Adult 1 Sunday School Class God’s Reconciling Love April 23, 2017
Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-29
Theme: Hardship, distress, and separations of all kinds abound in human life. How can we face these difficulties? Paul is convinced that nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
Please interpret the meaning of the following verses.
The interpretations of the verses are in bold print which follows the original verse in regular print.
Romans 5:6 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Read the inspirational first five verses of this chapter. The key words in this verse are “without strength” meaning helpless; and “ungodly” meaning those whose character and sinful nature greatly offended God. Christ died for the “saints” and “sinners” alike. The message here is that we are incapable of saving ourselves, but we must do it through faith in Jesus Christ. “In due time” means that God selected the “right time” for Christ to come into the world, to bring His message of hope, and through His crucifixion and resurrection provide eternal life to all of those who accepted Jesus on faith as their Lord and Savior. God’s love for us was consistent, and He sent His Son into the world at a time when we were not reconciled to Him. This happened not because we loved Him, but because He loved us.
v.7and 8. “For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Paul is demonstrating the power of God’s love for us. He indicates that very few men would die for a extremely good man; and even much less for a good man. It also goes to reason that we would not desire to relinquish our life to save an evil or wicked person. However, Christ died for all men regardless of their beliefs or position in life under the direction of a supreme God, Who gave up His only Son.
- 9 and 10, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” The blood of Christ represents the sacrifice that He made for us, and by this we were reconciled to God, prior to being His enemy. When Christ took it upon Himself, our sin was passed onto Him. He took God’s wrath which was meant for us. By the taking of Jesus’ life on the Cross, our lives were saved refers to the entire work of salvation from justification to the Day of Judgment when the wrath of God shall be revealed. Jude describes Christ continuing work of salvation when he says that Christ “is able to keep us from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)”.
v.11. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” This is a time to rejoice because of our new found salvation, not only in God, but through His Son Jesus Christ by whom we receive atonement; whereby God restores the relationship while reconciling (reuniting) us with God. He turns a negative into a positive. God restores our relationship through His grace and forgiveness.
8:31 and 32, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32. He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Paul reiterates the security which God provides through Jesus Christ. He reassures them the sovereignty of God, that with Him nothing or no one can harm you. Paul asks some rhetorical question then answers them. His point is, if God gave up His Son for us, then what else would He not do for us. “Freely give” illustrates goodwill toward others. We are glad that we serve a giving God.
- 33 and 34. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that? It is Christ that died, you rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.” These verses are reminiscent of being in a “divine courtroom”, where Paul argues that someone would not believe God’s goodwill toward a believer. Paul says who would accuse any of God’s people of any crime? It is God who pronounces the innocence of a believer, then there is no one to condemn the believer. How can someone condemn another that God has declared righteous? There are reasons why a believer can never be found guilty: Christ’s death, His Resurrection, His exalted position, His continual intercession for them, Christ intercedes to God on our behalf, this allows the believer the confidence that God hears us and we are no longer condemned because we are assured by Christ’s righteousness.
- 35, 36, and 37. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakededness, or peril, or sword? 36. As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” Paul now raises the question of what might separate us from the love of Christ. (Not our love for Christ, but Christ love for us.) He lists several human woes that befall his people. Listed in totality they are various setbacks that the Lord can deliver us from, but at the time can be devastating to the psyche. The “sword” may mean the Roman rulers who use the sword to control the populace or to execute them. With the “sword” at their disposal, believers could have face death at any time. This draws a striking contrast between the Christians and sheep both could be positioned for slaughter. Because of their faith in Christ, Christians will become conquerors, because they have come from persecuted inhabitants to God’s reward of the faithful; and their victory will magnify God’s power
- 38 and 39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities , nor powers, nor things present, nor thing to come, 39. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Paul takes inventory of what might separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and concludes one by one that nothing, and he means nothing can separate him from the love of God. He says essentially that nothing physical, social, or spiritual can separate him from the love of God in Christ Jesus.