The remaining verses in chapter five outline the “much mores” of God’s provision for the believer as a result of our faith in Christ for salvation.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. The Greek word for helpless is “asthenes” meaning weak, helpless, hopeless, powerless and without strength. It is a reference to the lack of ability to enter into a relationship with God by means of self-righteousness. There is no plan or system of self-righteousness by which we can impress God. Unbelievers are under spiritual death and have no relationship with God.
The Greek word for ungodly is “asebes,” which means godless, impious or without reverence to God. It is a technical term for unbelieving humanity, emphasizing spiritual death or no relationship with God. It presents the problem of God’s integrity where relationship with us is concerned because the integrity of God is made up of His righteousness and His justice. There is no way that perfect God can have a relationship with sinful man.
The Greek word for died is “apothnesko,” which refers to the spiritual death of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is used with the substitutionary Greek preposition “huper” and therefore it refers to His spiritual death. The aorist tense brings together into one entirety the three hours on the Cross when all of our sins were poured out upon Christ and the justice of God was judging our sins. In due time is the Greek word “kata” plus “kairos,” which form a Greek idiom meaning at the appointed time. God’s timing is always perfect, so Christ birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension were in accordance with God’s timing.
For one will hardly die for a righteous man begins an analogy to demonstrate in human terms how magnificent the death of Christ was on the behalf of the human race. The King James Version uses the word “scarcely” instead of “hardly,” but a better translation would be “rarely.” In other words, it does happen in life when a person dies in the rescue of someone deemed worth saving, but not very often. The Greek word for righteous is “dikaios” and refers to a moral man, a man who is innocent and commands respect.
Though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die uses the Greek word “agathos” for good and refers to an honourable, noble man who commands affection. Both categories of human being are perhaps worth dying for by someone. But what if a person is not worth dying for by another? Verse 8 completes the analogy.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us begins with the Greek conjunctive particle “de,” which emphasizes a contrast between divine motivation in this verse and human motivation in the previous verse. The love of God is demonstrated through the work of Christ on the Cross. God’s demonstration of love toward human beings who are ungodly, impious and have no reverence for God is totally out of character from human viewpoint. Human viewpoint as stated in verse 7 is giving your life for someone who is at least worthy.
In that while we were yet sinners points out the fact that mankind is not worthy of someone dying for them. The Greek word for sinners is “hamartolos” referring to one who misses the mark. It is a reference to the unbeliever who has missed the mark of God’s righteousness and is spiritually dead. It is the same person who is called ungodly in the previous verse.
Christ died for us was a demonstration of divine love expressed through the function of the justice of God at the Cross. This completes the analogy showing that Jesus Christ, unlike man, did something that man would not do and that is to die for someone who is not righteous or good.
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood is the first “much more” of this chapter. Much more then is a conclusion from the principle of justification to the consequence of justification, which is an A Fortiori principle. A Fortiori is simply a logical argument which says that if the greater benefit has been given the less will not be withheld. That is the principle of these much mores. A Fortiori is Latin, which means “with stronger reason.” If Christ died for His enemies, and He did, He will surely deliver His friends, and He does. If the justice of God judged our sins in Christ, now that we are in Christ the justice can do something wonderful. The incredible came when we were enemies; the self-evident comes to us as royal family of God. As enemies we were justified by His blood; as royal family we are preserved from His wrath. Since Christ died for His enemies, it follows that He will deliver His friends. If the greater benefit has been given, the less will not be withheld. In other words, the lesser is not more difficult than the greater. The greater is the salvation work of God. This is an accomplished fact. The lesser is God providing your needs in this life and God blessing you with maximum blessings in this life.
Having now been justified by his blood refers to the fact that we have been declared righteous upon faith in Christ for salvation. This fact is the reason that God can bless us. We are blessed because the justice of God sees us with God’s righteousness and says we are vindicated. We are never vindicated because of self-righteousness. The believer receives the righteousness of God and then God vindicates him. Justification is a legal pronouncement. Perfection can only bless perfection and perfection can only judge imperfection. Therefore the justice of God condemns sins and it blesses perfection. But since there is no perfection in the human race, God had to provide it and that is what happened at the moment we made salvation adjustment to the justice of God. How was it possible for us to get that righteousness which God imputed? How can the justice of God give us the righteousness of God by simply believing in Christ? The answer is the substitutionary spiritual death of Jesus Christ represented in this verse by “the blood.” This is how perfect justice can give us perfect righteousness so that we have the potential for all divine blessing.
Throughout the Word of God the shedding of blood speaks judgment. The Biblical phrase “the blood of Christ” represents the judgment of our sins while Christ was bearing them on the Cross (spiritual death). The phrase “the blood of Christ” is a representative analogy to animal sacrifices in the Old Testament, demonstrating the fact that the work of Jesus Christ was presented by means of these blood sacrifices according to Hebrews 9:22.
The physical death of the animal is analogous to the spiritual death of Christ. Every animal sacrifice spoke of Jesus Christ. John 1:29, “Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”
The animal hadn’t done anything wrong. When the animal was judged it died physically. Jesus Christ hadn’t done anything wrong. He was judged (for us). In His judgment the sins of the whole world were poured out on Him. In His judgment He died spiritually and there was no blood involved. (Matthew 27:46)
Jesus Christ bled from His hands and His feet and from His face where He had been beaten up (literal blood). After He died physically, they ran a spear into His side and blood and water (serum) came out indicating he was truly dead. He did not bleed to death.
Jesus Christ, after being judged for our sin (spiritual death) first said, “It is finished.” This meant that the payment for sin (spiritual death) of the entire human race from the beginning of time until the end of human history had been made by Jesus Christ on our behalf. Then Jesus said, “Father into thy hands I dismiss my spirit.” Notice, He dismissed His spirit, He did not bleed to death.
The death of the animal in the Old Testament was analogous to the spiritual death of Jesus Christ (His judgment for us). The judgment of the animal was physical death. The judgment of Christ for our sins was spiritual death. The analogy is between the physical death of an innocent animal and the spiritual death of the sinless (innocent) humanity of Jesus Christ.
We shall be saved from the wrath through Him uses the Greek word “sozo,” which can mean a spiritual delivery or a physical delivery. Here it means being delivered from the Lake of Fire, which encompasses both the spiritual and the physical. No one who has believed in Christ will ever come close to the Lake of Fire. This is described in the Greek prepositional phrase “apo” for from plus “orge,” which means punishment or wrath and refers to the punishment that comes from the justice of God at the Great White Throne Judgment.