The Love of God: He Loves Us at Our Worst
Read Romans 5:6-11
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
It is easy to love others when they are at their best and they treat us kindly. But when they are at their worst and most unloving, then love is truly tested. Loving others is always measured, now by how we love and care for those who are friends, but how we respond and treat those who are our enemies. How do we love others who have treated us heartlessly and deeply hurt us? This is when love is ultimately tested.
To understand the depth of God’s love for us we need to understand that he loved us when were the most unlovable. In Romans 5 Paul is setting forth the results of our justification. The word “justify” is a legal term whereby we are declared righteous and innocent in the sight of the law. Instead of being pronounced guilty as lawbreakers, we are now declared righteous. This new status is not achieved by our merits, for we stand guilty as sinners. Rather this status is achieved through the death of Christ who paid the penalty for our sin and satisfied the justice of God (verse 6).
But it is the statement in verse 8 that we find the expression of the true depth of God’s love for us. The motive behind the work of Christ was the immeasurable love of God. This love he demonstrated, not when we are making our appeal to him and pleading for forgiveness, but when we were still acting in hostility towards God. He loved us when we were still the sworn enemies of God (vs 10).
However, Paul argues from the greater to the lessor to give us hope and confidence in God’s continual love and care for us. If God demonstrated his love for us when we were his enemies, then how much more will he continue to love us when we are now reconciled back to him. The word reconciliation means to be restored to a friendly relationship with someone after a presumed wrong, which in this case is not a wrong that God has done to us, but a wrong we have done when we rejected God’s word and rebelled against him. Now, because of reconciliation, instead of being his enemies, we are now considered his friends. However, it is important to understand that the reason for the change in status, was not because of anything we have done, but because of what he did for us through the death of Christ (verse 10). If he loves us at our vilest, how much more will he love us when we are at restored in our relationship with him.
In the struggles of trials, it is easy to become discouraged and begin to question God’s love for us. It is easy to feel abandoned by God. In this darkness of gloom, we find this light of hope—that God loves us completely, immeasurably, unconditionally and eternally. If he loved us when we still hostile towards him, how much more will he love us when we have accepted his offer of salvation. In the next few moments spend time giving thanks to God for his love for you and then reflect on the significance of his love especially in these days of uncertainty.