Romans 5:1-11

“Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 

For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:1-11

Do you want to know what never ceases to amaze me? Our capacity to think that we are smarter than God – especially when it comes to who we believe that God truly loves.

I am always amazed at the startling reality that people can absolutely believe, to the depth of their being, that God loves everyone in the world….except them. In their own private heart of hearts, they think they are the only ones who are fundamentally unlovable.

Now, I clearly realize that there are lots of people who think just the opposite. They never question God’s love for them. They might even be quick to point out people that fall outside of God’s love. Strangely, they might be precisely the people who are quick to point our people that fall outside of God’s love….unless, of course, they get with the program and shape up. It isn’t that I know many people like this. I just don’t understand the reality that they exist.

Me? I count myself among that first group. I can think of lots of reasons why I wouldn’t be at all surprised if God has had enough of me. That might be exactly why I cling so fiercely to God’s grace. If I have any hope at all, it has to be that or I’m sunk.

I think about things like this a lot more often than most people would realize. I will never forget the people along the way who have said things to me like “I didn’t go forward for Holy Communion this morning because I just didn’t feel worthy” and I want to pull my hair out. Of course you are not worthy! It is not about being worthy! No one is worthy! That is the whole point of grace. Of God’s unconditional, undeserved, unearned love for unworthy sinners!

The problem there is the same old problem of thinking that we have more insight, or that we are smarter than God.

How could Paul be any more clear with the Romans? “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Jesus didn’t wait around for the world to shape up before he died. It was actually just the opposite. It was the brokenness of the world that those broken leaders projected onto Jesus. It was THEIR woundedness that wounded Jesus. It was THEIR sin that he bore. Willlingly. Competely. Eternally.

It was OUR sin that put Jesus on the cross and it was Jesus’ love that let it happen. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us.

Don’t be a smarty pants. Don’t try to outthink God. Just let the good news sink deeply into your bones as you prepare for the rest of your day. You LIVE in God’s love and there isn’t a thing you can do to change that. Let it be. Let God be God. Let yourself be loved.

Let us pray: Oh Lord, the deepness, the completeness, the power of your love! While we were yet sinners…while we were enemies…while we stubbornly insisted and thought we knew a better way…that is right where you gave yourself over to us and suffered our death. But then, just when we thought you had us safely out of sight and out of mind, you rose from that tomb and you came to be among us. Where you are still among us. Open our hearts and minds to see you, to trust you, to follow you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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One Response to “Romans 5:1-11”

  1. William Decker Says:

    We constantly need to return to this truth because many of us, including myself, struggle with thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, and weakness frequently. But there is One who stands with us and flives in us, pouring out his love and goodness and forgiveness at all the times.

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