“When we were enemies” (Rom.5:10).
Think of it! God has good news for us even in our willfulness, our enmity against Him! “When we were enemies”, says Paul, “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son”.
Here we can almost hear some reader object: “Of all things, don’t charge me with being an enemy of God. I’m a religious person, I go to church regularly, I even give to the church”. Ah, but God does not say that the unsaved are not religious. Perhaps 999 out of 1,000 are religious. The point is that by your ungodly, sinful life, and certainly by rejecting God’s gift of salvation, you have made yourself an enemy of God. You may not be an enemy against the “God” you have conjured up in your own mind, but you are certainly an enemy against God, the God of the Bible.
But despite all this God still sends His ambassadors out to offer reconciliation to all His enemies everywhere — “by the death of His Son”. Think of it! We who believe are reconciled to God, not by some effort or payment offered by us to placate God, but “by the death of HIS Son”. He bore the enmity as His own creatures mocked Him, spat in His face and nailed Him to a tree. This is grace indeed! And this is not all, for the whole passage reads:
“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.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement [Lit., reconciliation]” (Rom.5: 10,11).
The argument of this passage is that if, as His enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more “being reconciled”, we may be assured that our living Savior will keep us safe. And not only are believers safe in Christ, but all the while we “joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received”, not only help in our helplessness, or the forgiveness of our sins, but “the reconciliation”, by which we are brought nigh to God and experience His love toward us.
Pastor C.R. Stam