By Ross Gilbert
Paul writes to the Roman church from prison and tells them “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5: 6-8 (NASB)
When we were helpless to save ourselves, while still enemies of God, God showed love to us by sending His Son Jesus to die for us. Isn’t that incredible? You see, someone may be prepared to die for a friend, but you would be hard-pressed to find someone willing to die for an enemy. But that’s how God showed us His love, He gives undeserved grace.
Grace is free to the receiver but
costly to the giver.
Grace transfers blessings from the storehouse of the deserving to the need of the unworthy. What you need to understand is that God's love for you is not dependent on you. You are not the initiator of that kind of love, God is.
Many struggle with the truth of how much God loves them because they don’t believe themselves to be worthy of that kind of love. And the simple reality is, you are not worthy, you never were, nor will you ever be. But that’s not the point, it’s not about trying to earn His love.
God's love is not based on the attractiveness
of the object He loves, it’s based in who He is.
Jesus’ death and resurrection was God letting His actions show us that He would rather die and go to hell than be without you. And for that reason, He willingly went to the cross. Some people wonder how a loving Father could demand that kind of a death? Does it not reveal pure evil? And the truth is yes, that could be the case if Jesus’ death had not been voluntary. The fact that Jesus chose to die shows pure love on Jesus’ part towards humanity.
His sacrifice was not just substitutionary, even though that is part of it. Jesus didn’t just pay the penalty of death, He took death upon Himself. He did not just pay the penalty of your sin, He took your sin, shame and guilt upon Himself.
It was while you were helpless that Jesus came
to your rescue to fight the war
you could never win on your own.
And He didn’t wait to do it until you got your act together, or when you showed more promise or commitment to Him. It’s a victory that He secured two thousand years ago on the Cross. He is willing to fight for you today, as you trust Him, He will set you free because the truth is: we are still helpless against sin. We cannot win the battle, but He can.
His resurrection life has conquered sin. Romans 6:7 tells us that he who has died has been set free from sin, so the truth of the matter is, you were crucified with Christ. The Cross was not just Jesus’ cross. It was your cross too, therefore, you have also died and been set free from sin and shame. You are now reborn a saint. Yes, you still sometimes sin, but that doesn't change the fact that you are now holy.
You are now able to house the life of the Lord Jesus Himself and have access to God anytime, anywhere. Because of this, you are no longer a helpless victim to sin and death because He has overcome it all and He is available to you.
When Paul was preaching in a synagogue, he shared the gospel and talked about what God had done. He summed it up this way: “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.” Acts 13:38 (NASB) The work is done and the offer proclaimed through Him that everyone who believes is set free from every sin, because we were helpless to save ourselves.