Summary of passage: Christ died for sinners, a very rare occurrence indeed.
8a) Powerless, sinners, ungodly. Why wouldn’t it be good news? Is it bad news when someone sacrifice’s their life for someone else? So rare is this that it usually makes the news like a father rescuing his son from dying or a mother pushing her kids out of the way of a car, etc. Usually you’ll only give your life out of a deep, profound love. It’s good news because Christ died for all of us who are all undeserving.
b) Part personal Question. My answer: We were dead until Christ made us alive. By grace, through faith, a gift. The three words are painfully obvious why: we have no power, we are sinners, we are ungodly. I do not fight this cause I know it’s only by God’s grace that I’m in Him. I know I’m a sinner and need Jesus. I’m under no delusions. Overcoming sin is a daily struggle and I can only do it with God. I totally surrender.
9) Personal Question. My answer: Christ gave his life for strangers because he loves us so much. I’m not the best with other religions, but I believe most of them teach that you can overcome sin and be a good person through your own sheer will—on your own through your own power (like Confucianism and Buddhism). You can attain “the One” by yourself. Also, most believe man is fundamentally good. Not Christianity. Only here do we need a Savior and we admit we are imperfect sinners. Only here are we humble.
Also, most pagan gods do not love their subjects and their subjects are afraid of the gods. Take Roman and Greek gods. There were many of them (polytheism as opposed to monotheism) and they were worshiped by their people and required sacrifices to appease them. God gives one sacrifice (Jesus) out of love so that we may be with them. No one could be/live with their gods of the day. In essence, God gives us hope to live forever. The Ancient Greeks and Romans had no hope outside of earthly circumstances nor no eternal life.
Conclusions: Not the best lesson because these verses are clear-cut and self-explanatory. The questions are “duh”. And I’m just not familiar enough with other world religions to be much help on the last one. I got enough to worry about just focusing on my religion!
End Notes: The greatness of God’s love goes to the undeserving (which Paul just spent the first 2 1/2 chapters of the Book of Romans explaining that is ALL of us). God loves us because HE wants to, not because of who we are.
As always, God’s timing is perfect. The world was prepared for the arrival of Jesus.
The Greek word “for” is “huper” which means “in behalf of”, “instead of”, “for the sake of”. Jesus died instead of us–in our place. This is a much more rich translation that “for”.
Since we all are ungodly, Christ died for us all. Why wouldn’t it be you?
Righteous man is only upright in his own character. A good man thinks of others and is kind and caring. That’s the difference here in Paul’s mind. His point is God’s love is beyond any man’s love because of this sacrificial aspect.
God can give no greater proof of His love for us than sacrificing Himself for us. The cross is therefore the ultimate show of man’s hatred for God (remember the scorn Jesus faced?) The height of man’s hatred can’t defeat the height of God’s love. Awesome!