By Zachary Grimm
“For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” — Romans 5:6-10
There are many places you may go to see beautiful works of art. Fine art galleries and museums can be found all over the world. There have been hundreds of great artists down through the centuries, some of the most well known being Raphael, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo. But the greatest Artist ever is God, and His greatest work is recorded for us right here in our text. As we peruse this passage of the Sacred Volume, I want you to see three great pictures painted by the Lord.
Reality in View
To be frank with you, the first picture isn’t very lovely. In fact, it is very dark, dismal, and dreadful. As I scan the portrait, I see a silhouette in the dark hours of the night, fumbling and stumbling over every obstacle that lies in its path. The ghostly figure is horrendous beyond comprehension, hideous beyond description, and horrible beyond belief. What is it that I see? It is none other than the very soul of a lost, un-forgiven, sinful man.
The Bible paints a very awful picture of mankind. Notice the expressions listed in our text: “yet without strength”, “ungodly”, “sinners”, “enemies”. It is true: man, in his natural state, is the enemy of God. But I am not just talking about mankind in general; I’m talking about you. You are a born sinner. Everyone is born as a sinner. We are spiritually dead. We are sinners by birth. We are sinners by choice.
The Bible says, in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Galatians 5:19-21 says, “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Our text says, “For when we were yet without strength…” (Romans 5:6). You must see that you are too weak and helpless to save yourself. You cannot do it. The Bible tells us very plainly that we are without strength. You may try to work your way to Heaven, but it won’t work. In and of ourselves, we are without strength.
Verse 10 of our text says, “…when we were enemies…” I hope you realize that you are God’s enemy. If you haven’t been born again, you are the enemy of God. Paul said, “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.” (Philippians 3:18-19)
You need to understand that you are a sinner in need of a Saviour. You can do nothing for yourself.
Love on Display
The second picture is so much more bright. In the distance, I see a hill. And on that hill, there is an old, rugged cross, stained with God’s very blood. The scene seems gruesome, at first glance. I see Jesus hanging on the cross, bleeding profusely. The soldiers are gambling over His vesture. After Jesus gives up the ghost, a soldier pierces His side, and blood and water flow out. Yes, the picture appears quite frightening, but the result of the events that happened here has changed the world completely.
In relating this tragic scene, the Bible says, “And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there;” (Matthew 27:33-36)
In our text, we read, “…in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.” (Romans 5:6-7) Jesus was hung upon the cross, between Heaven and earth, as the Mediator between God and man. First Timothy 2:3-6 says, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” Make special note of that expression: “In due time.” Jesus died exactly in the manner, place, and time that God had planned. Before the foundation of the world was laid, God already decided that Jesus would come to this earth to be born of a virgin, live a perfect, sinless life, die upon the cross of Calvary, be buried in a borrowed tomb, and rise again the third day so that you and I might be saved.
Jesus is the only Saviour able to forgive you of your sin, and redeem you. The preacher cannot save you, your friends and family cannot save you, your church cannot save you, the baptistery cannot save you; only the Lord Jesus Christ can save you. Even if someone else could save you, it is very doubtful that they would be willing. Jesus not only can save you, but He also wants to save you.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) It is out of His great love that He went through what He did. There is nothing lovely or attractive about us, yet Jesus died for us.
Jesus suffered very much for us. Isaiah said, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6)
I hope you see how much God loves you. If He loved you enough to send His Son to die in your place, then He loves you like no one else can.
A Personal Decision
The last picture we come to is yet unfinished; it is a portrait waiting to be completed. But this painting will not be completed until you have either rejected Christ, or received Him. What you do with Jesus in this life will determine where you will spend eternity in the next.
Verse nine of our text says, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Are you “now justified”? Have you been “washed in the blood”? Are you “born again”? Or, will you be cast into the Lake of Fire to burn forever and ever? The choice is yours.
If Jesus loved you enough to die in your stead, why won’t you accept Him as your Saviour? He is calling sinners to come unto Him. Isaiah 45:22 says, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” In the very last book of the Bible, John the apostle has given us the last invitation: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17) Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
It is really quite simple: understand that you are a sinner and have offended God, realize that only Jesus can forgive and cleanse you of your sin, turn to God, placing your complete trust in Him, and He will save you. You will be birthed into His family. You will receive a home in Heaven, and live eternally with Him.
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:10) You see, when we come to God on His terms, He accepts us. When once we were enemies, now we are His children. Isn’t that a wonderful thing? Do you want to get rid of your sin, and be reconciled, that is, be made right with God? Or, do you want to continue in your lost condition and burn in an eternal flame forever? It’s your decision. Don’t wait another minute. Come to Christ today.