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November 18 – Made by love

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.” – Romans 5:6–7

Scripture reading: Romans 5

In ourselves, we have no access to God. We are sinners “while we were” in this lost state, God provided a solution. While we were unlovely and weak, “Christ died for” sinners. The solution is Christ’s love for undeserving sinners. We call this grace; grace is the self-caused love of God. Self-caused, He doesn’t love us because of some worth in us. We are unworthy. His love actually confers worth upon us. This means grace is greater than our sin. God makes us worthy of the kingdom of God. His love makes us. Who belongs to the Kingdom of God? Those who do not deserve it.

So, contrary to popular opinion, Christ did not die on the cross to “help those who help themselves.” Grace does not wait for us to start helping ourselves. That is not grace. It is works. Salvation by grace, in Christ, without any merits of our own says, “God sent His Son to die for us while our life was off track.” Christ died for us while we were ungodly, while we were altogether helpless. Who belongs to the Kingdom of God? Christians who now remain in themselves completely sinners, yet by grace in the eyes of God are completely righteous. Who belongs? Those who put away their good works that they might have grace instead. Faith is not another good work among many. No, faith is the alternative to good works. Faith is access to the Kingdom of God.

Suggestions for prayer

Pray that the Lord would sustain all yesterday’s new converts to the faith around the world. Pray for the unity of our faith and love.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Jared Beairdis the church planter and pastor of Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Missoula, Montana, USA.

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