Paul’s Footsteps #294

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 NLT 

Footsteps  #294 Rom.5:8 tells us that Christ died for sinners. A sinner is one who is not merely out of harmony with God’s will, a sinner is in active rebellion against God. Sin is against God personally. “The mind that is set on the flesh” (unconverted human nature), Paul writes, “is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, indeed it cannot” (Rom. 8:7). 

Beyond being personal, sin is moral. It is a deliberate act of the will to rebel against God. Sin is a choice, a rejection of God, sin is a created being’s clenched fist in the face of his creator; sin is the creature distrusting God, deposing Him as the Lord of his life. 

 I have a true story I tell my year 8 students about Barry the St Bernard who died trying to rescue a Swiss guard in a snow storm. The Swiss guard in his almost frozen stupor thought Barry was a wolf and drew his knife and stabbed him, only later realizing he had killed his rescuer. The illustration alarms children but achieves the aim of highlighting the costliness and ugly consequences of sin. 

Remember, He died for your sins. He died in your place. He took the death penalty that belonged to you, that you might have His life. The sacrifice of Christ for sinners maybe the Bible’s most disgusting teaching, but it is also the most important because the entire plan of salvation rests upon the death of the Lamb of God. Through Christ’s death, God did for you what you could not do for yourself, saved you from His wrath against sin. (V:9.)  

Romans 5 has several descriptions of the unsaved. They are ‘powerless’(v6 NIV) because they cannot save themselves. They are ‘ungodly’, meaning they have a total incapacity for good. They are ‘sinners’(v8) because they break God’s law. To this list, he adds “we were God’s enemies” (v10). This is a common NT declaration c.f. Phil.3:18, Col.1:21, and James.4:4. ‘Enemy’ is a strong word. It’s not just falling short of being a good friend, it puts you in the opposite camp! An enemy is out to destroy the opposition. 

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