“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” – Romans 5:10
This verse was the focus of the October 28 entry for “My Utmost for His Highest” devotional. Before I jumped into what our friend Oswald Chambers had to say on the matter, two words and their specific placement within the verse caught my attention: reconciled (by His death) and saved (by His life).
I asked myself “why would we need to be both reconciled and saved? Are not those two words used sometimes interchangeably”? I reflected over sermons I heard my Pastor preach and it dawned on me, though he often might use them together, I do not recall him or other preachers using those two words interchangeably. Hmmm, do I realize what this means? Perhaps my perception needed to change…
Taking a moment to look up each word in the original Greek helped me to affirm the difference between them and to also better understand the distinction captured between the two phrases.
From Strong’s concordance (thank you, Bible Hub app):
Reconcile. 2644. Original Word: Καταλλάσσω. Transliteration: katallassó. Definition: to reconcile. Word studies gives the idea of changing from enmity to friendship. I likened it to fellowship restored.
Save. 4982. Original Word: σῴζω. Transliteration: sózó. Definition: to save. Usage: I save, heal, preserve, rescue. Word studies gives the idea of being rescued from destruction and brought into divine safety.
I understood then, especially when the verse is placed within the context of the other scripture around it, that long before I or any of us ever “entered the scene”, Jesus completed the work on the cross (“It is finished”) that would reconcile me/us to the Father. It is not through any effort of my own but solely through His work on the cross that I am reconciled, restored to fellowship with Father God.
And He didn’t stop there! Just like late night advertisements here in the US that say, “BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!” The “more” in this case is that, also not through any effort of my own, I am then kept in that reconciliation fellowship through the power of the resurrection! It is His life that preserves the reconciliation and rescues me from a life of sin!
First and foremost I understood the whole thing is God’s work, not mine.
As I read on I found it interesting that Chambers emphasizes in the October 28 entry that we do nothing outside of realizing what Christ has already done for us, placing specific emphasis on the cause rather than the effect. In this case the cause of being reconciled and saved is the death and resurrection of Christ, and the effect is my realization of such. I realize that I am both reconciled and saved by believing in His completed work.
What’s more, it is only through the revelation of the Holy Spirit that I can then realize what Christ has already done for me in His death on the cross, and what He does for me through His resurrected life. So even the realization of it is all His work and not my own!
This verse within this passage begs the question from all of us: “Do YOU realize what this means?” Pray for the revelation! The bible reassures us that God is patient, wanting all of us to come to a personal realization of our need for Him (2 Peter 3:9). He will give you the gift of reconciliation and salvation, He will give you the realization you seek (John 3:16).
Apart from Christ we are wretched and utterly lost. In our own strength we could never restore what Christ is able to restore. What then is our part? That He died to reconcile every single person ever born is a completed work. That He now lives to give us life and usher in that reconciled relationship is waiting to be completed. The one thing that prevents Him from bringing about the resurrected life of Jesus inside of us is individual choice, desire, want. It is by invitation only that He will complete His work in us, as He will not force His love onto anyone.
Won’t you invite Him to come in?