Adam brought sin into the world and caused death, which is why we see death reign even before the law. The law was given to reveal sin and show us that we are actually enemies with God. However, even though we are God’s enemies and deserve His wrath, He loves us anyway. It’s because of His love that Jesus came and died on the cross. It is through Jesus’ sacrifice that we are saved from wrath, that we are reconciled to God, that we are declared righteous, and we have peace with Him! We can trust that this is all true because of the resurrection (which is what “saved by His life” is referring to). But it’s only if we “receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness” (5:17). Some look at “righteousness leading to life for all people” (5:18) and think that God saves everyone. It’s better to either understand it as “all people who believe,” or to recognize that salvation is available to all, but it is only attainable for those who express faith in Jesus Christ.
We now rejoice in hope because of our glorious future, and this hope even helps us to make it through the tough times. Since we have been saved and understand God’s love for us, we recognize that He even works in our lives during our suffering. Suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces more hope (5:3-4). Another way of saying this is that making it through tough times with God’s help makes us stronger, which in turn makes us better people, and ultimately encourages us to trust God more. Hope does not disappoint, because God does not disappoint (5:5)! He loves us, He saves us, and He works all things together for good (Romans 8:28)!