Saturday, 26 October 2013

When did Christ die for you?

I recently had the privilege of hearing Tim Chester speak at the Grace Agenda conference (called Gospel Presence:  The New Birth & the Nations, held in Moscow, Idaho).  I appreciated not only his encouragement and challenge to live out gospel grace in our homes but also his gospel filled and gracious way of saying it. 

While at the conference, I picked up his new book, Ordinary Hero: Living the cross and resurrection in everyday life.  I'm not very far into it, but already I have found some gold.  Here is an example from page 17:
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  (Romans 5:6-8)
What's the demonstration of God's love?  The cross.  How do we know God loves us?  The cross.  What's the basis of hope that doesn't disappoint?  The cross.  While "loved" in Romans 8:37 is past tense, "demonstrates" in 5:8 is present tense.  The cross stands forever as the great demonstration of God's love.
Paul's argument begins with the question:  When did Christ die for you?  Was it when you started taking an interest in Jesus?  Was it when you began to go to church?  Was it when you cleaned up your life?  What is when you first read your Bible or prayed?  No, it was when you were a sinner.  When you were powerless.  When you were God's enemy (v 10).
If God gave his Son for you when you were at your worst, what circumstances could ever make him stop loving you?  If God loved us when we were his enemies, then he'll always love us.  Nothing will be able to separate us from that love.
How can we know that God loves us?  Because he loved us and gave his Son for us.

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