|Romans 5:10 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. (NASB: Lockman)|
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 — 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 : (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 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 conclusion 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...
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.
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 that
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...
James Denney writes that...
The Believer's Study Bible writes that...
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 -
Barnes writes that...
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.
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.
John MacArthur writes:
John Piper illustrates much more which anyone can understand...
WE SHALL BE SAVED BY (in) 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 = 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")
As Denny puts it...
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 wrote...
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.
Does 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?
Saved (4982) (sozo) (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 sin's presence.
Harry Ironside comments...
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...
Newell writes that in His life means...
KJV Bible Commentary explains that...
Wycliffe Bible Commentary notes that...
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)
Amplified: Not only so, but we also rejoice and exultingly glory in God [in His love and perfection] through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have now received and enjoy [our] reconciliation. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
KJV: And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the atonement.
NIV: Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (NIV - IBS)
NLT: So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God—all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Nor, I am sure, is this a matter of bare salvation - we may hold our heads high in the light of God's love because of the reconciliation which Christ has made. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we received the reconciliation. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: And not only so, but we are also boasting in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom now we did receive the reconciliation;
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: (Ro 2:17; 3:29,30; 1Sa 2:1; Ps 32:11; 33:1; 43:4; 104:34; 149:2; Isa 61:10; Hab 3:17,18; Lk 1:46; Gal 4:9; 5:22; Phil 3:1,3; 4:4; 1Pet 1:8)
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.
Spurgeon commenting on not only but...also writes...
We also exult in God - The reconciled to God through Christ rejoice in God.
Leslie Allen writes that...
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 - Through Christ once again.
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.
Pastor 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. Beloved, whether you are a believer or not (you may just think you are a believer), I highly recommend listening to Piper's powerfully poignant proclamation on Romans 5:11 - Click to download Piper's sermon to your computer or Ipod.
James Denney writes that...
Robertson writes that the
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.
S Lewis Johnson writes...
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 writes...
Newell notes that...
Richards sums up some of the truths on reconciliation...
Let's summarize the benefits of justification by faith...
Warren Wiersbe sums it up this way...
Harry Ironside notes that...
In his sermon Joy in God Spurgeon addresses the question...