Romans 5:6-11 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
‘Were yet without strength’ Fourfold description of the former state: Without strength – weak, dying, helpless to resist sin and do good, and powerless to deliver from misery (5:6). Ungodly – sinful, depraved, ruled by satan and enslaved (5:6). Sinners – bent on finding happiness but always missing the mark (5:8). Enemies – haters of God and holiness and openly at war with both (5:10).
‘Due time’ due time of fullness of time (Gal. 4:4). ‘For the ungodly’ instead, or in place of the ungodly.
‘Ungodly’ Jews divided people into four classes: The just who said: What is mine is mine; what is thine is thine. The accommodating who said: What is mine is thine; what is thine is mine. The pious who said: What is mine is thine; what is thine let it be thine. The ungodly who said: What is mine is mine; what is thine shall be mine.
‘Dare to die’ we have many examples of people dying for friends, loved ones, and great men, but it is contrary to nature to die for enemies. Yet God did (5:6-8; John 3:16).
‘Christ died for us’ Blessings of Christ’s death: All Ten Blessings of Romans 5: Justification (5:1, 9); peace with God (5:1); access by faith into grace (5:2); standing in grace (5:2); joy in God (5:2-3, 11); grace in tribulations (5:3-5); love of God in the heart (5:5); the Holy Spirit (5:5); salvation from wrath (5:9-10); reconciliation by blood (5:10-11). Propitiation through faith (3:25). Demonstration of God’s love (5:8); redemption (3:24; Eph. 1:7; Tit. 2:14; 1Pet. 1:18-23; Rev. 5:9). A proper offering of God (Eph. 5:2). A substitute for us (Rom. 5:6; Gal. 1:4). Peace with God (Col. 1:20). The ransom paid (1Tim. 2:6); sanctification (Heb. 10:10-14). Man brought near to God (Eph. 2:13). The old law abolished (Eph. 2:14-17; Col. 2:14-17; 2Cor. 3:6-15) and healing (Mat. 8:17; 1Pet. 2:24).
‘Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him’ if Christ died for us while we were yet ungodly, sinners, and enemies, how much more will He do for us since we have become reconciled, godly, and friends. If He saved us by His death, how much more can He save us by His life (5:9-10; 8:31-34; Heb. 7:25).
‘Reconciled’ [Greek: katallasso] change from enmity to friendship, reconcile (5:10; 1Cor. 7:11; 2Cor. 5:18-20).
‘Joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement’ boasting is forbidden Jews trusting in the law because it is a false confidence (3:27). The Christian is encouraged to boast of his reconciliation to God for it is a true confidence (5:11; 1Cor. 1:31; 2Cor. 10:17). ‘Atonement’ [Greek: katallage] reconciliation (5:11; 11:15; 2Cor. 5:18-19). It should not have been translated “atonement” here, as it refers to the removal of enmity and a change to friendship, which is the effect of atonement.