Romans: ch. v.

January 2, 2011


Up to this point Paul has taught that we are justified not by the law, but by faith in Christ: now he shows the excellence of the justification Christ has brought to us.  Therefore 1) he lists six fruits of this justification, which lead us to glory not only in the hope of beatitude, but even in tribulation; 2) v. 12 he contrasts the grace of Christ with the sin of Adam, and teaches that, as we were all made sinners by the disobedience of one man, so by the obedience of Christ we obtain justification and eternal life; 3) v. 20 he teaches that the law entered in so that sin might abound – so that where sin abounded, the grace of Christ might also abound.

1. Let us have peace – i.e. since we are justified, let us be peaceful and tranquil of soul, no longer fearing the justice and condemnation of God.

2. The six fruits of justification: 1) peace, v. 1; 2) the hope of glory, v. 2; 3) happiness in adversity because of the hope of glory, v. 3; 4) we are made the beloved friends of God through charity, v. 5; 5) we are adopted by God as sons and glory in him as a father, v. 11; 6) the reward of eternal life, v. 21.

3. And not only … do we glory in this hope, but also …; tribulation worketh patience, as the occasion for exercising it.

4. and patience trial – i.e. patience brings one to the end of his earthly trials; and trial hope – i.e. the strength, vigor and increase of hope (the initial grace of hope itself precedes patience and trial, v. 3).

5. hope confoundeth not – it does not deceive the one who hopes, nor fail him, but leads him surely to the acquisition of the thing hoped for from God.  The charity poured forth in our hearts is distinct from the Holy Ghost, as the lamp lighting a room is distinct from the light it gives.

6-10. explains how hope confoundeth not is the consequence of the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts: for if Christ died for us according to the time (that is, at the proper moment, when we were still weak and sinful and in great need of redemption), how much more sure of God’s mercy and salvation are we now that we are justified and Christ is glorified in heaven?

11. And not only – new continuation of v. 3 (consider vv. 4-10 as a long parenthesis).  We glory in God – as our father, friend, protector, and above all lover (dilectorem).

12. One manhomo could refer either to Adam or Eve; in fact it refers to Adam, as our head (the likely opinion is that if only Eve had sinned, original sin would not have been transmitted).  This verse is proof of the doctrine of original sin: e.g. death is the punishment for sin, but infants die who have committed no actual sin.  Therefore they have original sin transmitted from Adam.

12. In whom all have sinned – all men sinned, not formally, but radically and representatively in Adam, as in their root, parent and origin – just as the king represents the kingdom, Adam represented all his posterity as father and prince.  Thus the Blessed Virgin sinned in Adam, but was prevented from receiving original sin by the grace of God in her Immaculate Conception, which freed her from all sin [note that Cornelius clearly teaches the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and refers to it casually as to something taken for granted, over 200 years before its formal definition].

13. until the law sin was in the world – as evidenced by the death of all men; see the following verse.

14. who have not sinned after the similitude etc. – i.e. who have not sinned by their own act: that is, death reigned, even in those who did not sin in act (e.g. infants); him who was to come: Christ.

15ff. many – i.e. all; “many” is used to signify the number of Adam’s posterity, because “all” could mean only a few people.

16. And not as it was by one sin, so also is the gift – i.e. Adam by one sin transmitted sin to all his posterity; Christ redeems us not only from one sin, but from all our sins.

18-19. All men shall be justified who are born again in Christ by faith and grace.

20. entered in – Latin subintravit, as though furtively or secretly, and only for a short time: directly, the law entered in order to restrain men from sinning; indirectly, it increased their guilt.  But then Christ came to abolish sin and its reign.

21. i.e. grace did more abound, such that, with death and the reign of sin destroyed, the kingdom of justice and eternal life were established, and was spread far and wide by Christ.



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