Romans 5, verse 1 to 11. Therefore, Since we have been justified through faith, we have a peace with god through our lord, Jesus Christ.
Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand, and we boast in the hope of the glory of god Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perseverance, character, and character, hope, and hope does not put us to shame because god's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. You see at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person. Though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die, but god demonstrates his own love for us in their While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Since we have now been justified by his blood, How much more shall we be saved from god's wrath through him? For if while we were god's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his son, how much more having been reconciled shall we be saved through his life? Not only is this so? But we also boast in god through our lord Jesus Christ through whom we have now received reconciliation. Thanks, Gary.
Good evening for me. My name is Rory. I'm 1 of the members of the church here and 1 of the members of staff here as well. And if you've been here the last couple of weeks, you'll know that we've been going through this series at Romans Road. And really, we've been looking at just a couple of verses that really give us sharp edges of the gospel.
And tonight, this is no different. This is 1 of the most wonderful verses I think in the whole of the Bible. We're looking at chapter 5 and verse 8. And if you wanna memorize a verse, memorize this 1. It's so easy to memorize.
I was, I've been singing this week at the hub, much to, I'm sure, much to many people's dismay. But 1 contagious my very first contagious that I went on the camp that we go on on a church, we learned this verse to the Jackson 5. What's it called again? I actually don't know the words of the Jackson 5 song. I only know the words as Romans 5 verse 8.
I could sing it to you. You want me to sing it to you? Okay. God shows us that he loved us by having Christ die for us even though we were sinful. Yeah.
There you go. Oh, rom's 5. I won't carry on. Anyway, there you go. This is a great and wonderful verse, and I hope that as we look at it, And although it may be familiar to many of us, I hope that, and and I pray that it will warm our hearts again, that we will understand this truth over again and that we will, endeavor to live for Jesus as a result.
Let's pray together, and then we'll have a look at it. Let's pray father. We thank you so much for your words. We thank you for this incredible book of Romans and the the amazing things that we have seen so far, and we pray that now as we come to this spectacular verse, that you will help us to understand it, maybe for the first time, or maybe a fresh for many of us. And as we read it and as we look at it and as you speak to us, warm our hearts, show us how glorious you are.
Show us your love. So that we may be radically changed by it. And so we pray this in Jesus' name, amen. Now, I wanna begin by asking the question, how do you know that you're loved? How is it that you know you're loved?
By the ones that you that you cherish, the ones that are near, near to you. How do you know that you're loved? Now it it it's all very well now and then saying I love you, but usually what needs to happen is there needs to be some sort of displays or or demonstrations of love. The the, there needs to be some, maybe some PDAs some public display of affection, bit of holding hands, when you're out. Not mean, Teresa, that's disgusting.
Maybe you kiss her. Or or maybe it's by the giving of gifts and, and giving of expensive gifts or or or giving of flowers. Again, I wouldn't know what that is. I'm I've written this sermon realizing I'm not that romantic. There's always great demonstrations of love, isn't there?
Great shows of love. I I was I actually looked this up as I often do when I'm doing So in prep, I thought, what are the greatest demonstrations of love? Well, here's some that came up, Edward the eighth. He was so in love with the American divorcee Wallace Simpson that he was willing to give up his throne to marry a wow. What a lover.
Richard Richard Wagner, is it Wagner or Wagner? Oh, sorry musicians quit to to to tell me Wagner. Yes. Richard, I'll just call him Richard. We're on first name terms.
For for a 1 Christmas morning for his wife, He lined up 17 musicians along the staircase and was conducting them just to compose a ballad for his wife. It's not romantic. What a no. What? I can't give or say what a lover.
Actually, a lot of of of great displays of love seem to be building twos for your loved ones. So there you go. Everyone's heard of the Taj Mahal I imagine. Well, the Taj Mahal was, I'm not gonna try and say these names. I got wagner wrong.
Was was by 1 guy whose wife had died, and he built a a mausoleum for her. That's that was love. It's great love. Many of you would have been familiar with the story about the hanging gardens of Babylon. That the idea was that Debbie Knez's wife was missing her home of media and the lush green, nature of her home.
So he built her the hanging gardens of Babylon, the great displays of love. Great displays showing loved ones that they loved them. Now, my first date with Jerusalem was Nando, so I don't know how I compare. But how could it land those? Come on.
But we wanna show our love to people. We wanna show the people that we love that we love, and we wanna show the world that we love the ones we love. And the great thing about this verse that we're looking at tonight is that it is god's great love demonstration. It's his great show of love See, we we we read through verse 1 to 11 verse verse 1 to 5, and it and it says at the end of that bit there, that, god has poured out his love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit. That's what it's saying.
It says, look, god has given you his love, and it's in your hearts. The the the only thing with that though is that can be subjective sometimes, can't it? I don't always feel like god loves me. I don't always feel or experience or think or or have warm feelings that I am loved all the time. And even in these verses, you'll notice in verse 3, that there is suffering here.
And sometimes we may be in a very dark place. We may be in a depressed date. We may be in a low state. We may be getting, flack from around us. And at those times, it doesn't feel like we're loved, does it always?
And so you could easily ask the question as I ask at the start. How do I know? How do I know that god loves me? How do I know that that is true? How do I know that god has poured out his love?
Into my heart, if I don't feel it, how do I know? If I feel far away from him, because I'm living my own life, how can I know that he loves me, and the answer is this verse? See, the subjective, if you will, or the sort of feelings is backed up, and it is bound. With the objective truth of history. See, God wants us to know that he loves us.
Not only does he want us to know he wants to show us continually that he loves us. Did you notice the word in verse 8? It says but god demonstrates his own love for us in this. Didn't say demonstrated. Doesn't say demonstrated.
It says demonstrates. That's present. That's now. God demonstrates his love now. The demo a demonstration.
It's not it's it's it's a it's a a showcase. This is the exhibition. This is the great art piece of his love that says to us and declares to us that he loves us. And I think point, Paul is trying to make this point. There is no love in this world that is greater than his.
None. There are all sorts of loves in this world. There are all all sorts of loves that people offer you. There's loves of of the family. There's love of a of a a of a a wife or a husband.
There is love of friendship. There is love of parents and children. There is love all over the place, but none of that love compares with the love that is found in god. And that's what he wants us to see. So let's have a look at this grand masterpiece, this showcase, this exhibition, of love.
And there's 2 points. Number 1, Christ died for us. Christ died for us. See, if you wanna know what how much love someone is giving, what is the amount of love given, then you might, you do a little equation that is basically the cost of the gift versus how undeserving the recipient is. The cost of the gift versus how deserving the recipient is.
And 1 of the big indicators of how much you love is at the cost of the gift. That's why husbands, I'm at a, is it 3 months wages for a big diamond? When they when they get engaged. I don't know why I'm looking at you. You definitely didn't do that.
Neither did I. I had to bot Sorry. Again, I'm showing how unromantic I am. I borrowed a hundred and 50 pound of my mother, which I haven't even paid her back yet for. So technically, my mom got married to Jerusalem.
Anyway, But usually, if you wanna show someone you love, you give a costly gift. And and and and what what what god is saying is that I have no greater gift than this. There is nothing more costly than the gift I give you. That Christ died. That is the most costly thing in the universe that the father gives up the most precious darling gift that he has in the lord Jesus Christ, his son.
There is so costume and the cost that Christ is willing to give all of himself, all of himself, all of himself, not just a little bit, not just a tiny bit, but he will give all of himself The eternal son of gods will give himself and die. And that's what he does. And do you get that? Do you understand that? Have you seen that?
See, I see, I think I think we can always breeze past this. It becomes a Sunday school answer almost, doesn't it? What did Jesus do? He died for me. What?
He died. He died. We can't let's not grow numb. That the eternal son of god died and not just any ordinary death. It wasn't just a quick death, a painless death.
No. He he dies a death of shame. Of disgrace as he's publicly executed as he, as he faces a legal slaughter in the crucifixion. And the crucifixion isn't isn't quick. It's long.
It takes hours. We get the word excruciating from crucifixion. It is so painful. And as he hangs on a cross, there is no relief. There is no comfort.
There is no ease to the pain. All he has is scorn and mocking. Can you picture this? I think it's worth picturing this sometimes. He's just faced torture, mocking, scorn, spitting, beating.
His back has been torn open with a whip. He's been forced to carry his cross along the streets. So much so that he couldn't carry anymore. He was so weak and Simon had to carry it for him. And then he gets to the hill to Mount Golgar.
And they put him down on that back can you feel the pain as he lies back onto that cross? And then there's cold hard, metal, nails are driven through his wrists and they're driven through his legs, and then they fix him hanging on a cross That's our Jesus. That's the son of god on a cross. That's god's demonstration of love that Christ died. Look at his face.
A face of anguish, a face of sorrow, his eyes, probably crying tears. Hear his voice, hear the gasps as he tries desperately to get in the air. And then hear what he says. Do you hear his words on the cross? Father, forgive them.
Eloy, Eloy, Lamas Abakthani, my god, my god. Why have you forsaken me? And I thirst. That's the son of god, the eternal 1 hanging on across. That's god's great demonstration.
He died. He died. It was great this week when we, we we met as home group. When we got to share our favorite songs, our favorite Christian Hims, and 1 of our members reminded us of when I survey. It's what a lovely song that is.
So poignant and powerful. And in that song, it says, see from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingle down. Did air such love and sorrow meet or thorns compose, sir Richard Crown. There he is. The precious son of god.
Shedding his blood, giving his life, giving it all to demonstrate the love of god. He dies. But we could picture that scene. And as we look at him, we could say, why? Why?
Why? With the answers in the verse. Isn't it amazing that 1 verse can just tell us so much? It's only a few words, but it tells us Christ died. Why?
Why did he die? Christ died for us. For us. For you, for me, Christ died. That is incredible that Christ died for us.
That however long it was 2000 years ago, that objective fact of history that Christ died that he was dying for us in this room today, that he looked ahead and he looked right, all throughout all, history that was coming. He looked ahead and he saw the people that he would die for. That he would die, brothers and sisters and make a people for himself, that he would make the church. We sing a song that says that he would win the prize and inheritance of believers for the glory that was set before him. He endured the cross, and the glory and the joy that he gets is you.
That's why he's on the cross. That's how much God loves us that he would give the most precious thing to die. So that we may be his. That is the cost. How do we know we're loved because the cost is immeasurable?
The cost is infinite. Do you see that? God's great demonstration, the great exhibition, non greater, because Christ died for us. The cost is infinite, but there's more because the second point makes it even more breathtaking. So secondly, while we were still sentence.
While we were still sinners, See, I said, you can measure how much love has been on display by the cost, but also how undeserving a recipient is. Undeserving is to put it lightly, infinitely undeserving. There's an infinite cost we're infinitely undeserving. We just sang about it before. Oh, since they they knew they knew no bottom nor depth, it could go all the way all the way down because we are so guilty.
We're sinners. See, it's not it's not Look, in the light of your passions, then, and now that you're behaving and now you're trying to do good, Christ came to die for you. That's not what it says. It's not that you've said sorry, and you said, oh, actually god, I I, you know, I've really messed up here. Can you come and sort me out?
That's not what the verse says, is it? It doesn't say that. It's says while we were still sinners. Whilst we were in fixed opposition to god. Whilst we were in open rebellion saying, actually, god, I wish you were dead.
Whilst we were warring against god, we were his enemies, we were his foes. We said, I want nothing to do with you, god. We were committed to our evil ways, our wicked ways. The word sinners means that we fall short of a mark. We are so far off the purity and the holiness of god the word means were deplorable and were depraved.
That's what sin is. And that's the state that we were in. When Christ died for us. That's why God's love is so spectacular. That's why it is breathtaking.
Verse 7, it says very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. See, in our in our human experience, it's it's it's It's unlikely that you were dying for a good person. Now there are examples of this, but they're so far and few be far and few that you don't find many of them. But at least they're dying for good people, those people, but here's god, and as we are basically shoving our middle fingers up at him and doing everything we can to stamp him out, here's god. He goes, actually, I'll die for you.
Can you imagine? Can you imagine in in the in the conflicts that are going on in the in the world right now? I've got 2 opposing soldiers, maybe it's a soldier from Israel and a soldier from Palestine. Can you imagine 1 of them dying for the other? It just It's impossible to even think about, really, or or a Ukrainian for a Russian.
It's impossible, but that's what got us. That even though we are warring against him, he goes out and he dies for the evil He goes out and he dies for the 1 who hates him. Do you see verse 6 at just the right time? When we were still powerless, we could do nothing to save ourselves. We were weak.
Whilst we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Wow. Wow. The cost is infinite. The undeserving nature of the recipient is infinite.
This is why it's good to sing children's songs like Jesus love is very wonderful. So high. You can't get over it. It's so low. You can't get under it.
It's so wide. You can't get around it. Oh, wonderful love. I'm gonna start singing again. Here is love, vast as the ocean.
Why? Why does the ocean? Deep is the deepest of seas. Jesus is love. Is incredible.
It is breathtaking. This is the great demonstration. This is the great showcase. This is the great exhibition of love. You will find no greater love.
You'll find no greater love. Than the love that is found in the lord, Jesus Christ, as god demonstrates it for us. And so have you experienced the love of god? Have you experienced the love of god? The word is agape.
It's actually the same word that Tom referenced this morning. Agape, love that lays down its life for other people, and have you experience the love of god. You may have experienced all sorts of love in this world and found them completely wanting. If you look now at the picture of Christ dying on a cross for you, even though you completely opposed him, you will see a love that can satisfy. And so will you come and will you know him?
Will you come and will you experience the love of god in the lord Jesus Christ? Will you come tonight and see that god loves you that god's great demonstration of love is here and know it today. Maybe you're here though and you're saying, well, it sounds great, but how? How can How can he love me? How can he love me a sinner?
How can he love me 1 who completely detest him? How? And surely I'm not good enough. And surely surely, I I I'm the worst person, and surely it's better if I'm not around. And surely he should have nothing to do with me.
I'm a sinner, but that's the whole point. Yeah. You are a sinner. The good news is that whilst we were still sinners Christ died for me and for you, was reading a a spurgeon sermon about this, and he he references Martin Luther of the great German reformer And here's what he says. When what Luther is talking about an encounter he has with Satan.
He says Luther says Satan once came to him and said, Martin Luther, Thou art lost for thou art a sinner. I said to him, satan, I thank thee for saying I am a sinner for inasmuch as thou sayest I am a sinner. I answered thee thus. Christ died for sinners. And if Martin Luther is a sinner, Christ died for him.
None too bad, all totally undeserving. Yet Christ died for those who are totally undeserving. And so know that you are supremely loved. Know that you are supremely precious. In the sight of god.
Now as you're you may be in a in a dark moment, and you may think, oh, gosh, This is terrible. We'll just know, hear the words that god loves you. And we know that god loves us. It's not a subjective thing. It is an objective thing because the lord Jesus Christ died for me and for you.
And so know his love tonight. And as you know it, let us let us let us, as we profess to know this truth, let us let us praise him, let us have gratitude in our hearts. Let us have joy in our hearts. Let us praise him with all our being. Let us know this love more and more as we go into our weeks.
Let know that Christ has died for us demonstrating God's love. And as we dwell on that love, let it radically shape our lives. That's what this morning's really about, wasn't it? If if I'm loved, I can love my spouse. If I'm loved, I can obey my parents.
If I'm loved, I can work with all my heart to glorify god. If I am loved and I keep this verse in my heart and in my mind and I keep on saying it, I can go into into into relationships that may be difficult, and I can let that govern me. And if I there, and I have this this verse at the center of my heart, and at the center of my being, I come with a temptation to sin, and I can say, no. The love that that offers is nothing compared to the love that god has demonstrated for me in the lord Jesus Christ dying for me whilst I was a sinner. Let's let's learn this verse.
Let's have it imprinted on our hearts and on our minds. And as we dwell on that, let it shape us. Let it cause us to be lovers of all people. Off each other and foremost have guards. So let's pray as we close, and then we're gonna remember this display in communion.
Father, we thank you so much for this verse, and we thank you that there is no greater demonstration of love than that of your precious darling son, the lord Jesus Christ dying for us. But not when we were asking for it, we didn't. Not when we were repentant, we weren't. But when we were still sinners, you died. And so we thank you so much for him.
And we pray father that this will not just be an intellectual exercise for us, but actually that you will plant this truth deep in our hearts so that we may know the love that you have for us more and more. And that that will shape who we are as your people. So we do pray for your help with this in Jesus' name, amen.