Some of you know what life is like without God. You have experienced it in all its horror. I rejoice with you in the vast difference that has taken place because you have received Christ into your life. Nothing is the same. All is changed. Old habits are gone. Old attitudes have been transformed. “Beauty from ashes” is a beautiful description from Isaiah 61:3 that describes the new life Christ brings.
I can only imagine my life without the Savior. I have known Him since I was a child. Even then, I knew I was a sinner. And now I know even more of my tendencies toward evil. And when I have a lapse in judgement and follow my own selfish way, I know what I am capable of. So I’m thankful that the Spirit of God draws me to the right way and protects me from my own foolishness.
Whether we have been a child of God for many years or a shorter time, we all recognize that we are sinners. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God,” says Romans 3:23. And so says our conscience.
“But God” (here’s what I’m getting at) “commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” That’s the old King James version that I memorized when I was young. And what is the contrast that comes before the “but” in this statement?
Here’s the whole section from Romans 5:6-8 in the J. B. Phillips translation: And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us.
Now that’s a love beyond our comprehension! We were a mess. But God rescued us. We were lost, but Jesus, the Good Shepherd, found us. We were sinners, but Christ died to make us holy in God’s sight. We were unworthy, but God demonstrated His love for us by Christ’s death on the cross. He was our substitute, our sacrifice.
Have you applied this “but God” to your life? If so, have you stopped to thank Him lately for the radical change He has made in you? Are you living in the power of Christ’s resurrection to keep you holy and victorious in your Christian life? What difference is He making in you today?
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