Title: The Demonstration of God’s Love
Text: Romans 5.5-11
Central Idea of the Text: We have peace with God because he has reconciled us to Himself through the death of his Son.
Central Idea of the Sermon: Christ took the punishment of our sin upon himself in order that we might be reconciled to God.
Opening: We’re in Romans 5 this morning. We’ll be looking at verses 1-11.
Introduction: Make Your Bed, pg 85-88; end at I could see the instructor smiling. He knew once one man quit, others would follow.
Hopelessness is a tough place to be. I suppose that’s right where the disciples were on that last day of the week. Jesus had died the day before. I imagine Satan standing there in the darkness with the light of the fire around him exposing his smile, too.
But Sunday was coming! And things were about to change!
We’re in Romans 5 this morning. We’re in the midst of a story of hope. In 5.1 Paul writes: Therefore, since we have been justified by faith… he’s talking about the faith we have that is just like Abraham’s. You see, Abraham heard God’s promises and he believed God. God then credited his faith as righteousness. And Paul is saying that we, too, are justified by faith when we believe God.
The incredible blessings that the justified experience are what follows in v 1-3 (rd v1ff):
- We have Peace,
- We have access into this Grace in which we now stand,
- We have Joy, and this joy expresses itself in Hope…
- We have Hope. And this hope that he writes about isn’t just for the future, but it exists even now – in the midst of suffering. Paul then tells us that God loves us. We know this because of two actions that God takes to express His love:
1st, he pours his love into our hearts via the Holy Spirit who he has given to us. This was our focus last week.
2nd, he then demonstrates or proves his love by sending his Son to die for our sins. This is where I’d like to focus our attention this Easter Sunday morning.
Now the first action is subjective and can only be expressed by the person experiencing that action. There isn’t an observable marker to verify it’s authenticity. I can’t say: Oh, you’ll cry! Some people do and some people don’t. I can’t say: you’ll get goose bumps. Some people do and some people don’t. It’s an internal experience. And in that moment… we only have your word.
This second action is objective and can be verified by the fact that God gave us an historical event. We see the cross and it is an object we can point toward. We have the historical evidence of an empty tomb. The disciples saw it. The Jewish leaders made excuses for it. The Roman soldiers reported it.
I’m so glad for both an internal and an external expression by God.
Transition: But let’s focus our attention now on this last part: the external, historical demonstration of God’s love as displayed on the cross. You know,
I. It’s pretty amazing when you consider our condition.
exp.: rd 6a; we and us; who is he talking about? Gentiles and Jews who have come to faith in Christ. Now, look at the words Paul uses to describe how we were:
- Weak (6); sometimes this means weakness from being sick; other times it means morally weak, incapable of acting on our behalf; Think sin sickness or spiritually sick; just one sin in your life is too great of a barrier for you to remove. Just one! And you and I are plagued with sin! And while we were in this condition… Christ died for us. And here is where we see our 2nd term:
- Ungodly (6); this is simply a word that describes someone who lives without God. You might consider the word godless. Ungodly is a good translation because the idea being expressed is the action of the individual. People behave outwardly in a way that displays their inward disposition. When they’re being watched, they’ll often times act a certain way because they want you to think they’re good. But, if there is a hidden camera, you’ll catch their true disposition. Well, no hidden cameras with God. He sees all and knows all. He knows what is in mankind – and yet loved him enough to send his son to die for all of mankind.
- Sinners (8); the noun form of άρμαρτια, missing the mark; falling short of the glory of God. This past week Duffey and I led Chapel for the students at the BMA Seminary in Jacksonville. Duffey led worship and I brought the message. In the message, there was this term In the Hebrew, it has the connotation of not being equal. God is perfect and we’re unequal to him. We’re subpar – way below his level. You’re probably very familiar with the verse: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. That word sinned is the same word we have here. The defining of that word – falling short describes that unequalled state. Here is God’s glory and we’re not equal to the task of ever obtaining. That is what being called sinners means: we’ve sinned and fallen short of His perfection.
- Enemies (10); Romans 11.28 gives us the idea that this word is the opposite of love – 28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. In verse 10 of Romans 5, we see God loving us when we were just the opposite of toward him. And yet he loved us still!
This is truly amazing when you consider that it wasn’t like we deserved this. Who we were…where we were.
t.s.: It really is pretty amazing when you consider our condition. The second amazing fact concerning the demonstration of God’s love is:
II. It’s pretty amazing when you consider the cost.
exp.: I’ve often wondered why God didn’t just say: Oh, don’t worry about it. I forgive you. The answer is really quite simple. God set the standard: Perfection. God set the punishment for failure: Death. To be perfectly just, God had to carry out the punishment for the failure to set the standard. We must die for our sins. So, God made a way… Note:
- Christ died; 4x’s in v6-8; it is the last word in each sentence (in Gk) giving it prominence, importance in the sentence. Also in v 10; Paul is placing great emphasis upon the fact that Christ died.
ill.: John 3.16: the manner vs. the measure; Thus or So; meaning, God showed you his love through the death of his son.
- The timing: while weak (6), right time (6), while sinners (8), while enemies (10); You might ask: how does the timing relate to the cost? Well, simply this:
- We didn’t have to get “cleaned up” to get saved. Most people act like they’ve got to get clean before they can come to Christ. I love that Jesus told the disciples that he’d make them fishers of men. You catch ‘em and the Holy Spirit will clean them!
Ill.: I think of those who say: I’ll diet and exercise when I lose some weight.
App.: We didn’t have to get clean first – God sent his son to die for us while we were still weak, ungodly sinners – while we were still enemies!
Transition: #2, when you consider the timing…
- God structured it all in his plan: – Revelation 13.8 declares for us that it was all planned before the foundation of the world. …all who dwell on earth will worship (the Beast), everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
- Your name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life before the foundation of the world was laid. Or,
- The Book of Life, which belongs to the Lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world. I like option #1, but it really doesn’t matter, because either one you choose shows that God had a plan to redeem you before the world was formed – before Adam and Eve even sinned! Psalm 139.16: 16Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.
t.s.: It is truly amazing to try and consider the mind of God who planned all of this before the creation of the World. It is pretty amazing when you consider the cost – that Christ would die on the cross for our sins. And 3rd,
III. It’s pretty amazing when you consider what it all accomplished.
- Justified by his blood. Rd v 9; And more than that: we’re saved from his wrath; The punishment due for our sin is death – the shedding of blood. Have you ever realized that the penalty has always been death? If you journey back to Genesis chapter 2, you’ll find that God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden and told them they could eat from any tree in the Garden, but ceptn’ one: the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil. God told them: in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die. But now, we don’t have to die to pay the penalty for our sins, because Jesus paid that debt for us!
- Paul calls Jesus our Passover Lamb in 1 Corinthians 5.7; If you follow the requirements in Exodus 12 for the Passover Lamb, you’ll see that Jesus was performing that function for the world at the same time…
- In John 1.29, John the Baptist is quoted as seeing Jesus and telling everyone: Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!
- Reconciled by his death – and even more, saved by his life. This part is so important because Jesus didn’t just die and then was buried – No! There is more to the story! He rose again!
Conclusion: It’s pretty amazing when you consider the hope this one man, Jesus, brought to us. Read Make Your Bed, pg 85-89.
Application: We have this hope because God has poured His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who he has given us. And we have this hope because God sent his son to die on the cross of Calvary and then three days later, to rise from the dead. And that’s why we celebrate this morning. Because He is Risen!
In a moment we’re going to celebrate the Lord’s Supper: a time that we as Christians remember the costly sacrifice of Christ. I’d like to invite the Deacons to come and prepare the Lord’s Supper Table.
Don’t participate if you’re not a Christian.
Don’t participate if you’re a Christian, but right now you’re in Rebellion. Use this time to repent.
Fellowship, following the hymn…