The Freeness and Greatness of God’s Love (Romans 5:6-11)
The Freeness of God’s Love (verses 6-8, 10)
God’s love is free because it is given to those who are helpless (v5). There was nothing about us that caused God to love us or convinced Him to love us. Before God’s grace we were spiritually impotent and unable to draw out His favor or acceptance. We lacked all power to save ourselves.
God’s love is free because it is given to sinners (v8). We were devoted to sin, lawbreakers. In Romans 3:10ff, Paul sums up the sinfulness of all men, showing that apart from God’s grace all men and women have totally abandoned God and are weighed down with iniquity.
God’s love is free because it is given to His enemies (v10). Because of our sin and rebellion, there is a mutual hostility: God considered us His enemies and we also were hostile to God ourselves. By nature, we are not friends of God, but rather children of wrath. Not only is God’s love given to the undeserving, but it is given to the Hell-deserving! And yet, it is while we were helpless, sinners, and enemies that God sent His Son in love to die for us!
– Do you find it incredible that God would send His Son to die for someone like you? What does this reveal about the character of God? What does it reveal about our dependence on God’s grace?
The Greatness of God’s Love (verses 9-10)
When we were helpless, sinners, and enemies of God, we were justified. He declares us righteous; He pronounces us guiltless. And we were also reconciled. Whereas justification is a judicial term, reconciliation is a relational term. It means to have all hostility and enmity removed so that we can be restored to fellowship and relationship with God. He now looks upon us as His friends!
This justification and reconciliation is solely on the basis of the righteous death of Jesus by which He took the place of the ungodly. It is through Christ’s substitutionary death that we are saved. He was willing to bear the penalty of God’s wrath! He who was perfect, without blemish, impeccable, bore the punishment of God merited by our own sin!
But not only are we justified and reconciled now, but Paul says that “much more” we will be saved from the future wrath to come. His argument is from the greater to the lesser. If we were enemies of God and He was willing to save us, how much more so now that we are friends of God because of the righteousness counted to us in Christ. If He made our salvation certain when we were sinners, how much more certain is our eternal salvation now that we belong to Him!
– How should both the unchangeableness of our justification and reconciliation, and the certainly of our final salvation from the wrath of God, affect the way you live today? What should be our heart’s response to these truths that we know to be true?
The Evidence of God’s Love in Our Hearts (verse 11)
To exult means to enjoy, to boast in, to be delighted in. Christians delight in God. The evidence that we are no longer helpless, bound in the dominion of sin, or enemies of God, is that we rejoice in who God is and in what He has done for us. We don’t seek to proclaim our goodness or merit, but rather the freeness and greatness of God’s love. As the Christian drinks deeply of the fountain of God’s love for him, his heart is led to deeper joy and delight in the reconciliation freely given to him through Christ.
– What reasons do we have to exult in God? In what ways are you seeking to exult in God throughout the day?