But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The Greek language is rich in words for love. There is the word storgē, which referred to affection, particularly within the family. There is philia, from which we get “philharmonic” and “philanthropy”. It refers to a love between friends. A third word is erōs, which has given us “erotic,” and which referred to sexual love. These words/concerns definitely come from a rich linguistic heritage. Yet, none of these common Greek words is able to express God’s love for men. Now, the final word for love that captures the biblical concept of love is agape. It refers to a love of sacrifice and that of undeserved. In God’s context, it signifies the holy, gracious, sovereign, everlasting, and giving love of God.
If you do not yet fully appreciate (or perhaps have not even begun to appreciate) the greatness of the love God has for you, the explanation is probably that you have never really thought of yourself as God saw you in your fallen state.
Perhaps you have never thought of yourself as someone who was utterly without strength or powerless before God saved you. Perhaps you have never considered yourself to have been ungodly. Nor a sinner! Nor God’s enemy! But that is what you were—and still are if you have never come to Christ in order to be justified (that is in declaring you right before Him). It is only if you can recognize the truth of these descriptions that you can begin to appreciate the love God holds out to you through the death of his Son.
If you have never responded to this great overture of the divine love, let me encourage you to do that, assuring you that there is no greater truth in all the universe. Can you think of anything greater? Of course, you can’t. How could anybody? God loves you, and that is why he sent his Son, Jesus, to die in your place. Christ did not die in foreseeing our goodness in the future, but it was while we were sinners, without any hope. Jesus died for you. Let those truly great thoughts move you to abandon your sin, love God in return, and live for Jesus.