The Perfect Team Name
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8
The changing of sports team mascots is happening more frequently in our country. St. Paul has the perfect team name for us in Romans chapter 5. He puts before us a title that is guaranteed to not offend everyone. Our jerseys, hats, and masks should all have in big block letters – SINNERS. For nothing seems more offensive to call someone a sinner.
You know that it is God who has been offended by your sin. Not just the things that you have said in the heat of the moment, but the things that you have thought that thankfully no one knows. But God knows. He knows your sins of thought, as well as word and deed. He knows that you are a broken sinner and while we can hide it from others, we cannot hide it from our heavenly Father.
We were indeed helpless, ungodly sinners, even enemies, but God’s love is greater than our offensive thoughts and words. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Though we were enemies, God reconciled us to Himself through Christ’s death. The depth of God’s love is greater than any sin which we commit. When Christ prays in the Garden, it was the Father’s will that the Son would suffer. It was also the Father’s love.
These verses of chapter 5:1-11 provide us a litany of blessings that come to us from God on account of Christ Jesus. So here is what Christ’s death delivers to us according to St. Paul. We have peace with God. We have access by faith into this grace and hope of the glory of God. We have been justified by and reconciled to God. The reason that there is no pride to be found here is that all of these are gifts received rather than wages earned. God is the supreme actor here! He is the One who runs the verbs – The central action is the death of Jesus Christ.
What follows in chapter 6 is the baptismal application of such unknown love shown by God to helpless sinners. Baptism is where God buries the old mascot with all of its offensive history and replaces it with a new identity – beloved and forgiven, filled with grace, peace, and hope. The SINNERS have been renamed the SAINTS through baptism into Christ’s death and resurrection. May you rejoice in your new identity in Christ – Go Saints!
Prayer – Almighty God, our heavenly Father, because of Your tender love toward us sinners You have give us Your Son that, believing in Him, we might have everlasting life. Continue to grant us Your Holy Spirit that we may remain steadfast in this faith to the end and finally come to life everlasting; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan