And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

            “maketh not ashamed”
             “Does not put {us} to shame.” –That is, not disgraced.  It will not be disappointed–the glory hoped for will be realized. That is, gives us the highest glorying.

            When we hope for an object which we do not obtain, we are conscious of disappointment; perhaps sometimes of a feeling of shame. Paul says that the Christian hope is such that it will be fulfilled; it will not disappoint; what we hope for we shall certainly obtain (see Phil. 1:20)–“According to my earnest expectation and {my} hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed..”  The expression used here is probably taken from Psa. 22:4,5:  “Our fathers trusted in Thee; They trusted; and Thou didst deliver them. They cried unto Thee. And were delivered; They trusted in Thee, And were not confounded,” (i.e. ashamed.)
            We glory in this our hope.  A hope that is not rationally founded will have its expectation cut off; and then shame and confusion will be the portion of its possessor.  But our hope is of a different kind.  It is founded on the goodness and truth of God; and our experience shows us that we have not misapplied our hope nor exercised it on wrong or improper objects. 

                        ASHAMED: (Grk.–kataischunō)–Literally: “put to shame; humiliate; disgrace; disappoint.”  That is, this hope will not disappoint, or deceive.

“because the love of God is shed abroad”
Literally:  “Because the love of God is poured out.”– This love is the spring of all our actions; it is the motive of our obedience; the principle through which we love God.  We love Him because He first loved us; and we love Him with a love worthy of Himself, because it springs from Him: it is His own

            By that measure of it which He has communicated to our hearts, we have the most solid and convincing testimony of God's love to us, There, it is poured out, and diffused abroad; filling, quickening, and invigorating all our powers and faculties.   Every flame that rises from this pure and vigorous fire must be pleasing in His sight.  It consumes what is unholy; refines every passion and appetite; sublimes the whole, and assimilates all to itself. And we know that this is the love of God; it differs widely from all that is earthly and sensual. 
            The Holy Spirit comes with this love; by His energy it is diffused and pervades every part; and by His light we discover what this love of God really is, and know the state of grace in which we stand.  Also, we are furnished to every good word and work; have produced in us the mind that was in Christ; we are enabled to obey the pure law of our God in its spiritual sense, by loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and our neighbor, any and every soul of man, as ourselves. 

                        IS SHED ABROAD:  ( Grk.–ekkechutai)-Literally:  “has been shed abroad.”

                This is the perfect tense of the Greek verb ekcheō, which literally means, “to pour out.”  There is produced an abundant, an overflowing love to God. This love is diffused; is poured out; is abundantly produced. There, it is poured out, and diffused abroad; filling, quickening, and invigorating all our powers and faculties. 
            This Greeks applied this word to a liquid that is poured out, or diffused. It is used also to denote imparting, or communicating freely or abundantly, and is thus expressive of the influence of the Holy Spirit poured down, or abundantly imparted to men (Acts 10:45).  Here it means that love towards God is abundantly given to a Christian; his heart is conscious of high and abundant love to God, and by this he is sustained in his afflictions.
            UNDERSTAND THIS:  I might add here a note for those who believe that pouring is sufficient a mode for baptism.  Understand that pouring is used in the Bible only with the pouring out of wrath of God, or this pouring out of God as seen here.  It is never associated with any type of baptism.  Also, “sprinkling”is referred to in the Bible only regarding to the High Priest sprinkling the blood on the Mercy Seat.  The Greek word for baptism, or baptize is baptizō,  and this word has only one real meaning:  that is, “to plunge under; to immerse.”  This is the ONLY form of Biblical baptism.  Any other form is un-Scriptural and even anti-Scriptural.     

“by the Holy Ghost”
Literally:  “Through {the} Holy Spirit.”  It is produced by the influence of the Holy Spirit. Some of the O.T. prophets connected the “pouring out” of the Spirit with the age to come (Isa. 32:15; Ezek. 11:19; Joel 2:28-29).

All Christian graces are traced to His influence (Gal 5:22), “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,” etc.  The sweet sense of God's love towards us, which is always accompanied by the exercise of our love towards Him.  Both are caused in us by the Holy Ghost, and are a sure earnest of eternal life (Phil 1:6). The love of God reigning in the heart is a sure evidence of having received the Holy Spirit, and under his influence, of being in a course of preparation for heaven.

“which  is given to us”
Literally:  “Who was given to us.”–The Holy Spirit is thus represented as dwelling in the hearts of believers, (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19; II Cor. 6:16). In all these places it is meant that Christians are under his sanctifying influence; that He produces in their hearts the Christian     graces; and fills their minds with peace, and love, and joy.

The early Christians sometimes had the miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit.  These were needed then; and if they were needed now (which they are NOT), they would be again communicated.

“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.”

Paul now opens a new argument, or a new view of the subject; or it is to show that our hope will not make ashamed, or will not disappoint us. The first argument Paul had stated in the previous verse:  that the Holy Spirit was given to us. The next, which he now states, is that God had given the most ample proof that He would save us by giving His Son when we were sinners; and that He who had done so much for us when we were enemies, would not now fail us when we are His friends (vv.  6-10).  God has performed the more difficult part of the work by reconciling us when we were enemies; and He will not now forsake us, but will carry forward and complete what he has begun.

                        FOR:  (Grk.– eti gar)–Literally:  “yet for.”

“when we were yet without strength”
Literally: “For we yet being without strength.”–While we were still weak; powerless to deliver ourselves, and so ready to perish. We were “without strength” (weak) in two    respects:          
1.      We could not accomplish anything in regard to God,  and,
2.      We were in no position to resist temptation and sin.

           WITHOUT STRENGTH:  (Grk.– asthenōn)–This Greek word is a medical term that is usually applied to those who are sick and feeble, deprived of strength by disease (Matt. 5:39; Luke10:9; Acts 4:9; 5:15). 

         However, here it is used in a moral sense; meaning, to denote inability or feebleness with regard to any undertaking or duty. Here it means that we   were without strength in regard to the case which Paul was considering;  without the strength to either think, will, or do anything good.  Powerless to deliver ourselves, and so ready to perish; wicked, lost, and destitute of resources to save ourselves, or provide for our own salvation.  Having just pointed out the glorious state of the believing Gentiles, Paul now contrasts their present state this with their former state; and the means by which they were redeemed from it.
         While all hope of man's being saved by any plan of his own was thus taken away– while he was thus lying exposed to Divine justice, and dependent on the mere mercy of God.  So God provided a plan which met the case, and secured his salvation. The remark of Paul here has reference only to the condition of the race before an atonement is made. It does not pertain to the question whether man has strength to repent and to believe after an atonement is made, which is a very different inquiry.  

“ in due time”– Neither too soon nor too late; but in that very point of time which the wisdom of God knew to be more proper than any other. In God's own chosen time.   In a    timely manner; at the proper time; at the appointed season.  Christ came into the world at the proper time; in the fullness of time (Gal. 4:4; Eph. 1:10; Titus 1:3).

 IN DUE TIME:  (Grk.– kata kairon)–Literally:  “in due season.”  In Gal. 4:4 we read:  “But when the fullness of time was come,” (Gal. 4:4). This may mean:

1.      That it was a fit or proper time. All experiments had failed to save men. For four thousand years the trial had been made under the law among the Jews; and by the aid of the most enlightened reason in Greece and Rome; and still it was in vain. No scheme had been devised to meet the maladies of the world, and to save men from death. It was then time that a better plan should be presented to men.
2.      It was the time fixed and appointed by God for the Messiah to come; the time which had been designated by the prophets (Gen. 49:10; Dan. 9:24-27; see John 13:1; 17:1).
3.      It was the most favorable time for the spread of the gospel. The world was expecting such an event; was at peace; and was subjected mainly to the Roman power; and furnished facilities never before experienced for introducing the gospel rapidly into every land.

“Christ died for the ungodly.”
Literally:  “Christ died on behalf of the ungodly.”–In their stead, that they, by believing in Him, might live forever. Not only to set them a pattern, or to procure them power to follow it.

FOR:  (Grk.– huper)—On behalf of;  for those; in place of.”

         UNGODLY:  (Grk.–asthenon)–Those who do not worship God. It does not differ materially from what is meant by the word translated “without strength.”  It does not  appear that this expression, of dying for any one, has any other signification than that of rescuing the life of another by laying down our own.

Christ came to save, not the righteous, but to “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21). Three signal properties of God's love are here given:

1.      “Christ died for the ungodly,” those whose character, so far from meriting any credit on their behalf, was altogether repulsive to God;
2.      Christ did this “when they were without strength” i.e., with nothing between them and perdition but that self-originating divine compassion;
3.      Christ did this “at the due time,” at the most opportune time; when it was most fitting that it should take place (compare Gal. 4:4).
         The two former of these properties Paul now proceeds to illustrate.

Now contrast this with their former state; and the means by which they were redeemed from it.  He points out their former state in four particulars; which may be applied to men in general.

I.      They were without strength  (asthenōn)– That is, they were in a weak, dying state: neither able to resist sin, nor do any good: utterly devoid of power to extricate themselves from the misery of their situation.
II.     They were ungodly (asebōn)-Without either the worship or knowledge of the true God; lack of reverence toward God; impiety; did not have God in them; and, consequently, were not partakers of the Divine nature: Satan lived in, ruled, and enslaved their hearts.
III.    They were sinners (hamartōlōi)–(v. 8)–They were aiming at happiness, but constantly missing the mark. And in missing the mark, they deviated from the right way; walked in the wrong way; trespassed in thus deviating; and, by breaking the commandments of God, not only missed the mark of felicity, but exposed themselves to everlasting misery.
IV.    They were enemies (ecthroi)–(v. 10)–Meaning that they were hatred, enmity, persons who hated Go and holiness; and acted in continual hostility to both.  What a gradation is here! 

The purpose of this, and these verses is to illustrate the great love of God, by comparing it with what man was willing to do.

“For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.”

 “It is an unusual occurrence, an event which is all that we can hope for from the highest human benevolence and the purest friendship, that one would be willing to die for a good man. There are none who would be willing to die for a man who was seeking to do us injury, to calumniate our character, to destroy our happiness or our property. But Christ was willing to die for bitter foes.”–Albert Barnes

“For scarcely “for a righteous man”

              FOR SCARCELY:  (Grk.–molis gar)—Literally:  For hardly;  with difficulty.”–It is an event which cannot be expected to occur often. There would scarcely be found an instance in which it would happen.

            FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN:  (Grk.– hyper dikaiou)—Literally: “In the place of a just one.”  That is, in his stead. A man would scarcely lay down his own life to even save that of a righteous man

             RIGHTEOUS:  (Grk.–dikaios)—This implies an innocent man; a just man; a man  distinguished simply for integrity of conduct; one who has no remarkable claims for amiableness of character, for benevolence, or for personal friendship.     

            As much as we may admire such a man, and applaud him, yet he has not the characteristics which would appeal to our hearts to induce us to lay down our lives for him. Accordingly, it is not known that any instance has occurred where for such a man one would be willing to die.
            A just, upright, and honest man.  A good man; not only just, but kind, com-passionate, and governed by love to God and men. One who is eminently holy; full of love, of compassion, kindness, mildness, of every heavenly and amiable temper. The Jews divide men, as to their moral character, into four classes:

1.      Those who say, “what is mine, is my own; and what is thine, is thy own.”These may be considered the just, who render to every man his due; or rather, they who neither give nor take.
2.      Those who say, “what is mine, is thine; and what is thine, is mine.”These are they who accommodate each other, who borrow and lend.
3.      Those who say, “What is mine, is thine; and what is thine, let it be thine.” These are the pious, or good, who give up all for the benefit of their neighbour.
4.      Those who say, “What is mine, is mine; and what is thine, shall be mine.” These are the impious, who take all, and give nothing.Now, for one of the first class, who would die?There is nothing amiable in his life or conduct that would so endear him to any man, as to induce him to risk his life to save such a person.

“will one die”
 Literally: “Anyone will die.”

            “yet peradventure”
             Literally:  Perhaps one even dares.” Implying that this was an event which might be   expected to occur.

                        PERADVENTURE (Grk.–tacha)-Perhaps; implying that this was an event which might possibly be expected to occur.

“for a good man”
Literally:  “on behalf of the good one”–This is for one of the third class, who gives all he has for the good of others.  The definite article “the” is in the original Greek text, denoting a definite type of man.

This is the truly benevolent man, whose life is devoted to the public good: for such a person, peradventure, some who have had their lives perhaps preserved by his bounty, would even dare to die: but such cases may be considered merely as possible: they exist, it is true, in romance; and we find a few rare instances of friends exposing themselves to death for their friends.

          GOOD:  (Grk.–agathōs)–This Greek word always includes a corresponding beneficent relation of the subject of it to another subject; an establishment of a communion and exchange of life

          That is, not merely a man who is coldly just; but a man whose characteristic is that of kindness, amiableness, tenderness. It is evident that the case of such a man would be much more likely to appeal to our feelings, than that of one who is merely a man of integrity. Such a man is susceptible of tender friendship; and Paul intended to refer to such a case–a case where we would be willing to expose life for a kind, tender, faithful friend.  A good man; not only just, but kind, compassionate, and governed by love to God and men.
            Paul uses the terms, “righteous” and “good” here, not in their N.T. sense, but in their classical meaning.  He is here using an illustration from human experience.

“The distinction is; dikaios (i.e., righteous) is simply right or just; doing all that law or justice requires; agathos (good) is benevolent, kind, generous.  The righteous man is what he ought and gives everyone his due.  The good man does as much as ever he can, and proves his moral quality by promoting the well-being of him with whom he has to do”-Vincent’s Word Studies in the N.T.          

“some would even dare to die.”–Some would have courage to give his life. Instances of this kind, though not many, have occurred.  Our Savior says that it is the highest expression   of love among men. “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” (John 15:13). The friendship of David and Jonathan seems also to have been of this character, that one would have been willing to lay down his life for the other.

“But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

“But God commendeth His love toward us”
Literally:  “God commends the love of Himself to us.”–God has exhibited or showed His love in this unusual and remarkable manner; “sets off,” or  “displays”–in glorious contrast with all that men will do for each other.

Shows His kind feeling; His beneficence; His willingness to submit to sacrifice to do good to others. God has set this act of infinite mercy in the most conspicuous light, so as to recommend it to the notice and admiration of all. Shows it to be unspeakably greater, more disinterested, and abundant                    

            COMMENDED: (Grk.–sunistêmi)–Literally; “to put together by combining or comparing; hence, to show, prove, establish exhibit; to demonstrate.”   The word here means more than, “to hold up to favorable view, to recommend;” rather, it means that God presents His love in its true and unmistakable character.  The Greek word is used two ways:
1.         Of things in the sense of “prove” or “establish,” here and in 3:5;
2.         Of persons in the sense of “recommend,” in 16:1.

“Note the present tense; God continuously establishes His love in that the death of Christ remains as its striking manifestation”–Vincents’s N.T. Word Studies.

           HIS LOVE:  (Grk.–eautou hagpên)-Literally:  “His own love.”  Not in contrast with human love, but as demonstrated by Christ own act of love.  God shows His own love to be unspeakably greater, more disinterested, and abundant than any love of men. 

            The emphatic “His own” is lost sight of in the KJV. It is not in contrast to our love to God, but expressive of the thought that the love of God Himself towards men was displayed in the death of Christ. This is important for our true conception of the light in which the mysterious doctrine of the atonement is regarded in Holy Scripture. It must not be thought, (as represented by some schools of theologians) that the Son, considered apart from the Father, offered Himself to appease the Father’s wrath but rather that the Divine love itself purposed from eternity and provided the atonement.   all the Persons of the holy and undivided Trinity concurring to effect it
        The love both of
God the Father and of Christ, God the Son is involved in the
atonement .   Its ultimate cause is the love of God, which is here in question. The love of Christ is evidenced by the fact of His death; the love of God is evidenced by the love of Christ.

“while we were yet sinners”
Literally:  “In {this} in that while we being yet sinners.” —We were neither righteous nor good; but impious and wicked; that is, so far from being good, that we were not even just; and     of course His enemies; enemies to Him, and deserving His displeasure or wrath.

Int his, His love surpasses all that has ever been manifested among men. in a state not of positive “goodness,” nor even of negative “righteousness,” but on the contrary, “sinners,” a state which His soul hates.

          YET:  (Grk.–eti)–implies the after-change which Christ’s atoning death was to produce in the justified.—For a full parallel to this verse see Titus 3:3-5. where the dark picture of Rom. 5:3 brings out in contrast the “love toward man” of v. 4.

          SINNERS:  (Grk.–hamartōlōn)–There is a stress upon this word in contrast to “the righteous man;” and “ the good man,” of the preceding verse.

“Christ died for us”
Literally:  “Christ died on behalf of us.”–In our stead; to save us from death, He took our place; and, by dying Himself on the cross, saved us from dying eternally in hell. Now comes the overpowering inference, emphatically redoubled. 

This entire study is graciously summed up in John 3:16:  “For God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”