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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Romans 5

 

 

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Verse 1

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Ver. 1. Being justified by faith] As he had said, Romans 4:24.

We have peace with God] A blessed calm lodged in our consciences; like as when Jonah was cast overboard, there followed a tranquillity. This is that continual feast, a very heaven beforehand, an anticipation of glory, ουρανος προ ουρανου.


Verse 2

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Ver. 2. We have access] προσαγωγην, Christ leading us by the hand, and presenting us to the Father, with, "Behold, here am I, and the children whom thou hast given me." Ephesians 2:18.

Wherein we stand] εστηκαμεν, not stirring a foot, for any temptation or percention. A metaphor from soldiers keeping their station in the battle.


Verse 3

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

Ver. 3. We glory in tribulations] As an old soldier doth in his scars of honour. See Galatians 6:17; 2 Corinthians 7:4. Feri, Domine, feri; nam a peccatis absolutus sum, saith Luther: Strike, Lord, and spare not, since I am acquitted by thee from my sins. Seca ambas, Cut of both, cried out that good bishop, when his hand was threatened to be cut off. A man that hath got his pardon is not troubled though he lose his glove or handkerchief, nor though it should prove a rainy day.


Verse 4

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

Ver. 4. And experience, hope] Without hope patience is cold almost in the fourth degree, and that is but a little from poison.


Verse 5

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.

Ver. 5. Hope maketh not ashamed] As among men, many lie languishing at hope’s hospital, as he did at the pool of Bethesda, John 5:1-9, and return as they did from the brooks of Tema, Job 6:17. Or, as men go to a lottery with heads full of hopes, but return with hearts full of blanks. The Dutch have a proverb to this purpose, Sperare et expectare, multos reddit stultos. And we say, He that hopes for dead men’s shoes, may hap go barefoot. Bad men’s hopes may hop headless, they may perish in the height of their expectancies. Not so those that hope in God; they shall yet praise him who is the help of their countenance, and their God, Psalms 43:5. Nunquam confusi, Deo confisi. Never preplexed, having trusted in God.


Verse 6

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Ver. 6. Christ died for] A sufficient evidence of God’s dearest and deepest love shed abroad in our hearts, as a most sweet ointment.


Verse 7

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

Ver. 7. Yet peradventure for a good man] For a public person. Lilloe stepped between the murderer and King Edwin his master to intercept the deadly thrust. (Speed’s Chron.) A common soldier lost his life at Musselborough field to save the Earl of Huntly’s life; so did Nicolas Ribische to rescue Prince Maurice at the siege of Pista.


Verse 8

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ver. 8. God commendeth, &c.] Herein God lays naked to us the tenderest heart of his fatherly compassions, as in an anatomy. A young student in history (saith Polybius) should have the whole history of the world under his view; and should reduce all into one body. {a} God, by giving his Son for us, showed us all his love at once, as it were embodied. All other spiritual blessings meet in this, as the lines in the centre, as the streams in the fountain. If the centurion were held worthy of respect because he loved our nation (said they) and built us a synagogue, what shall we say of Almighty God, who so loved our souls that he gave his only begotten Son, &c.

Christ died for us] "Behold how he loved him," said those Jews, when they saw Christ weep for him, John 11:37. What shall we say of this love of his beyond compare, in bleeding for us? Ama amorem illius, &c. Oh love that love of his, and never leave meditating on it, donec totus fixus in corde, qui totus fixus in cruce, till he be wholly fixed in your hearts, who was wholly fastened to the tree for your sakes. (Bernard.)

{a} υρο μιαν ουνοψεν αγειν και σωματοροιεν


Verse 9

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

Ver. 9. Much more then] It is a greater work of God to bring men to grace, than, being in the state of grace, to bring them to glory; because sin is far more distant from grace than grace is from glory.


Verse 10

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.

Ver. 10. We shall be saved] Here the apostle reasoneth from regeneration to eternal life, as the lesser.


Verse 11

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Ver. 11. Not only so] Not in tribulation only do we glory, {as Romans 5:3} but in the whole course of our lives. Yet not without some damps and dumps, while here. While I live (saith Rollec) I never look to see perfect reformation in the Church, or feel perfect ravishing joys in mine heart. Here Christ comes to his Spouse as a wooer only, and gives her no more than the prelibations and foretastes of his love, as a bunch of the grapes of Canaan.


Verse 12

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Ver. 12. As by one man] Yet Anabaptists deny original sin, as did also the Pelagians of old, confuted by Augustine. Egranus, a German preacher, said (as Melancthon reporteth) that original sin is a mere fiction of Augustine and other divines; and that, because there was no such word found in the Scriptures. (Joh. Manl.) Papists say that original sin is the smallest of all sins, not deserving any more of God’s wrath, than only a want of his beatifical presence; and that, too, without any pain or sorrow of mind from the apprehension of so great a loss. There have been among us that have said, that original sin is not forbidden by the law. Directly, indeed, and immediately it is not; but forbidden it is, because cursed and condemned by the law. In original sin is a tacit consent (eminently) to all actual sin. And some understand this text of all sin, both original and actual.

And so death, passed upon all men] As a sentence of death on a condemned malefactor; or, as those diseases that are called by physicians corruptio totius substantiae; or as the rot overrunneth the whole flock, διηλθεν.


Verse 13

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Ver. 13. Sin is not imputed] In men’s esteem, as Romans 4:15.


Verse 14

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Ver. 14. Death reigned] From the reign of death, he concludes the reign of sin. Infants are no innocents; the first sheet or blanket wherein they are covered is woven of sin, shame, blood, and filth, Ezekiel 16:4-6.


Verse 15

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

Ver. 15. Many be dead] Many is here put for all, as all for many, 1 Timothy 2:3.


Verse 16

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

Ver. 16. Of many offences] i.e. Of all, whether imputed to us, inherent in us, or issuing from us,


Verse 17

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

Ver. 17. Abundance] That is, abundant grace.


Verse 18

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

Ver. 18. By the offence of one] We were all in Adam, as the whole country in a parliamentman. And although we chose not, God chose for us.


Verse 19

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Ver. 19. Many] That is, all except Christ, sinners, tainted with sins, guilt, and filth.


Verse 20

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

Ver. 20. But where sin abounded] But then where sin that abounded in the life, it abounds in the conscience in grief and detestation of it, as the greatest evil. Bonner objected to Mr Philpot, martyr, that he found written in his book, In me Ioanne Philpotto ubi abundavit peccatum, superabundavit et gratia. In me John Philpot, where sin abounds, even grace superabounds. This he said was an arrogant speech. Novum crimen, C. Caesar. Fresh sin, Gaius Caesar. (Acts and Mon.)

That the offence might abound] Either by accident, through man’s corruption, and not of God’s intention, Romans 7:13. Or if ινα be taken causally, it must be interpreted by Galatians 3:19. God gave the law after the promise, to advance the promise. The law was added because of transgression, sc. that hereby guilt and danger being discovered, we might acknowledge the riches of free grace and mercy.


Verse 21

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Ver. 21. That as sin hath reigned] That is, the wrath of God by sin.

Through righteousness] Imputed and imparted.

By Jesus Christ] See how sweetly the end answers the beginning of the chapter, and how Christ is both author and finisher, &c.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Romans 5:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/romans-5.html. 1865-1868.

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