The MAN! The Ridicule!! The Gall!!!

Ayomide Ibosiola
8 min readAug 20, 2022

The Demonstration of God’s Love

“In light of mankind’s universal rebellion against God, the issue is not why is there only one way but why is there any way at all.”

Romans 5:6–8

“When it comes to love, actions speak louder than words. When it comes to God’s love, the cross speaks loudest.”

Here is one of the truly great statements about the meaning of Christ’s death.

In Romans 5:6–8, the apostle Paul writes:

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 — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6–8)

Q. E. D.

We all know and use ‘proverbial’ wisdom all the time; that’s how it becomes proverbial. But not all proverbs work well in all situations.

Consider this one, for example: “It’s the thought that counts.” Sometimes, that saying is true, but proving that you love somebody isn’t one of them.

Imagine trying to get away with this: “Honey, I love you so much that I thought about getting you flowers for our anniversary.” OR this, “Son, Daddy wants you to know that he thought about playing with you today.” OR how about this “God so loved the world that he thought about giving his only Son . . .”

I don’t think any of those would work, do you? When it comes to love, the appropriate proverb is this one: “Actions speak louder than words.”

Actions > Words

And this is supremely true when it comes to God’s love for us. Christ’s death is the great proof, the ultimate demonstration of God’s love. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

In high school geometry class, I remember how we learned to lay out exercises in an orderly, logical, step-by-step way, “All triangles have exactly three sides. Figure ‘A’ has exactly three sides. Therefore Figure ‘A’ is a triangle.” Then, after the conclusion, we were taught to print three letters, Q. E. D., which stood for the Latin words Quod erat demonstrandum: “that which had to be proved.”

I also remember the basic quadratic equation, where your solution is practically incomplete without the addendum, Q. E. D.

This is not my handwriting…

You remember the sign that Pilate wrote out and fastened upon the cross of Christ. It said, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.”

But if God himself had written a sign to hang over Jesus’ crucified body, it might have said, “My love for sinners, Q. E. D.”

The Demonstration of God’s Love?

And this is exactly what Paul says about the cross in Romans 5:8. The death of Christ is the demonstration of God’s love. God shows and proves his love for us by giving Christ to die on our behalf. God didn’t just think about giving his Son for us. He so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him would not perish but have everlasting life. The most important word in that most famous of all Bible verses is the littlest one?” so. John 3:16 is about how much God loves us. The truest measure of love is not words but actions. Love is not proved by how flowery your speeches are or how extravagant your declarations are; love is instead proved by how great your sacrifices are, by how much you are willing to do and give for the sake of your beloved.

By that standard, God’s love for us is immeasurable.

Psalm 57:10–11

“God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” This statement of Paul sounds simple and comforting. God loves us; he loves us so much Christ died for us. But the longer you think about it, the more you pay attention to precisely what the apostle says here, and the less simple it seems. What looks at first like a “feel-good” verse turns out to be a “think-hard” verse. And when you try to figure this statement out, you immediately run into puzzles. Romans 5:8 is like an iceberg; God’s love is visible on the surface, but lots and lots of profound theology lie hidden below, out of sight.

Let me show you what I mean by repeatedly reading the verse with different words. First, listen to it this way: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” That is to say, God does the loving, but Christ does the dying. God doesn’t love us because Christ died for us; Christ died for us because God loved us.

Romans 5:8

Let’s imagine three people. We’ll call them A, B, and C. A loves C, but C is in a terrible fix and needs saving. So A makes B go out and die for C as a demonstration of A’s incredible love. And I’m thinking, wouldn’t it be more convincing if A went and died himself? After all, what does B’s death have to do with A’s love? Exactly! If Jesus is only a man, as many even in the church are alleging today, his death says nothing whatsoever about God’s love. If Jesus Christ is merely a human, even a good and great human, then saying that his death shows God’s love for humans is nonsense.

But, of course, that’s not what Paul is saying. Paul believes that Jesus is not merely human but also fully and truly divine. John1:14, Gal4:4, 1 Tim2:5

A and B, it turns out, are the same. God doesn’t send another in his place; he does the dying himself. And so beneath this statement lies the whole doctrine of what the church would come to call Christology, namely ?” that Jesus Christ is God in human flesh. And not too far away is the doctrine of the Trinity, which is the church’s attempt to describe how more than one person could be the one true God.

Christ Died for Sinners

Here’s a second reading: “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Please, see carefully: God shows his love by Christ’s death; not by his incarnation, by becoming one of us, taking on our nature and walking among us; not by his teaching, his healing of our diseases, his provision for our physical needs, not by the incomparable beauty of his example, not Christ’s life alone but his death is the ultimate proof of God’s love for us. And I wonder, how does dying for someone prove your love for that person? Only when such a sacrifice is both necessary and unavoidable.

Some, you see, have argued that Christ didn’t have to die on the cross for God to be able to forgive and save us. His death was more of an illustration of how far God was willing to go and how deeply he loves us. But you won’t die for another person merely as a gesture, to make a point.

Occasionally some twisted person will say to the one who rejected them, “I’ll show you how much I love you.” I’ll kill myself!” That isn’t love; it’s just sick. But if the death is sacrificial, if it’s unavoidable, if it’s the only possible way to save the beloved, then, as Jesus himself said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

The soldier who sacrifices himself so his comrades can survive, the mother who shields her child with her own body, absorbing the brunt of the blow?” these are indeed demonstrations of the greatest love. And so is Christ’s death for sinners. It is no mere gesture or example. It wasn’t simply thrown in at the end as part of his experience of genuine humanity. It was the reason, the very reason he became genuinely human.

Christ’s death was essential to God’s plan of salvation, and it was the only way sin could be atoned for without sinners being destroyed. So the whole of evangelical theology lies beneath this one word, ‘died.’ Lost sinners, a sacrificial death, substitution, atonement through the blood of the cross, justification by faith, peace with God ?” the whole gospel is contained in this simple statement that God shows his love in that Christ died for us. Listen one last time:

God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

In this last reading, sinners are the operative word — the point Paul makes here. The actual demonstration of the love of God is not only what he did to show it but whom he did it for. Paul’s argument, you see, is by contrast. “One will scarcely die for a righteous person ?” though perhaps for a good person, one would dare even to die.” The soldier dies for his comrades, men closer to him than a brother. The mother gives her life for the child, who is more dear to her than anything else. But God . . . God shows his love in dying for sinners (v. 8), for his enemies (v. 10), for the weak and the ungodly (v. 6).

Maybe now you’re thinking, “I’ve been listening for weeks now to this book of Romans. I don’t think I need to be insulted anymore.” But God’s love is for sinners. “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” said Jesus. If you refuse to accept this description of yourself, you exclude yourself from the love of God. I am many things: husband, father, brother, friend, minister, preacher, teacher, citizen, and traveler. But most of all, a sinner. Aren’t you that too, whoever and whatever else you may be?

If we admit it, we will know that we were all sinners; now, we are beloved by God.

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