Dave spoke this morning from Romans 5:6-11, reminding us that we are the cause Jesus thought it was worth dying for. Sometimes we see that people are willing to die for a cause (e.g. suicide bombers and even martyrs for Christ) and people can be willing to die for a loved one (e.g. a parent for a child), but we see that God made a rational, deliberate decision to send His Son to die for us when we were His enemies. God could have looked at us and decided we weren’t worth bothering with (we tend to be more sympathetic to those whose suffering is ‘undeserved’, for example), but instead, Jesus gave His life for us even though we had made it clear we wanted nothing to do with Him.
God’s love is so great He wants restoration for us. He wants us to be able to fulfil our original purpose, to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever, but in order for this relationship to be meaningful and involve our choice, not His control, He made us with free will, and that gives us the ability to refuse God. Sin is man’s wilful disobedience, as evidenced firstly by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but then seen as an inherited condition in all mankind. All have sinned (Rom 3:23); all must pay the wages of sin (death) (Rom 6:23). We were powerless to change this situation, but God stepped in, taking the initiative in our salvation.
The birth of Jesus (born of a virgin in humility) and the crucifixion of Jesus are key events which pave the way for a reconciliation between God and humanity. We know that Jesus’s sacrificial death was counted acceptable by God because of the Resurrection, something for which there is much historical evidence (see 1 Cor 15, Acts 1:3). Now we are left with the decision: do we want to continue to live as children of Adam or do we want to become children of God?
If we want to become God’s children, this necessitates accepting our sinful status, repenting of our sin (which means both turning away from sin and turning towards God) and recognising that we need the help of Jesus. As we give our lives totally to Jesus, holding nothing back, we are born again and can live for Him with joy in our hearts.