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Romans  ◦   Chapter 5

1Therefore, if our minds and hearts have been set right through trust, we are at peace with God through the Remedy achieved by our Lord Jesus Christ.2It is through Jesus that we know the truth about God and are won back to trust, and thus open our minds to experience God's gracious healing power. Our joy is found in the hope of full restoration into beings possessing Godlike character.3Because of this, we rejoice in our trials and afflictions, for we know that trials bring to light our shortcomings and defects of character.4If we persevere, choosing God's methods, the defects are removed and character is purified, and pure character increases our hope for God's kingdom.5And our hope will not be disappointed, because God pours out his love into our hearts and thereby matures, ennobles, and restores us into his image by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us.

6You see, at the exact moment it was needed–when we were infected with distrust, rebelling against God, and our condition was terminal–Christ died to restore trust and cure the terminally ill.7Very rarely will someone die for a healthy person, though this might sometimes happen;8but God the Father demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were dying and in rebellion against him, Christ died to restore trust and cure sinfulness in order to heal us and bring us back to unity with God.

9Now that we have been won back to trust, cleansed in mind and set right with God by all that Christ accomplished at the cross, it is ridiculous to think that God would let us go!10For since–while we distrusted God and fought against him in every way–his Son died to win us back to trust and friendship with himself and to cure our rebellious hearts, how much more, having won us back to trust and friendship, will God heal all the damage caused to us while we were in rebellion against him!11And even better still, having experienced this healing of mind and heart, we are overjoyed because God, through Jesus, has made us his friends.

12Therefore, the infection of distrust of God — which deformed humanity's heart and mind with selfishness and fear, and which results only in death — infected the human race when Adam accepted Satan's lies about God and broke trust with him. This infection of fear and selfishness is inherited by all human beings, so all are born infected.13This is revealed by the fact that before the written law was given, the infection of distrust, fear and selfishness was already present in the world. But this infection of distrust, fear and selfishness is not diagnosable without the law.14Nevertheless, even without being diagnosed as infected with this terminal condition, humans still died, all the way from the time of Adam to Moses–even those who did not break a specific command, like Adam did–revealing that the problem is the infected state of our minds and not a legal issue with God. Adam, the first man, being the conduit through which the infection entered humanity, also represents the one man who is the conduit of the antidote that cures all those who accept it.

15But the gift of the antidote is not like the infection. For if everyone is born infected with a terminal condition because of the choice of Adam, how incredibly effective must the antidote supplied by Christ be, since it cures all who take it!16Again, the gift of the antidote is not like the result of the breach of trust. Adam's breach of trust infected all humanity, therefore all humanity is diagnosed as sick and dying. This occurred without each individual choosing to be infected; but the antidote, which came after humanity had been severely damaged and deformed by selfishness and sin, brought cleansing, purification, health, and complete restoration.17If — by the choice of one man's distrust — selfishness and death permeated all humanity, how much more will those who accept the Remedy that Christ has achieved experience restored trust and complete healing to live forever with God!

18Therefore, just as Adam's distrust infected humanity with the fatal condition of fear and selfishness, so too Christ's choice to sacrifice self achieved the life-giving Remedy for all humanity.19Just as Adam's choice infected the human race with a terminal condition, so too Christ's perfect life has brought the Remedy to heal all who accept it.

20The written law was added so that the infection of distrust and selfishness could be more easily seen and diagnosed. As the exposure of sin and selfishness increased, God's willingness to heal increased all the more,21so that — just as distrust and selfishness brought deformity and death — even more importantly, God's gracious Remedy, brought by Jesus Christ, results in complete healing and life eternal.