International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday July 24, 2016
Purpose: To claim God’s promise of hope
Bible Lesson: Romans 5:1-11
Key Verse: This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:5)
Romans 5:1-11 (CEB)
(1) Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (2) We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. (3) But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, (4) endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (5) This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (6) While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. (7) It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. (8) But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. (9) So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. (10) If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life? (11) And not only that: we even take pride in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, the one through whom we now have a restored relationship with God.
Some Comments by Burgess Walter
There are some things about the text as translated in the Common English Bible that I find disturbing. I am also at a loss for words, when verse 8, is not the “key verse” of this passage. In fact, I am going to print the NKJV, so you can compare the two translations.
(1) Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a]peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, (2) through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (3) And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; (4) and perseverance, character; and character, hope. (5) Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
(6) For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. (8) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (9) Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. (10) For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (11) And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation
I have highlighted some of the passages I find most disturbing, for your comparison. I will not spend a lot of time on these comparisons, but I think you can see a different doctrine between the two. The CEB certainly takes a more universal approach, making it about the faithfulness of Christ as opposed to our faith in Christ. Many think that redemption comes because of the life Christ lived and not his death on the cross.
When Paul begins this chapter with therefore, we know he is about to make an important proclamation which ties together the first four chapters of this book. While Paul proclaims us all lost because of sin, he now reconciles our sin and God’s love toward us.
Only a very righteous and loving God would make provision for our rescue from sin and death. Paul offers us hope and peace, but that may not be the hope and peace you are thinking of. The peace that Christ offers is an assurance that whatever we are going through there is something better coming. The hope is not for a better life but for a life everlasting. Humankind looks for short term answers, but God is interested in the eternal. Because we are human and sinners we will go through trials and tribulations just like all of the great martyrs. No one has been spared that, not even Christ, God’s own son. For us to expect it, is not realistic. But we can boast that is does not matter, there is a day coming when all will be made right, not because we did anything, we just believed.
My hymn for this week is “Victory in Jesus” because I think it proclaims the message the way our forefathers understood it.