Paraphrase of Romans 5

One way of studying and meditating on the Word of God is to attempt to write it out in your own words, making a personal paraphrase of the text. The following is just that, a personal paraphrase, sometimes amplified and illustrated by other quotations. My paraphrase is on the left, and the text of the King James Version on the right. I am sharing this to encourage others to also study God’s Word, possibly by attempting their own paraphrase. I also hope my paraphrase may help some to better understand what God has said.

Outline of Romans 5
1-11 Christ died for us
12-21 Contrast Adam & Christ, Law & Grace, Life & Grace

Christ died for us -- 5:1-11

1-2 Therefore, since we have been made right before God and have received His righteousness by means of faith, we now have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. And not only are we no longer enemies, but also Jesus is our door to an overwhelming array of totally undeserved gifts, all received by faith. We take our stand here, trusting only in His grace, and rejoicing in the expectation of all his wonderful promises being fulfilled, and of all his glorious person being revealed. 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.
3-5 But it is not only the future blessings which fill us with joy: we also are excited and thrilled about all the trouble and trials we are going through. Yes, we are full of joy over the very things which used to depress us, to discourage us, and to fill us with despair. Now we know that as we go through these trials trusting in God, He works in us to produce the kind of character that can patiently endure. As we continue to trust in Him, in spite of every difficulty, He produces in us qualities that will survive the severest test, and we learn to trust in and rely on Him all the more. He gives us a calm assurance that we are on the right path, and He will not fail us, nor ever leave us. This hope is not groundless, because He has already filled every corner of our lives with His love by giving us His Holy Spirit. 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.
6-8 Just look at what He has done! We had no strength or ability to meet His demands, and were completely helpless to save ourselves. Then, at the perfect moment in history, Christ died on behalf of sinful humanity. Think how momentous this is! You hardly ever hear of anyone giving his life for another, although there may be occasions when one would dare to die for a good and righteous man, or for a close friend or relative. But God loved us so much that even while we were still opposed to Him, determined to continue in unbelief and disobedience, Christ died for us, in our place. Wow! 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.
9-11 And now, having been declared righteous through the blood of His son Jesus Christ, we have even more reason to believe that we will never experience His anger. Look at it this way: If God was willing, while we were still his enemies, to reconcile us to Himself by the death of Christ, then we know for sure that we who are reconciled will be saved through His life from all punishment. “If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us.” [Phillips] And that is not all: we also leap for joy in God’s infinite love displayed in Jesus Christ, through whom and in whom we have now received ALL OF THE ABOVE! 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.

We had no strength... but He took our place
We had nothing to offer... but He offered us everything
We opposed him... but He loved us
We were his enemies... but He made peace
We were lost in sin... but He forgave us
We were dead... but He gave us life

Contrast Adam & Christ, Law & Grace, Life & Grace -- 5:12-21

12-14 How did we become the enemies of God, so that we have need of reconciliation? Sin entered into this world through one man’s disobedience, and death is the result of sin. Now all have sinned, so all either have died or will die. Everyone has turned away from God, some more than others; the inevitable result is death. Even before the Law was given, mankind lived in sin. Genesis 6:5: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” But where there is no law there is no breaking of law and therefore no record of specific violations can be kept. Nevertheless, death took its toll of every man from Adam to Moses, even of those who had not disobeyed God like Adam did. By the way, some aspects of Adam’s life make me think of Jesus Christ. 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:
13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
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.
15-19 The free gift is different from this first occasion of human rebellion, through which many have died. In the grace of God, we see the gift of Jesus Christ, which is by grace, overflowing beyond measure to many. And this free gift also has a different result. Through Adam’s rebellion came condemnation, God’s righteous judgment. But the free gift leads to the justificaition of men who have been rebellious against God on many occasions. For if death could take over after one man’s single contrary action, then certainly to an even greater degree all those who accept God’s gift of right standing with Him will be victorious in this life through the life of this one, Jesus Christ. Just as through a single rebellious act all men were condemned, this single righteous act has resulted in the possibility of all men being made righteous and receiving eteral life. Just as through one man’s disobedience the rest of humanity became sinners, the obedience of one man will cause many to be made righteous. 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.
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.
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.)
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.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20-21 One purpose of the Law was to point out to men how sinful they are. When we realize our depravity, His free gift becomes even more wonderful and valuable. Just as death ruled our destiny and sin ruled our daily lives, so now grace will produce righteousness and eternal life through our new ruler, Jesus Christ. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

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