Romans 5:10
For if, when we were enemies of God, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!
Sermons
A Double Contrast, and an Argument Drawn TherefromW. Harris.Romans 5:10
Conflict Prolonged UnnecessarilyW. Baxendale.Romans 5:10
Converting Mercy a Pledge of Preserving GraceE. Cooper.Romans 5:10
Double AssuranceF. W. Brown.Romans 5:10
Enemies of GodJonathan Edwards, A. M.Romans 5:10
God's Hatred of SinArchdeacon Gifford.Romans 5:10
Reconciled and SavedT. Guthrie, D. D.Romans 5:10
Reconciliation with GodW. Jay.Romans 5:10
Reconciliation with God an Earnest of Complete SalvationD. Logan.Romans 5:10
Salvation by Christ's LifeR. Wardlaw, D. D.Romans 5:10
The Christian Encouraged to Expect Final SalvationJoseph Benson.Romans 5:10
The Genuine ChristianD. Thomas, D. D.Romans 5:10
The Salvation of Believers Carried on by the Life of Christ in HeavenJ. Leifchild, D. D.Romans 5:10
The State of the JustifiedR.M. Edgar Romans 5:1-11
The Love of God CommendedC.H. Irwin Romans 5:6-11
A Weak World Made StrongD. Thomas, D. D.Romans 5:6-12
Christ's Vicarious DeathAmerican Youth's CompanionRomans 5:6-12
For Whom Did Christ DieC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 5:6-12
Glorying in GodRomans 5:6-12
Man's Impotency to Help Himself Out of His MiseryRomans 5:6-12
The Certainty of the Believer's Final RedemptionH. Hughes.Romans 5:6-12
The Sad Plight and the Sure ReliefC. H. Spurgeon.Romans 5:6-12
Without StrengthA. Raleigh, D. D.Romans 5:6-12
The Certainty of SalvationS.R. Aldridge Romans 5:9, 10
The Assurance of RedemptionT.F. Lockyer Romans 5:9-11
But what an argument of assurance is such a love! If the love itself works hope, how does this assured love work an assured hope! It is an a fortiori of the strongest kind.

I. THE RECONCILIATION.

1. We were enemies. God was opposed to us; we were opposed to God. Something terribly real in this twofold opposition. We know its reality on our side; conscience, nature, revelation testify to its reality on God's side. The wrath of God.

2. Christ died for us. Justifying us by his blood, reconciling us to God through his death. The great demonstration of righteousness; the Divine concession to its claims. Also a great demonstration of love; the Divine provision for its claims. Yes; God sacrificing himself for man.

3. We are reconciled. God's love has free course now through Christ; our love is won for God in Christ. So then peace, amity, mutual love; identification in Christ! "Behold, what manner of love," etc. (1 John 3:1).

II. THE REJOICING. A reversion to argument with which chapter opened, and which is more or less maintained through all these verses. We look forward and fear. Nay, says the apostle, look to the past; think how great things God hath done for you; think of the conditions under which all that deliverance was wrought. And now contrast: see conditions of present salvation, and be glad as you look to the future, assured that your salvation shall be unto the uttermost. Follow the a fortiori.

1. Not enemies, but friends. What we were! But he loved us then, laid down his life for us then. What we are! how much more shall he save us now! "Thou art mine!"

2. Not his death, but his life. Two sides of Christ's saving work. Think of the suffering and death: that did so much! Think of the exaltation and life: how much shall not that do!

3. Not only reconciled, but rejoicing. The new-found love; the living Friend. Let us take this Divine "much more" into all our life. The dark background of rebellion and death; the present love and life: much more! The overcoming of the great evil once for all; the overcoming of our temptations now: much more! The gift of the Son; and now the gift of all grace through him: much more! And so, "saved from wrath through him." - T.F.L.







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.
I. IN WHAT RESPECT unregenerate men are such. In —

1. Their esteem of Him.

2. The natural relish of their souls.

3. Their will.

4. Their affections.

5. Their practice.

II. TO HOW GREAT A DEGREE.

1. They have no love.

2. Their every faculty is subject to this enmity.

3. It is insuperable to any finite power.

4. They are greater enemies to God than to any other being.

III. THE REASONS FOR THIS.

1. God is opposed to their idolatries.

2. They are threatened with damnation because of them.

(Jonathan Edwards, A. M.)

It is no figure but a deep essential truth that God hates sin; and since sin is necessarily personal, the sinner as such, i.e., so far as he wilfully identifies himself with his sin, is hated of God, His enemy (Romans 11:28). But God loves everything that He has made. He cannot love man as a sinner, but He loves him as man, even when he is a sinner. In like manner the Jews are described as being, at the same time, enemies in one relation and beloved in another (Romans 11:28). Human love here offers a true analogy: the more a father loves his son, the more he hates in him the drunkard, the liar, or the traitor. Thus God, loving as His creatures those whom He hates as self-made sinners, devises means whereby they may be brought back to Him.

(Archdeacon Gifford.)

I. THE BELIEVER'S RECONCILIATION.

1. The previous character of the partakers of this benefit; they "were enemies to God." But it is no easy thing to induce men to acknowledge this. They may indeed acknowledge that they have some imperfections and infirmities; but they cannot be persuaded that they are "enemies to God."

2. This inestimable boon itself. There are but few who do not know the value of reconciliation. Who has not tasted the bitterness of estrangement? Who has not enjoyed the deliciousness of renewed friendship? How delicious is national peace, domestic peace, ecclesiastical peace. But the blessing of reconciliation must be judged of by the Being whom we have offended and provoked. Who knoweth the power of His anger? And oh, to know that we are one with God again! Why, then, trials have no curse, death no sting, and all things work together for good.

3. The reconciliation is perfect and perpetual. A breach may be so far made up as to exclude hostility. Absalom was allowed to live three years in Jerusalem without seeing the king's face. There may be an admission of civilities and even general intercourse, where there may be no admission of cordialness. But how is it here? (Romans 8:35-39).

4. The medium of it. "The death of His Son." We escape, but He suffered. There are some who deny the vicariousness of the sufferings of Christ. But upon their principles it seems hard to account for His sufferings at all. According to these, He died not for others' sins, and we know He could not for His own; so upon this ground He suffered in every respect as innocent; and if this were true, we may well ask, Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. Why is He thus making Him to be sin for us who knew no sin? Why, if our tears, or repentance, or alms could have made reconciliation with God, He never would have been pleased to bruise His only begotten Son; and if in His sacrifice God did nothing needlessly or in vain, then there must have been a propriety, a necessity in the great transaction. So the apostle affirms, "It became Him to make the Captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings." Thus your reconciliation is made in a way that is as honourable to God as it is safe to us. The just God appears a Saviour. Now, this blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel, having spoken to the justice of God, and satisfied it, speaks to the conscience of the sinner, and gives it quiet and peace. Thus have we boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Christ.

II. THE BELIEVER'S SALVATION.

1. We are "saved by His life." But are we not saved when reconciled? No. The one regards God, the other regards ourselves. But did not He exclaim when He expired, "It is finished"? Yes; but what was finished? The work of redemption, or the procuring of the thing; not the work of salvation, or the applying of the thing. The case is this. We were guilty, and by the death of God's Son expiation was made for our offences. He put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself, and thus removed every hindrance on God's side to our return to Him. Yet we are not actually saved till we receive Christ, and are found in Him. Indeed, as to the commencement of the work, and the certainty of the issue, Christians are said to be saved already. "By grace are ye saved through faith." But as to the actual consummation, they are not saved till death is swallowed up in victory. This work of salvation is a gradual work carried on through the whole of the Christian's life on earth. We go from strength to strength, and in the Divine image we are "renewed day by day."

2. How this salvation is achieved. By His life; His mediatorial life; that life in which He is now living in our nature in heaven. This is what He referred to when He said, "Because I live ye shall live also." Had He not risen, our hopes would have perished in the same grave. "But we are begotten again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Everything that concerns our salvation is now to be viewed in connection with His life. He is now making intercession for us. He is a living Saviour, and as such He received the whole dispensation of the Spirit for men (Ephesians 4:8, etc.; Acts 2:33). It is as a living Saviour, "it hath pleased the Father that in Him should all fulness dwell, and out of His fulness have all we received grace for grace."

3. From hence you should learn to dwell more upon the present life of Christ. Christians love to hear of Christ's death. But it would be in vain to view Him as the crucified One, unless we could view Him as the glorified One. Here is the ground of our highest triumph (Romans 8:34).

III. THEIR CONFIRMATION; derived from an inference drawn from one to the other. "For if...much more." Observe the conclusiveness of the inference. What can be more natural than for us to argue from the past to the future; from what has been done to what may be; to feel the remembrance of one favour encouraging our hope of another, especially when we argue from the greater to the less; as Romans 8:32 does? It was wonderful that God should have provided an ark for the saving of Noah and his house; but it was not wonderful, after He had provided it, that He should not suffer him to sink and go to the bottom. It is wonderful that God should have given us exceeding great and precious promises; but it is not wonderful, after He had given them, that He should fulfil the same. It is wonderful, Christians, that He should have begun a good work in you; but having begun it, it is not wonderful that He should perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

(W. Jay.)

I. MORE IMMEDIATELY IN REFERENCE TO GOD. Reconciliation is the restoring to a state of friendship parties Who had been at variance with each other. The parties presented by the apostle in the passage before us being God and man — God being necessarily the justly-offended party, it belonged to guilty, rebellious man to reconcile himself to God. But wherewithal could man thus come before God? What man, however, could never have solved, God hath both unravelled and removed. "He was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself; not imputing to men their trespasses." He so far reconciled Himself to man, when He devised the plan whereby He could continue the just God, whilst the justifier of the ungodly who believe on Jesus. And He so far reconciled Himself to man, when He gave and continues with man, the ministry of reconciliation. Now the reasoning of the apostle, as bearing on this view of the case, is shortly this — hath God out of absolutely spontaneous loving kindness thought compassionately on man in his low and lost estate — hath He exerted His infinite wisdom in devising a scheme whereby "in the riches of His grace through Christ, He hath even abounded towards man in all wisdom and prudence" — hath the character of the Divine holiness been signally vindicated, and the claims of infinite justice and unimpeachable truth satisfied — hath the almighty power of God been put forth in raising up Christ from the dead — hath the Divine machinery, the pattern of things in the heavens, not only been constructed and perfected, but ready at the bidding of the great Artificer to begin the work of mercy and of love — when lo! the hand of the Divine Artificer, ready to touch the life-giving apparatus is suspended — producing the silence of ungratified desire in heaven, of disappointment on earth, of joy in hell. And, would such a part be worthy of the great God to act? Would it be consistent with the all-perfect character of Jehovah? Could the wisdom which devised and consummated the scheme, rest satisfied till its excellence was developed in its glorious effects?

II. THE CONTRAST IMPLIED BETWEEN THE EFFICACY AND POWER OF THE LIFE AND THE DEATH OF CHRIST. "Much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." Now, although the death of Christ is not here specifically mentioned, yet it is directly referred to, and a contrast stated, though tacitly, between His death and His life. How was it that God was reconciled to man, and man to God? It was by the death of His Son. Now, if such effects are ascribed to, and naturally flow from the death of Christ, much more may we look for, and naturally expect consequences, even if possible surpassing these, springing from His life. It is not so much His mediatorial life, as affording opportunities for the fruits of His death to appear, and hereby manifesting its incalculable efficacy; as by the transference, as it were, of what gave worth and efficacy in the death, to the activity and energy in the life. And what was it which rendered the death or sacrifice of Christ infinitely meritorious? It was not that He was a man, or even a perfect man, but that He was the God-man. Oh, what encouragement, and what a firm ground of confidence does the apostle's reasoning in this view of the case afford to the genuine believer in the name of Christ! Transfer the infinite worth of character, as giving value and efficacy to the death of Christ — transfuse all this into His mediatorial life, and what vitality and power concentrate not only here; but how are all these pledged as a guarantee that the foundation which was laid in the death will be reared into a glorious edifice by the life of Christ. If His death effected so much, much more rather will His life more than perfect all.

III. THE THIRD STEP IN THE PROCESS OF THE APOSTLE'S REASONING REFERS MORE IMMEDIATELY TO MAN, and carries with it into the bosom of the genuine believer the most irresistible evidence of its truth and power. Having become the subject of this reconciliation, he is conscious to himself that a thorough change hath passed upon his state and character as in the sight of God. Lately he was dead whilst he lived; but now "hath he been quickened to newness of life," and "is alive unto God, through Jesus Christ." Originally his inner man was a spiritual chaos, without form and void; but now he is created anew in Christ Jesus. "A new heart has been given him, and a new spirit put within him." Lately his mind, being carnal, was enmity against God, but this enmity is now transfused into friendship. Once he loved sin, and derived his chief enjoyment from the ways of it; but now he is a lover of God, and God's law is his delight. Now, observe how forcibly to the experienced Christian the conclusion is which the apostle draws in the text — "much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by Christ's life." What hath been already wrought in the heart of the believer is an earnest and a pledge of what God will continue to do, and delight in doing. Hath He changed rebellion into loyalty, He will never fail to reward with the smiles of His approval the acts of loyalty cheerfully and submissively rendered. Hath He changed enmity into affection, He will never cease to draw forth renewed and more ardent expressions of this heaven-born love. In short, if our heavenly Father came graciously near when we were repulsive, He will never leave us now that He hath rendered us attractive.

(D. Logan.)

1. Among the ten thousand plants that clothe the naked world, none are found where the execution falls short of the design. Nor among the countless tribes of animals does God, in any case, appear to have begun a work and stopped in the middle. He never made an unfinished flower or insect; and it were strange if He should make an unfinished saint.

2. "Wherefore hast Thou made all men in vain?" "I saw the prosperity of the wicked...Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. For all day long have I been plagued." These plaints prove that Providence is not so easily read as nature. But that is because Providence is not, like creation, a finished work. Take a man to a house when the architect is in the middle of his plan, what is perfect order to the architect, to the other will be confusion; and so stands man amid that vast scheme of Providence which God began six thousand years ago, and may not finish for as many thousand years to come. Raised to the throne of Egypt, Joseph saw why God had permitted him to be sold into slavery and cast into prison. And raised to heaven, the saint, now that God's works of Providence stand before him in all their completeness, shall take his harp, and sing, "Just and true are Thy ways, Thou King of Saints."

3. Now, God's work in grace forms no exception to His works in nature and in Providence. A man designs a great literary work, and he dies; or throwing it aside for something else, he leaves the world but a fragment of it. The studio of the painter has unfinished pictures; our streets have unfinished houses; and man has many a plan lodged in his busy brain that he never or but partly executes. But where God begins a good work He carries it on to the day of the Lord Jesus. Consider —

I. OUR STATE BY NATURE — We are the enemies of God.

1. Some things we are to believe on the simple authority of God's Word. There are others, again, in which, "as face answereth to face in water," so the state of our hearts answereth to the statements of God's Word; and such is the case with Paul's saying, "The carnal mind is enmity against God." For was there ever a saved man who did not feel when he was converted that he was conquered? This enmity does not lie in bad habits, education, or other such circumstances. It is not like a cold which anyone may take, but a consumption which is constitutional and hereditary; and what are all these sins and crimes which the apostle describes as works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19); but, like the flushed cheek, languid eye, and bounding pulse of fever, the symptoms of an enmity that lies lurking in every heart? The temptations that call out the enmity no more create it than the showers and sunshine create the deadly hemlock which has its seed in the soil.

2. Nor is this all. Consumption, fell and deadly as it is, usually attacks but one organ. The constitution may be otherwise sound. The best things, indeed, have their defects — there are spots in the sun; there is more or less of alloy in all gold; and weeds deform the fairest gardens. But whenever circumstances occur to call it out, this enmity affects the whole man; so that he is as much under its influence as every sail, yard, mast, and timber of a ship are under the government of her helm. True, that does not always appear; but no more does the fire that sleeps in the cold flint, until there be a collision with steel. The carnal mind not only has, but is, enmity against God. Enmity is of its very nature, as it is of the nature of grass to be green, or sugar to be sweet, or vinegar to be sour. If it were not so, man would not need to be born again to get a new heart; like a watch that had but started a jewel, or lost the tooth of a wheel, it were enough to be repaired without being renewed.

3. What a proof of this we have in the treatment of Christ by man. Fancy a drowning man putting forth his dying strength to wound the hand stretched out to save him! I would hold any man my enemy that would kill my son; and if men by nature were not God's enemies, why did they kill His Son? why do they still reject Him?

II. THE RECONCILIATION. The time has come when Jacob must face an angry brother. He had taken cruel advantage of Esau's necessities and ungodliness, to possess himself of the birthright and the blessing. He had to settle the account with his brother now; and the prospect, as well it might, filled him with alarm. Busy, guilty, fancy conjures up a dreadful retribution. What shall he do? Fight? It is vain to think of that. Flee? Encumbered with wives and little ones, it is vain to think of fleeing. One refuge is still open to him! He betakes himself to prayer; wrestling with God till the break of day. I have seen the sun set on a troubled sea where the billows burst in white foam on rocky headlands, and roared in thunders on the beach; and tomorrow the same sun set on the same sea, smooth as a glassy mirror. A change as great, and in as short a time, has passed on the soul of Jacob. Yesternight was spent in an agony of prayer; and this night he lays his head in sweet peace on its pillow. The long estranged brothers have embraced and buried in one grave Esau's wrongs and Jacob's crimes — being enemies, they were reconciled. Blessed change to Jacob; and yet but a faint image of our reconciliation to God! What is that? what does it imply? what blessings does it bring? We shall never know fully till we get to heaven; "for eye hath not seen," etc. But this, meanwhile, we know, reconciliation is sin pardoned; death discrowned; peace of conscience; a sense of Divine love; a sight of coming glory.

III. THE MEANS OF RECONCILIATION. A man lying under sentence of death has sent off a petition for mercy, and waits the answer in anxious suspense. One day his ear catches rapid steps approach his door — they stop there. The chain is dropped; the bolts are drawn; a messenger enters with his fate; the sovereign pities the criminal, but cannot pardon the crime. His hopes dashed to the ground, he gives himself up for lost. And now the messenger draws near, and tells him that if the king's son would change places with him and die in his room, that would satisfy justice, and set him free. Drowning men will catch at straws; not he at that. The king give up his son! If there is no hope but that, there is no hope at all! Now fancy, if you can, his astonishment, sinking to incredulity, and then rising into a paroxysm of joy, when the messenger says, I am the king's son; it is my own wish, and my father's will that I should die for you; take you the pardon, and give me the fetters. In me shall the crime be punished; in you shall the criminal be saved. Such love never was shown by man; only by God. Did David, when he considered the heavens the work of God's fingers, exclaim, What is man that Thou art mindful of him? How much more may God's people break out into expressions of adoring wonder, when they stand beneath the Cross.

IV. RECONCILED BY THE DEATH OF CHRIST, HIS PEOPLE ARE SAVED BY HIS LIFE. Suppose that our Lord, having satisfied Divine justice, had left in the grave a body which He needs no more, and returned to the bosom of His Father, still the Son of God, but no longer also the Son of Man, His death had been in vain. There was the medicine, but where was the physician to administer it? When we die our work is done. Not so with Christ. He had a great work to do after His death — a work foreshadowed on the day of atonement in the temple. The high priest, having sacrificed a lamb, carries its blood into the holy of holies; offering it before the mercy seat. By and by, returning with the blood, he takes a bunch of hyssop, and sprinkles it in red showers on the people. Now are they ceremonially clean before the Lord; and so David, with his eyes no doubt on better blood, prays, Sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than the snow. Even so, Jesus rises from yonder grave and ascends to yonder throne, that He may apply to His people the benefits of His redemption. He lives to provide for our wants and to advocate our cause; so that our life is as much dependent on His as that of the branches on the tree, or the body's various members on the life of their heart and head. Because He liveth we live also. We attach little value to what costs us little. Of all men they are the most careful of their money who have earned it by the hardest labour; they guard their liberties most jealously Who have bought them at the greatest price. The great price at which Christ purchased His people is the great security for their safety.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

How anxious the apostle was in all his letters to convince believers in Christ that their position was absolutely secure. The text suggests the following train of thought.

I. THE SAD STATE INTO WHICH SIN HAS DEGRADED MAN. "We were enemies." Not simply godless and careless, but rebels against God. Hence the heinousness of sin. The carnal mind is enmity against the holiest and best of Beings, and implies alienation, guilt, condemnation, and if persisted in — death.

II. THE HAPPY CONDITION INTO WHICH GRACE ELEVATES MAN. "Reconciled to God."

1. The exhibition of Divine love, in the sacrifice of Calvary, draws men to God, because there is proclaimed how deep, sincere, and pitiful He is, against whom sinners have revolted; how ready He is to forgive and save.

2. To be reconciled to God is not only to be pardoned, but to be admitted into fellowship with Him; to be in harmony with His will and purposes; to acquiesce in the dispensations of Providence.

3. What honour in such a state of oneness with the Almighty. Reconciled to Him we —

(1)Walk with Him.

(2)Talk to Him and He to us.

(3)Work with and for Him.

(4)Become like Him.

(5)Become prepared to be forever with Him.

III. THE DIVINE MEANS BY WHICH THAT GREAT CHANGE IS EFFECTED. "By the death of His Son." The voices of nature call us to grateful acknowledgment of the great and good Creator; but the loudest and sweetest tones come from Calvary. By the death of God's dear Son, we see —

1. The exceeding sinfulness of sin.

2. The ineffable love of God. Not that He loved His friends, but His foes.

3. The substitutionary character of the Redeemer's offering.

IV. THE IMMOVABLE BASIS UPON WHICH WE MAY REST OUR HOPE OF COMPLETE SALVATION. "Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life." The death of Christ was not merely to save us from the consequences of sin, but from the love and practice of it. The love of Christ was seen in His life as well as in His death; and we are saved from sin by —

1. His exemplary earthly life. We may attain to the highest life by imitating Him, and in proportion as we become like Him do we please God.

2. His exalted heavenly life. He lives to see the purposes of redemption fulfilled, to dispense the gifts His atoning death procured. No wonder the apostle staked all on the resurrection of Christ. If we cannot look up to a risen and reigning Redeemer, then our preaching and faith are vain, we are yet in our sins.

(F. W. Brown.)

I. Contrasted conditions IN THE HISTORY OF THOSE WHO WERE NOW CHRISTIANS.

1. "We were enemies." Some had answered to the description given in chap. 1, others had doubtless been more virtuous heathen, or, like Paul, blameless as touching the righteousness of the Jewish law; but the description "enemies," is applied to all (Romans 8:7). "We were reconciled to God." Reconciliation may be mutual, or only one party may need to be influenced by its power. The latter is the case here; we are the only parties needing to be reconciled (see 2 Corinthians 5:18). This is effected by Christ's death, as the manifestation of the love of God.

II. Contrasted conditions IN THE HISTORY OF CHRIST.

1. His death. Death is a time of captivity, therefore of weakness. Christ's death was surrounded by circumstances of sorrow and shame.

2. His life. The life which followed His death, when He led captivity captive, when sorrow was exchanged for the "joy set before Him," and the Cross for the throne.

III. THE ARGUMENT drawn from this double contrast. If God's Son by death could reconcile His enemies, how much more by His life will He complete and perfect their salvation, now that they are His friends. If in weakness He could accomplish the greater, how much more in strength can He insure the less. If by imprisonment in the tomb He could give us the liberty of the sons of God, how much more can and will He now sustain us in that freedom.

(W. Harris.)

I. THE POSITION HERE ASSUMED. Note —

1. The change which Christians have undergone. This change has been effected. Let us separately advert to these two particulars.(1) They were enemies to God. This, indeed, is naturally the state of all men. "Being by nature born in sin, they are children of wrath." It is not, however, by imputation only, but also by wicked works. They dislike His holiness, His law, His service. To dislike God, who is goodness; to hate His service, which is happiness; to have lost His favour, which is better than life; to be exposed to His wrath, which is a consuming fire; who can conceive the real wretchedness of such a state!(2) Such was once the state of those who are now real Christians. But it is their state no longer.(a) They are now "reconciled to God." His wrath is turned away from them. They are brought into a state of peace and friendship with God.(b) Their nature has undergone a most wonderful alteration. They are become new creatures in principle and practice. They now love God and find pleasure in His ways. From enemies they have been made friends; from rebels, children; from vessels of wrath, monuments of grace and mercy.

2. The astonishing way in which this change has been effected.(1) By what means? "By the death of His Son." It is plain that the whole benefit of this reconciliation rests with man. God cannot be profited by it; but it was God who brought it about. In His infinite mercy He projected so great a blessing to mankind. In His infinite wisdom He devised a plan for effecting it. And when, according to this plan, it was expedient that His only-begotten Son should suffer for sinners, He "spared Him not, but delivered Him up for us all." He delivered Him up as a sacrifice to justice.(2) Under what circumstances? "When they were enemies." Previously to any disposition on their part, to any sorrow felt, any contrition expressed, any desire of forgiveness manifested, any petition for mercy offered, God planned their return to Him, and provided the way.

II. THE INFERENCE DRAWN FROM IT. "Much more being reconciled, they shall be saved by His life." True Christians in their reconciliation with God have, indeed, undergone a great and a glorious change. But the work is not yet complete. The great obstacle is removed. Their sins are pardoned and their souls are renewed. But they are as yet renewed only in part. The carnal mind, though weakened, is not utterly subdued. Their great adversary constantly harasses them; while the world assails them with all its formidable weapons. Now the natural tendency of all these united obstacles is to oppose their progress; nay, to drive them back, and to leave them at last to perish in sin and wrath. Effectual provision is made for their security. He who died to reconcile them by His blood, now liveth to preserve them by His power. Observe, then, the whole force of the inference in the text. Hath God done so much for His people, and will He do no more? Certainly not. On the contrary, if He has done the greater work for them, much more will He do the less. If He pitied them when enemies, much more will He love them when friends.

(E. Cooper.)

Mankind, in all ages, have been prone to extremes. If we reject the doctrine of infallible perseverance, which has no foundation in Scripture, and has a tendency to lull asleep in carnal security, there is danger lest we conceive that the continuance and final salvation of God's people is a matter of uncertainty. The consequence is, that some, who might otherwise go on comfortably in the ways of God, are enervated and cast down, while their dejection and sorrow is very discouraging to others. To offer a preventative I have chosen this passage, from which I would observe —

I. OF WHOM THE APOSTLE HERE SPEAKS. The context shows he does not speak of mankind in general — or of mere nominal Christians — but of those who have obtained peace with God through Christ.

II. THE STATE SUCH WERE IN WHEN THE GRACE OF GOD FOUND THEM.

1. They were "without strength" (ver. 6), and without ability to recover themselves; ignorant, and without ability to enlighten themselves; guilty, depraved, and wretched, and without strength to expiate their guilt, change their depraved nature, or remove their miseries.

2. But did they not deserve that God should help and save them? No; for they were "ungodly" (ver. 6), devoid of the knowledge, fear, love, favour, image, and enjoyment of God (Romans 3:10, 11).

3. They not only had no merit, but they had demerit, for they were "sinners" (ver. 8).

4. Nay, they were "enemies" (ver. 10), to God's nature and attributes, to His will, word, and ways, manifested by the carnal mind, their disobedience to, or rebellion against His laws, their fretfulness and murmuring against His dispensations.

III. WHAT GOD HAS ALREADY DONE FOR THEM. He has given His Son (see vers. 6-8). And consider —

1. His dignity (John 1:1; Colossians 1:13-17; Hebrews 1:2), and His dearness to His Father, whom the Father gave to die.

2. The unworthiness of the persons for whom He suffered; how this demonstrates God's love, as they were enemies, etc. He has justified them by Christ's death, reconciled them to Himself, and united their hearts in love to Him. And this He has done on the most easy condition, viz., repentance and faith.

IV. THE GROUND HEREBY LAID FOR HOPING THAT HE WILL DO ALL THAT REMAINS TO BE DONE. "We shall be saved by His life" — that is, sanctified and glorified. The solidity of our hope in this respect will appear from three particulars.

1. From what He has done already. The incarnation, life, sufferings, death, resurrection, etc., of God's Son, have afforded much greater displays of Divine wisdom, power, and love, than any other that can possibly be made. To save the lost, to reconcile the enemy, to heal the sick, to raise the dead, were greater and more difficult than to guard the found, to preserve the friendly, to keep in health the restored, to sustain the life of the quickened and revived, and to save to the uttermost.

2. From the situation of the person from whom this remaining good is to be done. If not less weak, unworthy, and guilty than they were before, yet they are better disposed, and less opposed to the work to be done in them and for them. Therefore there is less obstruction in the way.

3. From the nature of the means employed to do it. If, when enemies, we were reconciled by the death of God's Son, much easier is it that when made His friends we should be preserved and saved to the uttermost by His life. For life is more powerful than death; especially life after death; life for evermore.

(Joseph Benson.)

The battle of New Orleans was fought after the treaty of peace had been signed at Ghent, the news of which arrived soon after. And this is what conflict with God means — warfare continued when there is no longer any occasion for it.

(W. Baxendale.)

1. The resurrection and life of Jesus are the sure pledge of the resurrection and life of all His people.

2. Christ. in His present life at God's right hand, is invested with "power to give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given Him."

3. Jesus is employed in interceding for His people: and the evidence of God's full satisfaction in the finished work of His Son, afforded by His rising to life from the grave, gives us the most assured confidence that He never pleads in vain, that the Father heareth Him always.

4. All the arrangements of providence are in His hands. He not only exercises a general superintendence of the affairs of the world for the advancement and final triumph of His spiritual kingdom; there is a minuter care — a care which extends to each particular individual of His subjects in his passage through life.

5. By the power which is committed to Him in His mediatorial life, He will perfect the salvation of His people, by raising them at last from the grave. He is "Lord of the dead." Their spirits are with Him. Their bodies, though for a time left under the power of the last enemy, are still His. He will "redeem them from death, He will ransom them from the power of the grave." He ransomed them by price on earth: He will redeem them by power in heaven.

(R. Wardlaw, D. D.)

I. THE LIFE OF CHRIST.

1. Its present sphere —

(1)In the glory which He had with the Father before the world was.

(2)At the Father's right hand of power.

2. Its present occupation.

(1)He ever liveth to make intercession.

(2)All power in heaven and earth which has been given Him He employs.

(a)To serve His friends.

(b)To extend His dominion.

II. HOW WE ARE SAVED BY THIS LIFE. He —

1. Perpetuates the justification, and liberty of access to God, procured by Him for us, when we first believed on Him.

2. Frustrates the attempts of our adversaries to injure us.

3. Replenishes us with grace for the furtherance of our sanctification in the use of the appointed means.

4. Revives us with Divine support and consolation in seasons of extremity.

(J. Leifchild, D. D.)

I. IS THE SUBJECT OF A GREAT MORAL CHANGE IN HIS RELATION TO GOD. All were once "enemies to God." The language presents to us two facts —

1. The most terrible condition in which it is possible to conceive a moral creature. "Enemies to God." The fact that men are not conscious of this is no proof that it does not exist. Emotion often settles down into a principle of action too regular to become a matter of consciousness. The father's love, which in its first stage was a warm emotion, in the course of years becomes a principle of action, that rules the life and explains the conduct; and thought concentrated on the object, can at any time bring up this emotion.

1. There are facts which indicate a man's state of mind towards another. If, e.g., I find a man —

(1)Habitually acting contrary to my well-known wishes.

(2)Habitually ignoring and shunning those who are my avowed friends.

(3)Associating with my determined opponents, he proves himself my enemy in each case. In such ways as these, sinful men demonstrate their enmity to God, whatever they may say.

2. But what a state is this to be in!

(1)How ungrounded! "They hated Me without a cause."

(2)How guilty! hating the infinitely Righteous and the infinitely Good.

(3)How mad! a worm raising its head against the thunders of the universe. "Hast thou an arm like God?" etc.

2. A suggestion which serves to correct a theological error — that God was an enemy whose love had to be purchased, whereas it is quite the other way.

II. HAS BEEN THUS CHANGED BY MEANS OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST. We were "reconciled to God by the death of His Son." How is enmity to be destroyed? There is only one way in which from the constitution of mind it is possible — by love. This God does by the death of Christ, which is —

1. The grandest effect of God's love. The universe is an effect of His love, but this is the grandest.

2. The mightiest demonstration of God's love. It is impossible for the human mind to conceive of anything more convincing. All arguments and facts bearing on this subject seem to concentrate in this. This is the great focal and ultimate exhaustive argument.

3. The special organ of God's love. The Cross is the great instrument of His Spirit, in convincing, converting, justifying, and sanctifying sinners. It is that by "which the world is crucified unto us," etc.

III. THAT HE HAS BEEN THUS CHANGED BY CHRIST'S DEATH IS AN INVINCIBLE ARGUMENT THAT HIS SALVATION WILL BE COMPLETED. "Much more." The following thoughts may develop the force of Paul's a fortiori reasoning.

1. The most difficult part of the work has already been accomplished. Any power may destroy an enemy, but it requires the highest power to destroy enmity. The reconciler or peacemaker is the divinest character in the universe. This work has been done; what remains to be done is the development of this new affection.

2. This most difficult part of the work has been accomplished —(1) When you were in the most repulsive condition. Enemies repel us from acts of kindness. "Vengeance for enemies," says corrupt human nature. "Scarcely for a righteous man will one," etc.(2) By a dying Saviour; the remaining and easier part of the work, now we are in a more pleasing position, is accomplished by a living Saviour.

(D. Thomas, D. D.)

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