, to Him that justifies the ungodly. So hungering and thirsting after Christ’s righteousness doth imply faith as the bottom of it, for none can so hunger truly but he that sees the true worth and preciousness of Christ. Unto them that believe only is Christ precious. — Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680).
It is the general doctrine of all Orthodox divines, viz., that actual faith is never wrought in the soul, till, beside the supernatural illumination of the mind, the will be also first freed in part from its natural perverseness, (God making all men of unwilling, willing,) hereupon he concludes that this is done by the spirit of sanctification, and one supernatural quality of holiness universally infused in all the powers of the soul at once, so that the Spirit instantly sanctifies us and puts life in us; then it acts in sorrow for, and detestation of, sin; and so we come actually to believe. — Thomas Shepard (1605-1649).
When a child of God wants peace, he can have no peace till God speaks it. — Thomas Goodwin (1600-1680).
“The God of peace” declares what He is paternally, namely, the Giver of peace to His children. Before the foundation of the world God ordained there should be mutual peace between Himself and His people. As the immediate result of Christ’s mediatorial work peace was made with God and provided for His people. — A. W. Pink (1886-1952).
Suppose you have inward graces and good qualifications, the best of these will not give conscience peace when God awakens it. I shall suppose you have faith; well, but have you not unbelief also, and more unbelief than faith? And may not conscience condemn you for that, as Christ did His disciples, “How is it that ye have no faith?” while you carry in many cases as if you had none at all? Suppose you have repentance; yet have you not impenitency also? May not conscience condemn you many times for a hard, impenitent heart; so hardened from God’s fear, that neither the Word nor rod of God does make impression on you; yea, neither mercies nor judgments do you lay to heart as you ought? Suppose you have humility; yet is there not pride also in your heart? And may not your conscience accuse you of much self elevation and self-confidence? Suppose you have love to God; yet have you not much enmity also? and may not your conscience condemn you, “that you love not God with all your heart, with all your soul, mind, and strength;” and that your heart goes more out to the creature than the Creator, at least sometimes and in many instances? Suppose you have sincerity; yet may not conscience witness against you, that your sincerity is mixed with hypocrisy? Suppose you have zeal; yet will not conscience witness that you have too much lukewarmness? Suppose you have a fixed heart upon God, and Christ, and Heavenly things at some times; yet will not conscience accuse you of innumerable wanderings of heart? Why, then, it seems your best righteousness even of inward graces will not pacify conscience. — Ralph Erskine (1685-1752).
Verse 2. It is professedly cross to the whole current of Scripture, which saith, “We are justified by faith,” and therefore not before faith; and to say that the meaning of such phrases is, that we are justified declaratively by faith, or to our sense and feeling, is a mere device; for our justification is opposed to the state of unrighteousness and condemnation going before, which condemnation is not only declarative, and in the court of conscience, but real, and in the court of Heaven; for so saith the Scripture expressly, (John 3:18,) “He that believeth not is condemned already;” and, (verse 36,) “The wrath of God abideth on him;” and, (Gal. 3:22,) “The Scripture (which is the sentence in God’s court) hath concluded all under sin.” .                . . If a man be justified before faith, then an actual unbeliever is subject to no condemnation. But this is expressly cross to the letter of the text, “He that believeth not is condemned already, (John ,) and the wrath of God doth lie upon him.” The subjects of non-condemnation are those that be in Christ by faith (Rom. 8:1,) not out of Christ by unbelief (Rom. ). There is indeed a merited justification by Christ’s death, and a virtual or exemplary justification in Christ’s resurrection, as in our Head and Surety; and both of these were before not only our faith, but our very being; but to say that we are therefore actually justified before faith, because our justification was merited before we had faith, gives us a just ground of affirming that we are actually sanctified while we are in the state of nature unsanctified, (Eph. 2:1,) because our sanctification was merited by Christ before we had any being in Him. We must indeed be made good trees by faith in Christ’s righteousness before we can bring forth any good fruits of holiness. God makes us not good trees without being in Christ by faith, no more than we are bad trees in contracting Adam’s guilt without our being first in him. God gives us first His Son (received by faith,) and then gives us all other things with Him. He doth not justify us without giving us His Son; but having first given Him, gives us this also. — Thomas Shepard (1605-1649).
Is it that grace which reigns through the Person and work of Christ? Can we say with the primitive Christians, We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved? Are you come to a point about that most interesting and solemn affair, the salvation of your immortal soul? Is your hope of glory lively and bright, or languid and obscure? Is it such as is attended with rejoicing, as purifies the heart and conduct? Has it Christ and His finished work, together with the promise of Him that cannot lie for its everlasting support? — O, professor! Seek for certainty and satisfaction: they are to be had in the knowledge of Christ, and in the belief of His truth. If you love your soul, rest not in uncertainty about an affair of infinite consequence. You are building for eternity; be cautious, therefore, with what materials you build, and upon what foundation. A mistake in the ground of your trust will ruin your soul. Read your Bible, meditate, and pray that the Spirit of truth may direct you in the momentous concern. — Abraham Booth (1734-1806).
Has His promise inspired your soul with this precious hope? And is your heart filled with love to Him, so that you feel that He is all you have or desire in Heaven or earth? Then you will be looking for Him with greater desire than ever woman looked for her husband, and when His coming is announced, with a feeling of joy that can never be expressed, you will say, “Come.” — Gregg M. Thompson (b. 1811).
Verse 3. Troubles are blessings when they lead you to Christ, and you need not fear if He undertakes your future. — Wylie W. Fulton (b. 1939).
Whether God come to His children with a rod or a crown; if He come Himself with it, it is well. — Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661).
Ah! Happy afflictions, that wean us from this wretched, dying world, are a means to mortify our corruption, teach us to live more constantly by faith on Jesus Christ, and to fix all our hopes and expectations on another and better world. — John Berridge (1716-1793).
How sweet must the following considerations be to a distressed believer: (1) There most certainly exists an almighty, all-wise, an infinitely gracious God.  (2) He has given me in times past, and is giving me at present, if I had but eyes to see it, many and signal intimations of His love to me, both in a way of providence and grace. (3) This love of His is immutable; He never repents of it or withdraws it. (4) Whatever comes to pass in time is the result of His will from everlasting. Consequently, (5) My afflictions were a part of His original plan, and all are ordered in number, weight, and measure. (6) The very hairs of my head are every one counted by Him, nor can a single hair fall to the ground but in consequence of His determination. Hence, (7) My distresses are not the result of chance, accident, or a fortuitous combination of circumstances. But, (8) The providential accomplishments of God’s purpose. (9) They are designed to answer some wise and gracious end. Nor, (10) Shall my affliction continue a moment longer than God sees meet. (11) He who brought me to it has promised to support me under it, and to carry me through it. (12) All shall most assuredly work together for His glory and my good. Therefore, (13) The cup which my Heavenly Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it? Yes, I will in the strength He imparts, even rejoice in tribulation, and, using the means of possible redress which He hath, or may hereafter put into my hands, I will commit myself and the event to Him whose purpose cannot be overthrown, whose plan cannot be disconcerted, and who, whether I am resigned or not, will still go on to work all things after the counsel of His own will. — Augustus Toplady (1740-1778).
It is through great tribulation we are to enter the kingdom of heaven. In this world we have a rough and thorny road to travel; we are beset with foes without and within; we have our gloomy days and dark nights. We often feel that we are alone; there is none like us; and if we try to call up some of the bright moments we have had, when we hoped we felt the Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we were the children of God, it was to us like the manna that had spoiled; we could draw no comfort from it, but feared it was a delusion, a vain imagination. With what strong desire we would then pray for another token of good, an evidence from our Saviour that we were the objects of His love. O come, and decide this doubt for me! My misery I can never express while I remain in this wretched suspense. Am I deceived? Am I yet without hope and God in the world? In this dark moment let the still, small voice whisper in thy soul, “I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; I love thee, and will never forsake thee; thou art mine, I have redeemed thee, and thy sins and thy iniquities will I remember no more.” O sweet visit this! The soul is filled with melody and joy. Christians, do you not desire and pray for these visits, these love-feasts, along the dreary road you have to travel? Is it not your constant desire and earnest prayer, that our Lord would visit Zion with refreshing seasons? I know it is. But what will it be when Zion’s wars and afflictions are all over, and she is called away from the land of sorrow by the voice of the Beloved, saying, “Behold, I am coming; and my reward is with me?” The bride will mount upon the wings of love to meet Him. O, it is the voice of my Beloved! “Come, Lord Jesus.” — Gregg M. Thompson (b. 1811).
Verse 4. He who would believe, let him reconcile himself to the fact that his faith will not stay untempted. — Martin Luther (1483-1546).
For the Christian, trials and temptations are not only means for proving his faith but for improving his life. — Anonymous.
Our faith is really and truly tested only when we are brought into very severe conflicts, and when even Hell itself seems opened to swallow us up. — John Calvin (1509-1564).
Verse 5. When the Lord blesses your soul, and sheds abroad His love in your heart, you will take no credit to yourself. No. You will feel that if you had a thousand crowns you would put them all upon the head of Christ, and if you had a thousand tongues they shall all sing His praise. — William Tiptaft (1803-1864).
Notice how the Scriptures speak of “a good hope through grace;” and call it “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” What a blessed grace must that be which thus enters into the very presence of Christ! How, too, the Word of God speaks of it as the twin sister with faith and love (1 Cor. ); and declares that it “maketh not ashamed,” because it springs out of the love of God shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost! Now we learn what a “good hope through grace” is, by being tossed up and down on the waves of despondency, and almost at times sinking into despair. Evidences so darkened, the heart so shut up, the mind so bewildered, sin so present, the Lord so absent, a nature so carnal, sensual, idolatrous, and adulterous — no wonder that amidst so many evils felt or feared, the soul should at times sink into despondency. But at such seasons the blessedness of “a good hope through grace” is found; and when this anchor is cast into and enters within the veil, taking hold of the blood and righteousness of the great High Priest, how strongly and securely it holds the ship, so that it shall not be utterly overwhelmed in the billows of despair. — J. C. Philpot (1802-1869).
The reason why a saved sinner glories in the love of Christ so much is that he is now a possessor of that love. It is not enough to hope to enter into realization of that love when we go to Heaven, but we must have some knowledge of it now! It must be wrought deeply within to be effectual. Salvation is a revelation of the love of God in Christ, and what His love has done for me personally. It is more than theory of speculation or dry doctrine, but it is a personal, vital experience. — Wylie W. Fulton (b. 1939).
GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD. To deny that God loved the world is to deny the precious Word of God. John plainly says that He loved the world. But, on the other hand, if I affirm that God loved everybody would I not be denying other Scriptures that are just as true as John 3:16? Let me hasten to say there are no contradictions in the Scriptures . . . If you have an open mind and a receptive heart, may it please our dear Lord to bless our study of this subject together. If God has ever hated just one person among all His created creatures, can we say that He loved everybody? Then let us turn to Romans where God says, “Jacob have I loved but Esau have I hated.” I know the popular teaching on this verse is that God loved Esau a little less than He loved Jacob. But this word “hated” comes from MISEO, which means to hate. It has no other meaning, so how could I make the word “hate” mean “love” to any degree? The Greeks have two words for love. Their word AGAPAO is the one used in the case of God’s Divine love. Then they have another word PHILEO which is a much weaker form. This word PHILEO expresses the love of husband and wife, or the love of parents and children. Now, if God meant to say that He loved Esau a little less than He loved Jacob, why did the Holy Spirit not use the weaker word PHILEO in regard to Esau rather than the word MISEO which always means to hate? In Psalms 5:5, the Psalmist says, “Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” The time was when I could jump over a couple of letters in this word “workers” and make it just plain “works.” Then I could put just a little imaginary love in the word “hate” in Romans 9:13 and go on my merry way. But, when I became willing to throw all of my preconceived ideas concerning God and His precious Word in the waste basket where they belonged and let my beliefs be in accord with the Scriptures rather than trying to make the Scriptures be in accord with my beliefs, I had to go back and put the 2 letters back in the word “workers” in Psalms 5:5. And then when I looked a little closer I found there was no niche, nor cavity in the word “hated” in Romans 9:13 in which I could squeeze the least tiny bit of love. So, today, thanks be unto His Holy name, I can believe Romans and Psalms 5:5 just as they were written, and at the same time believe John 3:16.
But before I could believe these 3 Scriptures just as they were written I was forced to make a sincere word study of the word “World.” I had been giving it the meaning I wanted it to have . . . We must interpret John , or any other Scripture, in the light of other Scriptures. So we study this word “world” in the light of other Scriptures found just in John’s writings. First in John 1:10 how could the world that knew not our Lord ever include His disciples who did know Him? Then in John 1:29, if the Lamb of God took away everybody’s sin, why did Hell enlarge herself, and open her mouth without measure in Isaiah 5:14? Since a Saviour is one who saves, why is not everybody saved if the word “world” in John means everybody? Please note, it does not say that He is the potential Saviour of the world. It says He is the Saviour of the world. If the word “world” in John means everybody, how can anybody be dead in trespasses and in sins? Here we are told that He “giveth life unto the world.” . . . Could the world that hated our Lord in John 7:7 and ever include His precious saints who loved Him so much? Would you say that the world that our Lord refused to pray for in John 17:9 included the ones that He did pray for in the first part of this verse, and the others for whom He prayed for in verse 20?
There are so many other references, even in John’s writings, to prove to any open minded person that the word “world” in Scripture almost always means a certain group of people. In 1 John 5:19, for instance, “the whole world that lieth in wickedness” cannot possibly include the “we” who are of God. Our better dictionaries will give you something like 20 different meanings of the word “world.” No one seems to object such expressions as, the new world, the free world, or the religious world. And no fair minded person would dare say that the whole world in 1 John 5:19 includes everyone. So, in the light of that great array of evidence which proves beyond a doubt that the word “world” usually means only a part of the people, how can I ever again contend that John 3:16 means that God loved everybody? If God does not love everybody, does He tell us in His Word who it is that He does love? Since God is the only One competent to answer our question, let us turn to John 13:1 and listen closely as He says, “Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.” Here He says plainly that He loves His own. I am waiting patiently for someone to give me the book, chapter and verse where He says He loves the devil’s crowd. — E. G. Cook.