Romans 5:8 ‘Christ died for us.’
March 5, 2017 by David Farmer 0 comments
This Weeks Focus Passage: Romans 5:8
‘Christ died for us.’
How fearful it is that we may ever have spoken these glorious words tritely, or without due consideration of their incomprehensible depths: the depths of the love of Christ that truly passes our understanding; the depths of the love of the Father in giving His Son for us; the depths of the love of God the Holy Spirit in applying the infinitely costly salvation to any of the rebellious sons of men. Amazing Grace is too light an expression to adequately denote the wonders involved in these precious words, Christ died for us, and that, incredibly, while we were yet sinners. O the deep, deep love of Jesus! Thank God for eternity; for eternity will never exhaust the love that we owe to the Lamb of God.
God planned the salvation of His people from before the foundation of the world, but He placed His people in His Son, the second Person of the Trinity, who fully embraced that which was given Him to do in the fullness of time. Those sons of men rebelled against their Creator and brought themselves into the paths of destruction, but it was God’s eternal plan to ‘provide a ransom’ by which they might be restored to His favor, and even adoption back into the family of God. But it was the Christ who spoke, in His pre-incarnate days, through the psalmist, saying;
Sacrifice and offering thou hast no delight in; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt-offerings and sin-offerings hast thou not required. (Now hear the words of the loving and faithful Bridegroom) Then said I, Lo, I am come; in the roll of the book it is written of me: I delight to do thy will, O my God; Yea, thy law is within my heart. —Psalm 40:7-8.
Witness here the love of the Son for both the honor of the Father, as well as the happiness of the Bride. This is indeed the Seed of the woman coming to crush the head of the serpent. Is this not the Bridegroom coming for His bride; ready to lay down His life for her? This is why we may read in the words of Paul;
For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: for peradventure for the good man some one would even dare to die. But God commendeth his own love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.—Romans 5:6-8.
A hymn-writer has put this truth in her own way. Elizabeth Clephane (1868) wrote, in speaking of the Good Shepherd going after that one sheep that was lost;
“There were ninety and nine that safely lay in the shelter of the fold.
But one was out on the hills away, far off from the gates of gold—
Away on the mountains wild and bare, away from the tender Shepherd’s care.
Lord, thou hast here thy ninety and nine; are they not enough for thee?
But the Shepherd made answer; this of mine has wandered away from me.
And although the road be rough and steep, I go to the desert to find my sheep.
Each of the redeemed were that ‘one that was lost.’ But as Jesus wondrously spoke in Luke’s gospel (19:10) I came to seek and to save that which was lost.
One with a brilliant mind and, more notably, a God-fearing heart, wrote;
“The end of the creation of God was to provide a spouse for his Son Jesus Christ that might enjoy him & on whom he might pour forth his love, & the end of all things in providence are to make way for the exceeding expressions of Christ’s love to his spouse & for her exceeding close and intimate union with & high & glorious enjoyment of him.”—Jonathan Edwards, Miscellanies.
But, ‘after all has been said and done, there is a whole lot more said than done’ is a truism concerning men. But concerning God and His Christ, and happily for us, the truth is, ‘after all has been said and done, there is just as much done as has been said.’ Indeed, every one of God’s promises is ‘yea, and amen in Christ.’
But why is it so? Why are all these wonderful promises true? We may rack our brains ‘from here to eternity’ and come to only one reasonable conclusion; it is simply—but it is surely not simple—that He loves us, and has so loved us from the foundation of the world. God commended His love toward us because He loves us. Christ came to earth taking the form of sinful flesh because He loves us. He walked this earth for some thirty-three years as One who was despised of men, and acquainted with grief because He loves us. He set His face steadfastly toward Jerusalem at the precise appointed time and gave Himself to be taken into custody and crucified in our place at Golgotha because He loves us. In a nutshell; He loves us because He loves us. But why does He love us? Again, because He loves us; end of discussion. We will likely spend eternity wondering why He ever loved us, but all praise unto God, He did love us; He does love us; and He died for us because of that unspeakable love. Hallelujah, what a Savior!
Perhaps the greater question—and also perhaps the more difficult for us to answer—is ‘why do we not love Him more?’ Why is it that we do not love more the assembling of the saints when they come together to worship and praise Him? Why do we not love more the time spent in His Word when He may, and will, speak to us and fulfill His role as prophet, teaching us as He did teach those with whom he walked on the road to Emmaus? Why? Why do we not spend more time in speaking to Him in prayer? Why must we be, as it were, dragged by the collar to our knees in order to communicate with Him; to spread our hands before Him; to tell Him just how much we do love Him; to lay before Him our concerns and our needs? Yes, I know that He already knows; as one book on prayer testifies by its title, ‘If God already knows, why pray?’ Have we not wanted our children to come and ask us for those things that they would have, though we already knew? Let us be true children, for He has condescended to be our Father; He has given us His beloved Son.
David Farmer, elder
Fellowship Bible Church
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