Faithlife Sermons

Extravagant Love

Romans  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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How does God choose whom He loves? Is His love different than ours? If God’s love is really deeper and more powerful than anything we have ever experienced, how would you prove it? How would you express it in a way that an inferior person could understand and enjoy it?

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God is Eternal.
Romans 5:6–11 NLT
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
God is All-Knowing.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. 11 So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.
The truth of this scripture is the very foundation our faith is built upon.
In Order to even begin to appreciate the treasure in this passage of scripture, we need to understand a few things about God.

God is Eternal.

He exists outside of time. He participates in time, however, He is not bound by it.
Psalm 147:5 NLT
How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
Psalm 147:4–5 NLT
He counts the stars and calls them all by name. How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
5 How great is our Lord! His power is absolute! His understanding is beyond comprehension!
Hebrews 4:12–13 NLT
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.

God is All-Knowing.

He already knows everything. We describe Him as “Omniscient.”

God is All-Powerful.

He is “Omnipotent”. His power to accomplish His purposes cuts across every boundary that contain us.
Display your power, O God, as you have in the past.
29 The kings of the earth are bringing tribute
to your Temple in Jerusalem.
30 Rebuke these enemy nations—
these wild animals lurking in the reeds,
this herd of bulls among the weaker calves.
Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute.
Scatter the nations that delight in war.
31 Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals*;
let Ethiopia* bring tribute to God.
32 Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth.
Psalm 68:28–35 NLT
Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past. The kings of the earth are bringing tribute to your Temple in Jerusalem. Rebuke these enemy nations— these wild animals lurking in the reeds, this herd of bulls among the weaker calves. Make them bring bars of silver in humble tribute. Scatter the nations that delight in war. Let Egypt come with gifts of precious metals; let Ethiopia bring tribute to God. Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth. Sing praises to the Lord. Interlude Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens, his mighty voice thundering from the sky. Tell everyone about God’s power. His majesty shines down on Israel; his strength is mighty in the heavens. God is awesome in his sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people. Praise be to God!
Sing praises to the Lord.
Interlude
33 Sing to the one who rides across the ancient heavens,
his mighty voice thundering from the sky.
34 Tell everyone about God’s power.
His majesty shines down on Israel;
his strength is mighty in the heavens.
35 God is awesome in his sanctuary.
The God of Israel gives power and strength to his people.
Praise be to God!
Now that we have laid down a foundation, let’s reconsider this passage from . When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
There are three things that we must understand. Three things that build upon one another that will give us great confidence in God’s work of forgiveness, if we can just understand them.

1. We were completely helpless in this process.

Romans 5:6 NLT
When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.
Romans 6 NLT
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
We were always helpless to contribute motivation. Helpless to Counsel or Advise. Helpless to contribute power.

2. Christ died at Just the right time for God’s purposes, not when we were on our best behavior.

Romans 6 NLT
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
God’s plan for Christ to die for our sin was not a reaction to our sin but a preparation for it.
Ephesians 1:4–6 NLT
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son.
1. He was motivated to love us long before we ever existed. This is mother’s love.
Illustration: A mother’s diaper bag. Everything a baby could need is in that diaper bag. diapers, lotion, wipes, teething toys and teething gel to numb the babies gums, rags and bibs and those plastic table covers that provide a clean surface to eat on, a booger bulb, nail clippers, Cheerios, and sippy cups. Better than a fishing tackle box. A mom is prepared because she knows her baby. She knows what will be needed. In the same way, God, who knows us better than we know ourselves, prepared, in Jesus, His solution to our sin problem before the foundation of the Universe was laid and, at the perfect time, Christ accomplished God’s plan by dying for our sins.
2. His love was always an extension of His grace. It was never a reward but a gift.
He chose to die for us — While we were disqualified from his love. We’ve never received His love because we qualified for it.
3. This is what He enjoys doing.

3. He chose to die for us — While we were disqualified from his love. We’ve never received His love because we qualified for it.

Romans 5:7 NLT
Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.
Long before God sent Jesus Christ to die to take the punishment for our sin, he had our complete life played out like a massive photo collection. He had all our good and all our bad moments. And knowing us at our worst, He chose to die for us. While we were sinners.
Think of what this means for your confidence in God’s forgiveness. If He forgave your sins past, present, and future, how could anything you possible do cause the Father to change His mind and take back His love.
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