Read Romans 5:6-10
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 9 And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. 10 For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. (NLT)
Let’s define grace as ‘kindness to those who don’t deserve it’. When I love my loveable grandchildren, when I help out a good friend, I am not showing grace, though I am showing kindness. We encounter grace when a person is undeserving of that kindness. When I choose to forgive someone who hurt me or do good to someone whose conduct is reprehensible, I am showing grace. I recognise the person’s intrinsic human worth and also am aware that he or she has not done anything to deserve the good deed.
As Paul indicates in our text, we are prime candidates for God’s grace. But to be undeserving is not to be unworthy. There is a difference. No Christian can rightly describe themselves as unworthy in the sense of being without value. God made us, Jesus died for us, the Spirit of God lives in us. All this gives us great value and worth. But our wrongdoings mean we are out of relationship with God.
God has acted to fix this problem by having Jesus bear the guilt of that wrongdoing. Jesus didn’t die for worthless pieces of human rubbish. He died for people who were of great value to him and yet who didn’t deserve such a thing to happen to them.
Healthy relationship with God involves us facing both our recognition of our not-deserving kindness and our recognition that God thinks enough of us to display that kindness.