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We Were Reconciled to God by the Death of His Son

Updated on February 21, 2011

Romans 5:10: “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;”

Part 1: While We Were Enemies

Romans 5:10a gives us the very core of true Christianity, or believing regarding Jesus Christ. Understanding this excerpt from the heart of Romans is such an essential ingredient for realizing the benefits of a genuine walk with our Heavenly Father.

For starters let’s take a quick look at the first part of this verse one main point at a time:

  1. "For if, while we were enemies." “If” would be better translated as “since.” "For since, while we were enemies."
  2. "We" includes us, "the beloved of God, called saints" (See Romans 1:7).
  3. “Were” is past tense. We aren’t enemies of God any longer because of Jesus Christ’s death.
  4. “Enemies” (hostile, foes, and adversaries, ones who hated or disliked God.)

And let's also take a quick look at man’s value to God without Christ:

  • Psalms 39:5 “nothing in your sight,” “at best, altogether vanity.”
  • Ecclesiastes 6:12 “the years of man’s futile life.”
  • 1 Corinthians 3:20 “the reasonings of the wise are useless,”
  • Isaiah 40:15-17 “the nations are like a drop from a bucket… as a speck of dust on the scales. All the nations are as nothing before him… yeah less than nothing and meaningless.”

And the state of man apart from Christ:

  • Romans 3:9-18 “throat is an open grave,” “with their tongues they keep deceiving,” “destruction and misery are in their paths.
  • Ephesians 2:12 “without God and without hope in this world.”
  • Romans 5:6-8 “ungodly,” “sinners”

Also, in Philippians. 3:4-14, what do we have to offer God by our own abilities?

God isn’t looking for what we can do for Him. He is looking for those who will accept and abide in what He has done for us through His Son. He had His Son die for all of our errors, our faults, our frailties, our shortcomings, etc. so that we would be reconciled to Him:

  • 1 John 4:9-10, “9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

REVIEW of Part 1: While We Were Enemies.

  1. We “were” God’s enemies, but not now, not now that we’ve been reconciled to Him.
  2. Before Christ died for us we were “nothing” to God, at best “altogether vanity.” Our “righteous deeds were as filthy rags.” All the nations collectively were “nothing before Him… yea less than nothing and meaningless.” Of our own ability and worth we were valueless to God. As a result of being in the category of sin and death through Adam’s disobedience we were “ungodly,” “sinners” and even “enemies” of God.
  3. The statement, while we were enemies, shows us that before Christ died for us we were in a state of being, described as enemies of God.


Part 2: Through the Death of His Son

Romans 5:10: “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;”

In this second part of this series we will study the phrase; through the death of His Son. In our previous state of being enemies of God we were powerless to redeem ourselves, to reconcile ourselves to God, for the price of redemption was far beyond the range of our means (Psalms 49:6-9 & Romans 5:6). Mankind had to wait for God’s provision for reconciliation – the death of His Son.

Why did God require the death of His Son for reconciliation? Couldn’t God pardon sins without a cause? NO! Here is a point which must be accepted to avoid misconceptions. God is just (Romans 3:26, Deuteronomy 32:4 “all his ways are just.” He is “a God… without injustice,” Psalms. 37:28a “God loves justice,” Genesis 18:25b “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do what is just?”). Not one shall escape the justice of God (Romans 2:3).

Justice demands distribution of punishment for what was done wrongly, and of reward for what was done rightly. Not one sin escapes God’s sight:

  • “For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding, and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment,” (Hebrews 2:2 HCSB)
  • "For the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23)
  • “Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4 RSV) “

Every one of us has sinned and has fallen short. "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 RSV). Therefore, every one of us deserves death in God’s justice system. God’s solution to this apparently inescapable problem of sins is the substitutionary death of His Son. Instead of us dying, Christ was to die in our stead. What was to be measured out to me and to you, and to all, according to the “just punishment” due, was measured out upon Jesus at Calvary. There wasn’t a “transgression” or “disobedience” which wasn’t paid for while our Lord received our full punishment in his death and in the manner thereof. When the accumulation of all our penalties was dealt to him then, and only then, God’s justice against us due to sin was satisfied:

  • “As a result of the anguish of his soul, He will see it and be satisfied” Isaiah 53:11a

The Christ HAD to die in our place as a full payment for sin so that we would be reconnected to God.

We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.

  1. “Through” – by the means of.
  2. “Death” – God’s justly required punishment for sin.
  3. “His Son” – referring to the one who obeyed Him, Luke 22:39-44, Romans 5: 19, Philippians 2:8-11, etc.

Jesus Christ’s death was/is our means of being reconciled to God. Any other means for our reconciliation to God is a counterfeit, which ALWAYS rests upon what we are to do or not do. We didn’t enter into being reconciled to God through our own means; neither do we maintain it through our own means. Consider Philippians 3:9.

Being reconciled to God is the big deal to God, not ministering healing, casting out demons, speaking in tongues, having a ministry, or any other outward effects. This is because accepting and living our reconciliation to God is the energy behind all of the genuine outward effects.

"For since, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son."

REVIEW of Part 1 and 2: While We Were Enemies and Through the Death of His Son

  1. We “were” God’s enemies, not now that we’ve been reconciled to God.
  2. Before Christ died for us we were “nothing” to God, producing “nothing” for God.
  3. The statement, while we were enemies, shows us that before Christ died for us we were in a state of being described as enemies of God.
  4. The death of God’s Son paid in full the just punishment required for every place that we missed the mark of God’s perfect standard.


Part 3a: We Were Reconciled to God

Romans 5:10 ASV: “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;"

  1. “Were reconciled” - This is in the past tense.
  2. “Reconciled” or “reconciliation” used 3x in verses 10-11. It means to eliminate all differences, to bring “back into union or friendship the affections which have been alienated; to restore to favor after estrangement.” (Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary) God reconciled us to Himself. He restored, through Christ’s death, the relationship He originally created according to Genesis 1:26-28. See Luke 15:11-24 about the son who was a sinner and his reunion with his father.
  3. “To God” – This IS NOT saying that God reconciled Himself TO US. He didn’t come into our state of being, that is, unholy, unrighteous, imperfect, a sinner. We came into His state of being: holy, righteous, perfect, clean of impurity, etc.

We WERE reconciled, not will be when Christ returns. Nor is there a conditional clause in connection with anything we are to do. The condition God gives for our reconciliation is Christ’s death in our behalf. Therefore, anything we do or don’t do CANNOT alter our reconciliation to God.

We were reconciled to God through the death of His Son. See Romans 8:31-32. Practice the acceptance of this reality. Don’t let anyone talk you out of being reconciled to God.

REVIEW of Part 1, 2 and 3a: While We Were Enemies, Through the Death of His Son and We Were Reconciled to God

  1. We were in a state of being, described as enemies of God.
  2. The death of God’s Son paid in full the just punishment required for every place that we missed the mark of God’s standard leaving us in perfect standing with God. we were reconciled to God
  3. Were reconciled to God - This is in the past tense.


Part 3b: We Were Reconciled to God

“For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life;” (Romans 5:10 ASV)

To be reconciled to God is to be reinstated to our God-designed position of pure partnership with Him. To live our reconciliation is to function according to that position.

God, by way of His spirit and the truth, is training us out of evaluating life by our five senses. We’ve been weakened through the conditioning of our thinking by what the world tells us is true. God’s spirit and truth are re-training us into unadulterated partnership with God.

We’ve been reconciled to God through the death of His Son. You are an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. Can you see yourself making the statement our Lord did in John 17:10, “…all things that are mine are yours, and yours are mine…” Then carefully view the rest of John 17.

It’s not you alone – ever, it’s you and your Father. See Acts 3:1-8. What you have freely received, freely give. Consider the gift of holy spirit. It was poured out unto us (Acts 2:33) and it flows forth from us:

  • “He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38 RSV)
  • “And he … and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every infirmity.” (Matthew 10:1 RSV)
  • "All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and earth." Matthew 28:18
  • “When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8 RSV)
  • "Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned as a king through that one man, how much more will those who take hold of the abundance of the grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign as a king in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

We WERE in the state of being enemies of God. We COULDN’T get ourselves out of this horrific state. At that time Jesus Christ died for us, eliminating every problem, every difference between us and God. By Christ's death he restored us to God’s favor, leaving us in union with God. This is to be reconciled to God by the death of His Son. Now ones who believe are living these realities to the point we bring God’s wholeness, His deliverance, His resources, His authority, etc. to situations and people.

God is our Father. He is training us into being a pure manifestation of Him here upon earth.

For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son.


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