Romans 5:10 (NIV)
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!
Our Verse of the Day poses a rhetorical question, and its theological implication is quite powerful for us to consider as we reflect on the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. I want us to see the full picture in its surrounding context:
Romans 5:6-11 (NIV)
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
2 Timothy 1:9-10 (NIV)
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.
Let us keep in mind that the life of Jesus and His sacrificial atonement for our sin were ordained before the beginning of time … before the creation of the world. (Cf. Revelation 13:8) God the Father determined a right time in history to send His Son into the world. Yes, when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to redeem those under the Law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. (Cf. Galatians 4:4-5) Indeed, it is clear that God ordained the sacrifice of His Son to be the final atonement … the eternal propitiation for the sin of the world. This is our boast and reason for rejoicing!
So, here in our Verse of the Day, we find Paul expounding on the implications of the crucifixion beyond the atonement we have received from God: “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” How much more does not pose a question; rather, it is the conclusive exclamation of the blessing that follows salvation and His act of reconciliation! Indeed, there is no greater cost to be imagined … there is no greater gift to be received! His resurrection completes our salvation!
The cross of Christ reveals how deeply God abhors sin … any and all sin … and, perhaps, especially the hidden sin that we attempt to conceal from others under the guise of hypocrisy. Since we have been crucified with Christ, we are being called to holiness and to rid ourselves of religious and spiritual hypocrisy! We are to remove it from our inner beings our spiritual houses. Just as Moses commanded the people when he instituted the Passover: So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses. (Cf. Exodus 12:14-15) Remove the leaven! And what is the leaven we should remove in preparation?
Luke 12:1-5 (NKJV)
He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. Therefore, whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. “And I say to you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
Why is this important? What is the application for us as believers … His Church?
1 Corinthians 5:6-8 (NKJV)
Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore, clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore, let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
My friends, we simply cannot tolerate hypocrisy within ourselves! We cannot allow the insidious leaven of sin to permeate or to destroy the temples of our bodies! As Paul asserted: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (Cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20) In this season … this right time … God is calling believers to get rid of the leaven in our houses! He is calling us to holiness! He is calling us to return to the cross of Christ! The Father wants us to identify again with the cross and proclaim: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Cf. Galatians 2:20) Indeed, Jesus died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again. (Cf. 2 Corinthians 5:15)
I pray God has been stirring each of us during these Holy Days of remembrance! Yes, today, let us return the cross and remember the holy price paid for our redemption! Yes, let us gaze at the wonderous cross on which the Prince of Glory died! Let us stop to reflect; to repent; to reconsider our ways; and to return to our first love! God our Savior, who loves us beyond our ability to conceive, wants us to give Him our full attention; our undivided devotion; our uncompromised faith and adoration! Yes, let us remove all hypocrisy and be sincere. As Jesus affirmed: “The hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in the Spirit and Truth.” (Cf. John 4:23-24)
So Now You Know…
Have a Blessed Day!
But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone. ~ Titus 3:4-8