Enemies No More
But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.
Martin Niemoller, a German Protestant theologian, languished for months in one of Hitler’s prisons. During his imprisonment he spent days thinking about the questions of life and death. He reevaluated his life, meditating on God’s enormous love for him. Quietly he prayed, “Lord, I cannot resist your love any longer. I accept your forgiveness. I believe I am your child.” Niemoller had struggled with the thought of his own inadequacy and guilt. He felt unworthy, sinful, and distant from God. But in a wretched prison camp he was spiritually transformed.
At last released from prison, Niemoller made this penetrating observation: “It took me a long time to learn that God is not the enemy of His enemies.” The apostle Paul outlines this truth marvelously. ABut God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when 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” (Romans 5:8-10).
When we were His enemies, He was our friend. When we turned our backs on Him, He turned His face toward us. When we ran from Him, He ran to us. The glory of His grace is that He accepts the unacceptable, forgives the unforgivable and He loves the unlovable. Since we are forgiven, we can be forgiving. Since we are loved, we can be loving.
This thought is captured magnificently in Steps to Christ, page 15: “Such love is without a parallel. Children of the heavenly King! Precious promise! Theme for the most profound meditation! The matchless love of God for a world that did not love Him! The thought has a sudbduing power upon the soul and brings the mind into captivity to the will of God.” This is the gospel and the good news of grace.
God’s unconditional, changeless love is the central theme of the Bible. When we open His Word, we come face to face with His love.
from On Solid Ground
Mark Finley | Review & Herald (2003)
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