Romans 5:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 5:6, NIV: "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly."

Romans 5:6, ESV: "For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."

Romans 5:6, KJV: "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly."

Romans 5:6, NASB: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly."

Romans 5:6, NLT: "When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners."

Romans 5:6, CSB: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly."

What does Romans 5:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul, writing in the previous verse, urged his readers to be confident that our hope in God will never be disappointed or put to shame. Why? Because God loves us. More specifically, He has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit. Paul pictures God's love for us as something we carry with us all the time, not merely the feelings of a distant deity.

Now, in this and the following verses, Paul provides evidence of God's love for us. First, Christ died for the ungodly, which Paul clearly defined in earlier passages as all of humanity (Romans 3:10, 23). This sacrifice was made while we were still weak, or "powerless," or "helpless," depending on the translation. This comes from the Greek word asthenōn, which implies something feeble or sickly. Nothing about us earned this salvation. It was entirely offered on the basis of God's grace, and at just the right moment.

This huge idea is key to the good news—the gospel—which Paul preached all over the world. First, it shows that God, the Father, and Christ, the Son, are so closely connected that Christ dying for us is evidence of God's love for us. Together with the Holy Spirit, mentioned in the previous verse, the three are mysteriously united as one God.

Second, God proved His love for us by acting first. He didn't make arrangements with us ahead of time, or wait for us to become strong and godly and worthy of being saved. He loved us and took action to save us while we were still helpless to save ourselves because of our sin.

Third, God showed His power by sending Christ to die for us at exactly the right time. Jesus arrived, lived, died, and was resurrected at the moment in history when His action would accomplish the most good for God's plan. God's timing, too, was motivated by His love for all of us godless people.