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. (Romans 5:6–8, NIV 1984).
My Musings – Having grown up in the sixties, I am somewhat familiar with demonstrations. – the good, the bad and the ugly. Some legitimate, genuine and sincere, others not so much. The former category (legitimate, genuine and sincere) all have a common denominator: to publicly display feelings or beliefs (often quite passionately) on a particular issue or cause. Through reasoning and providing evidence the intent is to prove the worthiness of the cause, educate the uninformed and/or persuade those with opposing beliefs that they are wrong. It is unfortunate that at times the bad and ugly cast an undeserving pall over the good. This can lead one to think or say, “the cause sounds good, but….” You know what the but means. Maybe the cause is not so good. Even if it really is good. That is the unfortunate by-product of some demonstrations and counter-demonstrations , fueled by fallen human nature.
Causes and demonstrations come, and they go. Until the cause takes root or people lose interest. “But [when] God demonstrates His own love for us,” the demonstration came and never left. While it is true that “Christ died for sins once for all (1 Peter 3:18, NIV 1984),” a completed (“it is finished”) once and done demonstration of His love, it is interesting that Paul used the present tense “demonstrates” (keeps on showing). One of those paradoxes (once and done that keeps on doing) that only God can pull off.
A somewhat humorous story I heard on a motivational series (“Thank God it’s Monday — The Emmerich Group) goes something like this. A woman who had been married for many years once asked her husband, “Harold, why don’t you ever say that you love me?” Her husband, somewhat curtly replied, “Mabel, I told you thirty-five years ago ‘I love you.’ If anything changes you’ll be the first I tell.” Funny and sad, at the same time.
Two-thousand years ago, God provided evidence (demonstrated) of the depth of His love for fallen humanity. Love so deep, that He sent His Son to die not only for the “righteous” (those with some semblance of redeeming qualities), but for the “ungodly” (those with no redeeming qualities at all — which is really all of us). Nothing has changed. That love, demonstrated on the cross so many years ago, continues to demonstrate His love every day as new believers are added to the Kingdom. Redemption took root at the crucifixion, and continues to bear fruit today.
My Advice – Satan has been waging a counter-demonstration in order to cast a pall over what Christ accomplished once for and continues to offer to everyone who believes. Don’t allow him to discredit the worthiness of Christ’s sacrifice. Don’t allow him to keep you uninformed or misinformed. Don’t allow him to persuade you that the message of the cross is wrong.
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18, NIV 1984).