What great love
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.
Romans 5:8 (NLT)
Looking at human failure from heaven’s point of view and observing our natural self-centred indifference to God, we can only be amazed at the patience, longsuffering and gracious mercy of God towards a wayward and rebellious humanity. But God has demonstrated the power and depth of his love for us, in that, ‘while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’ (Romans 5:8 NIV).
All humanity has been redeemed through the blood of Jesus on the Cross: ‘…in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.’ (Ephesians 1:7-8).
It is because of God’s great love for us that we are redeemed: ‘And God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.’ (Romans 5:8 NLT). And through redemption our broken relationship with God is restored: ‘For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. (v.10).
This not only demonstrated the great love of God for us, but it also opened wide the gate of salvation to everyone. All humanity, past, present and future, has been redeemed through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. All are invited, through the preaching of the Gospel, to take on a new life in him: ‘This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The essence of divine love is its sacrificial nature, but God’s great love does more than draw us to him in our need – it compels us to reach out to a needy world. As followers of Jesus we are called to participate in his life of sacrificial love. As the apostle Paul taught and demonstrated, ‘…Christ’s love [compels (NIV)] us…He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ…’ (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 NLT)
God’s great work of redemption has been accomplished for us on the Cross, made possible by God’s great love, mercy, and grace. What works of grace still wait to be accomplished, through love, by those who are motivated by that same love of the one who gave up everything for them – Jesus Christ.
God of goodness, we come into your presence so aware of our human frailty and yet overwhelmed by your great love for us. We thank you that there is no human experience that we might know or walk through that your great love cannot reach. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Study by Dennis Payne
About the writer:
Dennis Payne is a Deacon in the Central London congregation of Grace Communion International.
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