Every year when I was a child, my parents would take me, my brother, and my sister to the Tulsa State Fair. We’d watch the barrel racing and the calf roping and never ride the rides because they cost money. But our favorite part was walking through the booths selling things and watching all the demonstrations.
I was recently reading Romans 5:8 where it says that “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” At the Tulsa State Fair, there was this super-absorbent chamois that they wanted you to buy. It was advertised to clean up any mess, but in order to demonstrate the chamois, they would pour a can of Coke onto a square of carpet, and then they would use the chamois to soak up the pop. Lo and behold, the carpet would be just as white as it was before.
I believe that in order for God to demonstrate the cleanup power of his love, He had to demonstrate the filthiness of our sin. Romans 11:32 says “God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.” If we were never locked up under our sin, if we never saw how dead in sin we really were, then we would walk right past the demonstration of God’s love because our carpets don’t need cleaning. Before my salvation, God showed me the depravity of my sin, doused me in the consequences of that sin, and left me dripping. At my salvation, everything changed. Every single thing. But not God. He simply moved on to phase two of the demonstration of His love.