Pondering Romans 5:8 – Love in action

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

SUPPORTING SCRIPTURE

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 15:13
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Romans 4:25
He was delivered over to death for our trespasses and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 5:6
For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 5:7
It is rare indeed for anyone to die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.

Romans 8:32
He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things?

Romans 8:39
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Ephesians 5:2
and walk in love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant sacrificial offering to God.

SELECT COMMENTARY

Pulpit Commentary
Verse 8. – But God commendeth his own love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The emphatic “his own” is lost sight of in the Authorized Version. It is not in contrast to our love to God, but expressive of the thought that the love of God himself towards men was displayed in the death of Christ. This is important for our true conception of the light in which the mysterious doctrine of the atonement is regarded in Holy Scripture. It is not (as represented by some schools of theologians) that the Son, considered apart from the Father, offered himself to appease his wrath – as seems to be expressed in the lines, “Actus in crucem factus es Irato Deo victima” – but rather that the Divine love itself purposed from eternity and provided the atonement, all the Persons of the holy and undivided Trinity concurring to effect it (cf. Romans 3:24; Romans 8:32; Ephesians 2:4; 2 Thessalonians 2:16: John 3:16; 1 John 4:10, et al.). If it be asked how this Divine love, displayed in the atonement, and therefore previous to it, is consistent with what is elsewhere so continually said of the Divine wrath, we answer that the ideas are not irreconcilable. The wrath expresses God’s necessary antagonism to sin, and the retribution due to it, inseparable from a true conception of the Divine righteousness; and as long as men arc under the dominion of sin they are of necessity involved in it: But this is not inconsistent with ever-abiding Divine love towards the persons of sinners, or with an eternal purpose to redeem them. It may be added here that the passage Before us intimates our Lord’s essential Deity; for his sacrifice of himself is spoken of as the display of God’s own love.
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KIRK’S COMMENTARY

What a plan! Talk about a superhero. Talk about not only saving the day but the whole of eternity of many souls who simply respond by faith to His amazing grace in amazing love.

Was sending Christ to the cross God’s first choice, as a pastor of a local church once asked me? (implying that it was) I think not. If it were the case, why send all the prophets before He? This story Jesus told must be about this very subject.

Parable of the Landowner 33“Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who PLANTED A VINEYARD AND PUT A WALL AROUND IT AND DUG A WINE PRESS IN IT, AND BUILT A TOWER, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey. 34“When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce. 35“The vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third. 36“Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them. 37“But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38“But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and seize his inheritance.’ 39“They took him, and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40“Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?” 41They said to Him, “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons.” 42Jesus said to them, “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNER stone; THIS CAME ABOUT FROM THE LORD, AND IT IS MARVELOUS IN OUR EYES’?

43“Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 44“And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.”

Did Adam and Eve not have a choice, a free will choice, to choose whether or not to partake from the forbidden fruit? Did God compel them to disobey His one command regarding the garden that is recorded?

No way. That would be cruel, unjust and unlike a the loving God expressed in the Bible. Did He know they would disobey Him?

Sure, if God chose to look forward in time.

Did God at that moment? I am not sure. Take a look at this analogy. As a human, we can watch life in live mode only. God has the ultimate DVR. He can watch the whole of eternity whenever and however He wants as He is omniscient. When I record a ballgame, it sure is a lot more exciting to watch the game if I don’t know the final score yet alone every play prior and move, though I could choose to find out in advance. Actually, I intentionally block out finding out when possible. I reckon God does something similar with our lives. I am persuaded that for love, life and relationship to fully reach its pinnacle there must be a choice.

Or what is it?

Where is the thrill and adventure if it all be preordained?

God the Christ chose to obey God the Father and die for us while we were dead in our inherited sin. We see His struggle bleeding precious tears of blood in the garden. What amazing redemptive love.

This is Easter!

This is love in action!

He died so we can live. If we are born twice (physical and spiritual), we die only once (physical). If we are born only once (physical), we die twice (physical and spiritual).

No, the Bible demonstrates Christ death wasn’t His God’s first choice but for our sakes, it was His best choice.

This is why the day Jesus went up on that rugged Cross is called Good Friday.

PRAYER

God, thank You for caring so much, even unto death of the immortal.

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