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God and Sinners Reconciled

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God and Sinners Reconciled.

Romans 5:6 NASB95
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
There are a few words I want us to look at in this particular verse.

The first is the word “we”

Remember to whom this letter is addressed.
Romans 1:7 NASB95
to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who are beloved of God in Rome.
Those who have been the recipients of God’s love in Rome.
Those who are saints. “holy ones”
Paul groups himself with them in .
He says “While we were still helpless...”
The “we” here is referring those who have believed in Christ and trusted him alone for salvation.
the majority of the letters in the NT are written to believers.

The second word describes “we” and that word is helpless.

The greek word here is ἀσθενής which carries with it several definitions and none of them bode well for us in this particular context.
I believe the NASB correctly translates this particular word.
the word is translated, “helpless.”
other definitions and other translations translate this word, “sick” “weak” “unimpressive.”
Though, all of these show our condition as problematic, they do not carry with it the severity of our problem.
We are not just sick. According to , we are dead.
We are not just weak, We have no strength.
Paul later says in
Romans 7:18 NASB95
For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.
There is a large difference between someone being weak and someone being helpless.
Being weak may imply that i cant do something. Being helpess implies that i can do nothing.
We moved some furniture the other day, and I called someone to come help me.
I could have probably found a way to get it on my own, but I needed some help.
I wasn’t helpless. I just needed some help.
Helpless implies I can’t help my self, and that is precisely what is the case about our spiritual condition
There is a large difference between someone being sick and someone being dead.
i know i have taken some time here, but we need to understand who we are apart from Christ.
I could have probably found a way to get it on my own, but I needed some help.
I wasn’t helpless. I just needed some help.
Helpless implies I can’t help my self, and that is precisely what is the case about our spiritual condition.

The Last word captures our condition apart from Christ: ungodly.

Now, I’m not normally one for telling you what the Greek words for things are, but this one is interesting as well.
The Greek word here is ἀσθενής.
It means profane or even against God.
Literally in English the meaning is against God.
This describes who we are.
We are helpless, and we are against God.
In other words we are helpless, plunging ourselves more in more away from the goodness of God.
But the verse tells us that Christ died for us.
But that doesn’t make sense.
Why would Christ die for me?
Romans 5:7 NASB95
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.
As a general rule, death is something that people are normally unwilling to do.
Here he contrasts the likelihood of someone potentially dying for someone.
Basically, he says, seldom will anyone die for someone who has done no wrong.
And here we see the difference…
Christ doesn’t die for us because there is any ounce of righteousness in us.
Someone might would contemplate dying for someone they respected or who they considered a good person.
Thats not what happened at the cross.
Let me tell you what did happen.
Romans 5:8 NASB95
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
No righteousness or goodness in me warranted Jesus’s dying for me.
He is contrasting in verse 7: theres good men that people may die for(in reality there are none), and then theres people like me.
Sinners, who need salvation because they are in rebellion in the Creator God who graciously created them, sustains them and desires a relationship.
Heres what happened at the cross.
God demonstrates his love for us, that Christ died for us, not while we were good… not while we were sick or weak… but while we were sinners.
And here is where we see the hero dies for the villain.
The righteous dies for the unrighteous.
and here is where i think we misunderstand many times who we are.
and if we do this we fail to ultimately understand the grace an mercy of God.
Who would do such a thing?
To sacrifice himself, for me?
I’m not worthy of that.
I’m not worthy of Him.
Sinner here is conveying the meaning that this is the essence of who we are.
When is the last time when someone asked you who you were, that you were truly honest with them.
Normally, when people ask me, I tell them about all the good things I am.
I’m a pastor.
I’m a daddy.
I’m a husband.
Never do I think I have introduced myself as a sinner, but of the above characteristics, that is what my life identifies most closely with.
But Jesus died for me?
He took the wrath for me?
But why?
Romans 5:9 NASB95
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.
So that I may be justified.
So that as a sinner, I stand before God clean.
Martin Luther who started the reformation of the Church, coined this term after reading through the book of Romans. He said that we were simul justus et peccator.
To translate he was saying that we are just and simultaneously or at the same time sinners.
RC Sproul who past away just this past week said this:
“In and of ourselves, under the analysis of God’s scrutiny, we still have sin; we’re still sinners. But, by imputation and by faith in Jesus Christ, whose righteousness is now transferred to our account, then we are considered just or righteous. This is the very heart of the gospel.”
We stand right before God, justified.
Just if I had never sinned.
And then and only then, can the next part of verse 9 be true.
We shall be saved from the wrath.
Without Christ, and his blood, we remain under that wrath.
John 3:36 NASB95
“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
It abides on us, but through faith in Christ, the righteousness of God is credited to my account and I am saved from the wrath of God, because the wrath of God was satisfied at the cross and the righteousness of God was satisfied through Jesus’s life.
Romans 5:10 NASB95
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
We are saved through both his life and his death.
and this is why he came.
So that we can sing the lyrics of Hark the Herald angels sing.
Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King: peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!"
God and sinners reconciled.
That only happens because Christ came.
That only happens because Christ lived righteously.
That only happens because Christ died.
That only happens because Christ rose.
So then, now what?
A lot of times, I have to provide the application for a passage.
We take a timeless truth and apply it.
However, this passage gives us the application.
Romans 5:11 NASB95
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
We exult/rejoice/are joyous, because of the transaction that was made on the cross.
Our debt has been paid.
Our sin erased.
Our Savior reigns.
This is why we celebrate the coming of Christ, because God and sinners reconciled.
1 Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King: peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!" Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with th'angelic hosts proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King"
Refrain: Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King"
2 Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ, the everlasting Lord, late in time behold him come, offspring of the Virgin's womb: veiled in flesh the Godhead see; hail th'incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Immanuel. [Refrain]
3 Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace! Hail the Sun of Righteousness! Light and life to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die, born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth. [Refrain]
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