God's Amazing Love

by Dennis Stackhouse

God's love for mankind; what does that mean to you? How has God's love for you affected the choices you have made and the way you have chosen to live your life? Many will respond in obedient faithfulness as they seek to please God in all they do. For others, God's love will mean nothing to them in terms of what they do in preparing for eternity. In any event, it's worth taking just a few moments to consider a really amazing aspect of the love God has for all mankind.

Romans 5:6 reads as follows: "For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." As if that were not startling enough, add what we have in Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." But even more follows in Romans 5:10: "For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." From these verses we should understand that God did not love us and send Christ to die for us because we deserved it or because we were living such righteous lives. On the contrary, we were ungodly, sinful and living as enemies of God. Nothing other than God's amazing love would send Jesus Christ to die for people like that.

After Joseph learned that Mary was pregnant he was planning to send her away secretly, but an angel spoke to him, saying: "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21). John the immerser stated it very clearly while referring to Jesus in John 1:29: "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world." Paul added this in 1 Corinthians 15:3: "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures." In all of this it's critical to realize that Christ came to die for our sins. His love for us was so incredibly far-reaching that our sinful condition did not deter Him from that mission.

A couple more references should be noted before we close. In Hebrews 9:28 we are told: "So Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him." When a person fully understands that Jesus died for their own individual sins, it should be a life-changing moment that causes them to be obediently committed to Christ from that point forward. Peter added this in I Peter 2:24: "And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by Hs wounds you were healed." Peter plainly speaks of the transition that Christian people should be able to grasp: dying to sin so that he or she may live to righteousness. Because Christ did die for our sins, bearing them in His body on the cross, our obedient faithfulness becomes a response of gratitude for God's amazing love. This love made it possible for us to be rescued from the bondage of sin: "For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son" (Colossians 1:13).

God's love truly is amazing!