But God commendeth his love towards us

“But God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us.”—Romans v. 8.
It is a very blessed heightening of divine mercies, when we behold them
as not only bestowed upon those that deserved them not, but upon those
that deserved the reverse of them. It is not enough, in our account of
God’s love, to say that God was gracious when we had done nothing to
merit his favour, but that God was gracious when we had done every thing
to merit his displeasure. This is among the sweet features of the
gospel. And the reason is very plain. God himself is an infinite Being,
and therefore his love must be an infinite love. All the properties of
it are infinite; it must be exercised to suit an infinite power; it must
be such as corresponds to infinite wisdom; and its effects must be such
as shall be suited to infinite goodness. Hence, therefore, in the
display of it, such manifestations must be given as shall set forth,
that the love of God, as an infinite Being, totally differs from the
love of man, who is but a finite creature. Our love is bounded, like
ourselves, by circumstances of a finite, limited, perishing, dying
nature, such as ourselves, and all the creatures around us partake of.
But in the love of God, there are “breadths and lengths, and depths and
heights, passing knowledge!” Now God commendeth his love towards us by
those properties; that is, he bids us take notice of it by those special
marks and characters. And when the Lord surpriseth the souls of his
people by the same astonishing instance of his grace, in those acts of
goodness, he speaks as in these solemn words: “If it be marvellous in
the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be
marvellous in mine eyes, saith the Lord of Hosts?” Zech. viii. 6. How
sweetly is this shewn to us in the gift of his dear Son Jesus Christ!
When’ was Christ given? When we were enemies. On what account was he
given? Purely on account of God’s love. And to whom was he given? Not to
his friends; not to those who had never offended him; not to those who,
by their affection, or by their services, could make some return of
acknowledgment for such blessings; but to poor, helpless, barren,
unprofitable sinners. So that the love of God in Christ is particularly
recommended, sent home, pressed upon our hearts, by this rich display of
it. To have blessed us, or to have loved us, if we had never offended
God, would have been a stream too shallow, too trifling, to shew forth
divine love. No! “God commendeth his love towards us, in that while we
were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Pause, my soul! mark these
properties, admire divine, goodness, and learn how to put a proper value
upon the unparalleled love of God in Jesus Christ. So God commended his
love towards us!
Robert Hawker

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