God’s Demonstration of Love

There is something about mankind in that he thinks he must climb the ladder to heaven to reach God and find acceptance and peace.  Most of life in our western world seems to be about climbing one ladder or another.  When I worked in finance I was working crazy hours in order to climb up the corporate ladder.  Then one day, about 30 years ago, the Lord showed me the ladder I was climbing was leaning up against the wrong wall.  In fact that wasn’t the last time I found out the ladder I was climbing was leaning against the wrong wall.  Entering into peace with God, living in fellowship with Him,  has nothing to do with ladders.  It isn’t about us ascending to Him but His descending to us.  It’s not us getting better or even newly improved, but about Him meeting us where we are.  The way up is first of all the way down.

Romans 5:6–8 “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

For while we were still weak, “While still weak” could be translated, “helpless or powerless.”  Remember Paul was talking about the believer being justified by faith, having access to God and rejoicing in tribulation knowing they are the objects of His love.  We were utterly helpless to bring ourselves to God.  Left to our own resources none of us are able to do even one small thing to please God, or achieve salvation.  It’s hard to accept we have no ability to please God or to make ourselves pleasing to Him.  We are completely helpless and until we come to the place of accepting our helplessness we aren’t going to experience the fullness of His salvation.  Remember – justification comes by faith alone.  We are not partners in the work of salvation.  We come to Him without strength, having exhausted all of our resources and cry out to Him to save us.  God’s love came to us when we were utterly helpless.  We didn’t need a partner in salvation but a Savior who would meet us at our deepest need.

at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. When we were powerless to escape our sin, powerless to escape death, powerless to resist Satan, and powerless to please Him in any way, God amazingly sent His Son to die on our behalf.  God is always on time.  Notice it was at just the right time that Christ died.  It wasn’t an accident but the designed plan of God for us.  God is never late even though He doesn’t respond in our time frame.  Salvation came at the perfect time.  Someone once said, “We are always in a hurry but never on time.  God is never in a hurry but always on time.”  We were all born ungodly.  We don’t think of ourselves as ungodly but we are.  It isn’t just that our character is unlike God’s but our lives as unbelievers are in opposition to Him.  We are ungodly when we oppose His rule over us.  He did not wait for us to start helping ourselves, but died for us when we were altogether helpless.  At the point of our helplessness God sent His Son.  It is absolute grace for the ungodly.

For one will scarcely die for a righteous personA husband may die for his wife or children.  A soldier may die to protect his friends.  In each instance it is one expressing love for one they love.  Because of their love for their family member or dear friend they may be willing to die.  This does happen but it is very rare.  If it is rare for someone to die for a righteous or good man then who can conceive dying for an enemy?  Who would die for an evil man?  Who did Christ die for?

though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.  Greek philosophy teaches a  good man is extremely rare.  Greeks considered laying down one’s life for someone else heroic, but such sacrifice was not common.  It is uncommon for a person to sacrifice his own life in order to save the life even of someone of high character.  Still fewer people are inclined to give their lives to save a person they know to be a wicked scoundrel.  For the unbeliever, death has horrible consequences.  For the unbeliever death is the end of what they know and so it takes quite a bit for someone to die for another.

but God shows his love for usGod loved the world and He proved His love by giving.  He gave no ordinary gift; He gave His only Son.  God proved His love beyond any shadow of doubt.  It’s interesting that this is shown in the present tense.  It is the idea of a love that is demonstrated.  The cross was 2000 years ago but its affects are completely current.  There is a place where every Christian knows God loves him.  It is the cross.  Anytime we are tempted to doubt the love of God we need to simply look to the cross.  The cross is God’s testimony that there is no other way.  Think about it, God loves us! It is the most astonishing love because it is completely uncaused (unearned) by our love or good intentions.  In fact, quite the opposite.  He isn’t responding to anything good from us, He is the initiator, the pursuer in this relationship.  Christ gave His life as an expression of His love for us.  Jesus died for you because He loves you.  When you were under the curse of sin He became your substitute.  He laid down His life for His friends.

in that while we were still sinners, He didn’t love us because we were lovely people who were seeking Him and trying to obey Him.  However, when we were actually fighting Him and were willingly in opposition to His kingdom He loved us.  He didn’t just reach out a helping hand; He actually sent His Only Much Loved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to die for us.  We were still sinners.  This refers to our past.  We are sinners all the way up to the time we experience forgiveness through faith in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.  We were born sinners and we sinned.  He didn’t wait for us to change our attitude toward Him before He sent His Son.  He sent His beloved Son when we were at our worst, mired in sin.  God didn’t come just to forgive us of our sin but to set us free from sin itself.

Christ died for us!  He laid His life down for you, not on your best day but on your worst.  He died for you while fully aware of ALL your sin.  God’s love is completely beyond human comprehension.  The death of Christ is proof and revelation of the nature of God’s love for us.

Have a super blessed week.  I’ll be praying for you and trusting our Abba to pour His love deeply into your hearts.  So deeply that it overflows to a hurting world.

You are loved!

Pastor Tim