From Enemies to Loved Ones

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“But Christ proved God’s passionate love for us by dying in our place while we were still lost and ungodly” (Romans 5:8)!

This verse has rightly birthed a thousand sermons and endless songs. It’s breathtaking. It’s shocking. It’s unthinkable to every degree.

Perhaps, even as Scripture argues, someone might die for a good man, but we were not that.

We were hopelessly disoriented—we couldn’t find our way out of a brown paper bag. We tried for centuries to climb the wrong ladder perched against the wrong wall. We had turned on each other, clawing mercilessly at anyone else, out of deep shame and fear of who we really were. Ironically, the harder we tried to measure up to ‘goodness,’ the farther we strayed, in an ugly cycle of self-righteousness and insensitivity. The Bible puts it best: we were sinners—lost and ungodly.

Why would Christ die for anyone like that? Christ, Purity personified, to die for crippled sinners?

Let’s go a step further.

Romans 5:10 identifies us as having been “enemies of God.” An enemy of God! The egregious way we thought and behaved was a high offense to God. The fact that the best among us stole, lied, thought bad things, and hated each other in our hearts is worse than spitting in God’s face. Our lives opposed God. We were His enemies.

Who, upon observing his wicked enemy self-destructing, would step in and die for him? Yet that’s exactly what Jesus did. He saw you and me self-destructing, and He died in our place. What an otherworldly concept—literally. The intense, vivid, excessive love Jesus has for us! Our sin was not enough to stop His love. Our shameful past was not enough to stop His love.

Since our salvation, we are no longer enemies of God; He has transformed us thoroughly, yes, so thoroughly that the best way to describe it is that we underwent a second birth. Indeed, we are no longer sinners anymore than we are currently enemies of God—instead, “that is what [we] were” (1 Corinthians 6:11), and “the old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17)! We emerged from the waterfall of forgiveness and glory as a brand new race of people (1 Peter 2:9) who have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), resemble the personality of Jesus (Romans 8:29), and are called to carry on the ministry of the Son of God (Mark 16:15-18)!

Listen.

Some of you reading my words may feel unwanted. Painfully unwanted. Or unloved. Terribly unloved. Or alone. Or forgotten. Or rejected.

And the enemy of our souls has a dastardly way of tricking us into believing that God feels that way about us. But don’t you listen to that for a moment! If Christ loved you while you were His enemy, He most certainly still loves you now. Oh, yes! He cherishes you, His treasured child! He delights in you! He smiles over you! He sings your spirit awake!

Look toward Jesus, and you’ll be looking full into goodness and glory! He chooses you everyday, because He wants you everyday, because He loves you everyday.

“Who could ever separate us from the endless love of God’s Anointed One? Absolutely no one! For nothing in the universe has the power to diminish His love toward us. Troubles, pressures, and problems are unable to come between us and heaven’s love. What about persecutions, deprivations, dangers, and death threats? No, for they are all impotent to hinder omnipotent love… and His demonstrated love is our glorious victory over everything!

“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that His love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken His love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!”

Romans 8:35, 37-39

What a sensational love. What a stunning reminder.
Josh

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