Rom_5:6. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
This is one of the most surprising sentences on record. If it had not been inspired, there are many who would cavil at it. Indeed, many do cavil at it even now, for it is still currently believed that Christ must have died for the righteous. Yet thus is it written: “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” And this is the commendation of that death, and of the love which suggested it:—
Rom_5:7. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:
For a merely just man, scarcely would anybody die.
Rom_5:7. Yet peradventure for a good man—
For a benevolent man—
Rom_5:7-8. Some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,
It is under that aspect that Christ is to be regarded as dying for the ungodly, dying for sinners. Ungodly man, guilty sinner, is there not hope for you in this blessed truth? Does anyone say, “I shall be lost, for I am ungodly; I must necessarily perish, for I am a sinner”? Your logic is at fault, dear friend. “Christ died for the ungodly;” “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us;” therefore, the ungodly,—sinners—be saved because of his death, and all who trust him shall be saved.
Rom_5:9. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
Did he die for us while we were sinners? Will he not, then, surely keep us now that we are Saved? Yes, that he will.
Rom_5:10. 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.
What an invincible argument this is for the safety of all true believers in Jesus! Did he die for them, and reconcile them unto his Father by his death, when they were enemies? Then, will he not certainly save them now that they are reconciled, seeing that he ever lives to intercede for them? Will he not save them by his life? Assuredly, he will.
Rom_5:11. And not only so,—
We cannot get to the end of these priceless boons. These precious pearls are too numerous even for the apostle to count, although he was a man who knew how to “reckon” up spiritual treasures: “And not only so,”—
Rom_5:11-14. But we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned—
Rom_5:14. After the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
So that the sin of Adam took effect upon the human race before the law came, and even Upon those who had no personal transgression,—unconscious infants, I mean,—causing them to die.
Rom_5:15-17. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence –
By Adam’s one sin,—the sin of one man,—
Rom_5:17-18. Death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
That is to say, upon the “all” who are in Christ, as the condemnation came upon the “all” who were in the first Adam. He who believeth not in Jesus has no part in “the free gift unto justification of life;” but he who believeth is a partaker of the glorious justification which comes by Christ.
Rom_5:19-20. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound.”
It was the practical result of the giving of the law that men became greater sinners than they were before, and it was the design of the law that they should see themselves to be greater sinners than before. The law is the looking-glass in which we see our spots, but it is not the basin in which we wash them away. The law has a provoking power, for such is-the perversity of our nature that, no sooner do we hear the command, “You shall not do so-and-so,” than at once we want to do it. Our nature is very much like quicklime. Throw cold water upon it, and straightway it generateth heat; acting, as it were, against the nature of that which is cast upon it. So, the more God says to a man, “Thou shalt,” the more the man says, “I will not;” and the more God says to him, “Thou shalt not,” the more doth the man resolve that he will. “The law entered, that the offence might abound.” It reveals the depravity and disobedience of human nature, and lays us low before God as convicted criminals.
Rom_5:20. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Blessed be God for that! Sin may be a river, but grace is an ocean. Sin may be a mountain, but grace is like Noah’s flood, which prevailed over the tops of the mountains fifteen cubits upward.
Rom_5:21. That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do you know, dear friends, by personal experience, all about this of which we have been reading? I know that many of you do. Would God that all did,—that they understood, by a living faith, what it is to be justified, having first understood, by sorrowful experience, what a sense of condemnation the guilty soul must feel. The Lord bring you all to himself, by Jesus Christ! Amen.