By CRAIG HARRIS
Romans 5: 6-9 (NIV): 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 man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 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!
The verses on the “Roman Road” to salvation are 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, 10:9-10, 10: 13. Since this passage contains the middle verse, you could call it the heart of the Gospel. It tells us that God loves us so much that he came and died for us - even while we were his enemies. He died for us while we were sinners who did not believe in him or even know him. That's an amazing truth —that's amazing grace! What this tells us is that God's love is unconditional. We did not and cannot earn it.
It is important for us to know this because it reminds us that God loves everyone and we cannot earn more of his love than anyone else. Even while we were under God's wrath, he still loved us enough to die for us. So we should never look down our noses at another person or think that God loves us more. This passage also reminds us to love each other unconditionally, like God does.
This brings up an interesting question: If we can't make God love us more than he already does, why try?
For me, it’s because I want to please him and I want him to be proud of me. I want to build a friendship with him; I want to know him more and more and become more and more like Christ.
Hebrews 11 talks about people who show their faith and then says, “Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God.”
God, like any good parent, loves his children whether they are good or bad, but I want to be a child who is pleasing to him. How about you — are you God's child? Then make him proud!
Autographed copies of Craig's fiction novel The Dead Peasants File are for sale at Blaser's Books in downtown Palestine. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Churches.