Rom 5:6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Rom 5:7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—Rom 5:8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The passage above lays out God’s love as few others do. It states the two-fold aspect of his love and in so doing helps define what our love for each other should look like.
First of all in verse 6 we see that God loves in a way that gives and helps those who have nothing to offer him. When he saved us we had nothing to offer him and that includes any work or response that would aid in our salvation. “While we were still weak he died for us”. Our salvation is not a cooperation between God and sinners but such that glorifies his strong arm alone, 1Co 1:28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, 1Co 1:29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. These verses aren’t saying that there are some people who are strong enough to take care of themselves for there are none righteous, no not one; but God generally chooses the ones who are comparatively weak to grow his kingdom just to demonstrate to Satan and this world that there is absolutely nothing they can do to stop the Lord from establishing his kingdom. So God loves those who have nothing to offer him.
Then secondly he goes even further by loving those that are in rebellion to him. So they aren’t just helpless but engaged in warfare against him and he saves them anyway! In verse 6 they are described as ungodly, so they are living lives that dishonor the Lord and they do not live in gratitude for what he has done for them but instead live as if life is just about them and their pleasure. So verse 8 says that when God died for us we were sinners; we had transgressed his law and stood as condemned criminals and he paid for our sins in his body on the tree. So God loves his enemies as well. To those who are both unable and unwilling to come to him, he goes to them. In both cases God alone is able to meet our need; he is both able and willing to save.
What an example to us of how to love one another. If we only love those who are attractive to us, that have something to offer us or if we only love those that like us and are nice to us, then we have not loved as we have been loved. Once we get hold of this our marriages will be better and our churches will be more enjoyable; when we start loving others, not for what they can do for you but what you can do for them all to the glory of God and in thanksgiving to him.