In Romans 5, the joy of the Gospel breaks forth. We read of peace with God: grace, hope, reconciliation, and life. The chapter rings with the love of God, not for those who are good, but for us rebel sinners—not when we had our act together, but when we were in defiance against Him.
John Stott writes,
“‘But God shows his love for us (and “his” is emphatic in the Greek: He shows His own, His unique love) in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.’ Nor for the coldly upright, nor even for the warmly attractive and good, but for sinners, unattractive, unworthy, undeserving.”1
This is the chapter I was reading the night I became a Christian. I already believed that God existed, and I knew I was a sinner, but I remember my big question was, why did Jesus have to die on the cross? A question that is answered so many times in this chapter—in verse 6, verses 7–8, verse 9, verses 10–11, and on through to the end of the chapter: Jesus died on the cross to reconcile sinners to God.
As I read through Romans 5, I understood for the first time that on the cross God was condemning my sin as His Son, Jesus Christ, took my judgment and punishment upon Himself in His death for me. On July 16, 1970, I understood. I believed. I was forgiven and reconciled to God.
This song by Nancy Honeytree became a favorite of mine. In Christ I was made clean and right before God. I knew, and I know, that living song!
If you want to read the details of how I became a Christian, My Witness in the header tells my story, and explains more about turning from your sin and believing in Jesus. Last year on July 16, I wrote “I Hold, I Am Held.”
What about you? Has God’s love been poured out within your heart? Will you believe in Jesus?
Copyright ©2021 Iwana Carpenter