Summary: The word "grace" is used in this chapter more than any other in the Bible. There are some specific truths about grace given here that we really need to realize...
The word “grace” is the Greek word, “charis,” meaning gift. Romans 5 uses this word more than any other chapter of the Bible. The reason for this is, a specific point is being made, and that is that what we have in God, we have as God’s gift, and not because we deserve it.
I want to point your attention to some truths about God’s grace, that we see in this chapter:
WE STAND IN GRACE, verses 1-5
This is a place that is available to the whosoever wills of this world. When God saves us by grace, He makes available to us His grace in which we can live everyday.
Abraham lived in this grace. If you trace Abraham’s life through the Scriptures, you will find that God was with him in some amazing ways. Chapter 4:3 quotes Genesis 15:6 saying, “Abraham believed God, and God counted it to him for righteousness.” The Bible holds forth some wonderful promises for the righteous. The latter part of Romans 4 teaches us that this same righteousness is extended to us, through faith. But, it is important to understand that this righteousness is not extended because of our faith, it is extended because of God’s grace, but it is our faith that reaches up and receives that which the hand of grace reaches down.
To stand in grace means that we have come into favor with God because of God’s grace, we have our peace and security for today and forever because of God’s grace, and we have the quality of life that we have because of God’s grace.
Living in grace, or as Romans puts it, standing in grace, will change your way of thinking. It will change the way you interpret the things that happen in your life. Look at verses 3-5, and notice how the apostle Paul says he responds the tribulations of his life. Now, that doesn’t picture the attitude of most people, does it? He is giving testimony that he knows that all things work together for good to those who love God, and are the called according to His purpose. Paul knows that’s him, and it’s us, too, if we are born again. As Christians we do not have to live in a state of depression. A medical person told me that if it were not for the emotional distresses of people, the doctor’s offices would not be nearly so busy. Emotional distresses can make you physically sick, but if you know what Paul says he knew, in these verses, you can’t stay depressed.
WE ARE AMAZED BY GRACE, verses 6-8
God didn’t wait for us to clean up our lives, straighten ourselves out, or even invite Him into our hearts. When we were dead in trespasses and sins, he died for us. The point is made here, that it is a rare thing for someone to die for someone else, and when they do, it’s a remarkable thing. It might be, that for someone who is very dear to you, you would step between them and death, if you could. There’s a short list of people for whom I would do that. Many have stepped up in patriotism, and gone to their death for a country, and a way of life, that they loved, and that’s remarkable. We certainly owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who serves their country, and puts themselves in harm’s way, to preserve the freedoms we enjoy. But, what Jesus did goes beyond remarkable. It’s amazing. He died for His enemies. He died for us, when we didn’t love Him, when we were on the other side. John Newton realized that, when he wrote the great old hymn, Amazing Grace.
But, then we realize, not only are we born again, but we have been given everything that pertains to life and godliness, according to 2 Peter 1:3. That means whatever we need to live out this life in a godly manner, it is ours. It is ours by God’s grace.
WE HAVE OUR FUTURE BECAUSE OF GRACE, verses 9-11
Now, if the Lord treated us that good while we were His enemies, just think how He will treat us as His friends! Verse 10 says, “...we shall be saved by His life.” We will make a mistake if we only see the word, “saved,” to mean born again. It is sometimes used to mean, “delivered,” and that is the case, here. At this point, the Bible doesn’t expound on this thought, but it surely does in many other places. Whatever you have in your life that you need to be delivered from, the Lord is able. And, let me tell you how the Bible says He will do it: “through the power that works in you!” That’s what Ephesians 3:20 says. What is this power that works in us? It is the Holy Spirit, who Romans 5:5 says “...was given to us.”