But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5.8).
A pivotal point in the life of every Christian is recognizing his desperate condition before God. The Bible tells us that we, as sinners, are actually enemies of God. And as a result, we are objects of God’s wrath.
Admittedly, these are tough words. But without seeing ourselves as utterly broken before God, it’s impossible to understand and accept his gift of salvation.
You see, God—in his great love for us—made a way for our sin and offense to be forgiven: his name is Jesus. When Jesus died on the cross he made forgiveness possible for everyone. But this salvation is a gift and must be received.
We receive by believing and placing our faith in him. When we believe in Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for our sins, God actually places the burden of our sin on Jesus and substitutes Jesus’ right-standing with God on our account.
Legally, this transaction is called “justification.” In Paul’s words, “we have now been justified by his blood” (Romans 5.9). By believing in Christ, we receive the full and incredible acceptance of God!
This is at the very heart of what it means to be a Christian.