What does Romans 5:7 mean?
ESV: For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
NIV: Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
NASB: For one will hardly die for a righteous person; though perhaps for the good person someone would even dare to die.
CSB: For rarely will someone die for a just person--though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die.
NLT: Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
KJV: For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
Verse Commentary:
The theme of Paul's letter to the Romans is that God offers salvation to mankind on the basis of grace, not our own good deeds or merits. In fact, if salvation were based on works, all of humanity would be doomed, since nobody can live up to the moral standards of a perfectly holy God (Romans 3:10, 23).

Here, Paul describes a human perspective of sacrificing one's life for the sake of others. It's no small thing to suffer pain and death, intentionally and voluntarily, for the sake of someone else. Paul makes a common-sense point that some people, maybe, would be willing to give our lives for the sake of some other good and righteous person, though even that is rare. Paul's point is that we'd be hesitant to die for the sake of someone we found morally lacking.

And yet Christ—God in human form—died for us, the ungodly, weak people who deserved judgment for our sin (Romans 5:6). Why would God do such a thing? The point Paul is making will be stated explicitly in the following verse: God loves us and He has proved it through Christ's death in our place on the cross.
Verse Context:
Romans 5:1–11 describes the amazing benefits that come with being declared righteous before God by faith in Christ's death for our sin. God has made peace with us. We stand in His grace, and we rejoice in the sure hope that we will share in His glory. Our suffering brings growth, which leads to even more potent hope. God has proven His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. We are saved from God's wrath and reconciled to God in Christ.
Chapter Summary:
Romans 5 begins by describing some of the benefits that come with being declared righteous by God because of our faith in Christ. We have peace with God, and we stand in His grace. We rejoice both in the hope of God's glory and in our temporary suffering. We have hope that will not disappoint, because God has already proved His love for us. Paul then compares the work of Adam in bringing sin and death into the world with the work of Christ in dying for sin in order to offer God's free gift of grace to all who believe.
Chapter Context:
After proving that all men are guilty of sin and incapable of earning salvation, Paul explained how faith—not works—is the means by which God declares us righteous. Romans 5 begins with a powerful, joyful revelation of all that comes with being justified in God's eyes by our faith in Christ. We have peace with God. We stand in God's grace. We have hope for eternal glory and meaning in our current suffering. God has proven His love for us in the death of Christ for our sin while we were still sinners. Adam introduced sin and death to the world, and they continue. Christ, though, by dying for our sin brought God's grace to all who believe. The next chapter begins by refuting a common misconception about salvation by grace through faith.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 4/22/2024 3:24:01 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.