Romans 5:6-11

Thursday Evening Bible Study

July 3, 2008


Paul has been building an argument, building a case.

He’s made the point that we are all sinners.

He’s demonstrated that Jesus Christ is the sacrifice God has given to pay for our sins.

He’s argued that we are not made righteous by doing good works, but we are made righteous when we have faith like Abraham did. God uses our faith as the vehicle to help us receive the forgiveness that comes through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Last week Paul talked about reasons to be happy (woo-hoo!). We are happy because of the hope of heaven. We are also happy because of the difficulties we go through because real growth as a Christian comes from going through difficulties.

Tough times builds endurance.
Endurance produces proven character – people see what we’re really made of.
Proven character produces hope as the love of God is poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.
Paul is going to talk a little more about this love that God has for us.
He’s going to talk about how God’s love is related to the hope we have.

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

without strengthasthenes (“not” + “strong”) – weak, infirm, feeble


There is a vivid picture of Christ’s sacrifice for sin in Mark Twain’s novel, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The story tells the adventures of an ordinary man (the Connecticut Yankee) from the 19th century, who is transported back to the medieval world of King Arthur. At one point he convinces King Arthur to dress like a peasant and take a journey through his kingdom. The results are generally laughable as the king, completely oblivious to life in the trenches, tries to carry on with all the pomp of the court while those around him simply think he is crazy. But there is a touching chapter titled “The Smallpox Hut” describing how the king and his companion happen upon a beggar’s hovel. The husband lies dead, and the wife tries to warn them away:

“For the fear of God, who visits with misery and death such as be harmless, tarry not here, but fly! This place is under his curse.…” The king replies, “Let me come in and help you, you are sick and in trouble.” The woman asks the king to go into the loft and check on their child. “It was a desperate place for him to be in, and might cost him his life,” observes the Yankee, “but it was no use to argue with him.” The king disappears up a ladder looking for the girl. There was a slight noise from the direction of the dim corner where the ladder was. It was the king descending. I could see that he was bearing something in one arm, and assisting himself with the other. He came forward into the light; upon his breast lay a slender girl of 15. She was but half conscious; she was dying of smallpox. Here was heroism at its last and loftiest possibility, its utmost summit; this was challenging death in the open field unarmed, with all the odds against the challenger, no reward set upon the contest, and no admiring world in silks and cloth-of-gold to gaze and applaud; and yet the king’s bearing was as serenely brave as it had always been in those cheaper contests where knight meets knight in equal fight and clothed in protecting steel. He was great now; sublimely great. The rude statues of his ancestors in his palace should have an addition.—I would see to that; and it would not be a mailed king killing a giant or a dragon, like the rest. It would be a king in commoner’s garb bearing death in his arms.

Lee Eclov, Vernon Hills, Illinois; source: Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, chapter XXIX

in due timekairos – due measure; a measure of time, a larger or smaller portion of time, a fixed and definite time, the time when things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for; opportune or seasonable time; the right time; a definitely limited portion of time with the added notion of suitableness

Jesus came at just the right time.

Ga 4:4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,

forhuper – in behalf of, for the sake of; instead of; in place of

This is the same word that will be used two times in verse 7 and one more time in verse 8.

The concept is that of a person dying in the place of another person.

ungodlyasebes (“not” + “reverent”) – destitute of reverential awe towards God


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.

Jesus came for us just in time, at the right time. He died in our place.

:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.

scarcelymolis – with difficulty, hardly; not easily, very rarely

forhuper – in place of

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; innocent, faultless

The word might describe someone who is right before God, but not necessarily a nice person.

forhuper – in place of

perhapstacha – hastily, quickly, soon; peradventure, perhaps

would even daretolmao – not to dread or shun through fear; to bring one’s self to; to be bold; bear one’s self boldly, deal boldly

good managathos – of good constitution or nature; useful; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honorable

It implies a kindness and attractiveness not necessarily possessed by the “righteous”, who merely measures up to a high standard of rightness.

The difference between “righteous” and “good”?

One scholar (Lightfoot) says it is a difference of sympathy mainly, the “righteous” man being “absolutely without sympathy” while the “good” man “is beneficent and kind.”

Here’s the idea, “It would be difficult to find someone to die in the place of another person, even if they are a righteous person. It’s possible that someone might be coaxed into dying for a person who is really well liked, but …”

:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

The highest demonstration of love is laying down your life for another person. Jesus said,

(John 15:13 NKJV) "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

But Paul’s point is that Jesus didn’t just lay down His life for His friends. He didn’t just lay down his life for righteous people who deserve to live. He didn’t lay down His life for nice people that He liked.

He laid down His life for His enemies.

demonstratessunistao – to place together, 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

God teaches us about what His love is all about by putting together two things:

We are sinners.
Christ died for us.

forhuper – in place of; He died in our place.

Jesus didn’t die for us because we were Jews or Greeks. He didn’t die for us because we were rich or poor. He didn’t die for us because we were smart or stupid. He didn’t die for us because we were beautiful or ugly.

He died for us because we were sinners. Just plain old sinners.

He died for the “weak” (“without strength”, vs. 6)
He died for the “ungodly” (vs. 6)
He died for “sinners” (vs. 8)
He died for His enemies (vs. 10)


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.

When did God start loving you?

Did He start loving you when you prayed the sinner’s prayer? Did He start loving you when you went forward at a Harvest Crusade? Did He start loving you when you began to turn things around in your life?

God loved you when you were still a sinner.

God loved you when you didn’t have a clue as to who He was.
God loved you when you lived a wicked, rebellious life.

Some of us have this notion, perhaps we’ve had people tell us, that God isn’t going to love us anymore if we do some certain thing.

Not true.

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

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

God 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, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

having now been justifieddikaioo – to render righteous or such he ought to be

God has made us right in His eyes by having Jesus shed His blood for us.

Blood is the “life” of a person. Jesus gave His life for us. He died in our place.

We are not saved by God’s love.

Don’t get me wrong. God does love us.
But God doesn’t sneak us into the back door of heaven just because He loves us.
We are saved because Jesus died in our place.
We are saved because Jesus paid for our sins.
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)

Much more then

Paul gives an argument “from greater to the lesser”. The idea is this: If we’ve been saved from our sins through the blood of Jesus being spilled for us, then surely we shall be saved from the wrath that is coming.

we shall be savedsozo – keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction

Future tense – It is going to happen. Not “maybe” but “definitely”.

from wrathorge – anger, indignation; anger exhibited in punishment

God will punish sin and disobedience.

We call this justice.

There are two particular times of wrath that we should be aware of.

1.     Eternal wrath – hell
This is what is coming for each of us who do not come to trust Jesus.

Jesus paints a picture of it:

(Luke 16:19-31 NKJV) "There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. {20} "But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, {21} "desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} "So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. {23} "And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} "Then 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 in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. {26} 'And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.' {27} "Then he said, 'I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father's house, {28} 'for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.' {29} "Abraham said to him, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' {30} "And he said, 'No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.' {31} "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"

We sometimes get the idea that hell is where God puts people when God is having a bad day.

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

Folks that think like Mr. Turner are being a bit short-sighted in their list of sins.

Hell is not about God having a bad day. Hell is about justice. It’s the last resort to making wrong things right.

God doesn’t want anyone going to hell. God created hell for the devil and his demons.

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.
Hell is the correct penalty for our rebellion against God.

Eph 5:6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

God doesn’t want you to go to hell, that’s why He sent Jesus to die for us.

Joh 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."

2.      The Great Tribulation – a time of great difficulty that is coming on the earth.
It will last for seven years.
It is the time when the antichrist will rule the world.

In the book of Revelation when the Tribulation begins to break out on the earth, the world leaders will be hiding in caves and saying to the rocks:

(Rev 6:16-17 NKJV)…"Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! {17} "For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?"

It is the time of God’s wrath because God will be making things right, He will be punishing mankind for their wickedness.

We believe it will take place sometime after the “Rapture” of the church, when God removes Christians from this planet.

Some believe that the church will go through the tribulation, but we believe the Scriptures hint that the church won’t go through the tribulation, but will be “taken up” before these times. Why?

1Th 5:9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

We think this principle applies to more than just eternal wrath, but also the wrath of the Tribulation period as well.

: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.

enemiesechthros – hated, odious; hostile

we were reconciledkatallasso – to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value; to reconcile (those who are at variance); return to favor with, be reconciled to one; to receive one into favor


(2 Cor 5:18-21 NKJV) Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, {19} that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. {20} Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. {21} For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Here’s the “exchange” – we give God our sin, and He gives us the righteousness of Christ.
Based on a book by Francine Rivers, The Last Sin Eater is set in Appalachia in the 1800s. When Welsh immigrants settled in America, they brought along an ancient Celtic ritual known as “the Sin Eater.” When someone within the community died, the Sin Eater would come and absolve the deceased person by eating a symbolic meal—often comprised of bread and wine—that was set alongside the corpse.
Cadi Forbes (Liana Liberato) is a young girl who feels responsible for the death of her younger sister. She longs to be forgiven, so she seeks out the Sin Eater (Peter Wingfield). Once she finds him, she pleads with him to take her sins, insisting that she can’t go on living with the hurt inside her. The Sin Eater, though reluctant, ultimately agrees to do the ceremony. Cadi lies on the ground, covered with a shroud, bread and wine on her chest. The Sin Eater asks, “Tell me what sin it is that grieves you so.” “Did my Granny tell you her sins before she passed?” she asked. “No,” he replied. “Then, if it’s all right with you, I’d rather not say my sins aloud.” The Sin Eater eats the bread and drinks the wine, saying, “I give easement now to thee, Cadi Forbes, that you might live a long and full life, and for thy peace I pawn my own soul.” He then hurries away and waits in the distance. Cadi opens her eyes. Disappointed, she cries, “Nothing’s changed! I feel the same!” “I’m sorry, dear child,” says the Sin Eater. “Please,” she begs, “you have to tell me: how do I get rid of what I’ve done?” “I wish I knew, Cadi Forbes!” he screams. “I wish I knew!”
Later in the film, a stranger the townspeople call the man of God (Henry Thomas) has arrived. In this second scene, Cadi meets him for the first time down by the river. He asks her why she is so burdened and if he can possibly help. She tells him if the Sin Eater can’t help her no one can. Cadi tells the man of God what she has done and why she feels such guilt. He assures her that nothing she has done could make the Lord love her any more or any less. “Cadi,” he says as he clutches a Bible, “there are some sorrows so deep that only God can touch them. No mere man can take away your sins, child. You see, there’s already been a sin eater, the original sin eater that the Lord God sent a long, long time ago. He was sent to take away all of our sins, once and for all. And this book tells all about him.” “Will you tell the sin eater how sorry I am?” Cadi asks. “Will you ask him to forgive me?” “Beautiful girl, you just did. Now your heart is washed clean of all the black marks this world or you have ever given it.” As she hugs the man of God, she asks, “Does he have a name?” “Yes,” replies the man of God, “his name is Jesus.”
The Last Sin Eater (Believe Pictures, 2007), directed by Michael Landon Jr; submitted by Van Morris, Mount Washington, Kentucky

Reconciliation is the making of things right between two parties.

When a husband and wife have been separated, when they fix things out, they “reconcile”.
It seems that “death” is often an important part of reconciliation.  When we are reconciled to others, there’s a sense in which we have to learn to “die” to the offense.

Reconciliation with God is not our work, it’s God’s work.

Paul does not say that we have to make things right with God.
God has made things right with us.
(Rom 3:24-25 NKJV) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, {25} whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith…

God does all the work.

We only trust. We only have faith.

If the death of Jesus did so much for us, what do you think the life of Jesus will do for us?

His “life” involves His work of praying for us.

(Heb 7:25 NKJV) Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.


When you make out your “will”, the benefit of the “will” doesn’t take place until after you die. After you die an “executor” takes over to see that your “will” is carried out. But what if your executor is a dirty rotten scoundrel? What if your executor figures out a way to get around the law and steal the inheritance?
Jesus wrote us into His will. He promised us heaven in His will. When we celebrate communion we remember what He said, “This is the cup of the “new testament” (a new will). Jesus’ death brought about the benefit. But Jesus rose again and is going to make sure that we actually make it to the inheritance.
We are not only saved by His death, we are assured of heaven because of 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.

rejoicekauchaomai – to glory; same root word as used in verses 2,3.

reconciliationkatallage – exchange; of the business of money changers (the same basic word for “reconciliation” in verse 10.

The KJV has “atonement” here, but this word “reconciliation” is a better word.

Paul gives a third reason to rejoice.

We rejoice in the hope of glory – our hope of heaven (Rom. 5:2)

We rejoice in our tribulations – they grow us up (Rom. 5:3)

We rejoice in God through Jesus – God has made us right with Him.