Christ’s Death For Us
by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam
Three times in Chapter 5 of Paul’s letter to the Romans we read that Christ died for us.
Ver. 6: “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Ver. 8: “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Ver. 10: ” …when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son….”
Thus, in our helplessness, in our sinfulness, even in our willfulness, Christ loved us and gave His life to save us. But why does the Apostle say that Christ died for us “when we were yet without strength,” “while we were yet sinners” and “when we were enemies”? Did not Christ die for us before any of us were even born? Yes, but here the Apostle writes historically of the whole human race. The rest of the chapter bears this out.
In Verse 12 he refers to Adam, the “one man” by whom sin and death entered into the world. This rendered man truly helpless. In Verse 20 he refers to Moses, by whom “the law entered, that the offence might abound.” Thus by the law men were condemned as sinners. Finally, in Verses 20, 21, he refers to Christ, “[who] died for all” (II Cor. 5:14,15), that helpless sinners might be saved, yea that even God’s enemies might be reconciled to Him by grace, through faith. By Adam we have the entrance of sin, by Moses the condemnation of sin and by Christ the forgiveness of sins.
Only gradually was the importance of Christ’s death for mankind revealed, but now we know that the saints of all ages have been saved on the basis of our Lord’s vicarious death alone. No one else could have paid a debt so great. Thus, in our helplessness, in our sinfulness, yes, thank God, in our willfulness, the Lord Jesus Christ died to save us.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).