13. Study and Exposition of Romans 5:1-11
In a certain correspondence with philosopher Bertrand Russell, author Joseph Conrad lamented the following: “I have never been able to find in any man’s book or in any man’s talk anything convincing enough to stand up for a moment against my defeated sense of fatality governing this man-inhabited world…The only remedy for Chinamen [referring to the problems in China] and for the rest of us is the change of hearts. But looking at the last 2,000 years there is not much reason to expect that thing, even if man has taken to flying…Man doesn’t fly like an eagle, he flies like a beetle.”43 On the other hand, Gloria Steinem confidently hoped that by the year 2,000 men and women would raise their children to believe in human potential, not in God.
Both of these positions cannot be true in the same way at the same time. Why would anyone want to raise their kids to believe in human potential, if as Conrad says, there really isn’t any or that what potential exists is really potential for greater evil (to accompany whatever good might follow)? Yet both these thinkers capture something of the truth about hope. Conrad realizes that something is seriously wrong with man, while Steinem recognizes that there is something seriously unique about man and we must maintain hope on this basis. We seem hopelessly trapped between brutal realism and sheltered naiveté, childish gullibility.
But this is precisely the problem. These moderns are unable to hold the two in tension and thus the ground for their hope is either lost, as in the case of Conrad, or totally misplaced (and therefore false) as in the case of Steinem. One would think that Steinem would simply give up the modernistic delusion about man’s abilities—after all, this is the twentieth century with all its world-wars and bloodshed—but if Conrad’s answer is the only other option, well then Steinem’s hope seems to be better than that shared by Conrad and Russell.
But, in short, there is another solution that maintains the truth in both positions. Man is depraved and it is simply foolish, on the basis of the evidence of thousands of years, to place any hope in him—as if, he, by himself, will build a brave, new peaceful world. Yet by the redemption which is granted through the man Christ Jesus there is hope for the future (for a person as well as people corporately together), not just potential for good, but the actualizing of the good over and against evil. The apostle Paul recognizes the depravity of man (Rom 1:18-3:20), yet because of what Christ has done, he maintains great hope for those connected to Christ by faith. Indeed, he argues that people can be justified from their sin, enter into a right relationship with God, and experience the hope of heaven now—even if their circumstances are unfavorable and they’re suffering, for even our suffering deepens our experience of hope. To sum up, reconciliation with God leads to hope for the present life as well as the next because we possess the Holy Spirit; we have something akin to (greater than) the changed hearts Conrad was looking for. This, in part, is the burden of Romans 5:1-11.
B. Translation of Passage in NET
5:1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:2 through whom we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of God’s glory. 5:3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance; 5:4 and endurance, character; and character, hope. 5:5 And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
5:6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 5:7 (For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 5:9 Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God’s wrath. 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? 5:11 Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation.
C. Full Exegetical Outline
Idea: The benefits of justification based on Christ’s death include a present peace with God, that is, reconciliation, and deliverance from future wrath, as well as a hope that is certain in the midst of life’s sufferings and does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
I. The benefits of justification include peace with God and a firm position in the grace of God so that life’s sufferings ultimately develop hope—a hope that is certain because it is confirmed by the Holy Spirit who has poured out the love of God in our hearts (5:1-5).
A. Since the Christian has been declared righteous by faith, he has peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom he has obtained access into this grace of justification and peace (5:1-2a).
1. The Christian, having been declared righteous, has peace with God through Christ (5:1)
2. The Christian has gained access by faith into this grace of in which he stands (5:2a)
B. The Christian rejoices in the hope of God’s glory and the sufferings in this life actually give rise to a stronger hope which will not disappoint because the Holy Spirit confirms it by pouring out the love of God into our hearts (5:2b-5)
1. The Christian rejoices not only in the hope of God’s glory but he also rejoices in his sufferings since sufferings produce endurance, endurance, character, and character, hope (5:2b-4).
2. Hope does not disappoint because the Holy Spirit confirms our hope by pouring out the love of God in our hearts (5:5).
II. The love of God, in contrast to fickle human love, was demonstrated for us in that while people will not generally die for a righteous or good person, Christ died for us at just the right time, while we were still helpless and ungodly (5:6-8).
A. Christ died for us at just the right time, when we were still helpless and ungodly (5:6).
B. Rarely will a person die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die (5:7).
C. God demonstrates his own love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us (5:8).
III. Since reconciliation to God is a present reality, affected through the death of God’s son, the Christian should rejoice and know that he/she will be delivered from any future wrath and will enjoy spiritual life (5:9-11).
A. Having been declared righteous by Christ’s blood, Christians will certainly be saved from God’s wrath through him (5:9).
1. Christians have been declared righteous by Christ’s blood (5:9a).
2. Christians will be saved from God’s wrath through him (5:9b)
B. If Christians were reconciled to God while they were still enemies, how much more will they be saved by his life (5:10)?
1. Christians were reconciled to God while they were enemies (5:10a).
2. Christians will be saved by his life (5:10b).
C. Christians should rejoice in God through Christ since they are now reconciled to God (5:11).
1. Christians should now rejoice in God (5:11a).
2. Christians are reconciled to God (5:11b).
D. Simple Point Outline
Idea: The Benefits of Justification44
I. The Benefits of Justification: Eternal (5:1-5)
A. Peace with God (5:1-2a)
B. A Sure Hope (5:2b-5)
II. The Basis of Justification: A Contrast (5:6-8)
A. Human Love: Fickle (5:7)
B. God’s Love: Sacrificial (5:6, 8)
III. Justification, Salvation, and Reconciliation: The Relationship (5:9-11)
A. Future Salvation from God’s Wrath (5:9)
B. Future Salvation by Christ’s Life (5:10)
C. Present Rejoicing in God (5:11)
E. Exposition Proper
There is a question among commentators as to the precise relationship of chapter 5 to the preceding and following material. Does it go with the chapters before, i.e., 1:18-4:25 or with the chapters that follow in 5:12-8:39? You will note in the argument section above (under “Background Material and Argument of the Book”) that we have taken the chapter as maintaining stronger ties to what precedes than to what follows. But this is exactly the point. We are not saying by this that there is no connection to what follows, only that the passage seems more integrally connected to what comes before. Indeed, Paul’s ideas of justification, faith, boasting, wrath, and hope have all been introduced earlier (and will be later as well). But we note as well that his reference to ideas such as the indwelling of the Spirit and reconciliation have not explicitly been cited yet and must await further comment. Therefore, the function of the passage is most likely to summarize and conclude chapters 1:18-4:25 as well as to introduce material soon to be developed in 5:12-8:39. It thus functions, as many commentators have said, as a bridge: it joins land dealing with justification and land dealing with sanctification.
5:1 The expression Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith (Δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως, dikaiōthentes oun ek pisteōs) sums up all that has been said from 1:18-4:25. Sinful man is declared legally righteous or justified by faith (and not by works). The expression “declared righteous” is an aorist, passive participle in the Greek text. The aorist tense is well suited to express the once-for-all nature of justification as a verdict which is pronounced over the sinner in light of his faith in Christ.
Justification, Paul says, leads to peace (εἰρήνην, eirēnēn) with God. This is not the subjective apprehension of God’s peace we as believers enjoy as a result of the Spirit’s ministry (cf. Phil. 4:6-7). Rather, it refers to the “state of the union,” so to speak, between God and the Christian; they are no longer at war and have been brought together in relationship (cf. 5:10). The background for Paul’s idea of peace is likely to be found in the OT and particularly the prophetic vision of a day of salvation which would be characterized by shalom or peace between God and man. It is that state or condition to which Paul speaks—the state or condition anticipated by the OT prophets and brought to inaugural realization through the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ (see notes on 3:25ff). Christ inaugurated this era of salvation peace by appeasing God’s wrath on the cross. Objectively, then, there is peace between God and the believer (3:25). Later in Romans 5:1-11 Paul will develop the idea of peace along the lines of reconciliation (5:10-11).
As with all of God’s blessings they are realized through…Christ (διὰ…Χριστοῦ, dia Christou), having already been decreed through him according to the unconquerable plan of God (Eph 1:3-14). Paul is never at a loss to tie things together in Christ.
5:2 The believer not only has peace with God, but also through Christ has obtained access (τὴν προσαγωγὴν ἐσχήκαμεν, tēn prosagōgēn eschēkamen) into this position of grace (τὴν χάριν ταύτην, tēn charin tautēn), where grace refers to the unalterable state of peace resulting from justification.
The particular focus and background of the noun prosagōgē is interesting. It is used in two distinct, yet related ways in the NT. It can refer to one’s “introduction” into a relationship or it can refer to “ongoing access” in an existing relationship. Paul’s use of the same term in Ephesians 2:18; 3:12 seems to suggest that what is in view in Romans 5:2 is continued access to God, and not so much on the initial introduction into the relationship. But the use of the aorist past tense “declared righteous” stresses a past event and the perfect “have…obtained” fits well with a past event (or present). 1 Peter 3:18 uses the verb in the sense of “introducing” believers to God for the first time. On the whole, however, it is difficult to make a decision in this case and we may certainly conclude that Paul would affirm both and that both may well be intended here (Rom 5:10).
The background of the term may involve images of access into God’s presence in the sanctuary or it may involve access into the presence of the king and royalty. Given its use here in connection with God’s grace, it certainly has connotations of privilege and honor for the believer. As those who have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ we stand (ἑστήκαμεν, hestēkamen) in the place of God’s grace.
Paul says that we also rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (καυχώμεθα ἐπ ᾿ ἐλπίδι τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ, kauchōmetha ep elpidi tēs doxēs tou theou). The term “rejoice” can also be translated as “boast” and so, in contrast to the world which boasts in its accomplishments or to the Jew who boasts in his obedience to the torah (2:23; 3:27; 4:2; 1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 4:5; 10:17), the Christian boasts in God alone, specifically in the hope of His glory. By “hope” Paul does not mean what the world means when it uses that term. Rather, his is a confident expectation because it is grounded in the fact that the future has broken into the present and the Christian now possesses the Spirit (5:5; Phil 1:19-20). Thus, even though Christians are constantly in a struggle and suffering (5:3-5), their firm assurance is that someday, the glory that was lost through sin (3:23) will be restored to them and they will be like Jesus (1 John 3:2-3). Included in this hope is the confident expectation to be delivered from God’s wrath through Christ.
5:3-4 But, Paul says, we not only rejoice or boast in the hope of our incredible future, we also boast in our present experience. And there is no way the present can overturn the certainty of the future (8:38-39), for we possess the Spirit (5:5). Therefore, we rejoice in sufferings (ται`ς θλίψεσιν, tais thlipsesin) and we do so knowing suffering produces endurance (εἰδότες ὅτι ἡ θλῖψις ὑπομονὴν κατεργάζεται, eidotes hoti hē thlipsis hupomonēn katergazetai). It is strange that Paul should move from the brightness of our future hope to the darkness which so often envelopes our present circumstances. But he may have done this in order to counteract Jewish antagonists who denied that Christians enjoyed the justified life now since they are still struggling with suffering and problems. Paul contradicts this thesis by showing that the present in no way jeopardizes the future (5:5).
Whatever the particular reason was that Paul decided to talk about our present experience, one should not fail to see the implied comparison with Abraham in 4:19-21 and his hope in the midst of hopeless circumstances. Even though we as Christians are in the midst of enormous trials, and we believe in hope against hope, as it were, we like Abraham will overcome and we will see the promise of our glorification realized (Rom 8:30).
But we should rejoice in these trials and sufferings because they produce endurance, and endurance, character, and character, hope. Thus, the Divine design, in this life, is to fit us for the next by enlarging our present spiritual capacity for hope! Our sufferings, if responded to like Abraham—not wavering, but being strengthened in the faith—lead to endurance (ὑπομονὴ, hupomonē), that is, the ability to hold up and not fold up; to joyfully keep trusting God in the face of opposition to his promises (2 Cor 8:2). This resolve, in turn, gives rise to character (δοκιμή, dokimē) which has been tested and is without defect, like gold in a fire (James 1:2-3; 2 Pet 1:8). When we endure in suffering, we develop character. It is in the development of this character that our capacity for hope (ἐλπὶς, elpis) is increased and our present experience of the future deepened (through the Spirit).
5:5 The hope about which Paul speaks does not disappoint (οὐ καταισχύνει, ou kataischunei), because like Abraham’s hope, it is derived from God (through the Spirit), not from our circumstances (4:19-21). Those who trust in Christ will in no way end up embarrassed or disappointed for so having committed themselves to him. Paul’s words recall the prayer of the psalmist and his earnest expectation that he would in no way be disappointed (Ps 22:5; 25:20; cf. also Isa 28:16).
The reason this hope does not disappoint us, that is, the reason Christians maintain a confident expectation to be delivered from God’s wrath, is because of the love of God (ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ θεοῦ, hē agapē tou theou). Though some interpreters understand this phrase to mean “our love for God” (an objective genitive) this is highly unlikely and provides at best a shaky foundation for the certain hope about which Paul speaks. It is better to read it as “God’s love for us” (a subjective genitive) in keeping with the language of “pouring out” and the focus in the passage on God justifying us. God grounds our future in the certainty of his own sovereign work (cf. 5:8).
God’s love has been poured out (ἐκκέχυται, ekkechutai) into our hearts through the Holy Spirit (πνεύματος ἁγίου, pneumatos hagiou) who was given to us (τοῦ δοθέντος ἡμῖν, tou dothentos hēmin). Paul is not talking about the objective love of God shown to us in the cross (3:25; 5:8), but rather the subjective apprehension (i.e., in our hearts) of God’s love. For Paul this is primarily an emotional experience with a force greater than the doubt inflicted through trials (cf. Phil 4:6-7).
The language of “pouring out,” “in our hearts,” and especially the mention of the “Holy Spirit” in the same breadth, is covenantal in nature and recalls certain aspects of the promise in Joel 3:1-4 LXX (cf. Acts 2:17, 33; 10:45; Titus 3:6), Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NET). Thus, Paul writes Romans in light of new covenant inauguration which makes our hope certain as we wait expectantly for its consummation (Rom 8:16, 22-26; 2 Cor 3:7-18; Luke 22:15-20). The apostle suggests similar ideas in Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2 Corinthians 1:21-22:
But it is God who establishes us together with you in Christ and who anointed us, 1:22 who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment. (NET)
In both 2 Cor 1:21-22 and Ephesians 1:13-14 the certainty of the future is bound up with the present ministry of the Spirit and this should be seen as the inaugural realization of OT hope.
5:6-8 In vv. 6-8 Paul gives the objective foundation for justification and the gift of the Spirit: it is the work of Christ on the cross—a work which highlights the amazing love of God in contrast to the conditional and impotent love of man.
First, it is important to note that Paul refers to us as helpless (ἀσθενῶν, asthenōn) and in some sense this word parallels “ungodly,” but it denotes our total inability to save ourselves or reconcile ourselves to God. Human depravity and inability are core doctrines in this letter and indeed in Paul’s letters in general (Rom 3:9-20; Eph 2:1). There is no way a person can position themselves in such a way so as to impose a claim on God. Second, we are ungodly (ἀσεβῶν, asebōn)—a term which has particular religious connotations wherein a person is completely impious and without respect for the sacred (cf. 4:5; 1 Tim 1:9; 1 Pet 4:18; 2 Pet 2:5, 6; 3:7; Jude 4, 15).
Paul says, that even for wretches like us, Christ died and that he died at just the right time (κατὰ καιρὸν, kata kairon). But what does he mean by “at the right time”? In Galatians 4:4 the apostle argues that Christ was sent by the father in the “fullness of time” (cf. Eph 1:10). In Mark 1:15 Jesus begins his preaching about the kingdom with the words: “the time has come.” John’s repeated emphasis on the timing of Jesus’ death shows the divine timetable at work (cf. 2:4; 4:21, 23; 5:25, 28; 7:6, 8, 30; 12:23, 27; 13:1; see also Heb 9:26). These references show that the coming of Christ was according to a divine ordering of things and this is perhaps what Paul means here in Romans 5:6 (cf. 3:26).
The overall point of verse seven is clear even though the precise significance of its parts is debated. Its presentation of faulty human love stands as a marked contrast to the love which God himself demonstrated in Christ. But what does Paul mean by the contrast between a righteous (δίκαιος, dikaios) man and a good (ἀγαθός, agathos) man? Some scholars argue that there is no contrast in the Greek text and the terms mean essentially the same thing. But a contrast seems to be the point of what Paul is saying and there is evidence that the two terms were contrasted by the Gnostics who held that that the God of OT was dikaios while the God of the NT was agathos (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. 1. 27.1). The point, then, as it applies to men, is that a person will rarely (if ever) die for a purely righteous person, though for a person who was good, that is, benevolent and generous, a person might dare to die.
But God demonstrates (συνίστησιν, sunistēsin) his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Χριστὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἀπέθανεν, Christos huper hēmōn apethanen). God did not wait for us to clean up our act or get it all together. While we were sinners Christ died for us. His love is pure and in complete contrast to fickle human attempts at love. His love resulted in the ultimate sacrifice. Love is known by its demonstrations.
5:9-10 The form of the argument Paul adopts here in vv. 9-11 is from the lesser to the greater or according to the rabbinic principle, qal wa„h£o‚mer: “having done this, how much more, then.” Paul argues that if God did the more difficult thing of justifying sinners, how much more, then, can he save (i.e., deliver) them through Christ from the future wrath (ὀργή, orgē), i.e., the future judgment (cf. John 5:28-29). If God has made a way in which he can legally declare the sinner righteous, to declare a verdict of acquittal, then there is no way that any future judgment—as he himself is the judge—can threaten that verdict and the new relationship into which the justified sinner has entered.
In v. 10 Paul returns again to the theme of justification and peace with God (cf. v. 1), only this time he speaks of it in terms of reconciliation. Reconciliation is thus another angle through which to understand our new relationship with God. It implies a reconciler, but the focus is not on the satisfaction of just legal requirements, but rather on the bringing back into relationship of two parties formerly at war with one another. It is a more personal lens through which to view our new relationship with God and is intimately related to the idea of peace in 5:1.
But the emphasis in the passage is on the fact that we were reconciled (κατηλλάγημεν, katēllagēmen) to God, not that he was reconciled to us. We are the offending party (1:18-3:20). We were God’s enemies (ἐχθροί, echthroi). It is difficult to understand how some scholars can argue that the term “enemies” indicates a more passive than active hostility. First, Paul has argued at length that men are not only hostile to God himself, but also to the very thought of God. The unregenerate mind is always investigating and creating ways to vanquish the knowledge and truth of God (cf. Rom 8:7-8). They want to suppress the truth about God to the point of extinguishing it, if they can. In the very least they invent ways of overturning it (Rom 1:18-3:20). Second, the fact that men need to be reconciled shows that their hostility to God is active and personal. All that can be said about a view that maintains less than an active and open hostility between men and God probably has its origin in the naïve epistemological optimism of the modern period.
The expression through the death of his son (διὰ τοῦ θανάτου τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, dia tou thanatou tou huiou autou) in v. 10 parallels by his blood (ἐν τῷ αἵματι αὐτοῦ, en tō haimati autou) in v. 9 and again stresses the eternal price God paid in order to accomplish reconciliation and justification for those who were enemies and sought, at all points, to overthrow the very knowledge of God himself (cf. 1:2-4; 8:32; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 4:10).
Paul says that if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son, how much more then shall we be saved by his life (σωθησόμεθα ἐν τῇ ζωῇ αὐτοῦ, sōthēsometha en tē zōē autou)? The reference to “saved by his life” is not a reference to being saved through Christ’s present intercession in heaven, though “by his life” does refer to Christ’s resurrection life. Paul’s point seems to be that not only have we been reconciled to God and delivered from his wrath, we will also be completely saved someday from sin and death by Christ’s resurrection life and our union with him. If this interpretation is correct, then 5:9-11 anticipate certain aspects of the theology of chapter 6. Paul’s point is that the one who participates in the benefits of the death of Christ will certainly also share in the benefits of his resurrected life.
5:11 Though there is some discussion as to the grammatical connection between v. 11 and v. 10, the overall sense of the passage is clear. Paul is moving back to the present experience of the believer after having given due consideration in vv. 9-10 to the future and the believer’s eternal hope with God. Paul says that the believer can be certain to be delivered from God’s wrath, but not only this (οὐ μόνον δέ, ou monon de) they can also rejoice in God now (νῦν, nun) through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom they have now received reconciliation. Their rejoicing is a present reality because they have reconciliation now. Reconciliation to God means relationship with God, which in turn means righteousness and life in the kingdom of God (Rom 14:17). For Paul the future has broken into the present.
F. Homiletical Idea and Outline
Idea: Rejoice in God…
I. In Light of Your Present Circumstances (5:1-5)
A. You Have Peace with God Now (5:1-2a)
B. You Have A Sure Hope (5:2b-5)
II. In Light of the Rock Solid Foundation of Your Salvation (5:6-8)
A. Man’s Fickle Love (5:7)
B. God’s Sacrificial Love (5:6, 8)
III. In Light of Your Bright Future (5:9-11)
A. You Will not Face the Wrath of God (5:9)
B. You Will Be Saved by His Life (5:10)
C. You Have Reconciliation Now (5:11)
G. Contribution of Passage to Systematic Theology
This passage teaches many important truths. First, justification is a past act done on behalf of the believer, not something the believer does. It is not moral, but forensic or legal in character. This does not mean, however, that it is not real.
Justification, then, whether or not it stands at the very heart of Paul’s theology, is nonetheless foundational to our relationship with God and a doctrine, which if properly understood, helps us emotionally with the sufferings in the Christian life. It teaches us and assures us as believers that difficulties do not mean God does not love us or care about us. One of the results or benefits of justification is peace between God and me, the sinner. This peace will never change and refers not to an inner awareness of God’s peace, but to an objective condition of tranquility between God and me whether I feel it at any one time or not.
Reconciliation was secured by God though we were the offending party and the ones who needed to reconcile ourselves. But, the text does not say, we “reconciled ourselves.” It says, “we were reconciled” or “we have received reconciliation.” The emphasis is on God’s electing grace from beginning to end. Reconciliation is another lens through which to view our new relationship with God and is more personal, less courtroom-ish, than justification.
The present ministry of the Holy Spirit enables us to rejoice and know that our hope of God’s glory is certain. Even though we go through difficulties in life, the Spirit does not allow our hope to fade. Thus this passage sheds profound light on the process of sanctification, conspicuously absent from 8:30.
The love that the Holy Spirit has poured out in our hearts is the same love that sent Christ to the cross for our sakes. The cross is the greatest demonstration of God’s love for people. Even when we were still sinners Christ died for us! The work of Christ on the cross is the foundation of our justification and future hope.
Finally, the Christian can be assured because of justification and reconciliation now that he/she will not suffer the wrath of God in the future. Our future as Christians is not as people destined for wrath, but glory—the glory of God!
H. Contribution of Passage to Discipleship and Church Mission
One of the most profound contributions of this passage to the process of discipleship is the fact that it brings together theology and experience in a way that gives the believer real hope and enables him/her to rejoice even in sufferings. Life has a way of knocking people down, sometimes for the count. But Paul’s emphasis here is that in light of justification and the indwelling Spirit, God can actually use our difficult experiences in life to work a deeper hope in us—i.e., a deeper longing for him and desire to experience him. Paul will say in Romans 8:28 that God works all things for good to those who love him and are called according to his purpose. The believer needs to know that he is in a “win-win” situation!
43 Paul Johnson, Modern Times, rev. ed. (New York: HarperCollins, 1991), 456.
44 The varied titles given this section by different commentators indicates how difficult it is to pin down the subject with certainty. “The Benefits of Justification” is an attempt to capture the general overall message of the paragraph. See also the teaching outline at the front of the book. It suggests the title of: “Exultation because of the Certainty of Justification.”