“But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”—Romans 5:8 (NLT)
“I love you, even when I’m mad at you.” “You’re still my best pal in the world even when you upset me.” These are things I tell my son after disciplining him. I want to constantly reassure him that my love isn’t contingent on his performance. Even if I don’t agree with or approve of his behavior, even if I am angry with him for making bad choices, I still love him with all my heart because he is my son.
Isn’t it amazing to think that this is exactly how the Lord sees us? He loves us, even when we fall short. His mercy extends further than our sinful nature. His love for His children isn’t dependent upon works, but the grace that He freely gives.
But it doesn’t stop there. You see, the Lord doesn’t just love us when we become His children. According to Romans 5, Christ died for us while we were helpless and ungodly (Romans 5:6), still enslaved to sin (Romans 5:8), and enemies of God (Romans 5:10). It’s interesting, and frankly, a little shocking to read that. I don’t think there was ever a time that I considered myself God’s enemy, but that’s what our sin makes us. It puts us at odds with the goodness, beauty, and perfection of the Lord. And this is the scandal of grace right here, folks: While we were still in our state of sin, the perfect, sinless Jesus died for us in our place. He took our sin upon Himself; He extended His love to us and invited us to be His friends.
John Gill put it this way: “For the further illustration of the love of God expressed to sinners . . . the state and condition God’s elect were in when Christ died for them is taken notice of . . . they “were enemies” to God; to his being, perfections, purposes, and providences . . . to Christ, to his person, offices, grace, and righteousness . . . without the power and grace of God.” This grace is wonderfully displayed through the reconciliation of each and every person who believes.
He didn’t condemn us to death—which we deserve—nor did He leave us in our ruined state. He knew we could never earn or achieve redemption, so He brought redemption to us! As recipients of His grace, I pray every day we can also be effective and authentic ambassadors of His grace. I pray we can help others receive His grace and walk in His love!
DIG: Read Romans 5:1–21.
DISCOVER: What does the grace of God mean to you?
DO: Share with someone today about God’s grace and how it changed your life.