Victory in Jesus
Bible Study with Jairus – Romans 5
Romans 5 continues the discussion of justification by faith, and takes it a step further. This chapter reassures believers that if they were reconciled to God while they were still his enemies, how much more will they be saved by his life! (ESV, Romans 5:10).
In the second half of the chapter, Romans 5 uses the word “reign” in four different contexts. Today, we will discuss the relationship of these four “reigns.”
The first time the word appears is in verse 14: “Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses.” (ESV) Verse 17 says, “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” (ESV) Both verses are discussing the reign of death.
The second use of the word “reign” is the reference to believers, who have received abundance of grace, who will “reign in life.” (Romans 5:17 ESV)
Reign is also mentioned twice in verse 21: “so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (ESV) In this verse, the sin that reigns in death is contrasted with the grace that reigns through righteousness.
Let’s look at these concepts in detail. First, God tells us that death reigns. The power of death was in the hands of Satan. When Jesus won the victory on the cross, he seized the keys of death and hell.
How and when does death reign? Verse 14 clearly says that death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses. A question remained: did death continue to reign from the time of Moses to the time of Christ? Why doesn’t the verse say that death reigned from the time of Adam to the time when Jesus came?
We know that after Christ’s coming, He reigned in righteousness through “grace.” The reign of grace in these passages refers to the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, believers can reign in life through Jesus Christ. Finally, the passage explains that sin reigned in death. This fact may answer the question we posed. Perhaps death reigned from Adam to Moses, and then sin reigned through death from the time the law was given to the time when the Lord Jesus came. This period is called the Age of Law.
These reigns can be a bit confusing, so let’s look at them in more detail through the lens of four people who reigned.
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