Romans 5:1
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
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(1-11) A description of the serene and blissful state which the sense of justification brings. Faith brings justification; justification brings (let us see that it does bring) peace—peace with God, through the mediation of Jesus. To that mediation it is that the Christian owes his state of grace or acceptance in the present, and his triumphant hope of glory in the future. Nay, the triumph begins now. It begins even with tribulation, for tribulation leads by gradual stages to that tried and approved constancy which is a virtue most nearly allied to hope. Such hope does not deceive. It is grounded upon the consciousness of justifying love assured to us by the wonderful sacrifice of the death of Christ. The one great and difficult step was that which reconciled sinful man to God; the completion of the process of his salvation follows by easy sequence. Knowing this our consciousness just spoken of takes a glow of triumph.

(1) Being justified.—The present chapter is thus linked on to the last. Christ was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. “Being justified then,” &c. This opening has a wonderful beauty which centres in the Christian idea of peace. After all the gloomy retrospect which fills the preceding chapters, the clouds break, and light steals gently over the scene. Nor is it merely the subsidence of storm, but an ardent and eager hope that now awakens, and looks forward to a glorious future.

We have.—A decided preponderance of MSS. authority compels us to read here, “Let us have,” though the older reading would seem to make the best sense. A hortatory element is introduced into the passage, which does not seem quite properly or naturally to belong to it. It is just possible that there may have been a very early error of the copyist, afterwards rightly corrected (in the two oldest MSS., Vat. and Sin., the reading of the Authorised version appears as a correction) by conjecture. On the other hand, it is too much always to assume that a writer really used the expression which it seems to us most natural that he should have used. “Let us have” would mean “Let us enter into and possess.”

Peace.—The state of reconciliation with God, with all that blissful sense of composure and harmony which flows from such a condition. “Peace” is the special legacy bequeathed by Jesus to His disciples (John 14:27; John 16:33); it is also the word used, with deep significance, after miracles of healing, attended with forgiveness (Mark 5:34; Luke 7:50). Boswell notes a remark of Johnson’s upon this word. “He repeated to Mr. Langton, with great energy in the Greek, our Saviour’s gracious expression concerning the forgiveness of Mary Magdalene: ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace’ (Luke 7:50). He said, ‘The manner of this dismission is exceedingly affecting’” (Life of Johnson, ch. 4, under the date 1780). For other illustrations of this supreme and unique phase of the Christian life, we may turn to the hymns of Cowper, especially those stanzas commencing “Sometimes a light surprises,” “So shall my walk be close with God,” “Fierce passions discompose the mind,” “There if Thy Spirit touch the soul”; or to some of the descriptions in the Pilgrim’s Progress.



Romans 5:1

In the rendering of the Revised Version, ‘Let us have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,’ the alteration is very slight, being that of one letter in one word, the substitution of a long ‘o’ for a short one. The majority of manuscripts of authority read ‘let us have,’ making the clause an exhortation and not a statement. I suppose the reason why, in some inferior MSS., the statement takes the place of the exhortation is because it was felt to be somewhat of a difficulty to understand the Apostle’s course of thought. But I shall hope to show you that the true understanding of the context, as well as of the words I have taken for my text, requires the exhortation and not the affirmation.

One more remark of an introductory character: is it not very beautiful to see how the Apostle here identifies himself, in all humility, with the Christians whom he is addressing, and feels that he, Apostle as he is, has the same need for the same counsel and stimulus that the weakest of those to whom he is writing have? It would have been so easy for him to isolate himself, and say, ‘Now you have peace with God; see that you keep it.’ But he puts himself into the same class as those whom he is exhorting, and that is what all of us have to do who would give advice that will be worth anything or of any effect. He does not stand upon a little molehill of superiority, and look down upon the Roman Christians, and imply that they have needs that he has not, but he exhorts himself too, saying, ‘Let all of us who have obtained like precious faith, which is alike in an Apostle and in the humblest believer, have peace with God.’

Now a word, first, about the meaning of this somewhat singular exhortation.

There is a theory of man and his relation to God underlying it, which is very unfashionable at present, but which corresponds to the deepest things in human nature, and the deepest mysteries in human history, and that is, that something has come in to produce the totally unnatural and monstrous fact that between God and man there is not amity or harmony. Men, on their side, are alienated, because their wills are rebellious and their aims diverse from God’s purpose concerning them. And-although it is an awful thing to have to say, and one from which the sentimentalism of much modern Christianity weakly recoils-on God’s side, too, the relation has been disturbed, and ‘we are by nature the children of wrath, even as others’; not of a wrath which is unloving, not of a wrath which is impetuous and passionate, not of a wrath which seeks the hurt of its objects, but of a wrath which is the necessary antagonism and recoil of pure love from such creatures as we have made ourselves to be. To speak as if the New Testament taught that ‘reconciliation’ was lop-sided-which would be a contradiction in terms, for reconciliation needs two to make it-to talk as if the New Testament taught that reconciliation was only man’s putting away his false relation to God, is, as I humbly think, to be blind to its plainest teaching. So, there being this antagonism and separation between God and man, the Gospel comes to deal with it, and proclaims that Jesus Christ has abolished the enmity, and by His death on the Cross has become our peace; and that we, by faith in that Christ, and grasping in faith His death, pass from out of the condition of hostility into the condition of reconciliation.

With this by way of basis, let us come back to my text. It sounds strange; ‘Therefore, being justified by faith, let up have peace.’ ‘Well,’ you will say, ‘but is not all that you have been saying just this, that to be justified by faith, to be declared righteous by reason of faith in Him who makes us righteous, is to have peace with God? Is not your exhortation an entirely superfluous one?’ No doubt that is what the old scribe thought who originated the reading which has crept into our Authorised Version. The two things do seem to be entirely parallel. To be justified by faith is a certain process, to have peace with God is the inseparable and simultaneous result of that process itself. But that is going rather too fast. ‘Being justified by faith let us have peace with God,’ really is just this-see that you abide where you are; keep what you have. The exhortation is not to attain peace, but retain it. ‘Hold fast that thou hast; let no man take thy crown.’ ‘Being justified by faith’ cling to your treasure and let nothing rob you of it-’let us have peace with God.’

Now a word, in the next place, as to the necessity and importance of this exhortation.

There underlies it, this solemn thought, which Christian people, and especially some types of Christian doctrine, do need to have hammered into them over and over again, that we hold the blessed life itself, and all its blessings, only on condition of our own cooperation in keeping them; and that just as physical life dies, unless by reception of food we nourish and continue it, so a man that is in this condition of being justified by faith, and having peace with God, needs, in order to the permanence of that condition, to give his utmost effort and diligence. It will all go if he do not. All the old state will come back again if we are slothful and negligent. We cannot keep the treasure unless we guard it. And just because we have it, we need to put all our mind, the earnestness of our will, and the concentration of our efforts, into the specific work of retaining it.

For, consider how manifold and strong are the forces which are always working against our continual possession of this justification by faith, and consequent peace with God. There are all the ordinary cares and duties and avocations and fortunes of our daily life, which, indeed, may be so hallowed in their motives and in their activities, as that they may be turned into helps instead of hindrances, but which require a great deal of diligence and effort in order that they should not work like grains of dust that come between the parts of some nicely-fitting engine, and so cause friction and disaster. There are all the daily tasks that tempt us to forget the things that we only know by faith, and to be absorbed in the things that we can touch and taste and handle. If a man is upon an inclined plane, unless he is straining his muscles to go upwards, gravitation will make short work of him, and bring him down. And unless Christian men grip hard and continually that sense of having fellowship and peace with God, as sure as they are living they will lose the clearness of that consciousness, and the calm that comes from it. For we cannot go into the world and do the work that is laid upon us all without there being possible hostility to the Christian life in everything that we meet. Thank God there is possible help, too, and whether our daily calling is an enemy or a friend to our religion depends upon the earnestness and continuousness of our own efforts. But there is a worse force than these external distractions working to draw us away, one that we carry within, in our own vacillating wills and wayward hearts and treacherous affections and passions that usually lie dormant, but wake up sometimes at the most inopportune periods. Unless we keep a very tight hand upon ourselves, certainly these will rob us of this consciousness of being justified by faith which brings with it peace with God that passes understanding.

In the Isle of Wight massive cliffs rise hundreds of feet above the sea, and seem as if they were as solid as the framework of the earth itself. But they rest upon a sharply inclined plane of clay, and the moisture trickles through the rifts in the majestic cliffs above, and gets down to that slippery substance and makes it like the greased ways down which they launch a ship; and away goes the cliff one day, with its hundreds of feet of buttresses that have fronted the tempest for centuries, and it lies toppled in hideous ruin on the beach below. We have all a layer of ‘blue slipper’ in ourselves, and unless we take care that no storm-water finds its way down through the chinks in the rocks above they will slide into awful ruin. ‘Being justified, let us have peace with God,’ and remember that the exhortation is enforced not only by a consideration of the many strong forces which tend to deprive us of this peace, but also by a consideration of the hideous disaster that comes upon a man’s whole nature if he loses peace with God. For there is no peace with ourselves, and there is no peace with man, and there is no peace in face of the warfare of life and the calamities that are certainly before us all, unless, in the deepest sanctuary of our being, there is the peace of God because in our consciences there is peace with God. If I desire to be at rest-and there is no blessedness but rest-if I desire to know the sovereign joy of tranquillity, undisturbed by my own stormy passions or by any human enmity, and to have even the ‘beasts of the field at peace with’ me, and all things my helpers and allies, there is but one way to realise the desire, and that is the retention of peace with God that comes with being justified by faith.

Lastly, a word or two as to the ways by which this exhortation can be carried into effect.

I have tried to explain how the peace of which my text speaks comes originally through Christ’s work laid hold of by my faith, and now I would say only three things.

Retain the peace by the exercise of that same faith which at first brought it. Next, retain it by union with that same Lord from whom you at first received it. Very significantly, in the immediate context, we have the Apostle drawing a broad distinction between the benefits which we have received from Christ’s death, and those which we shall receive through His life. And that is the best commentary on the words of my text. ‘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.’ So let our faith grasp firmly the great twin facts of the Christ who died that He might abolish the enmity, and bring us peace; and of the Christ who lives in order that He may pour into our hearts more and more of His own life, and so make us more and more in His own image. And the last word that I would say, in addition to these two plain, practical precepts is, let your conduct be such as will not disturb your peace with God. For if a man lets his own will rise up in rebellion against God’s, whether that divine will command duty or impose suffering, away goes all his peace. There is no possibility of the tranquil sense of union and communion with my Father in heaven lasting when I am in rebellion against Him. The smallest sin destroys, for the time being, our sense of forgiveness and our peace with God. The blue surface of the lake, mirroring in its unmoved tranquillity the sky and the bright sun, or the solemn stars, loses all that reflected heaven in its heart when a cat’s paw of wind ruffles its surface. If we would keep our hearts as mirrors, in their peace, of the peace in the heavens that shine down on them, we must fence them from the winds of evil passions and rebellious wills. ‘Oh! that thou wouldest hearken unto Me, then had thy peace been like a river.’

Romans 5:1. Therefore being justified — In the way shown in the preceding chapter, we receive many blessed privileges and advantages in consequence thereof. Here, to comfort the believers at Rome, and elsewhere, under the sufferings which the profession of the gospel brought upon them, the apostle proceeds to enumerate the privileges which belong to true believers in general. And from his account it appears, that the privileges of Abraham’s seed by faith, are far greater than those which belong to such as were his seed by natural descent, and which are described, Romans 2:17-20. The first privilege of this spiritual seed is, that, being justified by faith, we have peace with God — Being alienated from God and exposed to condemnation and wrath no longer, but brought into a state of reconciliation and peace with him. “Our guilty fears are silenced, and we are taught to look up to him with sweet serenity of soul, while we no longer conceive of him as an enemy, but under the endearing character of a Friend and a Father.” Through our Lord Jesus Christ — Through his mediation and grace. They have also divers other privileges and blessings here enumerated, which are all the fruits of justifying faith; so that where they are not, that faith is not. “It seems very unreasonable,” says Dr. Doddridge, “that when the apostle wrote such passages as this, and Ephesians 1:1-3, he should mean to exclude himself, who was no Gentile; they are not therefore to be expounded as spoken particularly of the Gentiles; nor could he surely intend by these grand descriptions, and pathetic representations, to speak only of such external privileges as might have been common to Simon Magus, or any other hypocritical and wicked professor of Christianity. And if he did not intend this, he must speak of all true Christians as such, and as taking it for granted that those to whom he addressed this and his other epistles were, in the general, such, though there might be some few excepted cases, which he did not think it necessary often to touch upon. And this is the true key to such passages in his epistles as I have more particularly stated and vindicated in the postscript which I have added to the preface of my Sermons on Regeneration, to which I must beg leave to refer my reader, and hope I shall be excused from a more particular examination of that very different scheme of interpretation which Dr. Taylor has so laboriously attempted to revive. The main principles of it are, I think, well confuted by my pious and worthy friend, Dr. Guyse, in the preface to his Paraphrase on this epistle.

5:1-5 A blessed change takes place in the sinner's state, when he becomes a true believer, whatever he has been. Being justified by faith he has peace with God. The holy, righteous God, cannot be at peace with a sinner, while under the guilt of sin. Justification takes away the guilt, and so makes way for peace. This is through our Lord Jesus Christ; through him as the great Peace-maker, the Mediator between God and man. The saints' happy state is a state of grace. Into this grace we are brought, which teaches that we were not born in this state. We could not have got into it of ourselves, but we are led into it, as pardoned offenders. Therein we stand, a posture that denotes perseverance; we stand firm and safe, upheld by the power of the enemy. And those who have hope for the glory of God hereafter, have enough to rejoice in now. Tribulation worketh patience, not in and of itself, but the powerful grace of God working in and with the tribulation. Patient sufferers have most of the Divine consolations, which abound as afflictions abound. It works needful experience of ourselves. This hope will not disappoint, because it is sealed with the Holy Spirit as a Spirit of love. It is the gracious work of the blessed Spirit to shed abroad the love of God in the hearts of all the saints. A right sense of God's love to us, will make us not ashamed, either of our hope, or of our sufferings for him.Therefore - οὖν oun Since we are thus justified, or as a consequence of being justified, we have peace.

Being justified by faith - See the notes at Romans 1:17; Romans 3:24; Romans 4:5.

We - That is, all who are justified. The apostle is evidently speaking of true Christians.

Have peace with God - see the note at John 14:27. True religion is often represented as peace with God; see Acts 10:36; Romans 8:6; Romans 10:15; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22; see also Isaiah 32:17.

"And the work of righteousness shall be peace,

And the effect of righteousness.

Quietness and assurance forever:"

This is called peace, because,

(1) The sinner is represented as the enemy of God, Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:16; James 4:4; John 15:18, John 15:24; John 17:14; Romans 1:30.

(2) the state of a sinner's mind is far from peace. He is often agitated, alarmed, trembling. He feels that he is alienated from God. For,

"The wicked are like the troubled sea.

For it never can be at rest;

Whose waters cast up mire and dirt."


Ro 5:1-11. The Blessed Effects of Justification by Faith.

The proof of this doctrine being now concluded, the apostle comes here to treat of its fruits, reserving the full consideration of this topic to another stage of the argument (Ro 8:1-39).

1. Therefore being—"having been."

justified by faith, we have peace with God, &c.—If we are to be guided by manuscript authority, the true reading here, beyond doubt, is, "Let us have peace"; a reading, however, which most reject, because they think it unnatural to exhort men to have what it belongs to God to give, because the apostle is not here giving exhortations, but stating matters of fact. But as it seems hazardous to set aside the decisive testimony of manuscripts, as to what the apostle did write, in favor of what we merely think he ought to have written, let us pause and ask—If it be the privilege of the justified to "have peace with God," why might not the apostle begin his enumeration of the fruits of justification by calling on believers to "realize" this peace as belonged to them, or cherish the joyful consciousness of it as their own? And if this is what he has done, it would not be necessary to continue in the same style, and the other fruits of justification might be set down, simply as matters of fact. This "peace" is first a change in God's relation to us; and next, as the consequence of this, a change on our part towards Him. God, on the one hand, has "reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ" (2Co 5:18); and we, on the other hand, setting our seal to this, "are reconciled to God" (2Co 5:20). The "propitiation" is the meeting-place; there the controversy on both sides terminates in an honorable and eternal "peace."Romans 5:1 Being justified by faith, we have peace with God,

Romans 5:2 we glory in our hopes,

Romans 5:3-5 and in present afflictions,

Romans 5:6-10 from the best experience of God’s love, looking with

more assurance for final salvation.

Romans 5:11 we glory in God also, to whom we are reconciled by Christ.

Romans 5:12-19 As sin and death came upon all men by Adam, so the

grace of God, which justifieth unto life, cometh more

abundantly unto all mankind through Christ.

Romans 5:20,21 Under the law sin abounded unto death; but grace hath

much more abounded unto life.

Hitherto of the cause and manner of our justification; now follow the benefits and effects.

Being justified by faith; as he had before asserted and proved particularly, in Romans 3:28 4:24.

We have peace with God; i.e. we have reconciliation with God, who before were utter enemies to him, Colossians 1:21; he is now become our Friend, as he was Abraham’s.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the only Mediator of reconciliation: see 2 Corinthians 5:19 Ephesians 2:14-16 Colossians 1:20 1 Timothy 2:5.

Therefore being justified by faith,.... Not that faith is at the first of our justification; for that is a sentence which passed in the mind of God from all eternity, and which passed on Christ, and on all the elect considered in him, when he rose from the dead; see Romans 4:25; nor is it the chief, or has it the chief place in justification; it is not the efficient cause of it, it is God that justifies, and not faith; it is not the moving cause of it, that is the free grace of God; it is not the matter of it, that is the righteousness of Christ: we are not justified by faith, either as God's work in us, for, as such, it is a part of sanctification; nor as our work or act, as exercised by us, for then we should be justified by works, by something of our own, and have whereof to glory; but we are justified by faith objectively and relatively, as that relates to the object Christ, and his righteousness; or as it is a means of our knowledge, and perception of our justification by Christ's righteousness, and of our enjoying the comfort of it; and so we come to

have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle having set the doctrine of justification in a clear light, and fully proved that it is not by the works of men, but by the righteousness of God; and having mentioned the several causes of it, proceeds to consider its effects, among which, peace with God stands in the first place; and is so called, to distinguish it from peace with men, which persons, though justified by faith in Christ's righteousness, may not have; but are sure, having a sense of this, to find peace with God, even with him against whom they have sinned, whose law they have transgressed, and whose justice they have affronted; reconciliation for sin being made, and a justifying righteousness brought in, and this imputed and applied to them, they have that "peace of God", that tranquillity and serenity of mind, the same with "peace with God" here, "which passes all understanding", Philippians 4:7; and is better experienced than expressed: and this is all through our Lord Jesus Christ; it springs from his atoning sacrifice, and precious blood, by which he has made peace; and is communicated through the imputation of his righteousness, and the application of his blood; and is only felt and enjoyed in a way of believing, by looking to him as the Lord our righteousness.

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

(1) Another argument taken from the effects: we are justified with that which truly appeases our conscience before God: and faith in Christ does appease our conscience and not the law, as it was said before, therefore by faith we are justified, and not by the law.

Romans 5:1.[1129] Οὖν draws an inference from the whole of the preceding section, Romans 3:21 to Romans 4:25, and developes the argument in such a form that ΔΙΚΑΙΩΘΈΝΤΕς, following at once on ΔΙᾺ ΤΉΝ ΔΙΚΑΊΩΣΙΝ ἩΜ., heads the sentence with triumphant emphasis. What a blessed assurance of salvation is enjoyed by believers in virtue of their justification which has taken place through faith, is now to be more particularly set forth; not however in the form of an exhortation (Hofmann, in accordance with the reading ἔχωμεν) “to let our relation to God be one of peace” (through a life of faith), in which case the emphasis, that obviously rests in the first instance on δικαιωθ. and then on ΕἸΡΉΝΗΝ, is taken to lie on ΔΙᾺ ΤΟῦ ΚΥΡΊΟΥ ἩΜ. ʼΙ. Χ.

] He who is justified is no longer in the position of one to whom God must be and is hostile (ἘΧΘΡῸς ΘΕΟῦ, Romans 5:9 f.), but on the contrary he has peace (not in a general sense contentment, satisfaction, as Th. Schott thinks) in his relation to God. This is the peace which consists in the known objective state of reconciliation, the opposite of the state in which one is subject to the divine wrath and the sensus irae. With justification this peace ensues as its immediate and abiding result.[1130] Hence δικαιωθέντες.… ἔχομεν (comp Acts 9:31; John 16:33). And through Christ (διὰ τοῦ κυρίου Κ.Τ.Λ[1132]) as the εἰρηνοποιός is this pacem obtinere (Bremi, a[1133] Isocr. Archid. p. 111) procured; a truth obvious indeed in itself, but which, in consonance with the strength and fulness of the Apostle’s own believing experience; is very naturally again brought into special prominence here, in order to connect, as it were, triumphantly with this objective cause of the state of peace what we owe to it respecting the point in question, Romans 5:2. There is thus the less necessity for joining διὰ τοῦ κυρίου κ.τ.λ[1134] with ΕἸΡΉΝΗΝ (Stölting); it belongs, like ΠΡῸς Τ. ΘΕΌΝ, in accordance with the position of ἜΧΟΜΕΝ, to the latter word.

πρὸς (of the ethical relation, Bernhardy, p. 265), as in Acts 2:47; Acts 24:16. Comp Herodian, viii. 7, 8 : ἈΝΤῚ ΠΟΛΈΜΟΥ ΜῈΝ ΕἸΡΉΝΗΝ ἜΧΟΝΤΕς ΠΡῸς ΘΕΟΎς. Plat. Pol. v. p. 465 B: εἰρήνην πρὸς ἀλλήλους ΟἹ ἌΝΔΡΕς ἌΞΟΥΣΙΝ; Legg. xii. p. 955 B; Alc. I. p. 107 D; Xenoph. and others. It is not to be confounded with the divinely wrought inward state of mental peace, which is denoted by εἰρήνη τοῦ Θεοῦ in Php 4:7; comp Colossians 3:15. The latter is the subjective correlate of the objective relation of the ΕἸΡΉΝΗ, which we have ΠΡῸς ΤῸΝ ΘΕΌΝ although inseparably combined with the latter.

[1129] On vv. 1–8 see Winzer, Commentat. Lips. 1832. On the entire chapter Stölting, Beitrage z. Exegese d. Paul. Briefe, Göttingen, 1869, p. 3 ff.

[1130] Comp. Dorner, die Rechtfert. durch den Glauben, p. 12 f.

[1132] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

[1133] d refers to the note of the commentator or editor named on the particular passage.

[1134] .τ.λ. καὶ τὰ λοιπά.

Romans 5:1-11. The blessings of Justification. The first section of the epistle (chap. Romans 1:18 to Romans 3:20) has proved man’s need of the righteousness of God; the second (chap. Romans 3:21-30) has shown how that righteousness comes, and how it is appropriated; the third (chap. Romans 3:31 to Romans 4:25) has shown, by the example of Abraham, and the testimony of David, that it does not upset, but establishes the spiritual order revealed in the O.T. The Apostle now, like David, enlarges on the felicity of the justified, and especially on their assurance of God’s love and of future blessedness. We may describe the contents of Romans 5:1-11 in the words which he himself applies (Romans 4:6) to the 32nd psalm: λέγει τὸν μακαρισμὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ᾧ ὁ θεὸς λογίζεται δικαιοσύνην χωρὶς ἔργων.

Ch. Romans 5:1-11. The security and happiness of the state of Justification; its basis being the Divine Love

1. Therefore being justified] Here opens a leading section. The preliminaries are now over:—The need of Justification is established; and its equal terms for Jew and Greek; and the fact that Faith is its one appointed condition; and the nature and actings of faith, specially as in Abraham’s example. We now come to a fuller statement of some important details, which will lead up to a view of the effects of faith in the character and life of the justified.

being justified] An aorist. The time-reference is probably to the definite crisis of acceptance in each individual case; not to the ideal justification just expounded (Romans 4:25). Because the words “by faith” point here to our acceptance of the Lord’s work.

we have peace] The Gr. has an important and strongly supported various reading:Let us have peace.” Without attempting to discuss the documentary evidence here, we merely state the case thus:—There is, on the whole, a greater weight of MSS. and ancient Versions in favour of “let us have.” But on the other hand there is a greater weight of internal evidence for “we have.” In other words, “we have” exactly fits info the context;let us have” is foreign to it. The whole context is one not of exhortation, but of dogmatic assertion:—“we have access;” “we rejoice;” “the love of God has been poured out into our hearts;” “we shall be saved;” “we are reconciled;” “we have received the reconciliation.”—How then can we account for the “Let us have”? Probably, by early failures to grasp the complex but consistent argument of the whole long context, and the inevitable tendency due to such misapprehension to substitute aspiration or exhortation for (what the text speaks of) a present possession.—It is an obviously right principle, though calling for most cautious application, that no amount of MS. evidence ought ever to force on us a reading which mars the context.—A single stroke in the Gr. MSS. makes the only visible difference between the readings.

peace with God] Lit. towards God. That is, “in view of Him, as regards Him, we possess the security and calm of acceptance.” Practically the phrase thus = “He has admitted us to peace;” “He is at peace with us.” The whole previous argument shews that His reconciliation to us, not ours to Him, is the main point; in other words, the justice of forgiveness on God’s part, not the yielding of the will on man’s part, which latter, though an all-important thing, is not directly in view now.—Much has been said against the phrase “God’s reconciliation to us,” as if it made Him out to be a hostile Power. But the justice of the words is seen when we (like St Paul here) look on Him as on the Judge. As Creator and Father, He loves the sinner; as Judge, He must condemn him—if it were not for His own gift of a Propitiation. And the judge who sentences a criminal is, however personally kind, judicially hostile. And again, the judge who for a good cause removes the sentence is then judicially reconciled to the accused, though he may personally need no reconciliation of feeling.—Scripture plainly reveals that the God of Love proclaims “no peace” to the impenitent. Therefore when He “speaks peace” there is a change, not in His benevolence but in His judicial attitude: in other words, reconciliation.—For instructive parallels where the word “peace” occurs see Isaiah 53:5; Luke 2:14; Luke 19:38; Hebrews 13:20; 2 Peter 3:14.

through our Lord Jesus Christ] The sacred Propitiation, provided and accepted by the loving and righteous Father; once offered, and continuously (“we have”) availing.

Romans 5:1. Δικαιωθέντες οὖν ἐκ πίστεως, therefore being justified by faith) This clause is a recapitulation of the preceding reasonings; comp. justification, ch. Romans 4:25.—εἰρήνην, peace) we are no longer enemies, Romans 5:10, nor do we fear wrath, Romans 5:9, we have peace and we glory, which is the principal topic of Chapters, 5 6 7 8 [Hence Paul so often puts peace by the side of grace.—V. g.]—πρὸς, to) towards, in relation to; God embraces us in the arms of peace.—τοῦ) Paul gives the full title, our Lord Jesus Christ, especially at the beginning or end of any discussion, Romans 5:11; Romans 5:21; Romans 6:11; Romans 6:23, which last verse, however [Romans 6:23] is more closely connected with those that go before, than with those that follow, at the beginning of which, the word brethren is placed [ch. Romans 7:1].

Verses 1-21. - (6) The results of the revelation of the righteousness of God, as affecting

(a) the consciousness and hopes of believers;

(b) the position of mankind before God. Verses 1-11. - (a) As to the consciousness of individual believers. Verse 1. - Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Instead of the ἔχομεν of the Textus Receptus, an overwhelming preponderance of authority, including uncials, versions, and Fathers, supports ἔχωμεν ("let us have"). If this be the true reading, the expression must be intended as hortatory, meaning, apparently, "Let us appreciate and realize our peace with God which we have in being justified by faith." But hortation here does not appear in keeping with what follows, in which the results of our being justified by faith are described in terms clearly, corresponding with the idea of our having peace with God. The passage as a whole is not hortatory, but descriptive, and "we have peace" comes in naturally as an initiatory statement of what is afterwards carried out. This being the case, it is a question whether an exception may not be allowed in this case to the usually sound rule of bowing to decided preponderance of authority with respect to readings. That ἔχωμεν was an early and widely accepted reading there can be no doubt; but still it may not have been the original one, the other appearing more probable. Scrivener is of opinion that "the itacism of ω for ο, so familiar to all collators of Greek manuscripts, crept into some very early copy, from which it was propagated among our most venerable codices, even those from which the earliest versions were made." Romans 5:1We have (ἔχομεν)

The true reading is ἔχωμεν let us have; but it is difficult if not impossible to explain it. Godet says: "No exegete has been able satisfactorily to account for this imperative suddenly occurring in the midst of a didactic development." Some explain as a concessive subjunctive, we may have; but the use of this in independent sentences is doubtful. Others give the deliberative sense, shall we have; but this occurs only in doubtful questions, as Romans 6:1. A similar instance is found Hebrews 12:28. "Let us have grace," where the indicative might naturally be expected. Compare also the disputed reading, let us bear, 1 Corinthians 15:49, and see note there.

Peace (εἰρήνην)

Not contentment, satisfaction, quiet, see Philippians 4:7; but the state of reconciliation as opposed to enmity (Romans 5:10).

With God (πρός)

See on with God, John 1:1.

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