Romans 5:6-11

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

December 23, 1998


We have seen Paul present the case that man is not made right before God through his own deeds or the keeping of the law, but simply through faith. Our salvation is not a matter of something we’ve earned, it is a "grace", a free, undeserved, gift from God. All we do is trust Him to receive it.

:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

without strengthasthenes – weak, infirm, feeble

forhuper – in behalf of, for the sake of

ungodlyasebes – destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious

in due timekata kairon – "according to time"

Jesus came at just the right time. Kind of reminds you of Christmas, huh?

J. Sidlow Baxter in Awake, My Heart writes, "Separate Christmas Day from Good Friday, and Christmas is doomed--doomed to decay into a merely sentimental or superstitious or sensuous "eat-drink-and-be-merry" festivity of December. Bethlehem and Golgotha, the Manger and the Cross, the birth and the death, must always be seen together, if the real Christmas is to survive with all its profound inspirations; for "the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; and to give His life a ransom for many.""


In a collection of folk tales, William J. Faulkner relates the story of a disobedient lamb. A mother sheep had warned her little ones, "Do not go near the river, for a bad tiger lives there, and he will kill and eat you." One lamb kept toying with the thought that the grass near the river seemed to be greener than elsewhere and that his mother must be mistaken about a tiger being there. Finally, his curiosity and desire for greener grass led him near the river bank. After grazing for some while on the luscious grass, he scampered down to the water for a drink.

Suddenly he heard a gruff voice saying, "What are you doing, drinking from my river and muddying my water?" The disobedient lamb began excusing himself, but the tiger came closer, saying "I'm going to kill and eat you." As the tiger sprang toward the helpless lamb, the mother sheep ran between them, taking the death-dealing blows of claws and fangs in her own body. Thus, the disobedient lamb was spared and scampered up the river bank to safety.

It was Christ's willingness to lay down his life that has brought us salvation and life.

:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

scarcelymolis – with difficulty, hardly; not easily, i.e. scarcely, very rarely

forhuper – in behalf of, for the sake of

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws

peradventuretacha – hastily, quickly, soon; peradventure, perhaps

goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy.

One suggestion is that the difference between "righteous" and "good" is a difference of sympathy. The "righteous" man is one without sympathy while the "good" man is kind and beneficent.

even daretolmao – not to dread or shun through fear; endure; to bring one's self to

Some have looked at this verse this way: "No one would die for a cold but correct kind of guy, though some might die for a nice guy".

Another idea: Very rarely would someone want to die for a righteous person who doesn’t need any of their sins paid for, though some might bring themselves to die for a person who is a nice happy person.

(Rom 5:7 NLT) Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good.

:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

commendethsunistao – to place together, to set in the same place, to bring or band together; to put together by way of composition or combination, to teach by combining and comparing, to show, prove, establish, exhibit

loveagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

sinnershamartolos – devoted to sin, a sinner; pre-eminently sinful, especially wicked

This is neither "righteous" nor "good". A sinner isn’t one that you’d scarcely die for, let alone "peradventure" die for.

Chuck Smith: When did God start loving you? When you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? When you raised your hand and went forward? When you said the sinners prayer? Did God say oh isn't that sweet, I am going to love them now? No, God commended or displayed His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for the ungodly.

It’s a picture of dying for your enemies.


It was 1944, and Bert Frizen was an infantryman on the front lines in Europe. American forces had advanced in the face of intermittent shelling and small-arms fire throughout the morning hours, but now all was quiet. His patrol reached the edge of a wooded area with an open field before them. Unknown to the Americans, a battery of Germans waited in a hedgerow about two hundred yards across the field.

Bert was one of two scouts who moved out into the clearing. Once he was halfway across the field, the remainder of his battalion followed. Suddenly the Germans opened fire, and machine gun fire ripped into both of Bert's legs. The American battalion withdrew into the woods for protection, while a rapid exchange of fire continued.

Bert lay helplessly in a small stream as shots volleyed overhead. There seemed to be no way out. To make matters worse, he now noticed that a German soldier was crawling toward him. Death appeared imminent; he closed his eyes and waited. To his surprise, a considerable period passed without the expected attack, so he ventured opening his eyes again. He was startled to see the German kneeling at his side, smiling. He then noticed that the shooting had stopped. Troops from both sides of the battlefield watched anxiously. Without any verbal exchange, this mysterious German reached down to lift Bert in his arms and proceeded to carry him to the safety of Bert's comrades.

Having accomplished his self-appointed mission, and still without speaking a word, the German soldier turned and walked back across the field to his own troop. No one dared break the silence of this sacred moment. Moments later the cease-fire ended, but not before all those present had witnessed how one man risked everything for his enemy.

Bert's life was saved through the compassion of a man whom he considered his enemy. This courageous act pictures what Jesus did for us.

-- Lynn McAdam, West Germany. Leadership, Vol. 17, no. 4.

Do you ever feel like you are unworthy of God’s love?

Then you are just the person God is looking to love.

He is a father who truly loves you.


Jeannette Clift George, in "Belonging and Becoming," writes,

On a short flight from Tucson to Phoenix, as I got on, I noticed a young woman with her baby. They were both dressed in white pinafores. The mother was smiling, and the little baby was saying "Dada, Dada." And the little baby was darling. She wore a little pink bow where there would probably be hair pretty soon, and it was just darling. And they sat down opposite me. Every time anybody went by, the baby would say, "Dada, Dada."

The young mother said they were going home, and Daddy was waiting for them. I think they had been gone overnight--it was a long, long time like that!

Everybody was so happy, and we all enjoyed the little baby. The mother had a little Thermos with orange juice in it. She kept feeding the baby, a little fruit and then a little juice. It was a rough flight. Every time the baby cried the mother fed her a little bit more orange juice and a little more fruit.

I don't know how to get out of this story without telling you the truth. The flight was very turbulent. (The flight was so rough that the attendants had to stay seated.) All of the fruit that had gone down came up. I think more came up than had gone down; I think there was more up than there was baby, and it was startling; the carpet was not in good condition. It was a mess.

Those of us on the opposite side of the aisle were not in good condition at all. We kept trying to tell the young mother it was just fine. We were handing her tissues and things. (Most of us have been babies.) It was a very loving time, but a mess. The baby was crying, and she looked awful. We couldn't cry, but we looked awful. The mother was so sorry about it.

We landed. The minute we landed, baby was fine: "Dada, Dada." The rest of us were just awful. We began to get off the plane, and we all moved very carefully. I had on a suit, and I was trying to decide whether to burn it or just cut off the sleeve. Have you ever tried to get away from something really unpleasant and it was you? Well that's the way we were. It was really bad.

I looked out of the plane, and there waiting was the young man who had to be Daddy: white slacks, white shirt, white flowers, and a little green paper. I thought, I know what's going to happen. He's going to run to that baby who now looks awful--I mean the hair and the pinafore were dreadful. He's going to run to that baby, get one look, and keep on running, saying, "Not my kid!"

As he ran to the young mother, I wouldn't say she threw the baby at him, but she did kind of leave quickly to go get cleaned up. He picked up that baby, and I watched him as he hugged that baby and kissed that baby and stroked that baby's hair. He said, "Daddy's baby's come home. Daddy's baby's come home."

I watched them all the way to the luggage claim area. He never stopped kissing that baby. He never stopped welcoming that baby back home. I thought, Where did I ever get the idea that my Father God is less loving than a young daddy in white slacks and white shirt with white flowers and a green paper.

:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood

It is the closing scene in the motion picture, Ben Hur. The sky is disappearing behind the ominous looking cloud formations. The movie camera takes a long shot of three crosses rising out of a distant hill. Then the camera moves in close, closer, to the figure stretched out on the center cross. Lightning reveals a man squirming in silent agony to the rhythm of the flashes. It is raining hard. With each flash of light, the pool of rain water at the foot of the cross grows larger. Suddenly a single drop of blood drips into the pool and scatters. Then another drop falls. And then another. The pool is now tinted light red. The rain comes harder and the pool overflows into another pool immediately below it. The second pool reddens and enlarges, overflowing into still another pool which, in turn, overflows into a small stream. The blood-stained stream flows into a larger stream which meets a river which flows into an ocean. (Matt. 26:28)

:9 we shall be saved from wrath through him.

wrathorge – anger; anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself

Robertson: This is an argument from the greater to the less.

The hardest part is making us justified. Once our sins have been accurately paid for, there is no problem in realizing that we will no longer be facing God’s terrible wrath.

The wrath of God isn’t something we’re to inclined to want to talk about. We like talking about the love of God, but we shrink back when the subject of God’s wrath comes up.

One aspect of the wrath of God is the coming tribulation on the earth.

(Rev 6:12-17 KJV) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; {13} And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. {14} And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. {15} And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; {16} And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: {17} For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

When you see the horrible things that will be going on during the tribulation, we need to keep in mind that this is the time of God’s wrath on earth.

Another aspect of God’s wrath will be the eternal punishment awaiting those who have rejected Jesus Christ.

An intermediate state is pictured in:

(Luke 16:19-31 KJV) There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, {21} And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; {23} And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. {26} And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. {27} Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: {28} For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. {29} Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. {30} And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. {31} And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

The final place of those who reject Jesus is the lake of fire:

(Rev 20:10-15 KJV) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. {11} And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. {12} And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. {13} And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. {14} And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. {15} And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Jonathan Edwards wrote, The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons to a conviction of their danger. This that you have heard is the case of every one out of Christ. That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell's wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of, there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon wrote, A very skillful bowman went to the mountains in search of game. All the beasts of the forest fled at his approach. The lion alone challenged him to combat. The bowman immediately let fly an arrow and said to the lion, "I send you my messenger, that from him you might learn what I myself will be when I assail you." The lion thus wounded rushed away in great fear, and when a fox exhorted him to be of good courage and not to run away at the first attack, he said, "You counsel me in vain, for if he sends so fearful a messenger, how shall I abide the attack of the man himself?" If the warning admonitions of God's ministers fill the conscience with terror, what must it be to face the Lord himself? If one bolt of judgment brings a man into a cold sweat, what will it be to stand before an angry God in the last great day?

I think one thing we need to keep in mind is that God’s wrath isn’t because He’s having a bad day or something. He doesn’t explode in anger because you spill your milk on the kitchen floor. His wrath is in response to our own willful rebellion, our sin. The punishment for our sin isn’t some exaggerated punishment, as if he were to tear us limb from limb just because tracked mud on the new carpet. His righteous punishment for our sins is every bit justified.

It’s not as Ted Turner has been quoted as saying, "I don't want anybody to die for me. I've had a few drinks and a few girl friends. If that's going to put me in hell, then so be it."

-- Ted Turner in a 1993 issue of USA today, quoted by Bill Hybels, "Christianity's Toughest Competitor: Moralism," Preaching Today, Tape No. 115.

If you think your sin against God is as shallow as that, you’ve seriously fooled yourself.

The angels in heaven, as they observe God’s final wrath coming on planet earth will say,

(Rev 16:4-7 KJV) And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. {5} And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. {6} For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. {7} And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

(Rev 19:1-2 KJV) And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: {2} For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.

Yet when we come to trust in the blood of Jesus to pay for our sins, the debt is gone, and there is no longer reason for wrath.

God isn’t like some old grumpy man who holds a grudge against the little kids around the block because they broke his window, even though they paid for it. With God, once the debt has been paid, there is no more fear of punishment.

:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

reconciledkatallasso – to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value; to reconcile (those who are at variance)

much more – again, the argument from the greater to the less. If we have been reconciled or made right with God through the death of Jesus, how much more will by the fact that He not only died for my sins, but rose again as well.

And He continues to live as well, seated at the right hand of God in heaven.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

:11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

joykauchaomai – to glory (whether with reason or without); to glory in a thing

This is the same word used in verse 2 as "we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God", as well as in verse 3, "we glory in tribulations".

You could look at this paragraph from verse 1-11 as a couple of reasons for rejoicing.

atonementkatallage – exchange; adjustment of a difference, reconciliation, restoration to favour; in the NT of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ

This is a form of the same word used in verse 10 as "reconciled".


Find your joy in the Lord.

We can find our joy in a lot of things around us. When our circumstances go our way, when we get what we really want, etc.