“But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” Romans 5:8.
During this season of Advent, I have been pondering once again the great grace that God has poured out upon this world through the birth, the life, the death, and the resurrection of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. The story of the Incarnation, God with us, is permeated with grace, God divine favor, from beginning to end.
For me, the most incredible part is that God demonstrated His love for us, while we were yet sinners. Mankind had done nothing to curry the favor of God. Mankind was wallowing in sin, figuratively shaking their fists at God as they disregarded His commandments. It is during that, that God demonstrates His love.
In his biography of Martin Luther, Eric Metaxas writes, “Luther was trying to call the church back to its true roots, to a biblical idea of a merciful God who did not demand that we obey but who first loved us and first made us righteous before he expected us to live righteously. This was the good news of the Gospel that the church had so horribly obscured.”
Did you hear that? “God did not demand that we obey but loved us and made us righteous first before He expected us to live righteously.” That is crazy! But, it is the wonderful truth of the gospel. Why? Because none of us could keep God’s law. God made a way for us to be clothed in righteousness by sending of His Son to die for our sins.
II Corinthians 5:21, says, “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
There it is, all over again. Christ bore our sin in His body on the cross, while we were yet sinners, before we had ever obeyed. Upon realization of that truth, when one responds to the Savior’s overtures on their behalf, they are cleansed, filled with the Holy Spirit and there by equipped to obey Him out of a motivation of love.
May you receive God’s gift of grace this Christmas season as you embrace Bethlehem’s baby, Jesus Christ, Savior of the world.