“For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (Romans 5:6).
According to Charles Spurgeon:
The doctrine of the atonement is very simple. It just consists in the substitution of Christ in the place of sinner; Christ being treated as if he were the sinner, and then the transgressor being treated as if he were the righteous one. It is a change of persons; Christ becomes the sinner; He stands in the sinner’s place and stead; He was numbered with the transgressors; the sinner becomes righteous; he stands in Christ’s place and stead, and is numbered with the righteous ones. Christ has no sin of His own, but He takes human guilt, and is punished for human folly. We have no righteousness of our own, but we take the Divine righteousness; we are rewarded for it, and stand accepted before God as though that righteousness had been wrought out by ourselves. “In due time Christ died for the ungodly” (Rom. 5:6), that He might take away their sins [The King’s Highway (Houston: Christian Focus Publications, 1989), 25].