I have a word of unimaginable encouragement for you today that comes from a passage you may be very familiar with, yet many miss the impact of a significant portion of its message.
God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
If you have spent much time in church, you are probably familiar with the second half of the passage. It surely is tremendously encouraging to know the awesome, almost incomprehensible truth that “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
But we must be careful not to miss the encouragement that comes just before that! The key word in the first half of Romans 5:8 is “demonstrates,” because it is written in the present tense. The Holy Spirit of God clearly intended to instruct us that God is continually demonstrating His own love for us in our lives.
It would seem to have made better sense if Paul had written “God demonstrated” in the past tense, just like “Christ died.” Since Christ “died” for us in the past, you might well think that “demonstrated” would be the best choice of words. But Paul, writing under the inspiration of the Spirit, kept this word in the present tense; he did so for our ongoing encouragement.
To see the verse in context, Paul was addressing the suffering and persecution the Roman Christians were going through before he declared God “demonstrates” His on-going love.
We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
Paul was reminding the Christians then—and all of us today—that God’s love is continually poured into the lives of His people. Paul knew the only way the Roman Christians would be able to deal with the horrific persecution they were facing was to be reminded of the ever-present, continually-poured-out love of God. Scripture is telling us that the love of God in Christ Jesus is invested in the lives of His people 24/7. God takes no time out and no days off; He never slumbers or sleeps; He demonstrates His love for His children moment by moment.
It is one thing to keep in view the love God demonstrated on the cross, where Jesus took our place and paid the penalty for our sin. But as glorious as that truth is, it is another thing altogether to realize that God demonstrates His love for us in countless other ways with every beat of our hearts! Christian, don’t miss the eternal encouragement that is found in experiencing every ounce of God’s eternal love for you as a profound, present-day reality.
So . . . is this the confession of your life? It will be if you keep Paul’s profound pick-me-up in view and remember the unchanging fact that God demonstrates His love for you with every breath you take.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!