“The Demonstration of God’s Love” (Romans 5:6-9

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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. 1. During the morning services, we’re looking at the Biblical background to the continuing Reformation. a. About three centuries ago, the Lord turned England upside down with the simple preaching of the Gospel. b. Since this is still the means He uses to bring about change, it would be helpful for us to know as much about it as we can. 2. So what is the Gospel? First, we’ve seen it is the power of God to salvation. a. The Lord can and does save through the Gospel alone – without our help – that is what He makes powerful through His Spirit. b. But more often than not, He will use His people – He will use you and me. (i) He will because that’s what He wants to do – He wants the additional witness of the power of the Gospel – what it’s able to do in your lives – to show others its power. (ii) But for you to be that kind of witness: (1) You have to be convinced that the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible and authoritative Word – otherwise you won’t believe that the Gospel is true or that it has the power to save. (2) You have to be convinced that not only yourself, but everyone else needs the Gospel – that apart from it there is no hope. (3) You must be convinced that He works though the Gospel alone to save people from hell – otherwise you won’t tell them, but leave them to find other ways to be saved. (4) And you must love the Lord and others enough not to let anything your flesh, the world and Satan puts in your way stop you – otherwise fear or embarrassment will overcome your convictions, and you just won’t make the effort necessary to tell others. (5) If you want the Lord to use you as His witness, you need all four. B. Preview. 1. This morning, let’s consider the Gospel from another perspective: it’s not only the power of God – the only message He uses to save – it is the message of His infinite love to those who are infinitely hateful, the message of free and infinite blessing to infinitely undeserving sinners. a. The Lord is not sending the message of His grace and love to those who are already perfect or nearly so. b. He sends it to those who are fully deserving of His wrath, to those who are infinitely hateful in His sight, to His enemies. c. Here you see God’s love fully revealed.

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2. We’ll look at two things: a. First, that the Lord hates sin and is angry with sinners with infinite hatred and anger. b. But, second, that His infinite love is demonstrated by the fact He offers freely to save any sinner who will come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. II. Sermon. A. Let’s consider first, that the Lord hates sin and is angry with sinners with infinite hatred and anger. 1. What is this “sin” that God hates so much? a. John tells us in 1 John 3:4, “Sin is lawlessness.” (i) Sin is any act that violates His will; anything that is against His holy commands, either in your words, your thoughts, the intents of your heart, or in your actions. (ii) It is rebellion, it’s hatred against God. (a) The Law shows you how to love God – when you keep them, you are loving Him. (b) When you break His commandments, you are doing just the opposite – you are hating Him. (c) That’s why sin is so offensive to God – it’s opposed to His holy character, to His infinite love, to everything He is. b. It’s no wonder that God hates it. 2. But what are sinners? a. Sinners are those who commit acts of sin – they are those who hate God. (i) You’ll often hear well-meaning Christians say, “God hates sin, but loves the sinner.” (a) They try to separate sin from those who commit it to understand how He can both hate and love at the same time. (b) They’re trying to reconcile what appear to them to be two opposing truths. (c) That isn’t the way to do it. (ii) Sin isn’t separate from the sinner – it’s something the sinner does – which is why God can’t be angry with one without being angry at the other. (a) Those who sin are the object of God’s wrath, not the sin itself. (b) It may not seem like this is the case because of God’s kindness. (1) Jesus tells us He is kind to ungrateful and evil men (Luke 6:35). (2) The psalmist writes that His mercies are over all His works (Psalm 104). (3) But you mustn’t confuse God’s kindness with His approval; you mustn’t confuse His offer of love with actual love – just because He is kind doesn’t mean He loves what they are or what they do.

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(c) God is angry with sinners. (1) David writes in Psalm 7, “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” (v. 11) – indignation against sinners. (2) He writes in Psalm 5, “For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness; no evil dwells with You. The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; the LORD abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit” (vv. 4-6). (3) Paul tells us that His wrath is revealed from heaven every day against those who will not acknowledge and worship Him (Rom. 1:18). (d) The reason He’s angry with them, the reason He hates them is because of their sin – because they hate Him. (1) Paul writes in Romans 8, “Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (8:7-8). (2) And in Colossians 1, “You were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds” (v. 21). (e) The sinner is at war with God and God with them. (1) That’s why Paul writes in our text, “While we were enemies we were reconciled to God” (Rom. 5:10). (2) The only difference between the sinner in hell and the one still living is that God is not yet exacting His full judgment on the living; He still shows them kindness; in hell He shows no kindness; otherwise, there is no difference. (3) God and the sinner are enemies – which explains why when they die God casts them into hell. b. This was every bit as much true of you before you trusted in Christ. (i) Paul represents the believers in Rome, before they trusted in Jesus, as “ungodly” (v. 6), as “sinners” (v. 8), and under God’s “wrath” (v. 9). (ii) When you were in that condition, there was nothing you could do – you were helpless to save yourself. (a) You were helpless because you were guilty, because there was nothing you could do to remove that guilt, because there was nothing you could have done to move God to help you, even if you wanted Him to help, which you didn’t. (b) You were condemned and without hope when you were without Christ. (c) This is the condition you are still in if you haven’t trusted in Jesus Christ.

4 (d) And this is the condition of everyone in the world who hasn’t received Jesus Christ. (e) God hates them with infinite hated because of their past and continued rebellion against Him. B. But His infinite love is demonstrated in the fact He offers freely to save any sinner who will come to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. 1. As I said before, you need to understand man’s condition before you can understand His love. His love is demonstrated in this: Christ died for the ungodly. a. We’re so used to grace that we often miss how incomprehensible this is: Paul tries to give us some idea by arguing from the lesser to the greater – in this case, that which is easier to give to that which is more difficult. (i) If you were going to lay down your life for someone, you would want that person to be worthy of your sacrifice. (a) There are those who might give their life for a righteous man – someone they consider worthy of that sacrifice. (b) There are those who might die for a good man – someone they considered to be more valuable than themselves. (c) You who are married might lay down your life for your spouse, you parents for your children, children, some of you may for your parents. (d) You might die for a close friend, a family member, anyone for whom you care enough. (ii) But would you lay down your life for someone you didn’t care about? (a) Would you die for an enemy – someone who deeply offended or injured you – for someone intent on destroying what is most precious to you – the Gospel? Would you lay down your life for a murderer, a rapist, a thief? (b) Here is the extent of God’s love: He gave that which was most precious to Him for the ungodly, for sinners, for those under His wrath, for those in whose eyes were far worse than any enemy, than any criminal: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (c) This is infinite love. b. This is the love He offers through the Gospel. (i) This is the love He offers to those who will turn from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. (ii) This is the love He offers you this morning who haven’t trusted His Son. (iii) This is the love He has given you if you have already turned from your sins and embraced Jesus Christ. 2. That’s why the Gospel is good news. a. Though we are wicked and infinitely hateful to God, He offers us His infinite love in Christ.

5 b. Though we fully deserve everlasting damnation and destruction in hell for our sins, He will give us everlasting life in heaven because of what Christ has done. (i) This is the infinite love with which God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. (ii) If you or anyone else will believe in Him and turn from your sins, He will give you eternal life – fellowship with Him in His infinite love. c. In closing, remember that both heaven and hell are very real. (i) Everyone who is alive now, who has lived or ever will live, will go to one or the other. (ii) If anyone is to be saved, they must hear this message – both of His infinite wrath and of His infinite love. (a) Will people get upset with you for bringing this message? Yes. (1) They don’t like to hear that they’re sinners. (2) They want to believe they’re alright, that God loves them anyway, that they are already going to heaven “if there is heaven.” (b) But they need to hear that they’re sinners; they need to hear that they’re under God’s wrath and judgment. (1) If they don’t, they’ll never know the danger they’re in. (2) If they don’t, they’ll never see the wonder of His love, how great it really is. (3) And so as you go to bear witness of the Gospel, don’t forget to speak to them about both. (c) Again, we need the Lord’s strength to overcome our fear, our reluctance to tell others because of what they will think of us. (d) And so let’s come to the Table to receive His grace that we might be strengthened in His love, so that we will be willing to make this sacrifice. Amen. http://www.graceopcmodesto.org

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