Romans 5:6-8 (NIV)
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“This is not a gift to the worthy: no fitting features can be traced in the recipients of God’s love, not even in their hidden potential. And this is the costliest gift imaginable. Christ did not give something, he gave himself: the gift takes place in his death and concerns his blood (5:6–10).” [John Barclay, Paul and the Power of Grace, Kindle location 1969]
Question: why does it say “his own love” in verse 8? As the passage implies, humanity apart from Christ is entirely unloveable, yet God has and demonstrates his own love for us. Here we get a glimpse of the incongruity of grace that stems from who God is. In this fullest sense, God’s grace and gift are free, not because there is no cost but rather because how he offers grace is blind to the worth of the recipient, and because what is given is himself completely.
Prayer: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound! Lord, thank you for this costly gift given out of your own love, independent of consideration of the worth of the recipient – help us to live in that gratitude and full freedom today! In Jesus’ name, amen.
Let’s worship to the song “This is Amazing Grace” by Phil Wickham (click here).