The Meaning of Romans 5:4 Explained

Romans 5:4

KJV: And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

YLT: and the endurance, experience; and the experience, hope;

Darby: and endurance, experience; and experience, hope;

ASV: and stedfastness, approvedness; and approvedness, hope:

What does Romans 5:4 Mean?

Context Summary

Romans 5:1-11 - Great Blessings Through Christ
We stand in grace; we look for glory. Our standing is sure, although apart from our feelings or deserts. It is ours forever, through union with the living Christ. It is our admission to the home of God's elect. We have passed the threshold and have received, in the antechamber, the new white robe. But being in the house we find several stories or tiers of ascent. They are marked by the phrases, not only so and much more.
Starting from faith, the staircase mounts from peace to hope, Romans 5:2; from hope to love, Romans 5:5; from reconciliation to salvation and life and joy in God, Romans 5:9-11, so that whatever He does, as well as whatever He is, awakens in our hearts responsive admiration and glad consent. Stand on these successive terraces in the mountain climb to take your breath and behold the far-spread landscape. Let us not be content with the ladder foot when all these rounds of light invite us. Especially ponder Romans 5:10, where the Apostle distinguishes between reconciliation and salvation. What music there is in that wonderful phrase, saved by His life! By His life for us in heaven and in us by His Spirit. [source]

Chapter Summary: Romans 5

1  Being justified by faith, we have peace with God;
2  and joy in our hope;
8  that since we were reconciled by his blood, when we were enemies;
10  we shall much more be saved, being reconciled
12  As sin and death came by Adam;
17  so much more righteousness and life by Jesus Christ
20  Where sin abounded, grace did superabound

Greek Commentary for Romans 5:4

Knowing [ειδοτες]
Second perfect participle of ειδον — eidon (οιδα — oida), giving the reason for the previous exhortation to glory in tribulations. He gives a linked chain, one linking to the other (tribulation τλιπσις — thlipsis patience υπομονη — hupomonē experience δοκιμη — dokimē hope ελπις — elpis) running into Romans 5:5. On δοκιμη — dokimē see note on 2 Corinthians 2:9. [source]
Experience [δοκιμήν]
Wrong. The word means either the process of trial, proving, as 2 Corinthians 8:2, or the result of trial, approvedness, Philemon 2:22. Here it can only be the latter: tried integrity, a state of mind which has stood the test. The process has already been expressed by tribulation. Rev. renders probation, which might be defended on the ground of English classical usage. Thus Shakespeare:“And of the truth hereinThis present object made probation.“Hamlet,” i., 1 Jeremy Taylor: “When by miracle God dispensed great gifts to the laity, He gave probation that He intended that all should prophecy and preach.” But probation has come to be understood, almost universally, of the process of trial. The more accurate rendering is proof or approval. -DIVIDER-

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Romans 5:4

Romans 3:20 Be justified [δικαιωθήσεται]
For the kindred adjective δίκαιος righteoussee on Romans 1:17. 1. Classical usage. The primitive meaning is to make right. This may take place absolutely or relatively. The person or thing may be made right in itself, or with reference to circumstances or to the minds of those who have to do with them. Applied to things or acts, as distinguished from persons, it signifies to make right in one's judgment. Thus Thucydides, ii. 6,7. “The Athenians judged it right to retaliate on the Lacedaemonians.” Herodotus, i., 89, Croesus says to Cyrus: “I think it right to shew thee whatever I may see to thy advantage.”-DIVIDER-
A different shade of meaning is to judge to be the case. So Thucydides, iv., 122: “The truth concerning the revolt was rather as the Athenians, judged the case to be.” Again, it occurs simply in the sense to judge. Thucydides, v., 26: “If anyone agree that the interval of the truce should be excluded, he will not judge correctly “In both these latter cases the etymological idea of right is merged, and the judicial element predominates. -DIVIDER-
In ecclesiastical usage, to judge to be right or to decide upon in ecclesiastical councils. -DIVIDER-
Applied to persons, the meaning is predominantly judicial, though Aristotle (“Nichomachaean Ethics,” v., 9) uses it in the sense of to treat one rightly. There is no reliable instance of the sense to make right intrinsically; but it means to make one right in some extrinsic or relative manner. Thus Aeschylus, “Agamemnon,” 390-393: Paris, subjected to the judgment of men, tested ( δικαιωθεὶς ) is compared to bad brass which turns black when subjected to friction. Thus tested or judged he stands in right relation to men's judgments. He is shown in the true baseness of his character. -DIVIDER-
Thus the verb acquires the meaning of condemn; adjudge to be bad. Thucydides, iii., 40: Cleon says to the Athenians, “If you do not deal with the Mitylenaeans as I advise, you will condemn yourselves.” From this readily arises the sense of punish; since the punishment of a guilty man is a setting him in right relation to the political or moral system which his conduct has infringed. Thus Herodotus, i., 100: “Deioces the Mede, if he heard of any act of oppression, sent for the guilty party and punished him according to his offense.” Compare Plato, “Laws,” ii., 934. Plato uses δικαιωτήρια to denote places of punishment or houses of correction (“Phaedrus,” 249). According to Cicero, δικαιόω was used by the Sicilians of capital punishment: “ Ἑδικαιώθησαν , that is, as the Sicilians say, they were visited with punishment and executed” (“Against Verres,” v., 57). -DIVIDER-
To sum up the classical usage, the word has two main references: 1, to persons; 2, to things or acts. In both the judicial element is dominant. The primary sense, to make right, takes on the conventional meanings to judge a thing to be right, to judge, to right a person, to treat rightly, to condemn, punish, put to death. -DIVIDER-
2. New Testament usage. This is not identical with the classical usage. In the New Testament the word is used of persons only. In Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:35, of a quality, Wisdom, but the quality is personified. It occurs thirty-nine times in the New Testament; twenty-seven in Paul; eight in the Synoptists and Acts; three in James; one in the Revelation. -DIVIDER-
A study of the Pauline passages shows that it is used by Paul according to the sense which attaches to the adjective δίκαιος , representing a state of the subject relatively to God. The verb therefore indicates the act or process by which a man is brought into a right state as related to God. In the A.V. confusion is likely to arise from the variations in translation, righteousness, just, justifier, justify. See Romans 3:24, Romans 3:26, Romans 3:28, Romans 3:30; Romans 4:2; Romans 5:1, Romans 5:9; Galatians 2:16; Galatians 3:8, Galatians 3:11, Galatians 3:24; Titus 3:7. -DIVIDER-
The word is not, however, to be construed as indicating a mere legal transaction or adjustment between God and man, though it preserves the idea of relativity, in that God is the absolute standard by which the new condition is estimated, whether we regard God's view of the justified man, or the man's moral condition when justified. The element of character must not only not be eliminated from it; it must be foremost in it. Justification is more than pardon. Pardon is an act which frees the offender from the penalty of the law, adjusts his outward relation to the law, but does not necessarily effect any change in him personally. It is necessary to justification, but not identical with it. Justification aims directly at character. It contemplates making the man himself right; that the new and right relation to God in which faith places him shall have its natural and legitimate issue in personal rightness. The phrase faith is counted for righteousness, does not mean that faith is a substitute for righteousness, but that faith is righteousness; righteousness in the germ indeed, but still bona fide righteousness. The act of faith inaugurates a righteous life and a righteous character. The man is not made inherently holy in himself, because his righteousness is derived from God; neither is he merely declared righteous by a legal fiction without reference to his personal character; but the justifying decree, the declaration of God which pronounces him righteous, is literally true to the fact in that he is in real, sympathetic relation with the eternal source and norm of holiness, and with the divine personal inspiration of character. Faith contains all the possibilities of personal holiness. It unites man to the holy God, and through this union he becomes a partaker of the divine nature, and escapes the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4). The intent of justification is expressly declared by Paul to be conformity to Christ's image (Romans 8:29, Romans 8:30). Justification which does not actually remove the wrong condition in man which is at the root of his enmity to God, is no justification. In the absence of this, a legal declaration that the man is right is a fiction. The declaration of righteousness must have its real and substantial basis in the man's actual moral condition. -DIVIDER-
Hence justification is called justification of life (Romans 5:18); it is linked with the saving operation of the life of the risen Christ (Romans 4:25; Romans 5:10); those who are in Christ Jesus “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Romans 8:1); they exhibit patience, approval, hope, love (Romans 5:4, Romans 5:5). Justification means the presentation of the self to God as a living sacrifice; non-conformity to the world; spiritual renewal; right self-estimate - all that range of right practice and feeling which is portrayed in the twelfth chapter of this Epistle. See, further, on Romans 4:5.Knowledge ( ἐπίγνωσις )Clear and exact knowledge. Always of a knowledge which powerfully influences the form of the religions life, and hence containing more of the element of personal sympathy than the simple γνῶσις knowledgewhich may be concerned with the intellect alone without affecting the character. See Romans 1:28; Romans 10:2; Ephesians 4:13. Also Philemon 1:9, where it is associated with the abounding of love; Colossians 3:10; Philemon 1:6, etc. Hence the knowledge of sin here is not mere perception, but an acquaintance with sin which works toward repentance, faith, and holy character. [source]

2 Corinthians 8:1 Trial of affliction [δοκιμῇ θλίψεως]
Rev., better, proof. See on experience, Romans 5:4. In much affliction, which tried and proved their christian character, their joy and liberality abounded. [source]
2 Corinthians 2:9 The proof of you [τὴν δοκιμὴν ὑμῶν]
See on Romans 5:4. Your tried quality. See on 1 Peter 1:7. Compare Philemon 2:22. [source]
2 Corinthians 2:9 That I might know the proof of you [ινα γνω την δοκιμην υμων]
Ingressive second aorist active subjunctive, come to know. Δοκιμη — Dokimē is proof by testing. Late word from δοκιμος — dokimos and is in Dioscorides, medical writer in reign of Hadrian. Earliest use in Paul and only in him in N.T. (2 Corinthians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 8:2; 2 Corinthians 9:13; 2 Corinthians 13:3; Romans 5:4; Philemon 2:22). [source]
1 Thessalonians 1:3 Work - labor - patience [ἔπργου - κόπου - ὑπομονῆς]
Ἔργον workmay mean either the act, the simple transaction, or the process of dealing with anything, or the result of the dealing, - as a book or a picture is called a work. Κόπος laborfrom κόπτειν tostrike or hew; hence, laborious, painful exertion. Ὑπομονὴ patiencepatient endurance and faithful persistence in toil and suffering. See on 2 Peter 1:6; see on James 5:7. The genitives, of faith, love, hope, mark the generating principles of the work and labor and patience, which set their stamp upon each; thus, work which springs from faith, and is characteristic of faith. The phrase patience of hope is found only here; but see Romans 5:4; Romans 8:25; Romans 15:4; 1 Corinthians 8:7; Hebrews 7:11, Hebrews 7:12. ὑπομονὴ in lxx, see 1 Chronicles 29:15; Job 14:19; Psalm 9:18; Psalm 38:7; Jeremiah href="/desk/?q=jer+4:8&sr=1">Jeremiah 4:8. We have here the great triad of Christian graces, corresponding to 1 Corinthians 8:1-13. Hope is prominent throughout the two Epistles. The triad appears, 1 Thessalonians 5:8; Galatians 5:5, Galatians 5:6; 1 Corinthians 8:13; Ephesians 4:2-5; Colossians 1:4, Colossians 1:5; Hebrews 10:22-24; 1 Peter 1:21-22. Comp. 1 Thessalonians 2:9; 1 Thessalonians 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 15:10, 1 Corinthians 15:58; 2 Corinthians 11:27; Revelation 2:2. [source]
2 Timothy 2:15 To shew thyself approved [σεαυτὸν δόκιμον παραστῆσαι]
Παραστῆσαι , better, present. In Pastorals only here and 2 Timothy 4:17. Often in Acts and Paul. See on Acts 1:3; see on Romans 16:2; see on Ephesians 5:27. Δόκιμον approvedonly here in Pastorals, five times by Paul. See on James 1:12. See on δοκιμή approvedness Romans 5:4; and see on δοκιμάζειν toapprove on test, 1 Peter 1:7. [source]
James 1:12 Temptation [πειρασμον]
Real temptation here. See James 1:2 for “trials.”When he hath been approved (δοκιμος γενομενος — dokimos genomenos). “Having become approved,” with direct reference to το δοκιμιον — to dokimion in James 1:3. See also Romans 5:4 for δοκιμη — dokimē (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude (μακαριος — makarios) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1 Timothy 6:9.The crown of life The same phrase occurs in Revelation 2:10. It is the genitive of apposition, life itself being the crown as in 1 Peter 5:4. This crown is “an honourable ornament” (Ropes), with possibly no reference to the victor‘s crown (garland of leaves) as with Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:25; 2 Timothy 4:8, nor to the linen fillet Στεπανος — Stephanos has a variety of uses. Cf. the thorn chaplet on Jesus (Matthew 27:29).The Lord. Not in the oldest Greek MSS., but clearly implied as the subject of επηγγειλατο — epēggeilato (he promised, first aorist middle indicative). [source]
James 1:12 When he hath been approved [δοκιμος γενομενος]
“Having become approved,” with direct reference to το δοκιμιον — to dokimion in James 1:3. See also Romans 5:4 for δοκιμη — dokimē (approval after test as of gold or silver). This beatitude (μακαριος — makarios) is for the one who has come out unscathed. See 1 Timothy 6:9. [source]

What do the individual words in Romans 5:4 mean?

- And perseverance character character hope
δὲ ὑπομονὴ δοκιμήν δοκιμὴ ἐλπίδα

Parse: Article, Nominative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ὑπομονὴ  perseverance 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: ὑπομονή  
Sense: steadfastness, constancy, endurance.
δοκιμήν  character 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: δοκιμή  
Sense: proving, trial.
δοκιμὴ  character 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Feminine Singular
Root: δοκιμή  
Sense: proving, trial.
ἐλπίδα  hope 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἐλπίς  
Sense: expectation of evil, fear.