The Fruit of Reconciliation- Romans 5:9-10

In our previous post, we have seen that reconciliation is the restoration of a broken relationship, and refers to the fact that a state of enmity and estrangement has been replaced by one of peace and fellowship. We have also seen that reconciliation was made possible by the paying off of a debt, that it was man’s sin which broke the relationship between man and God, and that Christ made this reconciliation possible by dying on the cross to pay off the debt and allow the sin which separated man from God to be dealt with. We will now continue in our examination of Romans 5, to see a further effect which reconciliation brings into the life of the believer, the fruit of reconciliation. We will resume in verse 9, in which Paul mentions justification, saying that we “have now been justified by His blood”. To be justified (Greek dikaioo) means to conform to a standard, to “measure up”, and as believers we do “measure up”, not because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done for us. Jesus Christ came and lived the sinless life we could not live, then died the death we deserve to die, and His righteousness is imputed to us by faith. In this we have been justified, and as we will see, we have also been reconciled. It was our sin which prevented us from being both justified and reconciled, and the blood of Christ was sufficient payment to atone for our sin and provide for us both justification and reconciliation. Because of this, the doctrines of justification and reconciliation cannot be separated, they are like two sides of the same coin. It is the fact that we have been justified which makes reconciliation possible, and allows us to be “saved from God’s wrath through Him”. Those who have been justified have also been reconciled, and those who have been reconciled have also been justified, and both occur at the moment of the “new birth”, at the moment we trust in Christ as our Lord and Savior. What we then find, in verse 10, is that reconciliation is both a point and a process. We are reconciled once, and once we have been reconciled, we spend our lives living out that reconciliation. Our sin had separated us from God, and to be reconciled means to be united to God, and, as Paul tells us in verse 10, Christ’s death provides us our reconciliation, and His life in us enables us to live out that reconciliation, enables us to be “saved through His life”. The Greek word life here is zoe, which is primarily used to refer to eternal life, which can be defined as “life as God intends it to be lived”. The example of this type of “life”, of course, is Jesus, who lived life as God intends it to be lived by all human beings, a life united to God, a life in which He always did the Father’s will, was always about His Father’s business. This is life as God intends it to be lived, life lived as “one” with Him, life lived always about the Father’s business. Paul tells us, in verse ten, that to live this way means that we will be “saved”, and salvation in this context means to be saved from God’s “wrath” (verse 9). In Romans 1:18, Paul tells us that God’s wrath is presently and continually being revealed, and in Romans 1:24, that this wrath consists of a “giving over” of someone to his own desires, of allowing us to go our own way, a way which ultimately leads to destruction. So what we find here is that it is the death of Christ which provided for our reconciliation, and it is the life of Christ in us which enable us to live out that reconciliation. We have been reconciled to God, we have been reunited with Him, and that reconciliation is an accomplished fact. Our reconciliation has made it possible for us to be “one” with God, to live life united with Him (zoe life), just as Jesus did. So reconciliation, just like sanctification, is both a point and a process. We have been united with God, and we then live a life of more and more intimate union with Him, becoming “one” just as Jesus was, and living out that “oneness”, living lives always about our Father’s business. Our next post will examine exactly how we go about living out our reconciliation, how we live in an ever more intimate union with God.

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