But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The “but” here to open this verse is to contrast what God is doing as opposed to the example given in verse 7. Verse 7 says even for a righteous man, a man who observes God’s laws and human laws; even a man who is an all-around good guy, it is rare that someone would give his life for him and for a plain ole’ Joe, an all ‘round good guy it is virtually unheard of. “But God.” God demonstrated, God took an action which demonstrated His love and, in taking an action sets the example that love is not a feeling, it’s something that you do. A deeper study into this word for demonstrates, (synistáō) it is a union or bringing together, so God, by demonstrating, brings His love and us together. God created a union between us by His love. God brought His love and us together by sending Christ, and Christ, who is God in the flesh continued to demonstrate His love by bringing His love and us together on the cross.
The “us” is described as the state of who we were before. God combined us with His love while we were still sinners. The us in the text are sinners, the sinners are us, that is, you and me. We were still sinners, I have researched nearly every translation available, including the original Greek and have found nothing to indicate that we continued to be sinners after receiving God’s love. We were sinners. After receiving God’s love, we are sinners no more in the eyes of the Father. How is it possible that we, living in the flesh are no longer sinners in the eyes of God? God, who is not limited by time, sees our future position in heaven as the present state, even though we currently struggle with sin day by day. God already sees us there because of our position in Christ, because “Christ died for us.”
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
What exactly were we before Christ? What is this word sin and what is a sinner? Webster’s definition is short; 1: a person who sins. 2: a reprobate, a scamp. Being a sinner in scripture describes the fallen condition of men; it is applicable to all men, it is being depraved, detestable, it is falling short of what God approves, it is missing the mark. Sin is failing to do what is right. Being a sinner not only means offending God but offending and causing harm to others. Being a sinner brings with it a sentence of death. If we were still sinners, we would face the judgment that belongs to sinners; for the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23. So God showing his great love, sent Jesus to die for the reprobate, the depraved, the detestable, fallen man, the worst that humanity has to offer. We sinned; he gave. Praise God for His infinite mercy on us.
So how can we, who have been forgiven so much, fail to forgive people who have wronged us or sinned against us personally? You don’t know what they’ve done to me. I’m tired of being the bigger person, I don’t care what they think, it’s their problem not mine. I have heard too many excuses to justify unforgiveness, like a bucket with holes in it, none of them hold water. God has given us the perfect example of forgiveness, easy to find but hard to follow. We are never more like Jesus than when we express unconditional love. Unconditional love enables a mom and dad to forgive the murderer of their son. Unconditional love enables a husband or wife to forgive the cheating spouse. Unconditional love forgives a brother or sister who has offended. Unconditional love motivates the believer to serve the ungrateful. Unconditional love shares the good news, despite ridicule and peril. Unconditional love understands that all men are sinners needing mercy. Can you imagine a world where everyone exercised unconditional love? 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ. If this is true, we should forgive as Christ forgives. Aren’t you glad God doesn’t hold us to the same standard?
Unconditional love also motivates us to give meat to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, take in strangers, clothe the naked visit the sick and those in prison to do good to all men that some may be won by our conversation and our good deeds.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season, we shall reap if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.