“Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Romans 5:9-11
In the last part of our study we saw that our justification as Christians includes being saved from God’s wrath through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
I cannot emphasize that point strongly enough. God’s wrath is real and it is coming. That is a primary point of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Romans 1:18
“But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.” Romans 2:5-11
We come now to one of the greatest truths in the Bible.
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
ει γαρ εχθροι οντες κατηλλαγημεν τω θεω δια του θανατου του υιου αυτου πολλω μαλλον καταλλαγεντες σωθησομεθα εν τη ζωη αυτου
ει γαρ εχθροι οντες (ei gar echthroi ontes) “if for enemies being” .. echthroi means “hated, hostile, an enemy” .. that is our position before God based upon our sin nature .. we are enemies of God ..
I think this is a very difficult truth for people in our culture to grasp today. We see ourselves as basically good, deserving love and approval, where everyone is a winner. We want to be liked by everyone. We don’t want conflict with others. We present a positive face on social media so that people looking in will think everything is great in our world. The idea that any of us could be ‘enemies of God’ is foreign to our cultural beliefs. No way that could be true.
Our cultural view of who we are and what we deserve plays a big role in keeping people from comprehending the spiritual and physical danger they face every day. If we think we’re okay as we are and deserving of good things, why would be want anything to change? Why would we want to agree with God that we are His enemies and in need of reconciliation? Good question.
Facing the truth about who we are (enemies of God) and what we must do to be reconciled to God (repent) is the beginning of a bright new day for each of us as we are reconciled to God. How does that happen? It begins by admitting that we are God’s enemies, dead in trespasses and sins (read Ephesians 2:1-3) and trusting Him for salvation (read Ephesians 2:4-10).
κατηλλαγημεν τω θεω δια του θανατου του υιου αυτου (katēllagēmen tō theō dia tou thanatou tou huiou autou) “we were reconciled to God through the death of the Son of Him” .. katēllagēmen means “decisively change, exchanged, reconciled” .. through the death of God’s Son .. the verb is aorist indicative passive .. a certain past event done to or for us .. the death of Christ reconciled us to God .. God made peace with us through the death of His Son ..
Praise be to God! Because of Jesus’ death on the Cross we can exchange our position with God from enemy to that of a reconciled child. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. Extraordinary!
The Apostle Paul made a similar point earlier in a letter to the Christians in Corinth.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Paul made the point again later in a letter to the Christians in Colossae.
“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight.” Colossians 1:19-22
Reconciliation to God (peace with God) through the death of Jesus Christ is at the center of Christian soteriology. We are placed in a favorable position to be “saved” because of what Jesus did for us on the Cross.
πολλω μαλλον καταλλαγεντες σωθησομεθα εν τη ζωη αυτου (pollō mallon katallagentes sōthēsometha en tē zōē autou) “much more having been reconciled shall we be saved in the life of Him” .. sōthēsometha means “delivered out of danger, rescued, preserved, saved” .. zōē means “life, existence” .. we will be saved for eternity because Jesus lives!
Here we see Paul lifting high the impact of both the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ –
- death of Christ = reconciled to God
- resurrection of Christ = saved by His life
Notice the verb sōthēsometha .. future indicative passive .. we will be saved for certain in the future by someone or something other than ourself. Our salvation does not depend on what we do, but on the death of Jesus Christ. Our hope for eternal life does not depend on what we do, but on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:10 is one of the KEY verses of the New Testament. You could say it is the Gospel of God in a single verse –
- We were enemies of God
- We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son
- We shall be saved by His life
“And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.”
ου μονον δε αλλα και καυχωμενοι εν τω θεω δια του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου δι ου νυν την καταλλαγην ελαβομεν
ου μονον δε αλλα και καυχωμενοι εν τω θεω δια του κυριου ημων ιησου χριστου (ou monon de alla kai kauchomenoi en tō theō dia tou kuriou hēmōn Iēsou Christou) “not only so now but also we are rejoicing in God through the Lord of us Jesus Christ” .. kauchomenoi means “boasting, glorying, holding head high” .. Christians can hold their heads high and glory in the great work of God through our Lord Jesus Christ ..
δι ου νυν την καταλλαγην ελαβομεν (di ou nun tēn katallagēn elabomen) “through whom now the reconciliation we have received” .. elabomen means “lay hold of, take, get, actively receive” .. the verb is aorist indicative active
We ‘rejoice’ in God through our Lord Jesus Christ! Joy is at the heart of our new relationship with God. We have been forgiven! We are reconciled with God. We are at peace with our Creator. There is no better place to be than at peace with God.
Other Commentaries on Romans 5:10-11
“We were reconciled to God; put into a capacity of reconciliation, God being by Christ’s death made reconcilable, and also actually reconciled, when we believe, through the merits of the death of Christ. We shall be saved by his life; i.e. by the resurrection to life. Salvation is ascribed to the resurrection and life of Christ, because he thereby doth perfect our salvation, he ever living to make intercession for us, Hebrews 12:25; and because by his resurrection and life we shall be raised to eternal life at that day.” Matthew Poole’s Commentary
“For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being now—”having now been” reconciled, we shall be saved by his life—that is “If that part of the Saviour’s work which cost Him His blood, and which had to be wrought for persons incapable of the least sympathy either with His love or His labors in their behalf—even our ‘justification,’ our ‘reconciliation’—is already completed; how much more will He do all that remains to be done, since He has it to do, not by death agonies any more, but in untroubled ‘life,’ and no longer for enemies, but for friends—from whom, at every stage of it, He receives the grateful response of redeemed and adoring souls?” To be “saved from wrath through Him,” denotes here the whole work of Christ towards believers, from the moment of justification, when the wrath of God is turned away from them, till the Judge on the great white throne shall discharge that wrath upon them that “obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ”; and that work may all be summed up in “keeping them from falling, and presenting them faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 24): thus are they “saved from wrath through Him.” Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
“And not only so. —Some such word as “reconciled must be supplied from the previous verse. “We shall be saved as the sequel of our reconciliation, but we are something more than reconciled. Ours is not merely a passive, but an active state. We exult or glory in God, who, through Christ, has given us this reconciliation.” Now.—In this present time, in our present condition. Reconciliation in the present is a foretaste of glory in the future.” Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
“Christ died for sinners; not only such as were useless, but such as were guilty and hateful; such that their everlasting destruction would be to the glory of God’s justice. Christ died to save us, not in our sins, but from our sins; and we were yet sinners when he died for us. Nay, the carnal mind is not only an enemy to God, but enmity itself, chap. 8:7; Col 1:21. But God designed to deliver from sin, and to work a great change. While the sinful state continues, God loathes the sinner, and the sinner loathes God, Zec 11:8. And that for such as these Christ should die, is a mystery; no other such an instance of love is known, so that it may well be the employment of eternity to adore and wonder at it. Again; what idea had the apostle when he supposed the case of some one dying for a righteous man? And yet he only put it as a thing that might be. Was it not the undergoing this suffering, that the person intended to be benefitted might be released therefrom? But from what are believers in Christ released by his death? Not from bodily death; for that they all do and must endure. The evil, from which the deliverance could be effected only in this astonishing manner, must be more dreadful than natural death. There is no evil, to which the argument can be applied, except that which the apostle actually affirms, sin, and wrath, the punishment of sin, determined by the unerring justice of God. And if, by Divine grace, they were thus brought to repent, and to believe in Christ, and thus were justified by the price of his bloodshedding, and by faith in that atonement, much more through Him who died for them and rose again, would they be kept from falling under the power of sin and Satan, or departing finally from him. The living Lord of all, will complete the purpose of his dying love, by saving all true believers to the uttermost. Having such a pledge of salvation in the love of God through Christ, the apostle declared that believers not only rejoiced in the hope of heaven, and even in their tribulations for Christ’s sake, but they gloried in God also, as their unchangeable Friend and all-sufficient Portion, through Christ only.” Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
“Through our Lord … – By the mediation of our Lord Jesus, who has revealed the true character of God, and by whom we have been reconciled to him. The atonement – Margin, or reconciliation. This is the only instance in which our translators have used the word “atonement” in the New Testament. The word frequently occurs in the Old, Exodus 29:33, Exodus 29:36-37; Exodus 30:10, Exodus 30:15-16, etc. As it is now used by us, it commonly means the ransom, or the sacrifice by means of which reconciliation is effected between God and man. But in this place it has a different sense. It means the reconciliation itself between God and man; not the means by which reconciliation is effected. It denotes not that. we have received a ransom, or an offering by which reconciliation might be effected; but that in fact we have become reconciled through him. This was the ancient meaning of the English word atonement – at one ment – being at one, or reconciled.” Barnes’ Notes on the Bible
Previous Romans Study eBooks
We will look at Romans 5:12-14 as we continue our study of the Gospel of God.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.