“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8
Many years ago when my wife of 25 years and I were dating she asked me a unique question; “What is your favourite verse in the Bible?” I had never considered the idea of a “favourite” verse before. The Bible contains so many verses that have blessed my heart through the years. I have read the Bible daily since I was saved at the age of 18. Although I have read it through many times, a day does not go by without some phrase or passage being a source of joy, encouragement or enlightening discovery. I only thought upon her question for a minute or two and said, Romans 5:8. Why did I choose Romans 5:8? Well, I guess because it has never ceased to amaze and thrill my heart that God would love me.
Consider for a moment the statement made in this verse. First, the word translated “commendeth” in the King James Bible has the idea of “introduce” or “exhibit.” We could even use the word “demonstrated.” In other words, God displayed how much He loved us when He became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and died upon the cross for us.
Wow! Can you imagine God, who is eternal, who is the holy sovereign ruler of heaven and earth, dwelling in all of the splendours of heaven coming down to this dusty old earth and dying for you on a wooden cross? Why did He need to do this you ask? In short, to meet the just demands of God’s judgment against your sins, freeing you from having to pay for them in eternal hell. So, your debt that you owed to Him, He paid for you. Surely, that is proof of His love.
To stop there, however, is to miss the full weight of this verse. The centre phrase, “while we were yet sinners” is very significant to understanding how much God loves us.
People say, “It doesn’t matter what I do as long as I’m not hurting anyone.” Yet, they are forgetting the One who is most hurt by their sin! Sin is first and foremost an offense to God. What if someone you repeatedly and willfully offended; someone whose name you mocked and turned your back on continually; what if they were the one who showed the greatest act of love anyone ever did for you? Multiply that a thousand times and you begin to understand how God loves you in spite of your sinfulness. The question is, will you receive His love or go on denying it and rejecting His forgiveness?
If you would like to understand more about how to respond to His great love and receive His forgiveness you can contact me at Castlegar Baptist Church.