For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8—NKJV)

The lost condition and depravity of every man’s soul is a plain fact. The sorry state of man’s condition, dead to virtue, dead to redemption, dead in trespasses and sins, leaves him dead to hope. He has no place to turn, either inward or outward, for a solution to his soul’s jeopardy. It is to such a soul, once awakened to his condition, that the Gospel becomes what it was intended to be, the good news of salvation proffered through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The “Roman’s Road” of salvation has four mile-markers. The first is “All Are Lost” (3:10–23, 5:12), the second is “It Is All of Grace” (5:8), the third is “It Is All a Gift” (6:23), and the final is “It Is All About Faith” (10:9–10, 13). Our topic is the second mile-marker that salvation is All of Grace. The Gospel good news is “the power of God (Romans 1:16) to salvation to everyone who believes.” It takes nothing less than the mighty power of God to transform a sinner into a saint! In fact, one might suggest that even more divine power has to be exerted in saving a lost human soul than in the creation of a new creature out of dust. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ…“ (2 Corinthians 5:17f).

Our text in Romans 5 explains the high character of the grace of God that led Him to provide the way of salvation for the undeserving, uncaring souls of men. Grace is God’s bearing of Himself with favor toward the objects of His love. John 3:16 displays the length to which His grace will go: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” What a sacrifice! What immeasurable love! What condescending grace!

We learn from Romans 5:12 that sin became entwined with the human race because Adam, our forefather, sinned. Along with the sin-nature we also individually choose to sin. We are each sinners by nature and sinners by choice. The verse also goes on to explain that we got a “two-for-one deal,” with sin comes death. We all know that all men die but what we do not often think about is that death means separation. As Adam and Eve were estranged from God, so are their offspring. That spiritual separation eventuates in the terrible price of the physical death of every man, and costly separation awaits in the eternal separation of that lost soul from the presence of God for all eternity in the Lake of Fire. “Death spreads to all men, because all sinned.”

The reality is that sin’s toll is the eternal death penalty. For this reason John 3:16 uses the word “perish,” meaning utter ruin, total loss. God, in His justice, is perfectly right to condemn every man for just one infraction as measured by His infinite holiness—a white lie, a good intention but wrong action, an “innocent” crime where no one else is a victim. It does not matter how innocuous, they all are kin to the worst of sins only whispered among men. They equally offend God and they equally carry the same penalty in the books of heaven. Their full payment equally costs your soul its heavenly destiny, and their full payment equally cost the shed blood of the sinless Son of God in order to be stricken from your record.

The measure of this grace, the sacrifice of God’s Son, is elaborated in Romans 5:6–8. A key to fully grasping the meaning of the verses is found by noticing four uses of the word “for.” It is a little Greek word meaning in behalf of, instead of, in the place of. Its careful use paints the picture of the significance of the Grace of God. “Christ died in the place of the ungodly” (v. 6), “scarcely for a righteous man” and “perhaps in the place of a good [generous] man” (v. 7), then “Christ died in behalf of us” (v. 8).

Verse 6 is the Grace of God made known. When we were without strength is an understatement in that we were dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)! At God’s appointed time, His Son, the Savior, died in the place of the ungodly.

Verse 7 is the Grace of man as known. Generally, men will not chose to die for a “righteous” man (a perfect man); we see this in the disciple’s behavior at the trial of Jesus Christ—they scattered and fled. They may consider hazarding their life for a generously good man; they may even dare to die.

Verse 8 is the Grace of God is a matter of renown! God proves (renders conspicuous, stands with) His own love toward us—He bears Himself toward us with favor. While we were, no, not perfect, not even just “good,” but while we were still confirmed in our sinner-hood in all its vile filth, Jesus Christ died in our place!

This is the Power of God, this is the Grace of God. Salvation is all of undeserved grace! This is the second mile-marker of the Roman’s Road of salvation. Get to know it and get to share it. Trust and obey.