How Do You View Yourself?
How Do You View Yourself?
I want to start today with a thought provoking question. Romans 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. What does the phrase “While we were still sinners” mean to you? It is difficult for those of us who grew up in morally upright Christian homes to appreciate that statement. It is difficult for us to see ourselves as God sees us as wretched, miserable, and rebellious sinners. Ephesians 2:1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
Ezekiel had a vision of a valley in Israel that was full of very dry bones, Ezekiel 37. This is a very good description of each of us before we receive salvation. How dead is dead? We were spiritually dead before our salvation as those bones in Ezekiel’s vision. Unless we come in contact with the blood that was shed on Calvary by Christ, for our sins we are nothing more than the pile of bones in Ezekiel’s vision.
Paul continues his description of our wretched conditions in Ephesians 2:2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— we followed the ways of the world the society around us and the ways of the devil. We did so because we were under the power and dominion of the devil. Jesus stated the reason He selected Paul Acts 26:18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’
Paul states the same idea in Colossians 1:13–14 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Calvary is the irrefutable proof of God’s love for each of us. We see the demonstration of God’s love at Calvary and we see it in the cost of giving His only Son. Our sins cannot be removed without the cost to Himself and to His Son. Because of the love God has for us both Him and His Son were willing to pay that cost.
We are talking about our sinful condition because we need to see the depth of God’s love for us. He gave His only Son to die for such people as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 6:9–11 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
When we question God’s love we must remember who we are. We have absolutely no claim on His love. We don’t deserve any of God’s goodness. Anything this side of hell is pure Grace. So when we ask: Why did this happen to me? We need to realize who we are before we ask such questions. Remember what God has done to demonstrate His love for us. God loved us when we were totally unworthy. There was nothing within us that would call for His love. Most of the promises of God to be with us were given first to the nation of Judah during times of national spiritual decline. God through His prophets continually warned Israel of the coming adversity. In the midst of those warnings we find these incredible promises of His being with them. God judged His people but He did not forsake them. Even in their judgments He was with them. Isaiah 63:9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
So when we doubt God’s love remember the cross. If God loved me enough to give His son to die for me when I was His enemy surely He loves me enough to care for me now that I am His child. He loves me in times of adversity. Having given a priceless gift as His son surely He will give all that is consistent with His glory for my good. If we are to trust God in times of adversity we must use our minds in these times to reason that God is sovereign, all wise, and perfect in love.
We must not allow our emotions to take hold and sway our minds. We must meditate on God’s Word to let His Word control our minds. We will still feel the pain of adversity and heartache. We must resist allowing that pain to cause us to make accusations about God. Paul used this form of reasoning and argument from the greater to the lesser many times. God’s love for His children is as high as the heavens are above the earth. God’s wisdom cannot be measured so God’s love cannot be measured. God’s love is perfect in its effect it is also infinite in its extent. No adversity can come upon us that will carry us beyond the range of God’s love for us.
So again my profound question; what does the phrase “While we were still sinners” mean to you?