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All scriptures are taken from the Amplified Bible.

5Such hope never disappoints or deludes or shames us, for God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us. 6While we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly. 7Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. 8But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.

The source of staying power during trials of faith

If you have ever gone through trials of your faith or hardships and circumstances that have made you wonder if God still cared about you, you’d be able to relate to this scripture. If you think back to those trials, you may recollect that there were days when in yourself, you were pretty much ready to pack it all up and go – I mean walk away from Jesus. But somehow, you couldn’t. You still found yourself trusting, believing and praising Him. You still found yourself saying like Job, “though He slay me, yet will I wait for and trust in Him” (Job 13:15). Do you know why you had the staying power to hang on until the Christ was revealed in that situation? The answer is in these scriptures – it’s because God had, through the Holy Spirit, filled your heart to overflowing with His love. As love’s hope is fadeless under all circumstances and endures everything (1 Corinthians 13:7), God’s love in our heart ensures that even in the face of fierce contradictions our hope never dies. Ultimately because this hope never fails, being sustained by God’s unconditional and undying love inside our hearts, it never disgraces or embarrasses or shames the one who has it.

Therefore, it is correct to conclude that we come unscathed through trials not just because we are strong in ourselves but because God’s love which was poured out in our heart sustains our hope until the desire comes. So like Paul, we ask ourselves, “where then is boasting”? There is clearly no room for it for it because it was in our weakness (when we had come to the end of our wits and our bright ideas and ways of escape as we knew them had all disappeared) that Christ died for us to chart a new and living way into the purpose of God for our lives. So there is no man or woman who may claim that they came though trials and found their destiny in God because they got it right in themselves. All the glory must be the Lord for it is by Him we come through the fire and into His divine purpose and plan.

9Therefore, since we are now justified (acquitted, made righteous, and brought into right relationship with God) by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life. 11Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation.

God’s magnanimity towards man

Although the entirety of mankind has been reconciled unto God by the death of Jesus Christ, only those who have faith in Jesus Christ are justified and brought into right standing with God. Although God is not reckoning sins to men any longer because Jesus paid the full penalty of sin, it is clear that God reserves His righteous indignation for those who spurn His offer of peace by rejecting Jesus Christ. The Bible is clear that God will judge everyone who rejects Jesus (Revelations 20:11-15) but only faith in the blood of Jesus will keep a person from the indignation and wrath of God. For all those who believe in Jesus, His blood is our Passover. The angel of death went through the land of Egypt in a dispensation of God’s righteous judgment on Pharaoh’s obstinacy but spared the firstborns Israel because of the blood of the Passover lamb. Similarly, we have assurance that we have escaped the coming judgment of God because of our faith in the blood of our Passover Lamb Jesus. That the believer will be spared in the sweet by-and-by is such great news but perhaps even more fascinating is the reality that God’s salvation from the power of sin and of Satan can be our daily experience as we put our trust only in Jesus and His precious blood. Indeed in these scriptures, we see something of the magnanimity of God towards man in his fallen state. He saved us from death and judgment even when we were His enemies. There’s no telling what He does for us now that we’re His friends.

Therefore, as sin came into the world through one man, and death as the result of sin, so death spread to all men, [no one being able to stop it or to escape its power] because all men sinned. 13[To be sure] sin was in the world before ever the Law was given, but sin is not charged to men’s account where there is no law [to transgress]. 14Yet death held sway from Adam to Moses [the Lawgiver], even over those who did not themselves transgress [a positive command] as Adam did. Adam was a type (prefigure) of the One Who was to come [in reverse, the former destructive, the Latter saving].

Jesus Christ our substitute in death

The great fact of the Christian faith is that God poured out His grace upon mankind to swallow up the power and guilt of sin. The first Adam’s transgression meant that everyone born of a woman was born a slave of sin, with the sin nature in them. The second Adam’s (Jesus Christ) obedience to His Father meant that that everyone born of water and of the Spirit (the second or new birth) was a freeborn servant of righteousness, with the very righteous nature of God imparted to them. As we were vicariously represented in sin, so are vicariously represented in righteousness. Death, empowered by sin, wreaked havoc on all mankind irrespective of the fact that it had not sinned in the manner of Adam who transgressed God’s commandment. In the same manner, empowered by the grace of God, righteousness works in the believer to produce eternal life. As Adam was our unwanted substitute in sin, Jesus Christ became our greatly desired substitute in righteousness. We must understand this substitution, meditate often upon it, appropriate it and thank God all the time for what He did for us.

Kelechi E. Nnoaham

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