When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 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. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. 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. 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. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God.” Romans 5:6-11 (NLT)

Friends of God. Think about that – that is no small deal. That’s remarkable if you think about it. Some thinking that I was exposed to around the narrative of the cross growing up, went something like this: God is all powerful, and the fall of man evoked wrathful response from Him. The Old Testament, then, is mostly about an angry God. Because we could not save ourselves, God sent Jesus (almost reluctantly) to die for us. So, the Gospel is often preached as: receive the Lord or you’re going to Hell.

The line, “For since our friendship with God was restored…” helped me to realize that wrath is not the main pre-disposition of God’s heart, but love is. He was determined (and still is) that our sin would not separate us from Him. Our friendship has been restored and now we can rejoice in our ‘wonderful new relationship.’ God, in Christ, is all about making all things new. Bringing healing, restoration, and redemption.

In my song I wrote:

Oh, friend of mine
Once bruised, bleeding, and torn
Let me not forget why you hung there

So, in light of the cross being about restored relationship, I feel like the Gospel can be preached better as:

Come home. You’ve been wandering in lifeless, broken ways, and often give yourself to things that are not good. It’s time, through Christ and His sacrifice to experience new life in a restored relationship with the one who created you and breathed life into you. Come find healing. Come find restoration. And come experience an awakened experience of a loving relationship with the Creator of all things. Experience a life that is eternal. Because of Jesus. Because of the cross.


How have you experienced friendship with God? How has that impacted your life and relationships? What do you like most about that friendship?