by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
"Christian" liberals for many generations have scoffed at the biblical doctrine that the death of Christ could serve as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sin of the whole world. Like all other religions, their form of religion assumes that each person is responsible for his own salvation, which must somehow be earned by his own good deeds and religious observances. Some have a very rigid code of ethics, some talk of mental attitudes that ascend to higher planes through meditation, some emphasize only love, others simply feel that the good must somehow outweigh the bad. All rely on human abilities to gain salvation.
Nevertheless, the Bible clearly teaches that "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23) and, as our text emphasizes, "Christ died for us." This pungent phrase, "for us," appears repeatedly in the New Testament. Listen to this refrain:
"|God| spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all" (Romans 8:32). "For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7). "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us" (Galatians 3:13). "Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2). "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity" (Titus 2:14). "Christ also suffered for us" (1 Peter 2:21). "Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16).
Hereby we perceive His great love for us! He was delivered up for us, sacrificed for us, made a curse for us; He gave Himself for us, suffered for us, and laid down His life for us. We were helpless, lost in sin, altogether unable to pay for our sins, but "Christ died for our sins" (1 Corinthians 15:3), and we are saved! HMM