Romans 5:6-11 - For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
When I was in high school, I had a lot of friends who were non-denominational Christians. And there was one thing I noticed them really having a hard time with, and that was—well, I suppose we could call it "spinning their wheels." What I mean is this: they would go out in the morning all happy because Jesus had saved them from their sins through His death and resurrection. But then, during the day, they would commit some sin, as we all do daily, and they would worry. "Yes, Jesus forgives believers," they would think. "But am I really a believer? Did I really become a Christian? Or does this thing I've just done prove that I'm really just a hypocrite—that my faith was all a fake—that I'm not really forgiven, and God's probably still mad at me, and oh, dear, I've got to repent again," and it would all end in tears. They could not get off the hamster wheel of guilt.
Of course, there are a million things wrong with the mental dialogue my friends were having, and we don't have time to go into all of it. But in our reading for today, Paul focuses on just one—and that has to do with God's attitude toward us. Paul says, "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." That is our starting point—not that we did anything, but that God loved us, and Jesus died to set us free from shame and guilt.
But there's more. What happens when we sin again—when we fall to some temptation to lust or gossip or hatred or jealousy? Have we just invalidated everything? No. Paul says, " Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood ...." Notice that "we have now been justified" is in the perfect verb tense. That's what we use, both in English and in Greek, for situations where something has happened (justification) and it has an ongoing effect. Our daily sins do not un-justify us. No, as Paul says, "much more shall we be saved by (Jesus) from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life."
Jesus lives forever, never to die again, and that is our ongoing salvation. That's why we never need to worry about God's attitude toward us, even after we've had a perfectly horrible day—when even we can't stand ourselves. What Jesus did at the cross and the empty tomb is done, and it stays done. Nothing can take us out of His hands. Jesus' life is eternal, and so is God's love and forgiveness for us.
THE PRAYER: Lord, help me to rest in Your unchanging love and kindness to me. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What do you do when you're having a perfectly horrible day for any reason?
2. Do you ever worry about your faith or salvation? When?
3. What helps you at such times?
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