Romans 5:5-8 - God reached out to us while we were in the act of sin

We continue our review of Romans chapter 5. Yesterday we learned about some of the outcomes of being justified from our sins by God. We learned that upon our justification, there is a chain reaction which occurs with us not being ashamed of God.

The end of verse 5 gives the reason why we are not ashamed.

Romans 5:5 “…because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

The phrase in the above verse “is shed abroad” is the word ekcheo in the original Greek, which means to “pour out” or “distributes largely”. In other words, God gave to us the Holy Ghost, Who distributes God’s love for us. God’s love reaches us by means of the work of the Holy Ghost.

It is not because of anything we’ve done to deserve or even cause this pouring out of God’s love. Verse 6 clarifies that.

Romans 5:6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

We were “without strength”. We were “ungodly”. We didn’t deserve what Christ did for us. We were spiritually in dire straits. The word “ungodly” above is the Greek word asebes, which specifically means “destitute of reverential awe towards God, condemning God, impious.” Notice the definition denotes an act. To be destitute of reverential awe towards God, as this definition specifies, indicates a continuing attitude towards God, rather than an act which happened in the past from which one turned away. Verse 6 above is essentially saying that while we were in the act of sinning, Christ died for us. How great is the love of Christ to die for our sins while we are in the act of sinning. Can it be more clear that we have done nothing good to deserve justification?

Verse 8 is a clarification of the last part of verse 6. Note how it clarifies the word “ungodly” from verse 6.

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is an amazing verse within the Romans road. Let’s break it apart and learn more about the meaning here.

  • God commendeth: commendeth here is the Greek word sunistao which means “to put together or unite”; Here when it says “God commendeth”, it’s saying that “God united”.
  • toward us: toward here is the Greek word eis which means “for”; “toward us” here means “for us”
  • in that: here the Greek word is hoti which means “because”
  • while we were: here the Greek word for “were” is on (pronounced oan), and it means “being”; so here “while we were” is saying “while we were being”
  • yet: here the Greek word is eti which means “of a thing which even now continues at present”
  • sinners: here the Greek word is hamartolos, and it means “devoted to sin”
  • Christ died for us: “for” here is the Greek word huper, which means “in behalf of”
  • This verse is saying that God united us with His love because we were being devoted to sin. Christ died in behalf of us. Note it is an act which was precipitated by God, not by us. We were being “devoted to sin”. We weren’t concerned about our redemption or God’s love. God reached out to us with His love while we were in the act of sin, being devoted to sin, and God sent Christ to die on our behalf. We cannot even begin to comprehend such great love. God’s love truly knows no bounds.

    Let’s make an effort every day to thank God for His love, and for giving it so freely to us.

    To learn more about Romans chapter 5, follow this link.

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