Reconciling Love | Sunday School Lesson Summary for Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-39

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“Reconciling Love”

Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-39

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Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited. As always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well.  Blessings!)

Lesson Text: Romans 5:6-11; 8:31-39

5:6) “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

5:7) For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

5:9) Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

5:10) For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

5:11) And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

8:31) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?

8:32) He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

8:33) Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

8:34) Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

8:35) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

8:36) As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

8:37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

8:38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

8:39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Introduction:

Love is God’s great motivation for everything.  From the calling of everything into existence to His moving through history, in all, He has operated under the sphere of love.

There is a popular quote that you may have heard before touting, “Love makes people do strange things.”  While love, or man’s idea of love, may have tripped people up and caused confusion over what love really is or how to respond to it, God never had any misgivings.  Anything and everything He did for love was an on purpose act with a direct point of what He wanted to accomplish; even the death of Christ on the cross.

Love doesn’t make God do strange things.  God’s love does impossible things that only His perfect heart can do.  Although some may not understand the act of sacrificing Your perfect Son for the most unworthy of people and may view it through eyes of limited, human knowledge thinking it strange, God sees it as the only way out for mankind to have a renewed relationship with Him.  God knows that in order for any man, woman, or child to be redeemed they need to be reconciled back to Him.  Only what Jesus did through the cross can do this.  Only God’s love for us put Him there to hang on Calvary’s tree.

Lesson Summary:

Romans 5 open, declaring exactly what Christ’s sacrifice on the cross accomplished for the sin-sick soul.  He justified us and made us right with the Father (Romans 5:1).  None of this was based on our own efforts or human goodness.  Our new position in Christ was and is solely based on the sacrificial love of Christ that propelled Him through any hurt and pain He was personally feeling to think outside of Himself and see a world of humanity drowning in an ocean of wayward disobedience and rebellion leading them to a lost path of which there is no return unless their souls be saved.

He knew He was the way of salvation (John 14:6).  So, He willing paid the price that we might go free.  May I say this, Jesus Christ is the most unselfish person I know!

Because of what He did, we now have “access by faith into this grace” and we have a reason to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God,” (Romans 5:2).  With His blood, He bought the key that would give us an open door to our heavenly Father.  And, with everything we face, our end reward is hope (Romans 5:3-5).

Moving to the point where today’s lesson picks up we see, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly,” (Romans 5:6).  First, let’s hone in on our position at this point.  Using the word “we” the great Apostle Paul included himself in this category.  This is because there is not a person who is spiritually strong enough to think or say they are without sin other than Christ. The Bible clearly tells us, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way . . .” (Isaiah 53:6a).  We have all lived a life of rebellion and sin before Christ transformed us.  Even if our lives were not characterized by what some think is sinful behaviors, the very fact that we “born in iniquity” (Psalm 51:5) made us automatic candidates for needing the help of a Savior.  In other words, everybody starts out in the same position of spiritual weakness.

We were “without strength.”  The word “without” personifies a lack of something.  The something here is “strength.”  This word strength does not necessarily represent the physical attribute of flexing one’s muscles.  Rather, it really speaks to our human inability to follow and maintain our side of the relationship covenant between God and man.  Through the pull of fleshly desires and worldly influences, man has allowed himself to be drawn away from the closeness he could have enjoyed with God (think back to the tragedy of the Fall in the Garden of Eden).  It’s as if mankind had a case of the I-couldn’t-help-it.  Thus, we needed help.  Help not only from our fallen spiritual nature but help to find our way back to God; help to be reconciled.

That help was Jesus Christ.  “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.”  At the perfect point of history and time, God sent Jesus Christ into the world to be born and then die as the sacrificial Lamb of God.  He became our atonement for sin.  He became the healer of our souls.  He became the way back to the Father for the “ungodly,” which, as a reminder, is all of us who were without strength, meaning everybody.

Our lives were polar opposites of being characterized as a people of God.  We were tainted, unholy, and sinful.  Our lives were conditioned to follow the ways of the flesh.  We were corrupted with no hope of heaven, but then Jesus came along and laid down his life; He stood in the gap and offered up Himself for someone like you and me.  He did what we had no power to do: reconcile us back to the Father.

You see, the way we view this kind of love and the way God views it can’t be compared.  God didn’t wait for us to get our act together before He allowed Jesus to ascend that cross.  God didn’t stand by and watch as we try to fiddle through one failed good deed after another.  He took the proactive approach in sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins when we absolutely, unequivocally didn’t deserve it for any reason whatsoever.

It is a rare thing (“scarcely”) that one will give up his life for someone considered to be “righteous.”   But Christ gave up everything for everybody.  Their background or level of sin didn’t decide who was worthy or not to receive His atoning help.  He went to the cross ready to save anyone and everyone who would believe on Him!  People may pick and choose who is “good” enough to receive such a gift of giving up of one’s life.  But, God views this differently.

“God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Once again, we see that His reconciling love didn’t wait for us to clean ourselves up in order to be accepted by Him.  That is a sheer impossibility anyway.  So, even when we were tore up from the floor up . . .  Even when our lives contradicted everything He wanted for us . . .  Even when we were going nowhere fast . . .  Even when we were enjoying living lives ensconced by the dark . . .  God stepped in with His plan of salvation and “commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

While we were yet in our mess – God loved us so much to send His Son to the cross for us. That’s powerful, reconciling love! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life,” (John 3:16; emphasis mine).

The world may question the impact of love, but for God love means everything and compels Him to give everything.  We could’ve never been good enough to receive it.  But, He took the first step toward us and gave all He had to show us how much He loves us even in our degraded position of being “sinners.”

Before Christ stepped in our case was totally lost.  Remember, it was in this desperate, sinful state of ours that He died for us.  If He went to those lengths to prove His love when we were so undeserving, what of our relationship with Him now?

His love is still strongly in operation.  “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”  Our “now” relationship with Him is even better and far-reaching than previously.  Being receivers of God’s “wrath” was our pre-Christ position.  Although He died for us in that state, we had to respond personally to the calling of His gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  Once accepted, Christ not only saved us from our sins but He delivered us from the wrath of God.  There is a penalty for those who choose to live outside of Christ.  But for us who have been “justified by his blood” we have been made right in the eyes of God and no longer are predisposed to His wrath.  His blood brought justification and our justification brought in His reconciliation.

“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” 

Take a closer look at that word “enemies” because that’s what we used to be.  As hard as it may seem to grasp, if we were or are living outside of Christ we were at enmity with God.  But, Christ’s death restored us (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).  Now, we are living life anew through His “life.”  The Bible tells us, “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life,” (1 John 5:12).

Because of that, we have “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  We can rejoice because our sin-sick souls have been cured and made whole by the blood of Jesus Christ.  Our “atonement” came through Him.  Our reconciliation with the Father has been healed by His sacrifice.  Now, we have a reason for real joy!  Our relationship with God is no longer standoffish.  Rather, now we can draw near with faith because the obstacles that stood in the way of a wholesome union have been taken care off through the cross.  We are now in right alignment with Him.  Our lives are restored to work in the order which He designed.  Sin has been thrust through as the enemy that it is and harmony between us and the Father sings with us the song of salvation.

We are saved!  Cloud nine may be an expression of happiness according to the standards of the world.  But, we know what it is to truly rejoice because our future and life eternal in the presence of the Father gives us something beyond a metaphor – it gives us real joy in knowing this shall happen.  We are secured in Him and we have something better on the horizon.  We have the hope of heaven which cannot be extinguished by the world!

Therefore, “If God be for us, who can be against us?”  Our position in Christ emphatically declares that all past sins have been dealt with.  In fact, Romans 8 opens up with our declaration of this secured hope, stating, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,” (8:1; emphasis mine).  Everything that was wrong; everything that would and could be judged against us has been nailed to the cross under grace.

We have been reconciled!  We are secured in the Father’s love!

When God gave His Son, He gave the world the best He had to offer.  Think about that for a moment.  The best was given for the worst of people (which is every single one of us).  Who does that?  Who stretches beyond themselves that much to be concerned about others?

God does.

His love compels Him to.  His love can’t rest until people everywhere at least are given the opportunity to get right; be given the opportunity to walk through the doors of faith in His Son Jesus Christ.  That’s the gist of the whole of the gospel message.  He came with the sole purpose to seek and save them that were lost (Luke 19:10).

Thus, God has proven He is for us.  God is our strong defense.  He stays the hand of the enemy’s power.  God is like a mighty wall that stands between all opposition and us.  Whatever tries to get to us, has to go through Him.  No wonder David penned, “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my hightower,” (Psalms 18:2).

With that we are told, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  God already performed the hardest thing ever: allowing His innocent Son to die for us not-so-innocent people.  If He did that, what could possibly prevent Him from being our defense now?  What would get in the way of our total reconciliation with Him?

The answer is nothing.

Through Jesus Christ, God changed our eternal course forever.  Where we were headed and what we were previously no longer exists.  We are new creatures in a new relationship with the Father because He “delivered him up for us all.”

What the truth of that tells us, that if He made such a drastic move for the sake of His love toward us as to give up His most precious gift, “how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”  If God already gave His best, how will He fail in giving the rest?

He can’t.

He won’t.

The Bible says, “No good thing will he without from them that walk uprightly,” (Psalms 84:11).  Anything we NEED (not our wants) for our Christian journey, God is our unfailing provider.  God is for His people – Always!  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4:19).

With such a secured standing in our new reconciled positions, our lesson asks, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect?  It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth?  It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

God stands as judge in the spiritual courtroom of this life and in the time to come.  But here’s the blessed thing, He is also our defense lawyer against the prosecutors of our soul.

When God declared, as verse 31 states, that He is for us, He really means it.  That means whatever we are dealing with He has our back, even against those who seek to “lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect.”

God deals with our spiritual accusers who testify against us and say that we’re not good enough.  God shuts the mouth of the enemies that declare shame on us.

But then, God looks at His child who has been made righteous by the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, and He grants pardon.  “It is God that justifieth.”  No man.  No enemies.  No spiritual accusers have any type of spiritual destiny, up or down, to place anybody in.  Nor can they coerce or change God’s mind about the salvation of the believers found in Him.

And we know that Christ is on our side as well.  He is the one that “died” specifically for the reason to redeem us from our sins.  Speaking of His own life and death situation, He says, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself,” (John 10:18).  He did that for our benefit; that we would have a chance to be free from the chains of sin and spiritual bondage.  So that we can be reconciled!

Here’s another beautiful point in this whole story, with us on His mind He didn’t stay in the grave.  Rather, He is “risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us,” (see also Acts 7:55-56).

Though in heaven, Jesus is still working and pleading on our behalf.  He is our “advocate with the Father,” (1 John 2:1).  Make no bones about it – Jesus Christ is the biggest supporter and champion of your soul!

He did it for us!  He’s in it with us!  We are never fighting this battle alone.  He’s not condemning us (see Romans 8:1).  He’s pleading for us!  “It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.”

His love for us goes beyond anything we can fathom.  Every believer is secured and forever held in the grip of His grace.  Who is big and bad enough or what trial is strong enough to pry us out of His hands of love?

NONE!  Not one “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword” can “separate us from the love of Christ.”  Afflictions are real and they are felt, deeply so at times.  But, they have no bearing on your solid relationship with Him.  When they start lying to you and saying you have nothing left and nobody is there for you – remember, by His love He’s holding on to His own.  By His love, He has reconciled you.   And, by His love, He is not letting you go!

That puts us in a victorious stance.  Perhaps that why Paul said, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”  The afflictions Christians deal with may appear to the world as if they are “sheep” being led away for the “slaughter.”  Au contraire.  God’s people are the spiritual victors in this fight!  We have already won not based on our merit, strength, or abilities in this fight.  We have won because Jesus won!  “Be of good cheer;” Jesus said, “I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33). Everything in this world that could possibly try to stop you, Jesus said it’s under foot and you are now a reconciled spiritual winner!  “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ . . .” (2 Corinthians 2:14).

And, it was all because He “loved us.”  Everything points back to that core theme.  God loves us!  We cannot do it justice in our frail attempts to shine light on those words, but He loves us so much that He has orchestrated history in this fashion; He has moved time and events as pieces on a chess board to bring about Jesus Christ at the right time and the right place with the right mission: to save and restore the broken relationship between man and God back together again.  Now, we who are in Christ can declare, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” (Galatians 2:20; emphasis mine).

With that assurance we can readily proclaim our new, spiritual position with the Apostle Paul and say, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Paul, along with every blood bought believer, can rest in the completed work of Christ on the cross.  We can be totally convinced that there is nothing (no-thing) that can interfere with the reconciliation we have found through Him.  “And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation,” (2 Corinthians 5:18; hinted at earlier in this lesson).

God’s love holds us in such a way that we are relentlessly guarded.  Daily we face seen and unseen dangers, people, and powers that seek to do us harm.  While in the physical we may feel that tug-of-war of the fight we are in, but God says I got you.  Battles can get very real and very scary at times but they will never tear you from His love.  He is relentlessly in love with you and it is His love that has reconciled you.

Conclusion:

Everything we need to have a whole and blessed relationship with the Father is found in the cross of Christ.  Through His sacrificial love, we have been reconciled.

Standard Print PDF: Reconciling Love Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print

Large Print PDF: Reconciling Love Sunday School Lesson Summary Large Print 

Related Activities:

Word Search: Reconciling Love Word Search  Answers: Reconciling Love Word Search Answers

Crossword: Reconciling Love Crossword  Answers: Reconciling Love Crossword Answers

Word Scramble: Reconciling Love Word Scramble  Answers: Reconciling Love Word Scramble Answers

Memory Verse Romans 8:38-39: Reconciling Love Memory Verse

Memory Verse: Romans 8 31 Memory Verse Coloring Page

 

Mobile Craft: Cut out and tape this topper to a clothes hanger or dowel rod: Romans 8 31 Mobile Topper (I suggest using cardstock for this).  Next, using the same memory verse pdf from above (Romans 8 31 Memory Verse Coloring Page), I simply cut out each picture and glued them onto cut out rectangle shaped (or any shape you like) construction paper.  I punched a hole in each and strung them through and tie or tape into place.  This is an easy craft project that’s very affordable to throw together.  I hope you enjoy!

“2 Corinthians 5:19 Coloring Sheet for Older Students”  (Not in today’s lesson but speaks of reconciliation.  “For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself.” This can be used to as is or to make a poster.  Or, you can try using paints or chalk for a different coloring effect.  You’re only limited by your imagination.  Enjoy!)

“Jesus Died for Our Sins” (A wonderful activity but it does have quite a few steps to it.  If you have the time and patience this would be an original idea to incorporate into this week’s lesson.  Enjoy!)

“Romans Bible Book Coloring Page”

“Jesus is the Answer”

“Romans 5:8 Bible Lesson for Kids” (Into the Bible lesson portion, there is a wonderful activity using construction paper hearts that really help younger children in understanding this lesson.  Enjoy!)

“I Am an Overcomer!” (Love this to go with the Romans 8 portion of this lesson.  Great ideas, particulary along the line of games.  Enjoy!)

“Romans 8:38-39 for Kids” (Okay!  Be prepared.  There are some messy, but really cool and awesome ideas for expressing God’s love for us on this site.  I really hope you enjoy this!)

“Christian Object Lesson with Cake – Romans 8:28”

“Bible Verse Games for Romans 8:28 for Preschoolers”

“Trust God When Things Look Bad”

“God Turns Us Inside Out” (Popcorn object lesson)

“I Am an Overcomer”

“Romans 8:38-39 Scripture Video”

 

Photo Credit: Pixabay

 

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