CMF eZine

The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship.

Romans 5:14 - Death is Here to Stay - Deny the Cross?

I'll steal your life and cut, out your heart.
Rip the core of your, world apart.
Then I'll, Take your sight.
Leave ya blind.
Laughing hard as you, loose your mind.
Smash in your skull!!!
Kick out your brains!!!
Dance all over!
What remains!!!

Life! The living danger,
Death! The welcome stranger,
In sin! You deny the cross.

Deny the cross...!

I'm an angel I'm, virgin white.
This only happens, every night.
Restitution, for my sin,
Imprisoned virtue, time begins.
Killer instincts!!!
Escape my find!
Path of destruction!
Left behind.

Life, it walks away...
It walks today...
It fades away...
Death, is here to stay...
Is here today...
To deny the cross...!

Draw and quarter, slice the meat.
Now there's something, more to eat.
Nothing left there is, just a frame.
This poor soul, has no name.
Back to dirt!
Six feet deep!
I take a breath!
Long and deep!!!

Deny the cross!!!
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. (NASB)
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (KJV)
Still, everyone died—from the time of Adam to the time of Moses—even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did.  Now Adam is a symbol, a representation of Christ, who was yet to come. (NLT)
Yet death reigned from Adam until Moses even over those who did not sin in the same way that Adam (who is a type of the coming one) transgressed. (NET)

They are torn from the security of their homes and are brought down to the king of terrors. (Job 18:14 NLT)

We still often search the clouds for the wrath of God to come thinking we have time while all the while judgment has already been pronounced!  Death reigns! It remains, as Bildad describes, "the King of Terrors."  We need look no further than the nearest cemetery to see wrath inflicted.  There is no escape even for the infant who "did not sin in the same way that Adam" solely because of sin imputed from Adams fall.  Were it not for the second Adam we would all be lost to eternal separation, the King of Terrors indeed!  But for those who are in Christ Jesus, we have the eternal blessing of forever knowing Him who set us free from the bondage of sin and death.  Not only so, but also to be able to share from the "hope that is within us" the amazing love we have thus experienced with those around us!

What then shall we choose?  Shall we do as the "Heavy Metal" lyrics ascribe and turn death into an object of worship believing that there is nothing beyond the grave.  Is that the end of our created being to become worm food?  If we evolved out of the primordial soup and have no reason for being except the random act of untamed amino acids then hope is a star trek myth.  If however, we are created in the image of the Most High, then perhaps hope is real and Christmas is the greatest gift of all! God come down as a man to save us from our sins!

Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
and did my Sovereign die!
Would he devote that sacred head
for sinners such as I?
Was it for crimes that I have done,
he groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! Grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creature's sin.
Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.
But drops of tears can ne'er repay
the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
'tis all that I can do.  (Issac Watts)

What is God Like?

What is God Like?

What is God Like?

SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret
) Chairman, Board of Directors
“And this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3 NIV)

This is an introduction to, and the first in a series of articles offering answers from Scripture to the above question.  To say that this is an important question, that deserves serious consideration, is a huge understatement!

I first learned something about God’s glorious attributes years ago from two main sources: Lutheran Catechism and reading the Bible for an “Advanced” English course as a senior in high school. Catechism provided sound doctrine (and large words) to describe characteristics of God found in the Bible.  In reading the Bible for itself, I found out that what it said about God matched the big words I learned in Catechism.  (As odd as it might sound in today’s scholastic environment, in those days it was permissible to write a paper about The Bible as Literature, my chosen subject.)

In addition to Scripture itself, a source of information for these posts is J. I. Packer’s book, Knowing God.   Scripture references, unless otherwise noted, are from the NIV and linked to their context in an online Bible.  Please read them, read the context around them, and let Scripture speak to you.  There are of course other, more exhaustive treatments of the Attributes of God; one of the most notable is Arthur W. Pink’s work, (

This article can provide only a brief glimpse into the awesome character of God and hopefully will whet your appetite to learn even more about the Creator of the universe and the One who sent His own Son to die so that you might live.  The reason for these posts is two-fold.  First, there seems to exist today, in American Christianity, a deplorable lack of knowledge concerning what God has revealed about Himself in Scripture.  Most of what we hear from pulpits across the country speaks only of God’s love, and even that, for the most part, is described according to our concept/definition of love, not His.

The second reason is from Scripture itself.  John 17:3 tells us that “eternal life is knowing God.”  That can be a bit difficult to get our heads wrapped around, but it speaks of how our eternal life has a “right here, right now” aspect.  How can that be explained in more practical, understandable terms? What effect does knowing God have on a person?  J. I. Packer suggests four great effects:

  1. Those who know God have great energy for God.
  2. Those who know God have great thoughts of God.
  3. Those who know God have great boldness for God.
  4. Those who know God have great contentment in God.

We must ask ourselves, do we desire such knowledge of God?   When you ask yourself this question, remember that it’s not a matter of knowing God so we can “become” great for God, it’s simply that really “knowing” leads to “having.”

And lest I forget, when God sees knowledge of Himself in His children, it gives Him pleasure.

“For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.” (Hosea 6:6 KJV)

When you think about it, generally, the most we can know about other people is what they reveal to us.  The extent and quality of our knowledge of them depends more on them than it does on us. Knowing God is no different.  Only what God has chosen to reveal of Himself can be known, and that which God has chosen to reveal to us can be found in Holy Scripture.

Our quest to know God begins by understanding that God is our Creator and that we are a part of His creation (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1).  God said that man is created in His image.  Man is above the rest of creation and was given dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28).  Creation is marred by the “fall” (Genesis 3:17-18) but still offers a glimpse of His works (Romans1:19-20).  This glimpse of God that we do have is available to all men─we are all born with the knowledge that God IS. By considering creation’s vastness, complexity, beauty, and order, we can have a sense of the awesomeness of God.  However, considering how lightly and how often we use the term “awesome” in today’s culture, I don’t think it’s a nearly “big enough” word to begin describing God.

I remember when I was just a wee lad and we would visit my grandparents’ farm in Wisconsin.  There weren’t any street lights, and I remember looking up at the night sky and all the stars with a feeling of “WOW, God made that!” filling my little heart with wonder at how BIG God is.  That was awesome.

I also remember a church, nestled in tall pine trees across the road from Grandma’s house.  I found an old photo of that church, dated back to around 1955.  As if it were yesterday, I can still hear the hymn, “Holy, Holy, Holy” resounding through the pines as we walked to church.  That was awesome.

I can’t describe just how “BIG” God was to this 5-year-old, from just looking at the night sky and hearing a hymn.  As we grow older and begin to read Scripture, our sense of God’s greatness looms even larger, or at least it should.

Face it: we don’t much care for hearing God when He speaks to us about our sin, our guilt, our helplessness, our weakness, our blindness, and our spiritual “deadness.”  We would rather hear just the “good stuff” He might say about us.  Nevertheless, knowing God involves listening to His Word and receiving it, as the Holy Spirit interprets and applies it to us and to the character of God.  When we see our “true selves” in the blinding light of Scripture, we can “know” God more fully, and might even have something to boast about.

“This is what the LORD says: ‘Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,’ declares the LORD.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24

God is the Great I AM - Eternal and Unchangeable

“Moses said to God, ‘Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The God of your fathers has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is his name?” Then what shall I tell them?’”

“God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: “I AM has sent me to you.’” - (Exodus 3:13,14).

God is eternal, meaning He had no beginning and that His existence will never end.  He is immortal, infinite (Deuteronomy 33:27; Psalm 90:2; 1 Timothy 1:17). God is immutable, meaning He is unchangeable; this means that God is absolutely reliable and trustworthy (Malachi 3:6; Numbers 23:19; Psalm 102:26,27).

God’s life does not change.

Created things have a beginning and an end, however their Creator is from everlasting to everlasting.

“In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.  They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.  Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”   (Psalm 102:25-27)

A small child will often ask, “Who made God?”  Our answer is simple. He was always there. Children accept that answer more easily than adults, with the childlike faith that Jesus reminded His followers we all need.  When Mom told this little 5-year-old that God was always there, that settled it─Moms don’t lie!

God’s character does not change.

The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New Testament.  Listening to sermons in many of today’s churches, one might come away with the idea that the God who destroyed His enemies, the enemies of His Chosen people, and those among people who would dishonor His Name, has somehow changed into a kindly grandfather who waits for us to jump into His lap for a hug and a bit of candy.  While God is certainly the giver of all good things to His children, His moral character is changeless, as James reminded dispersed followers undergoing trials and temptations (James 1:12-17 NKJV).

God’s truth does not change.

How many times have we had to eat our words because something that was said was not what was really meant, or something that we thought was truth turned out to be not true.  God’s Word, however, spoken but once, stands as truth for all eternity (Isaiah 40:6-8).

God’s ways do not change.

The wages of sin is death, so Romans 6:23 tells us.  It will always be so. This verse also tells us that God offers eternal life through His Son.  It will always be so.  God discriminates between sinners, causing some to hear the gospel message, while others hear the words but not the message (Acts 16:13-15).  To some he grants the gift of repentance and faith, while others He leaves in their sin, demonstrating that he owes mercy to no one and that it is entirely an act of His grace that any are saved (Romans 9:15).

God’s purposes do not change.

“One of two things causes a man to change his mind and reverse his plans: want of foresight to anticipate everything, or lack of foresight to execute them. But as God is both omnipotent and omnipresent, there is never any need for Him to reverse His decrees.” (A.W. Pink)

The plans of God stand firm forever... (Psalm 33:11). Whatever God does in time, He planned from eternity; and whatever He planned in eternity WILL be carried out in time.

God’s Son does not change.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) Jesus is able to, and will save all who come to Him─all that the Father gives Him (John 6:37-40).

This fact is the strong consolation and assurance for all God’s people.

Romans 5:13 - Sin Not Imputed

Rom 5:13
For until the law sin was in the world - As death reigned from Adam to Moses, so also did sin. Now, as there was no written law from Adam to that given to Moses, the death that prevailed could not be the breach of that law; for sin, so as to be punished with temporal death, is not imputed where there is no law, which shows the penalty of sin to be death. Therefore, men are not subjected to death for their own personal transgressions, but for the sin of Adam; as, through his transgression, all come into the world with the seeds of death and corruption in their own nature, superadded to their moral depravity. All are sinful - all are mortal - and all must die. (Dr. Adam Clarke)
for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (NASB)
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (KJV)
Yes, people sinned even before the law was given. But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break. (NLT)
for before the law was given, sin was in the world, but there is no accounting for sin when there is no law. (NET)

Sin comes before transgression.  With the nation fixated upon the energy crisis you with think that the delusional ramblings of what now masquerades as journalism would refrain from large atmospheric releases of hot air in order to prevent further global warming.  However, what really transpires is the continuous Neanderthal homological chest pounding focused upon convincing homosapiens (Latin: wise humans) that perversion is merely the natural extension of orderly Darwinian evolution.  The argument used in a recent news magazine is that Jonathan and David were CLOSE friends.  Therefore, it is completely permissible to engage in licentious and lascivious conduct.  If that were truly the case then we should all commit adultery with Bathsheba and have Uriah the Hittite killed to cover up an unwanted pregnancy in order to exercise planned parenthood. When Jesus said, "let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone" He also said, "go and sin no more!"  The reprobate mind thus becomes the swine looking for pearl casters.  Except for Grace we would all be in the pit for our foot would "slip in due time."  The fact that Jesus came into the world to save sinners does not imply anywhere in Scripture that He condones sin for the purpose of inclusion. He came to save us from our sin not to leave us to expire in the midst of it.  I suppose that it would be good here to list a few verses:

Make sure that the light you think you have is not actually darkness. (Luke 11:35 NLT)
This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. (1 John 1:5-10 NLT)
With the Lord's authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They have no sense of shame. They live for lustful pleasure and eagerly practice every kind of impurity. (Ephesians 4:17-19 NLT)

Back in Chapter One we mentioned that the wrath of God was being revealed against all ungodliness and all unrighteousness.  We ought not be surprise that our ever descending society wishes to replace the wisdom of the Almighty with that of our own and like Israel become lost in the midst of our own sin.  Sin is the judgment!  We have been "abandoned" in our own sin to do what is right in our own eyes (Romans 1:24, Judges 21:25 paraphrase mine)

"Notice the object of God's wrath. Paul, in two words, has summed up all of human sin, placing it in two great divisions: ungodliness and unrighteousness.  'Ungodliness' is a sin against the being of God.  Man is not only a moral sinner (he is unrighteous), but man is a religious sinner (he is ungodly).  The unrighteous man live as if there were no will of God revealed; the ungodly man lives as if there were no God."  Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace.

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding

Truth, Lies and Horseback Riding

SGM Dan Cartwright, USA (Ret)
Chairman, Board of Directors

You are probably thinking that’s a rather silly title for an article.  Maybe, maybe not.  If it stimulated your curiosity to the point you are actually reading this, it accomplished the desired goal of the author!  Therefore, it makes at least a little bit of sense. Agreed?  Now on to the point.

Months ago, maybe even years ago in some cases, while studying various aspects of Christianity in light of Scripture (a favorite pastime of mine), I began to see beliefs in Christendom that had little or no Scriptural support, and that some of those questionable beliefs had achieved the status of “doctrine.”  To disagree with them was labeled minimally as growth-hindering misunderstanding of Scripture, and, at the other end of the “error spectrum,” blasphemy deserving of Hell.  I had then, and still have now, a soul-deep conviction that God wrote the Book and therefore what was taught as truth, but didn’t agree with the context of Scripture, was wrong or false in some measure and in some cases, was an outright lie.

The unavoidable question brought to this inquiring mind was, “How did these falsehoods and lies end up so widely believed by professing Christians?”  The answer I arrived at after a considerable amount of Scripture study, researching a range of historical resources, and comparing them both to widely held beliefs of professing believers was and IS, precisely this: The “accepted” lie always rides in on the back of truth.  Without an element of Scriptural truth upon which to hitch a ride, the lie never survives.

A prime example from the early church would be the Pelagian heresy; it denied any adverse effect of Adam’s sin on the rest of mankind that was birthed after the Fall.  That lie didn’t get very far and was condemned as heresy.  The “Semi-Pelagianism” that followed acknowledged that Adam’s sin affected all of us, but said that man is still able in and of himself to cooperate with God in the salvation of his soul.  That was also condemned as heresy (at the Council of Orange), but is in fact alive and well in both major camps of Christianity. No segment of Christianity has ever admitted to being Semi-Pelagian, although a synergistic Gospel is by nature, exactly that.

There you have one man’s explanation of the connection between truth, lies, and horseback riding.  The initial lie, without an element of truth, failed.  The second lie, while admitting “some” truth, made a modified version of the first lie perfectly acceptable, and even pleasing to human sensibilities.

There have been other examples of lies riding in on the back of truth, some with a longer history of acceptance than others.  The two most damaging to both the cause of Christ and the souls of men are 1) that Christ established a single religious organization as the only true church with an “infallible” human as head of that church and 2) that God “accepts” us unconditionally, WITH our sin. (Don’t panic — please read on!)

Both have a segment of truth. Christ did declare he would establish His Church on earth.  God does LOVE unconditionally – it’s His nature and one of His divine attributes.

The Church that Christ established is made up of those persons for whom He died, from every tongue, tribe and nation – those whom He purchased with His own blood. We weren’t put on layaway!

If God could “accept” us into His Kingdom WITH our sin, His Son died in vain. The first point of the Gospel is that Christ DIED for our sin!

Romans 5:12 - Death Entered the World

But whence is it that men are so disingenuous?  The reason seems to be this:  The promise of eternal happiness is so agreeable to the inclinations and wishes of mankind, that all who call themselves Christians, universally and willingly subscribe to the belief of it:  but then there is something so shocking in the consideration of eternal torments, and seemingly such an infinite disproportion between an endless duration of pain, and short life spent in pleasure, that men (some at least of them) can scarcely be brought to confess it as an article of their faith, that an eternity of misery awaits the wicked in a future state.  (George Whitfield, Eternity in Hell)
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned-- (NASB)
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (KJV)
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (NLT)
So then, just as sin entered the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all people because all sinned — (NET)
The LORD observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and He saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. (Genesis 6:5 NLT)
For the choir director:  A psalm of David.  Only fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!  The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; He looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God.  But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! (Psalms 14:1-3 NLT)
"The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked.   Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)
So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another Man.  Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.  (1 Corinthians 15:21-22 NLT)
As by one man - Adam; who is mentioned, and not Eve, as being the representative of mankind.  Sin entered into the world - Actual sin, and its consequence, a sinful nature.  And death - With all its attendants.  It entered into the world when it entered into being; for till then it did not exist. By sin - Therefore it could not enter before sin. Even so - Namely, by one man.  In that - So the word is used also, 2Cor 5:4.  All sinned - In Adam. These words assign the reason why death came upon all men; infants themselves not excepted, in that all sinned. (John Wesley)

We often wrestle with the origin of our present estate.  But here clearly is established that sin entered the world through the disobedience of our paradisiac parents.  We commit sins because we are sinners (not the other way around).  Wesley even reminds us that infants are not excepted.   Did we ever have to teach our children to lie, cheat, steal or demonstrate selfishness?  To the contrary, we had to spend much time in their training in righteousness.  The Scripture is replete with examples of our true nature and death being its consequence.  And because of our nature, death came into this satanically controlled world and continues to reign.  That is why we needed a Savior!



Romans 5:11 - A New and Greater Joy!

katallage??; gen. katallage??s, fem. noun from katallásso? (G2644), to reconcile. Reconciliation, restoration, exchange. A change or reconciliation from a state of enmity between persons to one of friendship. Between God and man it is the result of the apolútro?sis (G629), redemption, the divine act of salvation, the ceasing of God's wrath. In the NT, it means reconciliation, i.e., restoration to divine favor by bringing about a change in man, conversion (Romans 5:11; Romans 11:15), the means or occasion of reconciling the world to God. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary - General Editor: Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D.)
RECONCILIA'TION, n. [L. reconciliatio.]
1. The act of reconciling parties at variance; renewal of friendship after disagreement or enmity.  Reconciliation and friendship with God, really form the basis of all rational and true enjoyment.
2. In Scripture, the means by which sinners are reconciled and brought into a state of favor with God, after natural estrangement or enmity; the atonement; expiation.
Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression and to make an end of sin, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Dan 9. Heb 2. (Noah Webster)
And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (NASB)
And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (KJV)
So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. (NLT)
Not only this, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received this reconciliation. (NET)
Rom 5:11 And not only so, but we also glory - The whole sentence, Romans 5:3-11, may be taken together thus: We not only "rejoice in hope of the glory of God," but also in the midst of tribulations we glory in God himself through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation. (John Wesley)
We also joy in God - In Romans 5:2, he had said that we rejoice in tribulations, and in hope of the glory of God. But he here adds that we rejoice in God himself; in his existence; his attributes; his justice, holiness, mercy, truth, love. The Christian rejoices that God is such a being as he is; and glories that the universe is under his administration. The sinner is opposed to him; he finds no pleasure in him; he fears or hates him; and deems him unqualified for universal empire. But it is one characteristic of true piety, one evidence that we are truly reconciled to God, that we rejoice in him as he is; and find pleasure in the contemplation of his perfections as they are revealed in the Scriptures. (Dr. Albert Barnes)
“The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water.”  (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity)

We often hurry past this amazing verse and in doing so miss out on the revelation of the Greatest Gift Ever Given!  What is more amazing than Jesus Himself living in me?  The airwaves are replete with country songs sharing the heartaches of unrequited love or love lost.  I think as believers we settle for the counterfeit deception that is "mere milk and water" of sorts.  If our relationship with the Savior cannot be described as an "ecstasy of love and delight" then we have been deceived already!  Fear not because this union with Christ Jesus is available to "everyone who believes"!

Romans 5:10 - A Life of Friendship with God

We were reconciled - The enmity existing before rendered the reconciliation necessary. In every human heart there is a measure of enmity to holiness, and, consequently to the author of it.  Men seldom suspect this; for one property of sin is to blind the understanding, so that men do not know their own state.
We shall be saved by his life -
1. For, as he died for our sins, so he rose again for our justification; and his resurrection to life, is the grand proof that he has accomplished whatever he had purposed in reference to the salvation of man.
2. This may be also understood of his life of intercession: for it is written.  He ever Liveth to make Intercession for us, Hebrews 7:25.  Through this life of intercession at the right hand of God we are spared and blessed.
3. And it will not be amiss to consider that, as our salvation implies the renovation of our nature, and our being restored to the image of God, so, σωθησομεθα εν τη ζωνυτου, may be rendered: we shall be saved In his life; for, I suppose, it is pretty generally agreed, that the life of God in the soul of man is essential to its salvation.
4. The example also of the life of Christ is a means of salvation.  He hath left us an example that we should follow his steps: and he that followeth him, shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of Life, John 8:12.  (Dr. Adam Clarke)
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. (NASB)
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. (KJV)
For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of His Son while we were still His enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of His Son. (NLT)
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, since we have been reconciled, will we be saved by his life? (NET)
Since I live, you also will live. (John 14:19b NLT)

Is Christ my friend and portion because I have embraced Him as such?  OR  Am I able to embrace Him because He is my friend and portion?  I oftentimes struggle with whether I am able to see in the flesh what is wrought in the Spirit.  I suppose this is part of the ever present tension we will face as long as blood pulses through our veins.  Jonathan Edwards captured this in his book, The Religious Affections.  He said that we will have a great many affections because of our relationship with Christ.  But the fact that we have affections does not mean that they are holy affections!  We have been brought into this wondrous membership in the Body of Christ by the death of its Head!  How much more will we be nourished by Him who lives and is seated in honor at the right hand of the Father?  In the flesh we remain dead. We must remember this lest we stumble and fall because of self-deception.  Only in the Spirit are we alive with Christ as our head!

For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. (Romans 8:7 NLT)
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. And He gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ's ambassadors; God is making His appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, "Come back to God!" For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NLT)
For God in all His fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through Him God reconciled everything to Himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross. This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions. (Colossians 1:19-21 NLT)

Romans 5:09 - Liberty Grounded in Hope

Rom 5:9  Much more then being now justified by his blood,.... The apostle here argues from justification by Christ to salvation by him, there being a certain and inseparable connection between these two; whoever is justified shall be saved; and speaks of justification "as being now by his blood". Justification in God's mind from eternity proceeded upon the suretyship engagements of Christ to be performed in time; the Old Testament saints were justified of God with a view to the blood of the Lamb which was to be shed; this blood was "now" shed, and an application of justification by it was "now" made to the persons spoken of; which is the reason of this way of speaking. The blood of Christ intends his death, as appears from the context, and shows it to be a violent death; death by the effusion of blood. There is an emphasis upon it, "his blood"; not the blood of bulls and goats, nor of a mere innocent creature, but of Christ the Son of God; which is therefore efficacious to all the purposes for which it was shed, and particularly justification. This being ascribed to it, shows the concern Christ had in it, his blood is here put for the whole matter of justification; the shedding of that being the finishing part of it; and that our justification before God proceeds upon the foot of a satisfaction made to the law and justice of God: hence such as are interested in it,  (Dr. John Gill) 
shall be saved from wrath through him: not from wrath, as a corruption in their own hearts, which oftentimes breaks forth; nor as appearing among the people of God one towards another, which is sometimes very bitter; or as in their avowed enemies, the effects of which they often feel; nor from the wrath of devils, which is as the roaring of a lion; but from the wrath of God, from a sense and apprehension of it in their own consciences, which the law works; from which justification by the blood of Christ frees them; though under first awakenings they feel it, and sometimes, under afflictive dispensations of Providence, are ready to fear it: and also from the infliction of vindictive wrath or punishment for sin; for though they are as deserving of it as others, yet as they are not appointed to it, so they are entirely delivered from it, through Christ's sustaining it in their room and stead: wherefore they are secure from it both in this life, and in the world to come.  (Dr. John Gill)
Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. (NASB)
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (KJV)
And since we have been made right in God's sight by the blood of Christ, He will certainly save us from God's condemnation. (NLT)
Much more then, because we have now been declared righteous by his blood, we will be saved through him from God's wrath. (NET)

The most amazing of words! How often these days do I hear them explained away by well meaning but deceived religious zealots.  WE HAVE BEEN MADE RIGHT!  It was not by accident, but by the deliberate action of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords upon the Calvary Cross where His blood was shed to make it so.  And this precious flood does now deliver me from the wrath that my sin deserves.  To whom is this wonderful gift available? "...everyone who believes…" Romans 1:16  This is liberty.  Liberty is a great word that comes from the French word Liberte which in essence means to be delivered from oppression.  Why is it that we are so quick to add a whole host of things on to this deliverance based upon our cultural biases that serves only to cumber down a new believer with a load they cannot carry.  They have received the "power of God at work." Yet the zealot requires something extra.  Salvation can only come in their mind if there is the requisite check in the block of the recipe they have concocted.  Perhaps it requires baptism in a certain method in a church building with a specific name over the door.  This is deliverance into bondage.  The whole crux of the reformation begun by Luther was by faith alone, in Christ alone.  Liberty assured!

It is much more reasonable to expect it.  There are fewer obstacles in the way.  If, when we were enemies, he overcame all that was in the way of our salvation; much more have we reason to expect that he will afford us protection now that we are his friends.  This is one ground of the hope expressed in Romans 5:5.  (Dr. Albert Barnes) 

Romans 5:08 - God's Love Demonstrated

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (NASB)
But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (NLT)
But God demonstrates his own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NET)

It is good to point out here that it is sinners who are reconciled by Christ's death. The sin is ours not God's!  Our sin is apparent and God's answer is Christ!  He has set this act of His mercy in His light so that all whom He draws to Himself will be able to see. The word here translated (commendeth - demonstrates - showed) literally means to "stand with." Figuratively meaning to make known and conspicuous.  Christ was made to be seen by all as the "way, the truth, and the life."

So we praise God for the glorious grace He has poured out on us who belong to His dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:6-8 NLT)


Romans 5:07 - No Greater Love?

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. (KJV)
For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. (NASB)
Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. (NLT)
(For rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person perhaps someone might possibly dare to die.) (NET)
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. (John 15:13 NLT)
We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us.  So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.  If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God's love be in that person?  Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (1 John 3:16-18 NLT)

We often speak of the kind of love that requires the ultimate sacrifice.  We see this love demonstrated in stories of parents dying to save their children, soldiers using their own bodies to shield their brothers in arms from explosions.  But here in this verse we see this human love contrasted with God's love.  While we might die for someone with whom we have a deep relationship.  What about a stranger who may well be, by societal standards, the dregs of the earth.

An amplifying of the love of God towards us, so that we cannot doubt it, who delivered Christ to death for the unjust and for them from whom he could receive no useful thing, and, what is more, for his very enemies.  How can it be then that Christ, being now alive, should not save them from destruction whom by his death he justifies and reconciles. (Geneva Bible Translation Notes)


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