Christ Died for Us
Romans 5:6 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. (NKJV)
The Apostle Paul wrote the letter of Romans to the church in Rome. These are God’s words to the Christians there, both Jews and Gentiles, and all Christians.
Paul wrote this letter from Corinth, Greece during a three month visit to the church there in late 56 and early 57 A.D. The letter is heavy with Christian Doctrine, Christian teaching.
In previous passages of this book, we looked at the act of Justification. Justification is the action of declaring someone righteous in the sight of God.
When we become a Christian, God’s righteousness is imputed upon us. We are declared righteous by God. We are justified.
We become “justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24a). We receive justification by the Judge, Jesus Christ Himself, who will one day judge the world.
We cannot earn this justification. We are “justified through faith” in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, by his grace (v. 1a).
Jesus’ judgment is to drop all charges against us. We are found innocent, His blood shed on the cross has covered all of our sins. They are cast “as far as the east is from the west” (Ps. 103:12).
In the previous passage, the Apostle Paul cited seven benefits of Justification. The seven benefits are peace, grace, hope, perseverance, character, trust and love.
Now, in this passage Paul details how we got here, how we got to this point of justification. It all began “when we were still without strength” (v.6). There was a time when “we”, Christians, did not have the strength of God, did not have a relationship with God.
In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve sinned, breaking the relationship mankind had with God. Previously, God would commune with Adam and Eve in the Garden “in the cool of the evening” (Gen. 3:8). They were in right relationship.
But after sin, Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. The relationship was broken. Mankind made themselves enemies of God and no longer possessed the strength of God.
Then, at God’s appointed time in history Jesus Christ came from Heaven to visit this world. And, “in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” (v. 6).
Prior to this, we were all “ungodly”, without God. We were His enemies.
“Scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (vv. 7-8).
Men will rarely lay down their lives for righteous men. Even less often, will they lay down their lives for men that are just good.
To ask them to lay down their lives for their enemies may be asking too much. But that is exactly what Jesus did for us.
In a display of God’s great love for us, Christ died for us while we were yet His enemies. He shed His blood on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin.
“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (v. 9). When we accept Him, and His blood sacrifice for us, we are justified, found innocent, and not subject to the wrath of God which falls upon all who reject Him.
So, “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.” (v. 10). While we, mankind, were still enemies of God, Jesus Christ died for us on the cross.
This act reconciled our relationship with God for all who accept Jesus’ sacrifice. We are now children of God and are saved from the penalty of our sin through the giving of Jesus Christ’s life for us.
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” (v. 11). Not only are we saved but we also are able “to rejoice” as Christ followers, Christians.
In conclusion, we were all enemies of God prior to becoming Christians. Jesus died on the cross for us, while we were still enemies.
However, when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we are no longer enemies. We are reconciled to Him and are justified by God.
Christ died for us while we were yet enemies, to make us friends. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13).
Online Bible Commentary