By Eric Taylor
Pastor, Cedar Hill Baptist Church, Cedar Hill
Focal Passage: Romans 5:6-12, 18-21
One of the great truths we see in the New Testament is that long before we committed ourselves to Christ, Christ committed Himself to us by dying for us. The fact that “God demonstrates His love towards us” (Romans 5:8) through the death of Christ should produce in us songs of praise and worship.
I John 4:19 says, “We love Him because He first loved us.” In other words, “while we were still at odds (enemies) with God” the Lord “Christ Jesus came to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15). Having said that, Christ’s commitment to us provides at least three things to our lives. Through Christ and His blood we are justified, reconciled and given eternal life by the grace of God.
First, in His death for sinners the Lord Jesus Christ provided our justification (Romans 5:9). Jesus did not die for the just or the good; He died for sinners so that they might be “justified.”
In other words, being justified, or declared righteous (not guilty) by God is possible only by the blood of Jesus. One day we will stand before God, and hear the words, “not guilty.”
Second, verse 10 makes it clear that Jesus’ death was intended to “reconcile” us to God. Do you realize that before you were saved, you were an enemy of God? I mean, that is not what I said, that is what the Holy Spirit says through God’s Word.
In reality, it was never God that needed to be reconciled to us; it was each one of us that needed to be reconciled to Him. I cannot find a single place in the Bible that teaches God needing to be reconciled to sinners; it is sinners needing to be reconciled to God.
The third benefit of Christ’s commitment to us is that He gives those who believe salvation and eternal life. According to the Apostle Paul, we need salvation because we are under the “condemnation” of sin that leads, not just to physical death, but to spiritual death, and that came to us through Adam or as Paul says, “one man’s sin.”
Paul makes a solid case for the problem, the presence and the penalty of sin having come into this world because of the sin of Adam, and that it continues now because of the fact that all people currently carry the deadly virus of sin within them. Adam’s sin plunged mankind into spiritual darkness, making us spiritually and morally bankrupt apart from Jesus, and therefore, apart from Him we stand condemned before a Holy God.
Yet today, we cannot just blame Adam, for we stand condemned ourselves. In John 3:18 Jesus says: “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
We need eternal life so that we are “saved from wrath,” and “the reign of sin in death.” The Bible teaches us that we are “by nature children of wrath” (Ephesians 2:3), deserving of wrath. Yet, Jesus’ sacrificial, atoning death provides our salvation and eternal life, so that we are “delivered from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
This is Christ’s commitment to us. B&R