Romans 5

Faith, the Riches of Life[a]

Chapter 5

At Peace with God

Hope Does Not Disappoint. 1 Therefore, now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace[b] with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom by faith we have been given access to this grace in which we now live, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we realize that suffering develops perseverance, 4 and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 Such hope will not be doomed to disappointment,[c] because the love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Reconciliation Already Obtained. 6 At the appointed time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Indeed, it is seldom that anyone will die for a just person, although perhaps for a good person someone might be willing to die. 8 Thus, God proved his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

9 And so, now that we have been justified by Christ’s blood, how much more certainly will we be saved through him from divine retribution.[d] 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more certain it is that, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. 11 And not only that, but we now even trust exultantly in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have already been granted reconciliation.

Adam and Christ—Sin and Grace[e]

12 Humanity’s Sin through Adam. Therefore, sin entered the world as the result of one man, and death[f] as a result of sin, and thus death has afflicted the entire human race inasmuch as everyone has sinned. 13 Sin was already in the world before there was any Law, even though sin is not reckoned when there is no Law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned by disobeying a command, as did Adam who prefigured the one who was to come.

15 Grace and Life through Christ. However, the gift is not like the transgression. For if the transgression of one man led to the death of the many,[g] how much greater was the overflowing effect of the grace of God and the gift of the one man Jesus Christ that has abounded for the many. 16 The gift of God cannot be compared with the sin of the one man. For the one sin resulted in the judgment that brought condemnation, but the gift freely given after many transgressions resulted in justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s transgression, death reigned through that man, how much more shall those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness come to reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, just as one man’s transgression brought condemnation for all, so one man’s righteous act resulted in justification and life for all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one man the many will be made righteous.[h]

20 Purpose of the Law. When the Law was added, offenses multiplied; but the increase in sins was far exceeded by the increase in grace. 21 Hence, as sin’s reign resulted in death, so the grace of God also might reign through righteousness resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


  1. Romans 5:1 Without faith human beings remain in the night of sin. When they have been justified through Christ and believe in the redemption he gives, they enter into a new life, that of salvation. Paul confronts the believer with a living reality.
    First, he speaks of peace and reconciliation (Rom 5:1-11); he must then show how Christ opens for us the way of deliverance from sin (Rom 5:12-21), from death (Rom 6:1-23), and from the Law (Rom 7:1-25); the song of Christian life is a song of the Spirit and of hope. But Paul cannot forget the lot of the Israel that rejects the Gospel; he enters upon a lengthy discussion and asserts again that the love of God is stronger than any human rejection (chs. 9–11).
  2. Romans 5:1 We are at peace: some manuscripts and Fathers of the Church give: “Let us have peace.”
  3. Romans 5:5 Such hope will not be doomed to disappointment: the hope of believers is more than just an earthly optimism. It is the assurance of our future destiny based on the love of God for us—revealed to us by the Holy Spirit and demonstrated for us by Christ’s Death.
  4. Romans 5:9 Saved . . . from divine retribution: the image expresses the tragic situation of humanity without God, that is, without hope and without an authentic future (see Rom 1:18; 1 Thes 1:10).
  5. Romans 5:12 The religious history of humanity is here summarized in an incisive synthesis. We should keep our gaze fixed on the luminous heights to which Paul wants to lead us: his vision points to life, grace, and the salvation given in Christ Jesus. The vision is all the more fascinating in that it stands out against the dark background of sin and death.
  6. Romans 5:12 Death: physical death is the penalty for sin as well as the symbol of spiritual death, the ultimate separation of a human being from God. Inasmuch as everyone has sinned: we start life with a sinful nature (see Gen 8:21; Pss 51:7; 58:4; Eph 2:3).
  7. Romans 5:15 The many: this has the same meaning as “everyone” in verse 12 (see Isa 53:11; Mk 10:45).
  8. Romans 5:19 Disobedience is the refusal to acknowledge the primacy of God when it comes to giving life meaning. Obedience is the commitment of one’s life to the plan and call of God.

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