Love So Amazing So Divine!
6For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. 8But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the wrath of God through him. 10For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
There is a great danger of detracting from the message of our text by trying to analyze it . God commends God demonstrates He proves “his great love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”
I cannot add to this, when it is stated, there is nothing more to be said. It speaks of God’s infinite amazing love. I read it, consider it, and am inclined to bow my head like the prophet of old and say, “The LORD is in His holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before Him.” Yet I must turn to the message of the hour.
Notice with me first the persons involved in the declaration, of this text: God and the Sinner: This implies a great spacious distance. The infinite distance between God and A Sinner…shocks us we attempt to understand it. There is a beautiful passage I love to read found in: Psalm 103:8-12 . Notice this marvelous passage with me.
“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.”
We sometimes speak as though the supreme expression of distance is found in this statement (as far as the east is from the west) We are inclined to think “what a great distance!” But it is only a measurable span. The supreme distance is that which exits between God and the sinner.
But Notice second, this text of Romans 5:6-10 declares a certain fact. There are four words that declare it: They are four words any small child who has been to school but for a short time could spell out. “Christ died for us”. The mystery of human pain and suffering, has puzzled the worlds greatest minds pales into insignificance, when laid beside the message “Christ died for us”
And finally, notice the truth declared in the text: “God commendeth, demonstrates His own love toward us.” I do not believe anyone who truly understands this passage can say; “God does not love He certainly has not demonstrated His love for me”.
Consider now the persons involved: GOD AND THE SINNER!
How shall I speak reverently yet boldly of God? Perhaps the apostle John has given us in the briefest of sentences the sublime truths concerning God. We will not deal with these in any detail, but we only mention them. John tells us of The nature of God in this brief word, “God is life”, The Essence of God in an equally short and simply statement “God is love”, and again, The Character of God in another sentence as simple, “God is light”.
How shall we expound such simple declarations as these, with a verbiage of words? It seems to me, that John by inspiration, took up the simplest words in our human language and lifted them above exposition, and debate, and has given us the inspirational truths regarding God Notice the first statement, God is life
In John chapter one we read this wonderful statement : 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men. God describes Himself as “I AM ” In Him was life, In Gen. 2:7 we read: — 7And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. It does not astonish me, to read that the Omnipotent , Omniscient God Loves..... Even though I know that God has set His love upon foolish creatures as myself...... I am not astonished as I read 1 John 4:8 “God is love”.
But I read of the character of God. 1 John 1:5 God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. I think it best to let the scriptures suggest all that we can comprehend from this statement. Light suggests something of God’s purity. God is holy, righteous, He is true and faithful. “Holy“ right in character. — “Righteous” right in conduct. God is true. The GOD of the universe, infinite in holiness. If this statement of the truth does not astonish us shock us, it is because we are insensitive to holiness because of our own sin. If we only knew what holiness meant, if we could understand what righteousness is, then we would be appalled by the holiness of God.
We pass to the end of our text we find the other persons involved “8But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” “Sinners” What does it imply what is a sinner? Those who are in character the exact opposite of God, even though they be kin to Him by nature, created in His Image And Likeness
Brethren here is the marvel. By nature we are kin to God. Paul in the sermon on Mars Hill stated: Acts 17:28,29.
“For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. 29Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device”
So such we are in nature, but what of man's character? Though we are kin to God in nature, all our character is unlike God. Unholy instead of holy, Unrighteous, instead of righteous. Untrue instead of True. Unfaithful instead of faithful. Hear the testimony of inspiration Rom. 3:10-12
“as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; 11There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; 12They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not, so much as one:”
There are those who would tend to argue with inspiration concerning our nature, but the fact remains, men “go astray”, they fall into sin. - There is none of us who will test his past character, and conduct, not by God’s holiness, but by his own ideal of truth and purity. We cannot stand and say, “I measure up”. We are fast putting sin out of our vocabulary as a word, but we cannot drop it from our experiences.
Now mark what this means as to contrast. By any standard of human experience, we are very unlovable people. The sinner ought to be very loathsome to a pure, and holy God. Men of high values , as a rule holds in contempt the man of base and degraded ideals
To me it is inconceivable that infinite purity can care for me because I am impure. Apart from the cross of Christ you will never persuade me that God loves me. Man is sinful, and impure in nature. The measure of my holiness is faint. Here is a great mystery not only of the gospel, But to those of us who have become partakers of the gospel and have become conformed to the image of God, we too love those who are unlike Him, therefore unlike ourselves. Mark the persons involved¾ God who is infinite in holiness and purity and uprightness. And humanity, who are sinners, opposed to God in character, hostile, rebellious. (Ephesians 2:11-12)
That brings us to the GREAT fact declared in this text, the message of the Bible. It is the theme which glows first in the garden of Eden, and shines throughout the entirety of the Bible. Hear it: “Christ died for us”. And someone says, is that all? We know this. Beloved, we do not begin to know it. There is nothing left to say when this is said. Therefore, God help us to be careful how we say it, and how we hear it.
The first matter of importance is that we should
understand what we mean when we say “Christ” It is equally important that we
are careful just what we mean when we say “Died”. If I take the phrase “Christ”, and think merely of a peasant who walked
in the regions
But when we say “Christ Died” we mean He was separated from God. Hear His words upon the cross in that moment: Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
And with great caution I warn you never forget that when you speak of Jesus you speak of God. John 1:1-3 & 14 God was in Christ not as He has never been in anyone else, but in the fullest sense,. Paul expresses it this way in the Colossian Letter: Col. 1:14-15 where is speaking of Christ states
14In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15Who is the image of the invisible God,
In the Hebrew letter we read:
3who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, Heb 1:3-4
That is difficult to understand, no philosophy of man can explain the incarnation “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself”. The incarnation of God in the person of Christ defies meaning but If you rob the word “Christ” of it’s significance, your gospel falls to pieces.
Remember that Christ is God in the flesh, He was God’s revelation to me of Himself. The very essence of God, came and dwelt in the flesh “Christ” do not put any small human value upon this word. John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.”
Next consider the infinite reaches of the
gospel¾ “God and the
sinner”. We have seen the
infinite spacious distance separating God and sinners, and according to our very best view, God ought to count the sinner as very
loathsome. But what is the
truth? When there was no eye to
pity, God pitied. When there was no arm to save, God reached out to man—
What is the truth? Hear it brother,
sister, and any doubting God’s
great love ….God in the mystery of incarnation and in the wonder
of the cross there took upon
Himself our sins, and bore them on
Love was the inspiration for Christ's death.
Hear the words again: Romans 5:6-9 ”For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. 8But “God commendeth His Love” “God demonstrates His own love” toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us”.
And so I stand in the presence of this great text, and I say, Beloved, God has demonstrated His love to the satisfaction of my heart, and I know now that He loves me.
Why did He love me? I really do not know, why should He care for me? I cannot tell, but He does. God’s amazing, divine love for His creation. This love is royal and it makes its demand upon me.
How often we sing the beautiful hymn written by Isaac Watts, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.” Three verses of this hymn portray, the amazing, wondrous, divine love of Christ, then the meaningful forth stanza speaks of the demand this kind of royal love makes upon me. Hear it:
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
Have you ever thought, “I cannot give the whole realm of nature”? But if you could it would be a gift too small. But I can give myself to Him. That is what He wants. He counts you more than the whole realm of nature.
One day Jesus was standing with the balances in His hand, Hear His words:
36For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mark 8:36-37
That is God’s estimate of
your soul. He would not feel
Himself enriched if he could save the whole realm of nature, and yet lose you.
How do I know? Because He gave some-thing more dear than the whole of nature,
God died on
If you want to know the value of your soul, in the estimation of your Creator, God measured you by giving Himself for you. Hear the most beloved piece of literature known to man…. “16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16
The next time you sing that song, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” do not sing it as though you had nothing to give. Give yourself. That is all He wants Listen to it again: “Love so amazing, so divine, Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Have you responded to God’s Amazing, Divine love? I urge you to respond now, not by singing of its demands, but by giving all it demands: ’’my soul, my life, my all.”
Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ