The Love of God - Part 2

by Wayne Barber

In our last article, we introduced Romans 5:6-10 with the encouragement, particularly to believers, inherent in the magnitude of God's love for us. So often, we make the mistake of forgetting what it was like to be lost. Because life is not always friendly towards us, we shake our fists in God's face and accuse Him of not loving us. But we need to be so careful. Paul shows us three shades of the blackness of man's condition when Christ came into this world to save us. It is against this backdrop that the brilliance of God's love is highlighted for all to see!

The first shade, or degree, of this blackness of man's sin was that man was helpless and ungodly. In 5:6, Paul says "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." The ungodly-that's us. The participle in the phrase "for while we were" is in the present tense. Man was helplessly living in a fallen state of humanity. This was his lifestyle because he was born a sinner. The word "helpless" is asthené\s. It means to be without strength to do anything about one's condition. Paul is depicting a terrible state of despair that all mankind was in when Christ came to be born of a virgin in a stable, to ultimately die for our sins. You see, without Jesus Christ, man absolutely has nothing in him that gives him the ability to save himself from the condition in which he was born. Man was born in a helpless estate.

"At the right time Christ died for the ungodly." There are two words for "time" in Scripture: chronos (time that can be measured) and kairs. meaning season, or opportunity, or due time. When you say, "Boy, that was at just exactly the right minute," that's what you mean. In the Gospel of John, Jesus kept saying, "It is not yet time for the Son of Man to be glorified." God wasn't caught by surprise when Jesus went to the cross. It was all at an appointed time. He came into this world at an appointed time.

In the Book of Malachi, God was so upset with the people of Israel that He withdrew His presence from the Temple. For 400 years, there was a period of darkness. But Hebrews tells us that God broke the silence, and Jesus came into the world. He came into the world at an appropriate time, at the right time, at the proper time. You ask, "Why didn't He come under Isaiah? Why didn't He come under Jeremiah? Why did He come into the world when He came?" The answer is, He came at the right time-the assigned, appointed time. "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son" (Gal. 4:4).

But Paul's point is that Jesus came at a time when the backdrop was as black as it could be. When the situation on this earth was so bad and men were so evil, Jesus came. He died one time "for the ungodly." "Ungodly" in the Greek is asebe\s. It means to be absolutely without any respect or worship for God at all. It was into that dreadful condition that Christ came to die for our sins. And you are trying to tell me that God doesn't love you?

The second shade: we were not only ungodly, but we were sinners when Christ came to die for us! "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die" (v. 7). It's not uncommon for a man to give his life for a good man so that the good man might live on. Humans have witnessed this kind of love. But God's love so far surpasses anything man can or would do! His contrast is in verse 8: "But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (I love that little phrase, "but God." Forty-eight different times that phrase appears in Scripture.)

"But God demonstrates His own love." "Demonstrates" is the word sunisto\, which means to put or to place together. In other words, God has put together in Christ's death on the cross a demonstration of how much He loves you and me. And it was while we were ungodly, while we were helpless, while we were sinners, that He came and died for us.

Verse 8 continues "in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The word "sinners" is hamarto\los, meaning devoted to sin, wicked, perverse. While we were devoted to sin, to everything God hates, and we were wicked and perverse, Christ died for us! Talk about love!!!

In our next article, we will continue this journey to realize just how much God does love each of us and has demonstrated it in Christ dying for us on the cross. Keep looking up brother, you are special to God!

2011 Disciple 155x50 2011 AMG 155x50
Disciple Banner Ad