Saved by His Life

The book of Romans is a favorite and specially chapters 5-8.  These contain deep and incredible truths that transform the soul.  We are made right with God – through faith in Christ alone.  Spiritually we were all born dead.  We were physically alive but spiritually dead.  Because of our spiritual birth defects we needed far more than just forgiveness of sins, we needed life.  That’s what Jesus gives – His life.

Romans 5:9–10 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, It just keeps getting better, we just read we were helpless, full of sin, the enemies of God, and Jesus proved His love for us by dying on the cross.  Since God already did the really difficult thing – justified us – we can be confident He will do all we need.  The Old Covenant required the sacrifice of an innocent animal – bringing sacrificial blood to the altar.  The blood of goats was an act of faith to bring man a temporary covering for their sin.  Jesus shed His blood as a perfect, permanent sacrifice for all of sin so we could be in good standing before God.  We are justified by faith in the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf.  His blood had to be shed for our atonement.

much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. This is really good news!  God was angry with His creation for their persistent rebellion and self-destructive choices.  He didn’t simply wipe them out of existence.  He sent His Son as the perfect sacrifice for sin so we could be saved from wrath.  It’s hard to get your head around the idea that God, who is love, also has wrath.  We need to understand that God is love.  He doesn’t just have love it is the essence of who He is.  Even His wrath flows from His loving nature.

It recently surprised me to hear a presidential candidate defending partial birth abortion.  At first I didn’t completely understand exactly what that was.  After a little investigation I was horrified at the procedure!  How could any society justify this – under any circumstance?  It made me angry that innocent lives were being terminated so ruthlessly.  Do we really believe our God, who is Love, is unmoved by injustice?  Does His righteous anger in any way take away from His love?  If a court judge released a pedophile, without penalty, to continue abusing children would we call him loving?  Please ponder this great truth.  The love of God is never in conflict with His justice or holiness.  What this shows us is God’s wrath brought about redemptive suffering while Jesus suffered the blows of our sin.

We are all worthy of His wrath but His love sent Jesus to become what we were so we could receive His Life.  A believer is no longer subject to wrath because it has been fully satisfied by the sacrifice of Jesus.  He showed us redemptive suffering by absorbing the blows we deserved.  Not that we suddenly got our act together and were fully obedient but because He placed us in His Son.  We will still be chastised – He loves us too much to let us continue in sin.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, Paul keeps returning to this theme that we’re enemies in need of reconciliation.  He repeats it because it’s difficult to accept we were literally the enemies of God. We like to think of ourselves as friends of God while we live self-willed lives completely oblivious to His desires for us.  There’s no such thing as a victimless sin.  Our sin not only destroys us but it harms others and creation as a whole.

We can be reconciled to God.  When we were enemies He brought us to Himself through the sacrifice of His Son.  He didn’t just forgive us – He restored us to our created purpose of intimacy with Him.  Reconciliation expresses the inseparable relationship we have with God.  All of the hostilities that once existed between us have been taken care of.  Don’t try to be worthy of this love.  All of our offers to repay are an insult.  How can utterly bankrupt people repay?  Self-righteousness seeks to discover some cause for the divine favor God gives but its only source is Himself and His love.

much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  This story just gets gooder and more gooder!  God has already done the harder thing by sacrificing Himself for His enemies: He will certainly do the easier thing by giving us life.  We shall be saved!  We can’t be saved until we realize we need to be saved.  We like to think of ourselves as pretty good but that isn’t God’s assessment.  We are all in need of a Savior.  How are we saved?  Most people answer that with, “by the death of Jesus.”  In truth, Jesus died for our sins but was then raised to give us life.  We are saved by His life.

In the garden there were two trees, the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.  We were created to live out of the tree of Life and let God be all knowing of good and evil.  When Adam sinned he and Eve were removed from the garden to keep them from eating of the Tree of Life – because they had not been cleansed of sin.  Death is absolutely necessary to take care of both the penalty and power of sin.  Sin left us dead to God.  What does a dead man need more than anything else?  He needs life!  What did God give us?  His own life!  He made a perfect sacrifice for all of our sins so He could live inside us!  This is why John 3 tells us, “You must be born again!”

Have you been born again?  If not it is as simple as putting your trust in Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for your sins and trusting Him to come and bring your spirit alive by His own life.  It’s simply amazing, we who were enemies are now saved by His life!

You are loved!

Pastor Tim