Having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Romans 5:6-21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 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. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— 13 for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.
15 But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many. 16 The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. 17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today’s text contains a foundational verse about the love of God. Many people, both within the church and in the world will focus on the character of love of and in God. They say “God is love.” They say “love is all we need.” They would agree with what 1 Peter 4:8 says: Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. The problem is that many people have accepted and applied the world’s description and demonstration of love, rather than God’s. The world, our culture and society says that if we love others we will accept them the way they are. We will tolerate and embrace whatever choices they make. The world says we must include everyone, even those who are against us. God on the other hand does not overcome the multitude of our sins by accepting, embracing, tolerating or including sin. That’s not how He demonstrates His overcoming love. Romans 5:8, in today’s text says: God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Verses 10-11 say: 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. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. So, we are not reconciled to God through tolerance or acceptance of sin, but through the demonstration of God’s love, the cross of Christ His Son. What does it mean that we are saved by His life? First, we need to know what it is that we are saved from. We are saved from sin. We are redeemed, not to continue in sin leading to death, but to live. That we are saved by His life, is not the life He lived on the earth as a man, but rather we are saved by the life of the resurrected Christ, by the life He lives after the cross. Jesus died on the cross for our sins so that we might have eternal life. John 3:16 says: “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” But through the resurrection we are also given life in and through Him. Romans 6:10 says: For the death that He (Jesus) died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Jesus death is referred to in the past tense. He died once 2000 years ago for the all the sins of every person. But it says: the life that He lives, He lives to God. It is the life that He lives, not the life that He lived. We too then, if we live in Christ should live to God.
The text begins saying: While we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. It ends: As sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. God demonstrated and demonstrates His love not as the world does in tolerance and acceptance of sin, but by grace through the cross we receive the free gift of salvation, reconciliation and redemption from sin. Grace is the free and unmerited love of God toward sinners. But grace reigns through righteousness. We cannot expect that the grace of God will rule in our lives if we ourselves are ruled by; live in or tolerate and embrace unrighteousness. 1 Corinthians 13 is often referred to as the love chapter. It too describes the love of God, not the love of the world. Verses 4-7 say: Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love does not act unbecomingly. Love does not rejoice in, nor accept and embrace unrighteousness. Love rejoices with the truth. Love indeed bears and endures all things. It is not though in tolerance, but rather through endurance of the cross. God is love and indeed the love of God is all we need. God’s love demonstrated in the cross that by grace we might live in the righteousness of Christ.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; thank You for love and grace. Thank You that we are saved by the resurrected life of Christ, that we might live in righteousness to God. Amen.