God Demonstrates His Love
God shows [demonstrates] his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Notice that “demonstrates” is present tense and “died” is past tense.
The present tense implies that this demonstrating is an ongoing act that keeps happening in today’s present and tomorrow’s present.
The past tense “died” implies that the death of Christ happened once for all and will not be repeated. “Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18).
Why did Paul use the present tense (“God demonstrates”)? I would have expected Paul to say, “God demonstrated (past tense) his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Was not the death of Christ the demonstration of God’s love? And did not that demonstration happen in the past?
I think the clue is given a few verses earlier. Paul has just said that “suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame” (verses 3–5).
In other words, the goal of everything God takes us through is hope. He wants us to feel unwaveringly hopeful through all tribulations.
But how can we?
Paul answers in the next line: “Because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (verse 5). God’s love “has been poured into our hearts.” The tense of this verb means that God’s love was poured out in our hearts in the past (at our conversion) and is still present and active.
God did demonstrate his love for us in giving his own Son to die once for all in the past for our sins (verse 8). But he also knows that this past love must be experienced as a present reality (today and tomorrow) if we are to have patience and character and hope.
Therefore he not only demonstrated it on Calvary; he goes on demonstrating it now by the Spirit. He does this by opening the eyes of our hearts to “taste and see” the glory of the cross and the guarantee that it gives that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:39).
Home Bible Study Fellowship - Join us for this time of prayerful, interactive discussion centered in Scriptures that pertain to the daily lives of Dayspring and its people. Each Sunday Evening, 6:00 pm at the Strickland home, unless otherwise stated.
February 3 - Parent's Night Out. - An opportunity to minister to people right in our back yard. The families who attend PNO need friends who are willing to come alongside them. it's a four-hour mission trip without the long car ride! See Katie Magee Harden or Steve Harbin.
Ridgehaven Winter Retreat - Registration deadline is Sunday, February 5. Join us for a weekend of fun and fellowship in a Bible-based mountain weekend. February 17 - 20. All middle school and high school students are welcome! Cost is less than $125.00 per person. See Mary Ellen for more details. Pray for snow.
March 25 - 26 - Dayspring Missions Conference. Speak with missionaries, hear updates from those on the field. Bea a part of God's call to fulfill the Great Commission
WIC - will meet Monday February 13 at the home of Debbie Harbin. Caroline Callahan will provide refreshments.