Jew and Gentile
Restored to Israel
Slaves to Sin
Slaves to God
Slaves Serving God
Life by Faith
Service by Faith
Modified from Irving
L. Jensen's excellent work "Jensen's
Survey of the NT"
(fulfilled condition = since) WHILE WE WERE ENEMIES
(have been = passive = God's initiates
and empowers) RECONCILED
TO GOD THROUGH
THE DEATH OF HIS SON: ei gar ecthroi ontes (PAPMPN) katellagemen (1PAPI)
to theo dia tou thanatou tou huiou
(Ro 8:7; 2Cor 5:18,19,21; Col 1:20,21) (Ro 5:11; 8:32; Lev 6:30; 2 Chr
29:24; Ezek 45:20; Da 9:24; Eph 2:16; Heb 2:17)
If you are ready
for an edifying, challenging and encouraging word on Romans 5:9-11, I
highly recommend listening to Dr John Piper's sermon
Much More Shall We Be Saved By His Life.
In this message (note
that you will miss much of the impact of the message by only reading
it...the transcription is not verbatim, nor can you sense the passion in
Piper's presentation) Piper gives a wonderful illustration you can use
to explain the truth of this passage to your children. Do you wrestle
with the issue of eternal security? This sermon may be just what the
Paul's point here
is that if when were enemies of God, Christ's death made it possible for
us to be reconciled to God, now that we are His children, Jesus can
"save" us day by day and eternally (some favor this latter
emphasis) through His power.
S Lewis Johnson
What, then, is the resulting sense of
the apostle's argument? Simply stated, it is this: If He has done the
most for us, giving us a crucified Savior for our reconciliation when we
were enemies, He surely will give us the least, save us through to the
end, now that we have become friends, reconciled to Him. Or, surely if
He has done the best for us, He will do the rest. As Sanday and Headlam
put it, "If the first intervention cost the death of His Son, the
second costs nothing, but follows naturally from the share which we have
in His life." They in their comment refer to the Pauline use of
en in the last phrase of the verse when they speak of "from the
share which we have in His life." The reference of the en may
be to Ro 8:34
and the intercession of the Son for us now. It is surely not a reference
to deliverance from the dominion of sin, as some Bible teachers have
thought. The salvation is defined by the statement of verse nine; "saved
from wrath." Paul is thinking of the deliverance of the believer
from the wrath and condemnation of sin, not from its dominion in the
believer's life, except insofar as the latter follows from the former.
The argument, thus, is the ne plus ultra of the doctrine of the
security of the believer. If, when we were enemies. He reconciled us to
Himself by giving His Son as a penal, substitutionary sacrifice for sin,
He will surely do that which is less, now that we are friends,
reconciled, deliver us from the wrath to come, and especially since we
now share in the life of our Representative through the union
consummated with Him. It is the kind of argument that cannot be refuted.
The logic is inescapable. The force of the argument for security
is made even stronger by the fact that it is one of the implicit kinds,
one not seen at first glance, such as the one drawn from John 10:28 29.
It is not so obvious, but just as powerful....As the little Irish
convert once said, "I often tremble on the Rock, but the Rock never
trembles under me."
(gar) is a subordinating conjunction expressing cause or
Introduces an explanation. Gar serves as a marker of cause or reason
between events. Learn to recognize
terms of conclusion
and ask why is it there "for" which
will help you understand the flow of a given passage.
(ei) is a first class conditional marker indicating that
what follows is a fulfilled condition. There is no doubt this is what we
were! In other words if really means "since we were enemies"
(because before Christ came into our life we were enemies) or “in view
of the fact that when we were enemies" or "if, enemies as we were".
Were (5607) (ontes
present tense participle masculine nominative singular of
= to be) means "being" and refers to one's existence but not
the beginning of that existence. The point is that our "existence" was
that we were continuously God's enemy. Some have used this verse to
teach that, yes, sinful men are indeed enemies of God, but He Himself is
not our enemy. Yes, we are opposing Him, but He is not opposing us. Yes,
we have enmity toward Him, but He has no enmity toward us. The
fallaciously reason that Ro 5:10 flatly states that we were God's
enemies, but does not state that God was our enemy. They say that after
all God is a God of love not anger. How could a God of love be angry?
But they reason incorrectly, for just looking at Romans we see that God
clearly is a God of wrath Who continually reveals His wrath "from
heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men" (Ro
and has prepared "the day of wrath and revelation of (His)
righteous judgment" (Ro 2:5-note)
for "those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but
obey unrighteousness" (Ro 2:8-note).
Paul gives a
picture of this enemy mindset in Romans 8 writing that...
the mind set on (the tendency or
inclination of the mind, its bent) the flesh (flesh
-- the evil disposition
opposed to God, unable to please Him)
is hostile (echthra = enmity, hatred) toward God; for it does not
(Greek = ouch = absolutely does not)
= as a way of life, as their habitual practice)
itself to the law of God, for it is not (Greek = ouch =
absolutely does not) even able (unregenerate men, unbelievers, do
not have either the inclination nor the power to submit their rebellious
will to God - the flesh is dead toward God - note the tense again is
present which pictures this as their continual state - they don't have
the power because they don't have the Spirit Who alone can give the
power to submit - cf Php 2:13-note) to do so (Ro
8:7-note) (Comment: There are
some commentators who teach this verse is referring to believers who are
simply living according to the flesh but I think careful analysis of the
tenses of the verbs and the Greek negative particles used [absolute, not
relative] strongly favor that Paul is describing an unsaved person.)
(echthros from échthos = hatred, enmity; noun = echthra
= enmity, hostility) is an adjective which pertains to manifesting
hostility or being at enmity with another, where enmity is a deep seated
animosity or hatred which may be open or concealed or a "deep-rooted
In the active sense
echthros means to be
hateful, hostile toward, at enmity with or adversary of someone. In the
passive sense echthros pertains to being subjected to hostility, to be
hated or to be regarded as an enemy.
one who has the extreme negative attitude that is the opposite of love
and friendship. An enemy is one that is antagonistic to another; especially
seeking to injure, overthrow, or confound the opponent. Scripture often
uses echthros as a noun describing "the adversary",
Satan! Like father like son!
commenting on this verse notes that...
Enemies is a strong term; sin had put
us completely in the wrong with God (in Ro 11:28-note this term is opposed to
“beloved”). An enemy is not a person who comes a little bit short of
being a friend; it means someone in the opposite camp. Some see the
meaning here as man’s hostility to God, but the reference to wrath
(Ro 5:9) surely shows that God’s hostility to evil is in view. The wrath
and the enmity go together. That sinners are God’s enemies is stated a
number of times in the New Testament (Ro 11:28-note;
Jas 4:4; cf. Ep 2:15, 16-note).
L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Is "enemies" used in an active
sense to mean those who have enmity toward God (cf. Ro 8:7-note)
or in the passive sense, meaning those who are reckoned as
enemies by God? Several reasons dictate that the latter is the intended
force of the word.
First, that the word is
capable of conveying this meaning is evident from Ro 11:28-note, where the
people of Israel are spoken of as enemies in the reckoning of God and
yet loved by him, involving the same combination as in the passage we
are considering. The enmity in 11:28 is not temperamental but judicial.
Second, the mention of "God's
wrath" in Ro 5:9 points to the conclusion that the echthroi are the
objects of the wrath.
Third, the tenor of the
argument leads one to the same conclusion. Paul reasons from the greater
to the lesser. If God loved us when we were enemies, now that he has
made provision for us at infinite cost, much more will he go on to see
us through to the final goal of our salvation. But if the sense is that
God loved us and saved us when we were enemies in our attitude toward
him, the much more loses its point. "He is not arguing that if
we have begun to love God we may reckon on His doing so and so for us,
but because He has done so much, we may expect Him to do more"
(Archibald McCaig in ISBE, 1930, vol. IV, p. 2537a).
Fourth, Paul not only states
that we have been reconciled (Ro 5:10) but that we have received
the reconciliation (Ro 5:11). He avoids saying that we have done
anything to effect the reconciliation. God provided it through the death
of his Son. The matter is made even clearer, if anything, in the
companion statement that God has reconciled us "to Himself" (2Co 5:18).
The appropriate response of the saved community is exultation (cf. Ro 5:2, 3) (Gaebelein,
F, Editor: Expositor's Bible Commentary 6-Volume New Testament.
The the state of sin was that in
which we were enemies (echthroi) and the whole connection of
ideas in the passage requires us to give enemies (echthroi) the
passive meaning which it undoubtedly has in Ro 11:28-note,
where it is opposed to beloved (agapetoi). We were in a real
sense objects of the Divine hostility. As sinners, we lay under the
condemnation of God, and His wrath hung over us. This was the situation
which had to be faced: Was there love in God equal to it? Yes, when we
were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son. (Nicoll,
W Robertson, Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5 Volumes. Out of
print. Search Google)
While mísos denotes the
disposition of hostility and pólemos war, echthros means
“hostility” itself... For the rabbis opponents include idolaters,
apostate proselytes, renegades, and wicked Israelites. Unjustifiable
hatred is forbidden but there is a legitimate hatred of foes in the OT
sense as those who disrupt the covenant relationship.
The term (echthros) is used in
the NT for personal enemies (Gal 4:16), but as in the OT and LXX, it is
used for the foes of Israel (Lk. 1:71), of Jerusalem (Lk 19:43), of the
NT witnesses (Rev 11:5), and of believers within their own families (Mt.
10:36). echthrós refers, too, to hostility to God and Christ (Lk.
19:27; Phil. 3:18; Acts 13:10, and cf. the quoting of Ps 110:1 in Mk
12:36; Acts 2:34 35; 1Cor 15:25; Heb. 1:13; Paul in 1Cor 15:25 refers
to all the forces that are hostile to God, including death). The
reference of Mt. 5:43-44 is to love for the enemies of God and his
people (in contradistinction to the older hatred), and the same view may
be reflected in 2Th. 3:15.
By nature we are all God’s enemies
(Ro 5:10; 11:28; Col. 1:21; Jas 4:4). The point is that we hate God
(active), although in Ro 11:28 Jews are both hated (passive) because of
the gospel and loved on account of the fathers. The echthrós is the
devil in the parable of Mt. 13:24 25 26 and Lk. 10:19; the devil is the
absolute enemy both of us and of God and his kingdom. (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
used 32 times in the NASB (Study the NT passages - What are the
outcomes for God's enemies - one good, the other bad? Who is the
ultimate enemy of God? How are believers to respond to enemies?)
"You have heard that it was said,
'You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.'
"But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who
persecute you (How is this possible? Naturally? Supernaturally? What is
the clear implication of Jesus' command
[see Gal 5:22-note]?)
Matthew 10:36 and a man's (who
believes in Messiah) enemies will be the members of his
Matthew 13:25 (Parable) "But
while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also
among the wheat, and went away...28 "And he said to them, 'An
enemy has done this!' And the slaves said to him, 'Do you want us,
then, to go and gather them up?'...39 and the enemy who
sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the
reapers are angels.
Matthew 22:44 'The Lord said
to my LORD, "Sit at My right hand, Until I put Thine enemies
beneath Thy feet "'?
Mark 12:36 "David himself said
in the Holy Spirit, 'The Lord said to my LORD, "Sit at My right hand,
Until I put Thine enemies beneath Thy feet.'"
Luke 1:71 Salvation from our
(Israel's) enemies (cp, "Anti-Semitism"), and from the hand of
all who hate us...74 To grant us that we (Jews who repent and
believe in Messiah), being delivered (rescued by the Messiah) from the
hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear
Luke 6:27 "But I say to you
who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you...35
"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing
in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the
Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
Luke 10:19 "Behold, I (Jesus)
have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over
all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall injure you.
Luke 19:27 "(Jesus speaking)
But these enemies of Mine, who did not want me to reign over
them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."...
Luke 19:43 "For the days shall
come upon you when your (Israel's) enemies will throw up a bank
before you, and surround you, and hem you in on every side (This
prophecy was fulfilled by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman
General Titus in 70AD)
Luke 20:43 Until I make Thine
enemies a footstool for Thy feet."'
Acts 2:35 Until I make Thine
enemies a footstool for Thy feet."'
Acts 13:10 and said, "You who
are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy
(like father, like son) of all righteousness, will you not cease to make
crooked the straight ways of the Lord?
Romans 5:10 (note)
For if while 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.
Romans 11:28 (note)
From the standpoint of the gospel they (unbelieving Israel) are
enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of God's choice they
are beloved for the sake of the fathers;
Romans 12:20 (note)
"But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty,
give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals upon his
1 Corinthians 15:25 For He
(Messiah) must reign until (at the end of the
He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy
that will be abolished is death.
Galatians 4:16 Have I
therefore become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Philippians 3:18 (note)
For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping,
that they are enemies of the cross of Christ,
Colossians 1:21 (note) And
although you were formerly alienated and hostile (echthros) in
mind, engaged in evil deeds,
2 Thessalonians 3:15 And yet
do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.
Hebrews 1:13 (note)
But to which of the angels has He ever said, "Sit at My right hand,
Until I make Thine enemies A footstool for Thy feet "?
Hebrews 10:13 (note)
waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a
footstool for His feet.
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do
you not know that friendship with the world is hostility (echthra = noun
= hatred, inner disposition and external opposition) toward God?
Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an
enemy (echthros = adjective) of God.
Revelation 11:5 (note)
And if anyone desires to harm them (God's two witnesses during the first
Daniel's Seventieth Week),
fire proceeds out of their mouth and devours their enemies; and
if anyone would desire to harm them, in this manner he must be killed.
Revelation 11:12 (note)
And they heard a loud voice from heaven saying to them, "Come up here."
And they (the two witnesses killed in Jerusalem at the end of the first
3.5 years of the 7 year "Tribulation") went up into heaven in the cloud,
and their enemies beheld them.
used 329 times in
where it describes personal enemies, as well as national enemies (Josh.
7:8). Basic to the usage is that Gentiles do not alternate between
hostility and friendship but are in constant opposition to both Israel
and God (Ex 23:22, 2 Sa 12:14). Here is a representative use...
Genesis 14:20 And blessed be
God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he
gave him a tenth of all.
Ps 110:1 (A Psalm of David.)
The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine
enemies a footstool for Thy feet." (Quoted in Mt , Mk 12:36, Lu
20:42, Acts 2:34 - see verses above)
Reduced to the
final analysis, sin is rebellion against God. It is not only a failure,
but a refusal, to do God's will. Only when understood thus can the
serious consequences of sin be properly appreciated. We were all enemies of God, we toward Him in
rebellion, and He toward us in wrath, and therefore we all needed to be
reconciled to God. There would be no hope without the removal of His
wrath and our rebellion. Man is the enemy of God, not the reverse. Thus
the hostility must be removed from man if reconciliation is to be
accomplished. God took the initiative in bringing this about through the
death of his Son.
In Colossians Paul
uses echthros to explain that...
although you were formerly
alienated (estranged - and hostile in mind, the antonym of
reconciled) , engaged in evil deeds (echthros), yet He has now
reconciled (apokatallasso = reconcile fully, thoroughly, completely,
change thoroughly, of bringing together friends who have been estranged)
you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before
(Literally = down in the eye of God ~ Coram Deo = before the face of
God) Him holy and blameless (amomos)
and beyond reproach (anegkletos)
We lived with a constant attitude of hostility toward God, openly
resisting His love and perfect law, continuously expressing hatred toward
Him, whether directly or indirectly. An ENEMY of God is one who is
antagonistic toward Him, especially seeking to injure His character and overthrow
His rule over men. An enemy of God actively (or passively) contends with
Him, opposing Him and resisting His rules only meant to bring life
(Dt 32:47). In war an enemy seeks to kill his opponent. Ponder that even
in this antagonistic state God still loved us and brought us back into
relationship and fellowship thru the death of His only beloved Son. This
is indeed a "much more" salvation or as Hebrews would say "so great a
salvation" (see notes
Hebrews 2:3). And as if this wasn't incredible enough, even "much
more" He shall save us by His life.
Since reconciliation was accomplished by Jesus’ death, certainly His
life is able to insure the complete and final salvation of believers.
“His life” is His present life (not His life on earth) in which He
intercedes (see note
Hebrews 7:25) for believers. He died for His enemies; surely He
will save those, His former enemies, who are now fellowshipping in Him.
No more love to God is there in an
unrenewed heart than there is life within a piece of granite. No more
love to God is there within the soul that is unsaved than there is fire
within the depths of the ocean's waves. And here is the wonder, that
when we had no love for God, he should have loved us!
Vine calls our attention to...
the three expressions “ungodly”
(v. 6), “sinners” (v. 8), “enemies” (v. 10). The last word
anticipates the mention of reconciliation.
(katallasso from katá = an intensifier + allásso
= change) means to exchange one thing for another and was used for
example to describe the exchange of coins for others of equal value.
This Its original meaning of to change, exchange, etc. transferred to
mean to reconcile. The Greeks spoke
of people in opposition to each other being “reconciled” or being made
friends again. When people change from being at enmity with each other
to being at peace, they are said to be reconciled. Katallasso meant to
legally reconcile two disputing parties in court and in the New
Testament is used of a believer’s reconciliation with God through Jesus
here in Romans 5:10 is in the
indicating a completed event in the past (a historical event) and the
indicates that it occurred as the result of a force (God) outside of and
independent of the subject (man). In other words, "we" are the the
objects, not the subjects of this reconciliation: the subject is God (cf
2Cor 5:19 21, see Romans 5:11 where received is also the
"Divine" passive indicating it was effected by God.)
of katallasso that
With the thought of “change”
predominating, this word can mean “to change,” “to exchange,” and “to
reconcile” or “reconcile oneself.” (Kittel,
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
Katallasso refers to the exchange of hostility or enmity to a friendly
relationship. It means to
change a person for the purpose of being able to have fellowship
together. Scripture always portrays God as the
Reconciler and sinners as the ones reconciled, since it was human sin
that ruptured the relationship between God and man Isaiah, for example,
But your iniquities have made a
separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face
from you, so that He does not hear. (Isaiah 59:2)
In the NT,
katallasso speaks of the change that God makes in man through
regeneration, so that he may be reconciled to God. The idea is to set up
a relationship of peace not existing before. Note that man is reconciled
to God, but God is not said to be reconciled to man.
is used 6 times in the NT, twice in Ro 5:10, and the following
(Paul is giving instructions to the
married here addressing a believing wife) "(but if she does leave, let
her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and
that the husband should not send his wife away." (1Cor 7:11)
18 Now all these things (pointing
back to the total transformation taking place at conversion) are
from God, Who reconciled (katallasso) us (God initiates the
reconciliation - unregenerate people cannot) to Himself through Christ
(the good news of the gospel), and gave us the ministry of
reconciliation (katallage), 19 namely, that God was in Christ
reconciling (katallasso) the world to Himself (Paul is not teaching
universalism!), not counting their trespasses against them, and He has
committed to us the word of reconciliation (katallage). 20 Therefore, we
are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we
beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled (katallasso) to God.
(2Cor 5:18-20) (Comment: To overcome our separation from God, we
needed someone to provide reconciliation and thereby bring us back into
fellowship with God.)
Reconciliation produces restoration of a relationship of peace which has
been disturbed between God and man in the garden of Eden. Sinful man is reconciled in that his attitude of enmity
toward God is changed to one of friendship.
reconciliation is not
something man does but what he receives; it is not what he accomplishes
but what he embraces. Reconciliation does not happen when man decides to
stop rejecting God but when God decides to stop rejecting man. It is a
divine provision by which God’s holy displeasure against alienated
sinners is appeased, His hostility against them removed, and a
harmonious relationship between Him and them established. Reconciliation
occurs because God was graciously willing to design a way to have all
the sins of those who are His removed from them “as far as the east is
from the west” (Psalms 103:12 -
Spurgeon's note), “cast all their sins into the depths of the
sea” (Micah 7:19), and “cast all [their] sins behind [His] back” (Isaiah
J. 2 Corinthians. 2003 Moody Publishers)
To represent reconciliation
(katellagemen) by an active form, e.g., "we were won to lay aside our
hostility," is to miss the point of the whole passage. Paul is
demonstrating the love of God, and he can only do it by pointing to what
God has done. That we on our part are hostile to God before the
reconciliation, and that we afterwards lay aside our enmity, is no doubt
true; but here it is entirely irrelevant. The Apostle's thought is
simply this: "If, when we lay under the Divine condemnation, the work of
our reconciliation to God was achieved by Him through the death of His
Son, much more shall the love which wrought so incredibly for us in our
extremity carry out our salvation to the end." The subjective side of
the truth is here completely and intentionally left out of sight; the
laying aside of our hostility adds nothing to God's love, throws no
light upon it; hence in an exposition of the love of God it can be
ignored. To say that the reconciliation is "mutual", is true in point of
fact; it is true also to all the suggestions of the English word; but it
is not true to the meaning of we were reconciled (katellagemen)
nor to the argument of this passage, which does not prove anything about
the Christian, but exhibits the love of God at its height in the Cross,
and argues from that to what are comparatively smaller demonstrations of
that love. (Nicoll, W Robertson, Editor: Expositors Greek Testament: 5
Volumes. Out of print. Search Google)
Study Bible writes that...
Reconciliation has reference to a
change in relationship from hostility to love, acceptance, and
friendship. The atonement of Christ accomplished two things: (1) The
cross propitiated (satisfied) the wrath of God and reconciled man to
God. Few realize that the Bible pictures man as an enemy of God (see
2:15) in his unredeemed state. (2) In repentance
toward God and faith in the Lord Jesus, a man is reconciled to God by
the death of Christ. His basic relationship has changed from that of an
enemy of God to that of a friend of God.
W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)
To reconcile is to take
someone who is hostile towards someone else and change that into a
friendly relationship. Unsaved ungodly man is an enemy of God and is
hostile toward Him and God takes the initiative in this estranged
relationship and send Jesus to be our Mediator Who based on our faith in
His sacrificial death and resurrection life brings us into a friendly
relationship with God.
Man is reconciled to God, but God is
not said to be reconciled to man. By this change lost humanity is
rendered savable. As a result of the changed position of the world
through the death of Christ the divine attitude toward the human family
can no longer be the same. God is enabled to deal with lost souls in the
light of what Christ has accomplished. Although this seems to be a
change in God, it is not a reconciliation; it is rather a
“propitiation.” God places full efficacy in the finished work of Christ
and accepts it. Through His acceptance of it He remains righteous and
the justifier of any sinner who believes in Jesus as his reconciliation.
When an individual sees and trusts in the value of Christ’s atoning
death, he becomes reconciled to God, hostility is removed, friendship
and fellowship eventuate. (Unger,
M. F., Harrison, R. K., Vos, H. F., Barber, C. J., & Unger, M. F. The
New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press)
Vincent’s note on katallasso is illuminating...
“The verb (katallasso) means primarily
to exchange, and hence to change the relation of hostile parties into a
relation of peace; to reconcile. It is used of both mutual and one sided
enmity. In the former case, the context must show on which side is the
active enmity. In the Christian sense, the change in the relation of God
and man effected through Christ. This involves
(1) a movement of God
toward man with a view to break down man’s hostility, to commend God’s
love and holiness to him, and to convince him of the enormity and the
consequence of sin. It is God who initiates this movement in the person
and work of Jesus Christ. See notes
2Cor 5:18, 19, see note
Ephesians 1:6; 1 Jn
4:19). Hence the passive form of the verb here: we were made subjects of
God’s reconciling act.
(2) a corresponding movement on man’s part toward God; yielding to the
appeal of Christ’s self-sacrificing love, laying aside his enmity,
renouncing his sin, and turning to God in faith and obedience.
(3) a consequent change of character in man: the covering, forgiving,
cleansing of his sin; a thorough revolution in all his dispositions and
(4) a corresponding change of relation on God’s part, that being removed
which alone rendered Him hostile to man, so that God can now receive him
into fellowship and let loose upon him all His fatherly love and grace
(1Jn 1:3, v7). Thus there is complete reconciliation.”
The great triumvirate
of redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation is totally the work of
God, accomplished through the death of Jesus Christ. Redemption pertains
to sin, propitiation (or satisfaction) pertains to God,
and reconciliation is for people (we were reconciled). Reconciliation is
the removal of enmity that stands between people and God. Reconciliation
is the basis of restored fellowship between people and God.
To sum up what
Paul says in Romans 5:6-10, the helpless He died for, the
ungodly He justified, the sinner He saved, and the enemy
He reconciled to Himself.
death of His Son -
Death may include possibly his low,
humble, and suffering condition. Death has the appearance of great
feebleness; the death of Christ had the appearance of the defeat of his
plans. His enemies triumphed and rejoiced over him on the cross, and in
the tomb. Yet the effect of this feeble, low, and humiliating state was
to reconcile us to God. If in this state--when humble, despised, dying,
dead--he had power to accomplish so great a work as to reconcile us to
God, how much more may we expect that he will be able to keep us now
that he is a living, exalted, and triumphant Redeemer! If his fainting
powers in dying were such as to reconcile us, how much more shall his
full, vigorous powers, as an exalted Redeemer, be sufficient to keep and
save us! This argument is but an expansion of what the Saviour himself
said, Jo 14:19, "Because I live, ye shall live also." (Albert Barnes.
Barnes NT Commentary)
MUCH MORE HAVING BEEN RECONCILED: pollo mallon
Much more then
- is used in the logical sense: much more certainly, and not:
much more abundantly. This introduces Paul's argument which is
what is often referred to as from the greater (the justification
in Christ’s blood - God the Son died for us when we were sinners,
unlovely and unlovable, rebellious against Him, hating Him) to the
lesser (the final future salvation from God's wrath). It is much
more to be expected.
Having been reconciled (2644)
(katallasso from katá = an intensifier + allásso
= change) means having exchanged hostility or enmity for a friendly
The form of these arguments goes like this...
If God has done the greater
thing, then certainly ("how much more") we can trust Him to do the lesser thing.
Paul uses this "much more" argument four other times in Romans [ see
Ro 5:9, 10, 15, 17; Ro 11:12, 11:24]
If God purchased
our reconciliation so dearly, (much more) will He ever let us go? If we were reconciled through the death of His
Son, which is a symbol of utter weakness, ("much more") shall we not be preserved to
the end by the present life of Christ at the right hand of God, a life
of infinite power? If His death had such power to save us, how much more
will His life have power to keep us!
If we were reconciled by His death,
much more clear is it that we shall be saved by His life. Some
find a difficulty in this, as if it implied that the atonement and price
of redemption were not complete at the death of Christ. But the Apostle
is not speaking on that point. He is speaking of the security of the
believer from any danger.
If God had the power and the will to redeem us in the
first place, how much more, does He have the power and the will to keep
us redeemed? In other words, if God brought us to Himself through the
death of His Son when we were His enemies, how much more, now that we
are His reconciled children, will He keep us saved by the life of His
Son? If the dying Savior reconciled us to God, surely the living Savior
can and will keep us reconciled. The thrust of this truth for believers
is that our Savior not only delivered us from sin and its judgment, but
also delivers us from uncertainty and doubt about that deliverance. If
God has already made sure our rescue from sin, death, and future
judgment, how could our present spiritual life possibly be in jeopardy?
How can a Christian, whose past and future salvation are secured by God,
be insecure during the time between? If sin was no barrier to the
beginning of our redemption, how can it become a barrier to its
completion? If sin in the greatest degree could not prevent our becoming
reconciled, how can sin in lesser degree prevent our staying reconciled?
If God’s grace covers the sins even of His enemies, how much more does
it cover the sins of His children? Paul here reasons from the greater to
the lesser. It is a greater work of God to bring sinners to grace than
to bring saints to glory, because sin is further from grace than grace
is from glory. (MacArthur,
J: Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Press) (Bolding added)
more which anyone can understand...
Now do you see how this phrase much
more is functioning? Children, consider this illustration. You move
with your parents into a new neighborhood. And during the first night a
fire breaks out in your house. Your neighbor - let's call him Mr.
Peterson - sees the smoke, calls the fire department, breaks a window,
wakes everybody up, crawls inside, gets your mom and dad to safety, but
they have passed out. He hears you calling from an upstairs bedroom
before the fire fighters arrive. He dashes up the stairs, wets a blanket
in the bathtub, plunges through flames in the hall, wraps you in the
blanket and brings you safely outside with terrible burns on his arms
and face. Over the next months you become very close friends with your
Mr. Peterson and visit him in the hospital. One morning after he gets
home, you ask him, "Mr. Peterson, will you come over this afternoon and
show me a new trick with my yo-yo?" Mr. Peterson says, "Sure, I'd love
to." But during the day you start to wonder if he will really come. And
you say to your father, "I'm not sure Mr. Peterson will come this
afternoon. He might forget, or maybe he really doesn't care about a
little kid like me. "And then your father says, "You know what? If Mr.
Peterson was willing to run through fire to save you at the risk of his
own life and getting terrible burns, then how much more will he be
willing to come over and show you a new yo-yo trick this afternoon! If
he did the hard thing for you, then all the more surely, he will do the
easy thing." Do you see how the "much more" in v9 works? "Much more
then, having been justified by his blood, shall we be saved from the
wrath of God through him." The point is to make you all the more
confident and assured that God will save you. It's the same in v10: "For
if while 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." If Mr. Peterson risked his life to save you when he didn't even
know you yet, how much more, now that you are friends, will he keep his
word and come to play with you! God has done the hardest thing in
sacrificing his Son to reconcile his enemies. How shall he not save his
friends!? He will! Much more, he will!" (Read full sermon
Much More Shall We Be Saved By His Life)
here for the audio
version which is even better than the written sermon - it is definitely
worth the 40 minutes it will take to listen on your Ipod or computer)
WE SHALL BE SAVED BY
HIS LIFE: sothesometha
(1PFPI) en te zoe autou: (Jn 5:26; 6:40,57; 10:28,29; 11:25,26;
14:19; 2 Co 4:10,11; Col 3:3,4; Heb 7:25; Rev 1:18)
By His life
- Literally in His life ("By" - Greek = en =
, which conveys the sense of union with Christ
(in Christ). In His life
alludes to the intimate, living union between a believer and his Lord.
He is now our life (Gal 2:20-note,
our strength (Php 4:!3-note),
our sufficiency, our all in all.
Does "in His life" describe your
life? It is what the
Father desires for you. (Click
for more discussion of the wonderful
truth "in Christ")
As Denny puts it...
The Living Lord, in
virtue of His life, will save us
to the uttermost. Cf. John 14:19 "After a little while the world will
behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall
live also." (Ibid)
Explaining what His
life means, Jesus declares...
For just as the Father has life
in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in
Himself (Jn 5:26)
For this is the will of My Father,
that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal
life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (John
As the living Father sent Me,
and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also
shall live because of Me. (John 6:57)
Jesus said to her (Martha on the
occasion of the death of Lazarus), "I am the resurrection and the
life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and
everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you
believe this? (John 11:25,26)
Paul explains how
Jesus' life became manifest in him (Paul) during his earthly life writing that
always carrying about in the body the
dying of Jesus (Paul compares his own constant persecution and suffering
with that of Jesus in Whose death and resurrection life he consequently
shares cf Php 3:10-note), that the life
of Jesus also may be manifested in our body (thru Paul’s
weakness, Christ's life in him was put on display). For we who live are
constantly being delivered over (paradidomi
= given over into the power
of) to death for Jesus' sake, that the life of Jesus also may be
manifested (caused to become visible = made to appear, caused to be
seen) in our mortal flesh. (2Co 4:10,11-note)
Paul explained another aspect of how
we are "saved in His life" declaring to the Colossians that...
you have died (aorist
tense = definite
event in past = with Christ you have died to the power, rule, mastery,
enslavement to the old task master Sin, now been rendered inoperative by
the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and your faith in His
finished work) and your life is hidden (perfect
= were hidden at point in time in the
past and remain hidden = speaks of permanence of this state = emphasizes
our security, safety and identification) with (study this
sun = intimate union with) Christ in
God (Living the Christ life is daily surrendering to His will and Word
which allows us to enter into His divine enablement). When Christ,
Who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with
Him in glory. (See note
Finally regarding saved in His
life John adds in his first epistle...
And the witness is this, that God
has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He
who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God
does not have the life. (1John 5:11-12)
Andrew Bonar wrote...
Jesus died, and Jesus lives—these are
the truths that contain everything for us. All that a dying and a living
Saviour can do is ours.
Jesus gave Himself to give us salvation. When we were God’s enemies, Christ was able by
His death to reconcile us to God. Certainly now that we are God’s
children, the Savior can keep us by His living power, resurrection power.
In this verse Paul is clearly making clear
reference to Christ's post resurrection life rather than to His life in the
days of his flesh.
your life manifest the sweet aroma of Christ in you, living His life
through you, daily "saving" you from the temptations and trials of the
world, the flesh and the devil?
(Click word study of
sozo) has the basic meaning of rescuing one
from great peril. Additional nuances include to protect, keep alive,
preserve life, deliver, heal, be made whole. Sozo is sometimes used of physical deliverance from danger
of perishing (see Mt 8:25; Mt 14:30; Lu 23:35; Acts 27:20 27:31 hold
pointer over for popup verse), physical healing from sickness (Mt 9:21
22; Mk 5:23, Acts 4:9), and deliverance from demonic possession (Lk
8:36). More often sozo
refers to salvation in a spiritual sense.
Saved by (in) His life is a striking example of Paul's fondness for
antithetical constructions. We are reconciled to God by the death of
Jesus. That is initial salvation (justification). But the resurrection
and the interceding life of Jesus in heaven provide the divine guarantee
that we shall continue being saved (sanctification) until that salvation
is consummated at the return of Christ (glorification). To state it
another way, we have been delivered from sin's penalty; we are being
delivered from sin's power; and we will ultimately be delivered from
Harry Ironside comments...
How blind are they who read into this
verse a reference to the earthly life of our blessed Lord. That life -
pure and holy as it was - could never have saved one poor sinner. It was
by His death He made atonement for our sins. Even the love of God
demonstrated so fully in the ways of Jesus only drew out the envenomed
hate of the human heart. It is His death that destroys the enmity - when
I realize He died for me I am reconciled to God. The hatred was all on
my side - there was no need for God to be reconciled to me - but I
needed reconciliation, and I have found it in Jesus' death. Now since it
is already an accomplished fact I may know for a certainty I will be
saved by His life. He said, "Because I live, ye shall live also" (John
14:19). It is, of course, His resurrection life that is in view in
Romans 5:10 . "Wherefore he is able also to save them [evermore] that
come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for
them" (Hebrews 7:25 ). A living Christ at God's right hand is my pledge
of eternal redemption. He lives to plead our cause, to deliver through
all the trials of the way, and to bring us safely home to the Father's
house at last. We are bound up in the same bundle of life as Himself (Ironside,
Harry. Romans and Galatians. Kregel. 2006)
His life - This phrase refers
to His present resurrection life (not His life while He was on earth).
It is the death of Christ which effects our salvation but it is the life
of Christ which sustains it. He now functions as our High Priest
interceding (He 7:25-Hebrews 7:25)
at the right hand of the throne of God...
Hence, also, He is able to save
forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to
make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7:25-note)
The logic is that since He died for those who were His enemies, surely He
will save those former enemies.
Vine explains that...
Our justification cost the death of
His Son. Our present preservation and our future deliverance are
dependent upon Himself as the living one. The love that was displayed in
His death is the guarantee not only of our present maintenance but of
our future redemption, the redemption of the body (Ro 8:23; see also Heb.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
Newell writes that in His life
that the believer shares that risen
life of Christ; that in the power of that endless life the believer will
abide both now and forever: as John says, "we may have confidence in the
day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world." (1Jn 4:17) (Romans 5)
KJV Bible Commentary explains
The life of Jesus Christ did not take
away the penalty of our sins, His death did. But Christ ever lives to
take away the dominion of sin over us. (Dobson,
E G, Charles Feinberg, E Hindson, Woodrow Kroll, H L. Wilmington: KJV
Bible Commentary: Nelson
Wycliffe Bible Commentary notes that...
We were reconciled by his death when we were enemies. This being true,
the apostle concludes, much more is it true that we shall be saved in or
by his life. Elsewhere Paul points out that the one who is joined to the
Lord is one spirit (1Co 6:17), i.e., he shares Christ’s resurrected
life and spiritual power. He also says: “When Christ, our life, shall
appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col 3:4-note). We shall be saved by Christ’s life because we share
this life. We belong to Christ. The writer of Hebrews stresses that
Christ lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25-note). The intercessory
life of Christ in glory plays a vital role in the salvation of
believers. But the context here seems to put the stress on the
believers’ sharing in Christ’s death and resurrected life." (Pfeiffer,
C F: Wycliffe Bible Commentary. 1981. Moody)
After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will
behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. (Jn 14:19). That is, in
virtue of the fact that our Lord lives after death, He is able to save
us completely and to the end (Hebrews 7:25-note).
Salvation is in three parts, justification, the removal of the guilt and
penalty of sin and the bestowal of a righteous standing in Christ before
God’s law, which is given to us at the moment of believing;
sanctification, the progressive work of the Holy Spirit during the
Christian life; and glorification, the glorifying of our bodies at the
Rapture. It is of the latter two Paul is speaking, since he is writing
in a context of justification. It should be clear that the statement,
“we shall be saved by His life,” has no reference to our Lord’s life on
earth as an example of how a Christian should live. His example saves no
one. His blood does. (Wuest,
K. S. Wuest's Word Studies from the Greek New Testament: Studies in the
Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament: Grand Rapids: Eerdmans)
><> ><> ><>
ILLUSTRATIONS OF BIBLE TRUTH
by Harry A. Ironside - PATRIOTISM-PLUS - When we were enemies, we were
reconciled to God by the death of his Son (Ro 5:10)
When nations are engaged in deadly strife, it is common for patriots
to declare that he who gives his life for the defence of his country may
be certain of a home in heaven because of having made the supreme
sacrifice. This teaching is in accord with the principles of the Moslem
religion and not with true Christianity. Mahomet promised his fanatical
followers a place in Paradise if they died for the faith in conflict
with the "infidels" who rejected his teachings. Patriotism is a virtue
of which any man may well be proud.
"Lives there a man with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land?"
But patriotism, praiseworthy as it is
from a human standpoint, will never fit the soul for the presence of
GOD. It can never wash away the guilt of sin.
The testimony of Edith Cavell, the brave British nurse who was killed by
the Germans during the former world war, is well worth considering in
This noble woman was born at Swardeston, Norfolk on December 4, 1865.
She entered the London Hospital for nurses' training in 1895. In 1907
she was appointed first matron of the Berkendael Medical Institute at
Brussels, Belgium. This became the Red Cross Hospital for Belgium at
the outbreak of the conflict in 1914. From August of that year, until
August, 1915, Nurse Cavell helped to care for wounded French, Belgian,
English and German soldiers alike. She ministered faithfully even to
those who had fallen while fighting against her own nation. Naturally,
her sympathies were with the Allies, and in cooperation with the efforts
of Prince Reginald de Croy, she aided many derelict English and French
soldiers who had fled from the Germans. These escaped by "underground"
methods to the Dutch frontier, where, with the aid of guides, they were
conveyed across to Britain. When some of these fugitives were traced to
her house in Brussels, she was immediately arrested and after a
court-martial was sentenced to face a firing-squad. All her kindness to
the German wounded was forgotten. Her captors considered her a spy and
treated her accordingly.
Just before the bandage was placed over her eyes, as she stood
fearlessly facing the soldiers who were about to take her life, she gave
a last message to the world. "I am glad," she said, "to die for my
country. But as I stand here I realize as never before that patriotism
is not enough." Then she went on to give a clear, definite testimony to
her personal faith in the LORD JESUS CHRIST and her assurance of
salvation, not through laying down her life for others, but because He
laid down His life for her. In perfect composure, she submitted to the
bandaging of her eyes and, in a few moments fell, pierced by many German
Her words, patriotism is not enough! have spoken loudly to many in the
years that have gone since she died a martyr to her convictions. Yet
many forget this.
"What more is needed?" you may ask. The answer is "CHRIST!" It is
through faith in Him alone that the soul is saved and heaven assured.
><> ><> ><>
THE CAPTIVE FREED: A letter written
by Dr. C. I. Scofield recounts the experience of this Bible teacher who
has been so greatly used by the Lord. It reads in part: "The all but
universal habit of drink among the men of my time overmastered me. I was
not a victor in the battle of life, but a ruined and hopeless man who,
despite all my struggles, was fast bound in chains of my own forging. I
had no thought of Christ. There was no hope that in a church sometime I
might hear and believe the Gospel, for I never attended. But then the
Savior took up the case. Men were beginning to turn away from me, but
the Lord of Glory sought me.
Through Thomas McPheeters, a joyous,
hopeful soul, Jesus Christ offered Himself to me, that human wreck. From
a worn pocket Testament, McPheeters read to me the great deliverance
passages. And when I asked, like the Philippian jailer of old, `What
must I do to be saved?' he just read them again, and we knelt and I
received Jesus as my Savior. And — oh! put it into the story, put it
big and plain: Instantly the chains were broken never to be forged again
— the passion for drink was taken away! Put it 'instantly,' dear
Editor. Make it plain. Don't say, 'He strove with his sin of drink and
came off victor.' He did nothing of the kind. Divine power did it,
wholly of grace. To Christ be all the glory!"
The Lord Jesus died on the cross that we might be saved from the guilt
of sin. He lives to deliver us from its power. There is only One who can
thus snap the fetters of sin and give deliverance. (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
He breaks the power of canceled sin,
He sets the prisoner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
— Wesley (Play)
When God forgives sin,
He purges the
Erases the REMEMBRANCE, and
Empowers the RECIPIENT! —HGB