Chapter # 5 Paragraph # 1 Study # 10
March 28, 2006
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 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.
1901 ASV Translation:
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, shall we 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, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;
- I. Paul's Focus Upon "Salvation".
- A. A thoughtful look at Romans 5:9-10 reveals that Paul is saying the same thing twice.
- 1. He uses the "much more" phrase twice.
- 2. He uses the parallel phrases "being justified by His blood" and "we were reconciled through the death of His Son" in which "being justified" is made parallel to "we were reconciled" and "by His blood" is made parallel to "through the death".
- 3. He makes "we shall be saved from the wrath" parallel to "we shall be saved by His life".
- B. Paul's "point" is that there is a "much more" reality to the "salvation" than there is to the disaster of being held accountable for our sins.
- 1. This exalts the objective (the provision viewed from the divine side of the issue) effectiveness of the death of Christ.
- a. In 5:6 Paul says "Christ died for the ungodly."
- b. In 5:8 Paul says "Christ died for us."
- c. In 5:9 Paul says we are "justified by His blood".
- d. In 5:10 Paul says we were "reconciled to God through the death of His Son."
- e. At the purely rational level, if God the Son "died for sins", the "death" He died was far more than what the "sins" called for under the wrath of God. The death of the infinite God for the sins of finite men hardly brooks comparison. Not to diminish the consequences of sins by finite men against an infinitely good God, but the fact is that all of the sins of all of humanity for all of history are as nothing in the face of the death of the infinite God. How can anything with finite boundaries be compared to anything of infinity?
- f. Clearly Paul wished to get the Roman Christians to believe (this is the human side of the issue) that there is a legitimate foundation for "exulting" in hope of the glory of God (5:2) and a legitimate basis for "exulting" even in our "tribulations" since they cannot separate us from His love for the reason that the "atonement" price was so enormously sufficient (see Romans 8:35-39).
- 2. This also, however, injects the efficacy of His "Life" into the equation as Paul says that "being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
- a. This is only the fifth time in Romans (up to this point) that "life" has even been mentioned (2:7; 4:17, 24, 25), and it is the third time that the Life of Jesus has been mentioned (4:24, 25 and the text before us).
- b. The turn to the "Life of Jesus" is significant.
- 1) The grammatical structure of "by His blood" in 5:9 is exactly the same as "by His life" in 5:10. It is different from the phrase, "through Him" in 5:9 and "through the death of His Son" in 5:10.
- 2) The direct implication of the grammar is that there are two equal aspects to our "salvation": the first is the "justification unto reconciliation" and the second is the "salvation from the wrath" that is "salvation by His Life".
- 3) This issue raises this question: In what sense are we "saved" by His Life? The answer is partially addressed in 5:18, where we find the phrase "justification of Life", and partially in 6:4 where our "baptism" into His death is followed by our participation in His resurrection life.
- a) In Romans 4:25 Paul made the statement that Jesus was raised from the dead "for our justification." The point seems to be that resurrection to life was the very necessary "next step" after the "death for our offences".
- b) The point is made: Life swallows up Death (1 Corinthians 15:54) and the final state is Life rather than Death.
- c) And then there is Hebrews 7:25: that writer pointedly says that Christ is able to "save to the uttermost" those who come to God by Him "seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them." This statement clearly indicates at least one rationale for His "life" being the means of our life.
- 4) It seems that the issue of our sins and the atonement is a preliminary issue [an extremely crucial preliminary issue, but preliminary nonetheless] that is to lead to the more significant consequent issue: our ability to "live".
- a) The "damper" to this thesis is the reality of the future tense in the verb, "we shall be saved." The impact of the provision of God in His Son is not to be fully realized until we come to the fulfillment of the "hope of the glory of God."
- b) The reality is one of a mixed experience in which we endure the reality of the impact of sin while we also simultaneously taste of the reality of the impact of reconciliation. At the very best, we live in "hope". At the very worst, we experience the sledgehammer of sin's constant impact with only a flickering of "hope".
- c) Paul's labor in writing is to strengthen the flame of hope so that we deal with the impact of sin without the simultaneous impact of the diminishing of hope. It is surely one thing to deal with the negative impact of sin in the strength of hope; it is altogether another thing to deal with that impact while our hope is just barely alive.