November 3: Justification Is part 5: Salvation By 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.

We’ve been looking at the benefits of our justification in Christ. Because we have been justified we have peace with God, we have access to grace, we have the hope of the glory of God, and we can rejoice in our suffering. Today let’s talk about benefit #5 Since we have been justified by his blood, we shall be saved…

Have you been saved?

The correct answer (if you are a Christian) is “yes and no.”

Look at the language Paul uses here to describe our salvation. It is future tense. Typically we talk about salvation in the past tense. “I got saved when I was 9 years old.” “I was saved as a teenager at camp.” But Paul talks about salvation in the past, present and here the future tense. There is a day coming that we will be saved from the wrath of God. There is a day coming when we will be saved by his life.

By his life. How do I know I will be saved from the wrath of God? Because it is by Christ’s life. It is your union with his life, the life of Jesus that justifies and reconciles and saves you. Nothing else. Not your life. Not your deeds. Not your accomplishments. Nothing we do could ever save us from the wrath we deserve. The righteous opposition of God directed toward your sin and the Sin of the world. It is only by his life, by his blood, by his death that we have the hope of future salvation on the day of reckoning. A day Paul has already written about.

Romans 2:5-9. But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11 For God shows no partiality.

Here in Romans 2 he describes the judgment day. And it sounds like there might be some hope in our own life. If we are patient in well doing (v7) we have a chance. If we do good (v10) we have a chance.

But then comes chapter 3.
Romans 3:9-12. What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.”

And it gets worse from there.

Only his life can save us. And it will because it already has. The structure of Paul’s argument in Romans 5:9-10 is a “from greater to lesser” argument or “from harder to easier.”

God has done the hard part: justified us even when we were guilty (see 5:8) by the blood of Jesus.

God will do the easier part: save us from the wrath to come.

God has done the hard part: reconciled us even when we were enemies by the death of Jesus.

God will do the easier part: save us by the life of Jesus.

Listen to me. The hardest part has been done. God loved you and saved you when you were still a scumbag sinner. God welcomed you into his heart, and life, and home when you were still his sworn enemy. Jesus has already died. Jesus has already been raised from the dead. That’s the hard part. And it’s already done. Think about that. All that’s left in the salvation process is the easy part. The Sin. The Death. The Old Man. These have all already been defeated. Judged. Murdered on a cross. All that the future holds for you now is hope, and goodness, and a great big “Not Guilty” stamp on your head and a seat at the banquet. Rejoice!

“To live is Christ” means that we will be saved by his life. We now share Christ’s risen life. And that life will save you. It will. I promise. His own resurrection is the proof. When God’s wrath is settled against Sin, it will not be settled against you. Why? Because you will have no more Sin. No more stain. No more guilt. No more enmity. Only the life of Christ will remain.

Spend some time praising God for the future salvation that you will experience one day. How does your union with Christ allow you to be saved by his life?

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