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. Rom 5:10
Conceiving and giving birth to a child is one thing, but raising up that child to become the person you want them to be is a different matter altogether. But, whereas in the natural the child-rearing part is the hardest – in most cases it is an absolute nightmare; and the world is littered with the relics of many a failed mission in that regard – yet here scripture declares that God, through the gospel that so powerfully reconciled us to Him, is able to bring us to maturity with the same certainty that He reconciled us to Himself in the first place.
As much as our reconciliation with God is a miracle beyond words, yet the work of the cross in us is an even more incredible feat, guaranteed to transform our lowly lives of sin into powerful testimonies of the holiness of God. What a grace!
The second part of this amazing scripture states: “…much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Notice the “much more”. That should encourage us.
Initially also, notice that the Bible makes it clear that there is the reconciliation, and then there is the salvation. In other words, what we normally call “salvation”, the Bible calls “reconciliation”. We say, “I am saved”; the Bible says, “No, you are reconciled with God”.
According to this scripture, salvation is a process that we are undergoing right now in our earthly lives. Scripture here is equating salvation with perfection. One day, our salvation will be completed. The gospel is working in us to perfect us.
Now, let us put this into proper perspective. The first thing we need to acknowledge is that the gospel is a living Entity. The gospel is actually Christ Himself. So when the gospel works in us, it is actually Christ Himself working in us to produce in us His own character, the character of God.
Unfortunately, there are some believers who live so much in the natural they are completely unaware of the profound work that needs to happen deep in their spirits. Instead, they concentrate on superficial things.
How do we allow Christ to work in us? It is when we allow the work of the cross in us. It is when we accept tribulations, hardships, trials and persecution for the sake of the gospel. The channel through which Christ comes to live in us is the channel of suffering and death. Through our acceptance of His death Christ comes into our hearts. And when Christ comes, He comes with His life. Christ’s life in us will save us. In other words, it will transform and perfect us.
Heaven is not waiting for immature babes. Once God calls us, He gets to work in us because He does not want to spend eternity changing nappies in heaven! Have you ever noticed that, even though there are hundreds, probably thousands of deaths occurring daily in the world, yet it takes an awful long time to hear about the death of a saint. And in nearly every instance when a believer dies, people’s hearts can testify that they have died in victory.
God is busy working to mature and perfect us here on earth, that we may stand before Him perfect.
We can hereby conclude that the two-fold purpose for which Christ came to earth and died on the cross for was:
- To reconcile us to God through one single act of repentance; and
- To perfect us in the Spirit through the work of the cross.
So what should be our response to such enormous grace? We readily and joyfully accept the reconciliation part. How about we cheerily begin working on the salvation/perfecting part, which is the reason we are still down here on earth?
Paul says in Colossians: “… 28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29 Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily” (Col. 1:28-29).
We cannot wait for the work of perfecting to happen in heaven. The power of the cross is there purposely to work in us now. Do not hold onto your life. Allow the cross of Christ to break and humble you.
[Below: The Master, through the cross, is putting our lives in order]