Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Death And Life: Romans 5:8-11 Conclusion

Jesus not only saves His people by His death, but we are told they will be saved—future tense—by His life. (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. Romans 5:10-all Bible quotes are ESV.)

Christ needed to be pure and unblemished, just as Old Testament sacrifices were to be. For example, a shepherd didn’t pick a lamb at random, or give a sickly one when it was time to sacrifice. He was to give his best—an unblemished lamb. By living a sinless life and fulfilling the Law—Jesus could offer Himself as an unblemished sacrifice for His people. I believe that, but there is more than that here. The verb here is future tense, and also speaks of present tense (will be saved.) After Jesus died and was buried—what happened? He rose again—and He still lives—this is the life Paul is referring to in verse 10—Jesus’ resurrection life!

There are three tenses of Salvation. The past tense is justification. This means all true believers are saved from the penalty of sin, Because of reconciliation with God through Christ.

We are also being saved from the power of sin—this is sanctification—where God shapes us and we grow in Him. We shall also be saved from the presence of sin in eternity future as we receive glorification.

These last two are what Paul has in mind in verse 10—especially the future glory. The salvation from the presence of sin is secure in Christ because He lives to make intercession for us.

This means to petition for, to speak on another’s behalf. There are many examples in Scripture of this. In Numbers 21:4-9, Moses interceded with God when the people were ungrateful and complaining about God after He had delivered them from slavery in Egypt. They wanted more, and they wanted it on their own terms—does that sound familiar? It’s the human way. Jesus also used the example of the bronze serpent being lifted up to point to His crucifixion, and the reconciliation that would bring. Christ does this for us-He died for us, reconciled us to the God, and keeps us safe. Because He does this we are forever His, he will not let us go, and we can not sneak away. Paul-in a familiar passage (Rom 8:38-39) gives a list of what can not remove us from His love, from His protection, and therefore our salvation. That list covers everything-including ourselves. This security is possible because He lives and He intercedes to protect us.

Christ didn’t just die to pay for our sin—He rose again to secure that salvation. And as the risen Christ, according to Hebrews 7:25- He lives always to make intercession for us.

Please do not think this means our sins are still being paid for—that has been finished as Hebrews 1:3 says He has finished that and has sat down, and John 19:30 tells us Christ on the cross decalred it is finished—that the debt has been paid. But the future tense of salvation—our glorification is guaranteed by Christ as the LIVING Saviour.

Romans 5:8-11 tells of the past and present state of believers—from enemies to friends-and even children. And the past & present condition of Jesus—He died, He is now alive.

They are intimately intertwined, because Christ died for us, while we were enemies. By His death He paid the highest price ever paid anywhere at anytime for anything to reconcile His people to God, by His resurrection He was able to enter into Glory where we who are His will one day enter as well. Because He lives! Our lives and His are bound together. Romans 6:8 says if we die with Him, we shall live with Him. The dying here refers to our sinful nature, which is said to die when we become new creatures through Christ, when we come to salvation-and experience the reconciliation He has earned.

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