Enemies of God
By Nigel Selby
It’s not the sort of title that we would be happy with, but that is how the Apostle Paul speaks of humanity in general and each individual in particular. It’s not the sort of thing that would endear you to your friend if you said it. It is offensive and judgemental. But are we being offensive and judgemental. Paul in Romans 5 tells us this is our status before God. He’s trying to show us it is important to know what God thinks of us, if we are to know him and have a relationship with him.
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Rom 5:6-10 (NIV)
Now many people don’t have a relationship with God, maybe because they don’t want to, maybe because they are ignorant of God, maybe because they are angry with God, maybe because they just don’t believe and deny his existence. But all of us at one time or another are or have been enemies of God. That is God’s verdict on us whether we are religious or not.
If that was all Paul said then we would have no hope. The Bible teaches God is the Lord over all creation. He is also just and loving. When we say we don’t want him as Lord of our lives, we are in rebellion against him. We may deny his existence but God is still God. We may think it doesn’t matter, because the Bible warns us that those who reject God will face his judgement. So how do we get out of the fix we have got ourselves into?
Paul tells us there is no way we can solve the problem of our rebellion against God, but God has provided
the solution. If you’re on a long journey in your car on the motorway and running low on petrol, it’s always good to come across a service station. You can choose to go on and risk breaking down or you can pull in and fill up.
Paul wants us to know there is help at hand. Do you see what he says in :6, ‘at just the right time Christ died for the ungodly’. It suggests that all through human history God was bringing everything together for one purpose – to save our souls.
Paul teaches that Jesus death was aimed not at those who may consider themselves righteous, but those whom God considers are sinners. In Romans 6 Paul says,’ all have sinned and are far away from Gods saving presence’. Pauls point is that we are powerless to do anything about it. Nothing we can do can fix our broken relationship with God, but Paul says whilst we were still sinners Christ died for the ungodly.
Eastertime reminds us poignantly of Jesus death. His crucifixion is the turning point of all history. His death marks God’s solution to the problem we have created by not living in his way. What we could not do for ourselves God has done for us. Though we faced God’s wrath because of our sinful behaviour, God has reconciled us to himself through the death of His Son, so we are no longer his enemies. We have been saved from wrath by the blood of Jesus.
Why would God do that?. Check out verse 8. ‘God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’. God demonstrates his own love for us. The cross is the amazing sign that God loves sinful people.
Why not in the coming days just take a few minutes each day, perhaps over lunch break, perhaps in a quiet moment in the office, in your car on your way to and from work to consider again what Jesus death means to you. Why not pray for an opportunity to share your faith with someone else, invite them to something your fellowship is doing over Easter.
Every Blessing in Christ