Amplified: For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved (daily delivered from sin’s dominion) through His [resurrection] life. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
NIV: For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! (NIV - IBS)
NLT: For since we were restored to friendship with God by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be delivered from eternal punishment by his life. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: If, while we were his enemies, Christ reconciled us to God by dying for us, surely now that we are reconciled we may be perfectly certain of our salvation through his living in us. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: For though, while being enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by the life He possesses. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: for if, being enemies, we have been reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved in his life.
|Romans 1:18-3:20||Romans 3:21-5:21||Romans 6:1-8:39||Romans 9:1-11:36||Romans 12:1-16:27|
Jew and Gentile
|Demonstration of Salvation|
|Power Given||Promises Fulfilled||Paths Pursued|
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"
FOR IF (fulfilled condition = since) WHILE WE WERE ENEMIES WE WERE (have been = passive = God's initiates and empowers) RECONCILED TO GOD THROUGH THE DEATH OF HIS SON: ei gar ecthroi ontes (PAPMP N) katellagemen (1PAPI) to theo dia tou thanatou tou huiou autou :
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 doctor ordered!
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 asks...
For (1063) (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 explanation and ask why is it there "for" which will help you understand the flow of a given passage.
If (1487) (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 eimí - 1510 = 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 1:18-note) 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...
Enemies (2190) (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 hatred."
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.
Echthros is 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!
Leon Morris commenting on this verse notes that...
EBC asks the question...
James Denney explains that "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. (Expositors Greek Testament - Romans 5)
TDNT writes that...
Echthros is 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?)
Echthros is used 329 times in the Septuagint (LXX) 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...
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...
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.
Vine calls our attention to...
We were reconciled (2644) (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 Christ.
Donald Barnhouse on the Greek idea of reconcile - The Greek word translated “reconciled” comes from the world of the moneychanger. If you give two dimes and a nickel in exchange for a quarter, or vice versa, you have made an equal exchange. This was the original meaning of the word as used by Aristotle and others. Later the word was used for the adjustment of a difference in business dealings, and finally for a difference between two personalities who had become estranged. The transition from the material to the emotional and psychological was made, and the word was used as in Shakespeare’s Richard III: “I desire to reconcile me to his friendly peace.” (See the full message Romans 5:9-10 Reconciliation)
Katallasso here in Romans 5:10 is in the aorist tense indicating a completed event in the past (a historical event) and the passive voice 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.)
TDNT writes of katallasso - 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 Testament. Eerdmans)
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, recording...
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.
Katallasso is used 6 times in the NT, twice in Ro 5:10, and the following verses...
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.
John MacArthur explains that "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 38:17). (MacArthur, J. 2 Corinthians. 2003 Moody Publishers)
James Denney - 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. (Expositors Greek Testament - Romans 5)
Believer's Study Bible - 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 notes Romans 5:10; 8:7; Ephesians 2:12, 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. (Criswell, 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.
Unger explains that...
Vincent’s note on katallasso is illuminating...
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.
Through the death of His Son - This reminds us of Jesus' words in John 14:6 that absolutely "no one comes to the Father but THROUGH Me." When Jesus "yielded up His spirit" on the Cross, "the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom." (Mt 27:50,51). Because Jesus died as the perfect Lamb of God, He took away the sin of the world (to all who believe) and we can now enter God's holy presence through Jesus as described beautifully by the writer of Hebrews 10:19-22
Albert Barnes writes that "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 katallagentes (APPMPN):
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.
Guzik - If God showed such dramatic love to us when we were enemies, think of the blessings we will enjoy once we are reconciled to God! If God does this much for His enemies, how much more will He do for His friends!
Wuest, quoting Alford: “Not only has the reconciled man confidence that he shall escape God’s wrath, but triumphant confidence—joyful hope in God.”
The form of these arguments goes like this...
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.
See Reconciliation - From Enmity to Amity for numerous illustrations related to reconciliation.
John MacArthur writes: 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)
John Piper illustrates much more which anyone can understand...
WE SHALL BE SAVED BY (in) HIS LIFE: sothesometha (1PFPI) en te zoe autou:
THE DIVINE PARADOX:
By His life - Literally in His life ("By" - Greek = en = 1722) , 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, Col 3:4-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 here for more discussion of the wonderful truth "in Christ")
Denny - 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." (Expositors Greek Testament - Romans 5)
Explaining what His life means, Jesus declares...
Paul explains how Jesus' life became manifest in him (Paul) during his earthly life writing that he was...
Paul explained another aspect of how we are "saved in His life" declaring to the Colossians that...
Finally regarding saved in His life John adds in his first epistle...
Andrew Bonar - 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.
Saved (4982) (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 sin's presence.
Harry Ironside - 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...
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. 7:25). (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
Newell writes that in His life means...
KJV Bible Commentary - 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...
Wuest -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. (Word Studies from the Greek New Testament)
Warren Wiersbe on reconciliation - Now let us look at the believer. What does it mean to us as believers to be reconciled? Why would an unbeliever even want to be reconciled? Let me make it very clear that reconciliation is not merely a second chance. If it were only a second chance, then the next time you sinned, you would be lost. Reconciliation is not a temporary truce. God doesn't change; God doesn't lie. What God does, He does permanently. Reconciliation is a permanent bringing together of the believing sinner and God through Jesus Christ. I would remind you that the cross is a plus sign, and a plus sign brings things together. Romans 5:10 says, "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!" Romans 5 uses the phrase "much more" several times. Reconciliation gives you "much more." Now that we are His children, we have security. We are justified by His blood. Nothing can change that. We have victory. We can "reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ" (see v. 17). If He did so much for us by His death, how much more He can do for us in His life. We are not only saved by His death, but we are also saved by His life— saved from defeat, saved from future wrath. "Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!" (v. 9). So we have security, we have victory, we have sufficiency. All that we need, God gives to us. Romans 5:21 says, "Just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." God takes rebels and makes kings out of them. God takes slaves and makes sovereigns out of them. That is reconciliation. Along with reconciliation comes responsibility. We are ambassadors for Christ. The world we live in is at war with God. Sinners need to be reconciled to God. God is already reconciled—God has turned His face toward us. Now it is our task to spread the Good News, to tell people they don't have to be at war with God because God is not at war with them. This is a day of God's grace. There is coming a day of judgment, and then it will be too late. What a privilege it is to be an ambassador for Jesus Christ—wherever you are—at home, in your neighborhood, at work, at school. What good news we have—the Good News of reconciliation. (Key Words in the Christian Life)
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.
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 connection.
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 bullets.
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)
AND NOT ONLY THIS BUT WE ALSO EXULT IN GOD THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: ou monon de alla kai kauchomenoi (PMPMPN) en to theo dia tou kuriou hemon iesou christou:
NOT ONLY THIS BUT...
And not only this but - We not only rejoice in His gifts but in the Giver Himself. Before we were saved we found our joys elsewhere. Now we exult whenever we remember Him, and are sad only when we forget Him. What has produced this marvelous change, so that we can now be glad in God? It is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Like all our other blessings, this joy comes to us through Him.
Someone confronted Martin Luther, upon the Reformer’s rediscovery of the biblical doctrine of justification, with the remark,
We also exult in God - The reconciled to God through Christ rejoice in God.
Leslie Allen - Paul again brings his readers back to earth (cf. note Romans 5:3). The fruits of justification do not all lie in the future by any means. Christ in establishing friendly relations with God has given something which makes us rejoice here and now in God Himself. (Bruce, F F, et al: New International Bible Commentary).
James Denney - The Christian glories in God; for though "boasting is excluded" from the true religion (see note Romans 3:27), yet to make one's boast in God is the perfection of that religion. Yet the believer could not thus glory, but for the Lord Jesus Christ; it is in Him "clothed in the Gospel," that he obtains that knowledge of God character which enables Him to exult. (Expositors Greek Testament - Romans 5)
Exult (2744) (kauchaomai akin to aucheo (boast) + euchomai = to pray to God) means to boast over a privilege or possession. It means to rejoice and so to feel joy or great delight, combining ideas of jubilation and confidence into one word we might describe as "joyful confidence". It expresses an unusually high degree of confidence in God and what He has done for as being exceptionally noteworthy. As used in the positive sense self-confidence is radically excluded and all self-boasting is abandoned. Faith implies the surrender of all self-glorying. Note present tense implies this should be a believer's lifestyle!
In Romans 5:1-11 there are three "tenses" in which we can rejoice:
Rejoice and again I say rejoice for our reconciliation has been accomplished (past), God is now molding and shaping us through tribulations (present) and our glorification is yet to come (future).
C H Spurgeon writes that...
Barnes notes that...
Alford writes that
Through (1223) (dia) is a marker of instrument by which something is accomplished or effected (by means of), in this case it is all by the mediatorial means of the efficacious, finished work of our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.
Since God has reconciled godless enemies to Himself, they should exult and glory in that peace with Him. Notice Paul does not say that this is some second stage Christianity or some special experience for very mature or mystical Christians. "We (all) exult in God" which is what all Christians should do. Adam must have rejoiced in His Creator and the intimacy he shared with Him, but sin destroyed that precious fellowship to the point that Adam hid from God (Ge 3:9,10). Now because of the reconciliation through the death of His Son, we can continually rejoice in His Presence once again, unfettered, unafraid, unassuming...just lingering with Him, much like the "good part" Mary savored but Martha had sidestepped because of her busyness. (Lu 10:39-41,42)
How does one exult or rejoice or glory in God? The psalms give us a clue. Eg, see
The gift of reconciliation is not the gift of God doing things for you. You might say that the gift of "salvation" is the gift of God doing things for you - rescuing you from sin and guilt and hell. And you might say that the gift of "justification" is the gift of God's doing this for you -forgiving your sins and counting you righteous for Christ's sake. But the gift of reconciliation is different. It is God offering us God as himself.
Newell explains that...
Spurgeon addresses the question...
THROUGH WHOM WE HAVE NOW RECEIVED THE RECONCILIATION: di ou nun ten katallagen elabomen (1PAAI):
CHRIST OPENS THE DOOR
Through Whom - Through Christ once again. Jesus said of His finished work of salvation " I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." (John 10:9-10)
Guzik - The point is clearly emphasized. What matters is what we have through Jesus. What we have through our own works doesn’t matter and can’t help us. It’s all through Jesus.
Now (3568) (nun) is a temporal marker with focus on the moment as such.
Received (2983) (lambano) means literally to take or grasp and here is used in a spiritual sense of being a recipient of the reconciliation. The aorist tense conveys the sense that his is a past completed action, a historical event. Note carefully that reconciliation is not something man does but what he receives; it is not what he accomplishes but what he embraces.
John Piper feels that many who sit in churches across America have never genuinely received reconciliation and in light of this tragic malady, delivers a passionate plea to receive reconciliation. Stated another way, Piper is concerned that they are many who every Sunday sit IN CHURCH but have never entered INTO CHRIST (by grace through faith, a faith shown to be genuine, saving faith by the works that result. Supernatural [not natural] works don't save, but they do demonstrate that an individual is truly saved.) Beloved, whether you are a believer or not (you may think you are a believer but are only a professor and not a possessor of the life of Jesus), I highly recommend listening to Piper's powerful and poignant proclamation on Romans 5:11 - Piper's sermon.
James Denney - Nothing could show more unmistakably that the reconciliation (katallage) is not a change in our disposition toward God, but a change in His attitude toward us. We do not give it (by laying aside enmity, distrust, or fear); we receive it, by believing in Christ Jesus, Whom God has set forth as a propitiation through faith in His blood (see note Romans 3:25). We take it as God's unspeakable gift (2 Cor 9:15). (Expositors Greek Testament - Romans 5)
Robertson writes that the "aorist active indicative of lambano, (is) looked at as a past realization, (and) now (nun) in contrast with the future consummation and a sure pledge and guarantee of it."
Received atonement - This is the KJV rendering but atonement in modern parlance is misleading and it best translated reconciliation. The English word atonement originally did convey the picture of a harmonious relationship and so to be at one with someone or be reconciled. The Old Testament speaks often of this need for atonement. The annual sacrifice on what was known as the Day of Atonement was for this purpose (Lev. 16). Although none of the Old Testament sacrifices could remove sin, they do testify to the fact that sin has destroyed fellowship between God and humanity and they point to the death of Christ, the true Lamb of God, who is able to take away sin. It is in His sacrifice that their purpose is finally fulfilled.
Spurgeon - The word “atonement” is a very improper translation here. It is the only case in which our translators have used the word at all in the New Testament, and it is very unfortunate that they should have used it in the wrong place, because the word is as plainly as possible reconciliation, and does not so much refer to the atonement by which the reconciliation is made as to the reconciliation itself. I
S Lewis Johnson writes "the rendering of the Authorized Version of the Greek word katallage, atonement, is surely wrong. The word means reconciliation. The word atonement is an Old Testament word, referring to the covering of sin. It is not found at all in the New Testament, for sin is there not simply covered by the death of Christ, but paid for and removed."
Reconciliation (2643) (katallage from katá = an intensifier + allásso = change - see study of verb katallasso) describes the change from a state of enmity between persons to one of friendship. It pictures the reestablishment of an interrupted or broken relationship. Reconciliation is a vivid word, pointing to the making of peace after a quarrel. Katallage describes the bring together again people who have been estranged and describes the state of those who have been restored to friendship. In the New Testament it refers, of course, to God's reconciling of the world to Himself through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Thayer describes it as "the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ."
Reconciliation assures us of the future bliss of eternal life and Christ’s risen and exalted life is the guarantee - this should be cause for exultation.
God changes us from enemies to family. Man is reconciled to God, not God to man to God, for it was man who moved away from God. The reconciliation is the effect of the death of Christ, and so reconciliation brings out the significance of the Cross, where God's wrath against sin was poured out on His Son Who was made sin on our behalf.
Katallage originally was used in Greek to describe an exchange (or profit from exchange), especially of money (of the business of money changers, exchanging equivalent values). This word group then began to acquire a wider sense of exchanging any one thing for another. Aristotle, for instance, speaks of professional and mercenary soldiers who are willing to barter their lives for trifling gain. And then the meaning came to be more than anything else, the change of enmity into friendship, as in the present passage.
Remember that the 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, even as explained by the prophet Isaiah...
Barclay summarizes the truths about reconciliation writing that...
Katallage is used 4 times in the NT...
Leon Morris - Since the New Testament never speaks of God as being reconciled, and some conclude that reconciliation means no more than a change in sinful people. But it is the wrath of God, not of people, that has to be dealt with, the demand of God that we live uprightly that must be reckoned with. Moreover, v. 11 speaks of receiving reconciliation, which was thus in some sense wrought before we received it. It is also true that the first change is not in the sinner’s feelings, but in his state (Gifford). The death of Christ puts away our sin, which had aroused not our opposition but God’s. (Morris, L. The Epistle to the Romans. W. B. Eerdmans; Inter-Varsity Press)
Newell notes that "the word here is not atonement (as translated in the KJV) which means to cover up, and is applied to the Old Testament sacrifices. The word reconciliation here (katallage) is simply the noun form of the verb "reconcile" in verse 10. Compare "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not reckoning unto them their trespasses (2Cor 5:19). To "receive" a complete, accomplished reconciliation, -how simple! We have seen men and women exult in God, thus! Every believer has this great right of exultation. This is a "song of the Lord" that lasts forever-"through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5)
Richards sums up the truths on reconciliation...
Let's summarize some of the benefits of justification by faith...
Warren Wiersbe sums it up - Totally apart from Law, and purely by grace, we have a salvation that takes care of the past, the present, and the future. Christ died for us; Christ lives for us; Christ is coming for us! Hallelujah, what a Savior! (Bible Exposition Commentary. 1989. Victor)
Harry Ironside writes "This is the glorious end - for the present - to which the Holy Spirit has been leading us. Our salvation is full and complete. Our sins are gone. We are justified freely by his grace. We have peace with God and we look forward with joyous certainty to an eternity of bliss with Him who has redeemed us." (Romans 5 Notes)
Spurgeon cautions us - Observe, how we are reconciled. It is not by working out a reconciliation. Please observe that. The first instinct of a man who finds himself with an angry God gazing upon him, and with enmity in his own heart towards God, is to set to work to try and better this state of things. “What shall I do? How shall I avert the divine anger?” The heart suggests a multitude of expedients. Sometimes it runs into the enchantment and fascination of ceremonialism, but more commonly among us it falls back upon its own natural self-righteousness, and dreams of reconciliation by amendment, and by future carefulness, and by a diligent obedience in the future, which it hopes to be able to render. Now, observe, the text does not say that we have made any atonement for sin, neither does any Scripture ever tell us that we can do so, or that by any good deeds of our own we are to be reconciled to God. I tell you, awakened souls, that all your struggles to be reconciled to God apart from Christ are only another form of the rebellion of your hearts against God; you are evidently opposed to him because you reject his plan of reconciliation, and in defiance of his will make a pretence of offering to be reconciled on other terms than those which he ordains. While talking of peace you insult the Lord again by rejecting the blood of his Son, which is the only atonement. From the top of Sinai, amidst the smoke and burnings of his awful presence, he forbids you to draw nigh, and he sets bounds about the mount; but your daring reply is, “By this mount I will approach to God, I will break the barriers, and climb Sinai’s rocky sides.” Your attempt is vain, the fire of his law will devour you; for this is not the way, neither is this the road by which God can permit a sinful soul to approach him, since if he did accept a sinner in his own righteousness it would be an insult to the righteousness of Christ; if he should admit a sinner into his favour by any door but faith in his dear bleeding Son, it would be to make a liar of himself, to make void all his promises, and to do despite to the cross of Jesus. No, we receive the reconciliation, there is the pith of the matter. We do not make it, we receive it. I would like to dwell on that blessed word a little while—“We have received the atonement.” We do not buy it; we receive it without money, and without price. We do not complete it, we receive it. “It is finished” was the verdict pronounced upon it long before we were born. We did not assist in commencing it nor can we add anything to it, neither is there any need that we should wish to do so. We receive reconciliation. It is a free gift. We have only to put out our hand and take it; we have only to be empty vessels to be filled with it. We receive it perfect. Oh, that precious word “receive;” How well it suits all cases. A person may be very poor, but I never yet met a person who was too poor to receive; in fact it is the poor man who is the most willing and ready to receive. When the pitcher is empty it is in the fittest state to receive, for when it is full it cannot receive; and the lower, the more humble, the more broken, the more ruined, the more condemned, I was almost about to say the more near being damned, the more fit you are to receive divine grace. I put it as strongly as I can in order that any here who are despairing may lay hold of it. If you are emptied to the last drop, and cannot find a trace of a footstep of anything good in you, why then you are ready to receive. Surely, if you have nothing, you are the very man who can receive what Christ has provided. (Joy in a Reconciled God)
In his sermon Joy in God Spurgeon addresses the question...
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Rom. 5:9, 10).
MUCH more—much more—that is the theme of the central portion of the fifth chapter of Romans. The argument of the book moves to a new phase. Having been justified, the believer has access into the grace wherein we stand, and the indwelling Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is poured out in a gushing stream, brings all other blessings. All this was done without regard to what we were, yea, even in spite of it, for we were helpless, ungodly sinners, and were enemies, when God moved to save us. Much more, then, shall we be sure of being saved from wrath through Him. And again, having been reconciled to God by the death of His Son, even when we were enemies, much more shall we be saved by His life.
The word “reconcile” comes from the Latin and means to “bring a person again into friendly relations to or with oneself or another after an estrangement.” That there has been estrangement between the soul and God has been made abundantly evident in the early chapters of Romans. Man sinned and fled from God and became His enemy. It would normally appear that the offended God would have to be reconciled to man, but this is not the way the Bible puts it. Tennyson in “The Lotus Eaters” says, “The gods are hard to reconcile,” meaning that those who have been offended will not easily smile again. But God, who is Light, holds nothing against the sons of darkness and is willing to bring them into the Light, if they will only come.
AN EVEN EXCHANGE
The Greek word translated “reconciled” comes from the world of the moneychanger. If you give two dimes and a nickel in exchange for a quarter, or vice versa, you have made an equal exchange. This was the original meaning of the word as used by Aristotle and others. Later the word was used for the adjustment of a difference in business dealings, and finally for a difference between two personalities who had become estranged. The transition from the material to the emotional and psychological was made, and the word was used as in Shakespeare’s Richard III: “I desire to reconcile me to his friendly peace.”
Perhaps I have spent more time on this Greek word and its meaning than on almost any other, for I find myself differing with some of the commentators on its significance. Thayer thinks that the word means “the restoration of the favor of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ.” I wish to show that the New Testament meaning of the word is quite different. Again, Thayer adduces two arguments to prove that God has reconciled us: “First, that He does not impute to men their trespasses; second, that He has deposited the doctrine of reconciliation in the souls of the preachers of the gospel.”
THE LOVE OF GOD
But I am sure that there is something much greater than this. It should be noted that the word “reconcile” is never used of God. It is used only of men. This, at the outset, is extraordinary and quite contrary to human practice. But we are not to be astonished at this, for God’s ways are not our ways. The whole argument of our paragraph in Romans is that God took the initiative. God did not have to be reconciled to man because God is love. Man had to be reconciled to God because man was a helpless, ungodly enemy.
Man by the fall was estranged from God; he would not come back to God of his own will, and he could not come back to God because he had been rendered incapable of so doing. He was nonetheless responsible, and God was going to do something about it. He was going to save those on whom He had eternally set His love. God never had to be reconciled, for He is love. Those who refuse His love and continue in their own selfish way must incur His wrath.
All this is specifically set forth in 2 Corinthians 5:17–19: “For if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself (note that it does not say that He reconciled Himself to us] by Jesus Christ, and path given to us the ministry of reconciliation; that is to say, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
Go back to the root meanings of “reconcile”: to exchange coins of equal value, and to adjust a difference. The context of our verse in Romans shows us that we were helpless, ungodly sinners, and not only so, but also that we were enemies. God came in Christ and died for us. That satisfied every demand of His nature for righteousness and true holiness, and now His love may pour itself out to us. God sets Himself up as a banker in the market place and calls out to sinners, “Change your money here! Change your money here! I will give my power for your helplessness! I will give my godliness for your sinfulness! I will give my love for your enmity!”
This is the message of reconciliation which we are supposed to preach. It has almost disappeared from the Christian pulpits. Multitudes of liberals preach a gentle and ineffective reminder to sinners that Christ was a very fine example of martyrdom and willingness to die for a cause, and that mankind should show its good will by joining in all good causes, and therefore in this cause. It is all very vague and fruitless. On the other hand, even fundamental evangelists are not really exercising the ministry of reconciliation. “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For God hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:20–21).
Again, evangelists frequently say, “If you do not receive Christ as your Savior, you will be lost.” At first glance this appears to be good coin, but it is counterfeit when subjected to the acid test of Scripture. Such an invitation exalts the sinner to the throne where God and the Devil bow before him. The sinner has the heady intoxication of thinking himself in a position to confer an enormous favor upon one or the other of the suppliants. But the Bible presents us no such elevation of the sinner above God. The true proposition is, “If you do not receive the Lord Jesus as your Savior, you will remain lost. You always were lost. You were born lost. You are lost, and now we invite you to be reconciled to the true God who is all love toward you.”
THE WILL OF GOD
Most common of the honest errors made by evangelists is the appeal to the human will, especially through the emotions. There is no authority for such an appeal in Scripture, and there are flat statements to the contrary. “Being born again, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:13); and, “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:16). Therefore, any preaching addressed to the will of the listener is in contradiction to the plain statements of the Word of God. Such preaching may be sincere, but it is not the ministry of reconciliation which has been committed to us as the ambassadors of Christ.
The basic meaning of the original word, repentance, is “to change one’s mind,” and, since the idea of mental direction is involved, it is the equivalent to the military command “About face!” Change of direction is involved in the process of becoming a Christian, but this must not be allowed to degenerate into the false idea of weeping for sin before salvation can be secured. (Soon after that, one would think that there must be further suffering for sins after death, and thus we would deny the finished work of Christ.) Biblical repentance may be described thus: the sinner has been trusting in himself for salvation, his back turned upon Christ, who is despised and rejected. Repent! About face! The sinner now despises and rejects himself, and places all confidence and trust in Christ. Sorrow for sin comes later, as the Christian grows in appreciation of the holiness of God and the sinfulness of sin.
As we comprehend the love that stooped to save us, that love will constrain us. Paul had written several epistles before he wrote, “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing” (Rom. 7:18). In one of his earliest writings he rated himself as number twelve or thirteen, saying, “I am the least of the apostles” (1 Cor. 15:9). Later in his ministry he classified himself as number 500,000 or thereabouts, writing, I “am less than the least of all saints” (Eph. 3:8). But as an old man in prison and about to die, he wrote to young Timothy, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief” (1 Tim. 1:15).
Experimentally, I knew nothing of true godly sorrow for my sin for years after I was saved, and, indeed, I ask God even now to increase that sorrow that I may have an ever-growing horror of sin and an increasing sensitiveness to sin in its every subtle variation. Such godly sorrow leads to repentance not to be repented of (2 Cor. 7:10).
“BY THEIR FRUITS”
What is this ministry of reconciliation committed to us? Let me exercise it rather than describe it. First, my credentials: “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20). Others make the same claims, but do they have the authentication of the Word of God and of the Holy Spirit? I do not present my claim upon the basis of the fancied validity of ordination through a church. Ambassadors are not chosen by apostolic succession but by clear appointment. The reality of the appointment is to be judged by the faithfulness of the ambassador to the Word of God, which is in the hands of all men. If you do not check all preaching by the Bible and the Bible alone, you will be held responsible by God. But what about all who claim to minister according to the Bible? The answer is, look at their converts. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Mt. 7:20). Not by their proselytes to a set of ideas, but by the lives that are transformed under their ministry. Appraise them not by the statistics of people who come forward in an after meeting, but by the number of young men who enter the same faithful ministry of reconciliation.
You are a sinner, estranged from God. You have been running away ever since the garden of Eden. God declares that you are now in a condition of total helplessness, ungodliness, and sinfulness, and that you are His enemies. He commands me to tell you that He has fully dealt with your sin by sending Christ to die for you. Christ’s blood cried out, silencing God’s wrath against you, so that He is now propitiated. God is thoroughly satisfied with the death of Christ instead of your death. I declare to you on the authority of God that He is not imputing your trespasses to you. Every sin which you ever committed or ever will commit has already been charged to the account of Christ, and God holds nothing against you. He knows that you are still afraid and are acting as an enemy, but He loves you. He authorizes me to say that all has been forgiven and that you must simply turn around and come home.
JUST AS YOU ARE
You are to come just as you are. You are not to wash your face or brush your clothes. He will cleanse you and give you new garments, but He will not do so until you step inside the door with all your filth and ungodliness. After He has bathed you, you can keep yourself washed. After He gives you new garments, you may keep them brushed. Leave all your baggage outside and come with empty hands. He will give you new luggage, and you will pack it from His bounteous store. But He will not tolerate your bringing anything with you.
BRING NOTHING, DO NOTHING
O be ye reconciled to God. He loves you. He has nothing against you. He must take you as you are. Moslem, leave your Koran and come as a naked sinner. Pagan, leave your fetishes and come as you are. Atheist and agnostic, leave your doubts and fears and intellectual pride and come as bankrupts. Member of a false cult, leave your horrible caricature of God and come knowing that the blood of Christ has been shed by God Himself to pay your fine. Whoever you are, drop all confidence in baptism or church membership, and come to God; be reconciled to Him, for He has forgotten your sins, has put them behind His back, will remember them against you no more forever. Bring nothing, do nothing, say nothing. Come as you are.