“When We Were Still Without Strength”
Introduction. This morning I would like us to consider together a
powerful element of a beautiful text in Paul’s epistle to the Romans (Rom.
I. Christ Died for Us When We Were
“Without Strength” (Rom.
A. Have you ever felt helpless? Perhaps you have
Harmed by sin another
Illustration. In 2006, my wife and daughter and I had a wreck on
the way to Florida. Five hours out of Amarillo, our vehicle was totaled, a
ligament in my wife’s ankle was torn, and my daughter was bruised and sore. This
was one of the times in my life I felt more helpless than any other.
B. Scripture is
filled with people of God who have felt helpless.
David when Absalom sought to take his
kingdom (Psa. 3:1-8).
Elijah when Jezebel sought to kill him
(1 Kings 19:1-4, 8-10).
Mary and Martha when Lazarus died (John
C. Paul is not talking about this kind of helplessness, but
something much more devastating—the overwhelming burden of sin.
Sin makes us helpless —“without
is most of the world doesn’t see this. They see sin like a…
Typographical error (like i
Poor etiquette (salad or dinner fork).
Paul says it makes us “enemies” (Rom.
5:10; 8:7-8; NASB & ESV “hostile.”
James says the same (Jas. 4:4).
Illustration. Imagine in the middle of a war—perhaps on a field at
Gettysburg July 1, 1863 I go rabbit hunting. I shoot into the woods at what I
think is a rabbit and kill a soldier.Will anyone see this as an accident? No.
Because a war is going on!
3. Every soul of right mind, who comes to an accountable
age at some point sins. Gal. 3:22 “the Scripture has confined all under
D. In helplessness Christ died for man.
II. We Were Not Righteous, or Good, but
Sinners (Rom. 5:7-8).
“Righteous” here of probably speaks of moral
“Good” here probably speaks of positive
the reason more people don’t obey the gospel is because it is easy for us to
see ourselves in one of these categories. It is true that…
Children are innocent. “Of such is
the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:14). When the Israelites sinned by engaging
in child sacrifice, they shed “blood of innocents” (Jer. 19:4).
The accountable are not innocent (Rom.
says, “I haven’t done bad things— I’m a good person!” That may have been
what you thought, but you aimed at a rabbit, and hit a soldier in time of war!
Now you are an enemy! Now you are helpless—what are you going to do about
III. Paul Speaks of a Time When They Were
“Still” Without Strength (Rom.
5:6). That infers that his readers were no
Paul could write “I can do all things
through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13). Lit. “I am strengthened to all
things through Christ who empowers me.” A relationship with Christ changes this
In persecution (2 Tim. 4:16-17).
“Out of weakness were made strong” (Heb. 11:32-34).
B. What changes helplessness to strength? (Rom. 5:8-10).
When we are justified by His blood
(5:9a). His blood can restore innocence.
When we are saved from wrath through
Him (5:9b). Christ alone can change an enemy to a friend.
C. How did this happen for the Romans?
The same way it can happen for us—faith
Access to grace (Rom. 5:2).
Which comes when we are buried with
Christ in baptism (Rom. 6:3-7).