What a huge word 'therefore' is.
Somebody spends all this effort to set up their thought and keep your attention with lots of cool prose or smart verbage or shocking comments… and then they say, "therefore".
"You don't want to use a cheap, lesser-brand-name carpet cleaner to get out this heavy stain! Therefore, try REMOVIT!!" (No offense if REMOVIT is actually a real stain remover label. The name just popped in my head and it may be suitable for copyright and product placement, therefore, please cut me a substantial check… or a cheque if you are in Canada or the UK. Thank you.)
Thus, ergo, hence, consequently, then, οὖν… (See Dictionary.com)
The way 'therefore' works is impressive. All the stuff that has come before 'therefore' has been scaffolding… what's behind the scenes, so to speak. What comes after 'therefore' is the application that can be visualized in a person's life. 'Therefore' introduces a new commentary derived from what has just preceded it.
For instance: "I spent all of my money on Whoppers, therefore I am no longer able to buy real food." Or this one: "A meteor is about to crash into the earth, therefore tonight is your last chance to read the Harry Potter series." See how important 'therefore' is? It's like an "=" in math (Well that's not quite true… factually, in math, there is an actual 'therefore' sign). Or it's like that amazing moment between 'cause' and 'effect' when everything slows to a paradoxical crawl in time – Something dramatic has just taken place… slow motion pause (imagine a tumbling car crash or maybe loud thudding heart beats in a courtroom)… and sny second there is going to be a profound result.
Paul's scaffolding in Romans up to this point has been nothing short of amazing. If building inspectors were to take a look at Paul's framework and wiring, they'd fight for the honor to sign their name on the dotted line: "MEETS CODE" or "PASSES INSPECTION". In the first four chapters, Paul cut no corners and left no waste. Paul used the best material and built the best subfloors. Paul has said all of these great things, all of these profound strings of arguments, all of these sound thoughts and intertwined phrases…
Therefore… something amazing is about to be shown.
Romans 5:1a (virtually any translation): "Therefore…"
Note: Early in my Christian life, someone taught me: "If you see a 'therefore' you should ask 'What is it there for?'" Before we go plodding into Chapter 5, it is right to realize that Paul is making a big transition here. Ergo, it is right to pause and remember what Paul has argued so far… and why we suspect this scaffolding has been built. In other words, what is the 'therefore' at the beginning of Chapter 5 there for? Hence, take time before we continue on to read back through the first four chapters. Big things have been spoken… and consequently, the application is about to be applied.
Note 2: Why do we put "a" and "b" in verse designations nowadays? When did that start? Is that a power point thing or did this exist prior to that? It's already kind of bad taste that we're obsessed with verse numbering (something that didn't exist over the eras when the Bible was being written – see blog post here). Thankfully, none of my English translations have yet succumbed to lettering our numbering.