The Hearing of Faith
“For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more we will be saved in His life, having been reconciled.” Romans 5:10
As clearly seen in Romans 5:10, God’s full salvation has two aspects—an aspect related to the law and an aspect related to life. Before we believed in Christ, we were sinners under God’s condemnation and enemies of God. Through Christ’s death on the cross, the righteous requirements of God according to His righteous law were fully satisfied, and we were redeemed by God (1 Pet. 1:18-19). All our problems with God were completely resolved by Christ’s redemption. Through our faith in Christ we experienced the forgiveness and cleansing away of our sins (Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:9) and were justified by God (Rom. 3:24), reconciled to God (Col. 1:21-22), and separated, sanctified, to God (Heb. 13:12). Redemption, including all of these items, is the first aspect of God’s salvation, the aspect related to the law. It was required by God’s righteousness and accomplished through Christ’s death. However, redemption is only the beginning of our experience of God’s complete salvation.
The second half of Romans 5:10 continues to say, “much more we will be saved in His life.” The salvation in Christ’s life is the second aspect of God's full salvation. It is also the goal and the purpose of God’s salvation. God redeems us, forgives us, cleanses us, justifies us, reconciles us, and separates us to Himself so that Christ can enter into us to live in us (Gal. 2:20) and be our life (Col. 3:4). Christ’s living in us accomplishes in us a further salvation, a salvation in life.
When we receive Christ by believing in Him, we are reborn, regenerated by the Spirit of God in our spirit (John 3:6), and we become children of God (John 1:12-13), having the very life of Christ (1 John 5:11-12). Our new birth is the first step in our experience of God’s salvation in life. After being regenerated, we need to be nourished by the milk of God’s word (1 Pet. 2:2) so that we can grow in Christ’s life to experience the remaining steps of God’s full salvation.
According to the New Testament, these steps include sanctification (to partake of God’s holy nature and thus be made holy in our nature—2 Pet. 1:4; Rom. 6:22; Eph. 1:4), renewing (to be made new, especially in our mind, by the Holy Spirit through the word of God—Titus 3:5; Rom. 12:2), transformation (to be changed metabolically in our inward being by the operation of Christ’s life, from the image of Adam to the image of Christ—2 Cor. 3:18), building (to be built up in oneness with other believers to be God’s corporate dwelling place—Eph. 2:22; 1 Pet. 2:5), conformation (to be conformed to the image of Christ, God’s firstborn Son—Rom. 8:29), and glorification (to be brought into God’s glory at the Lord’s coming back and to have our bodies transfigured, redeemed, to be like the Lord’s glorious body—Heb. 2:10; Rom. 8:23; Phil. 3:21). God’s complete salvation, composed of God’s redemption and God’s salvation in life, makes us, the members of Christ’s Body, the same as Christ, the Head of the Body, in life, nature, and appearance so that He and we together can express God corporately for eternity. This is our hope (1 John 3:2-3).
For further reading on this subject, please see The Organic Aspect of God’s Salvation and To Be Saved in the Life of Christ as Revealed in Romans, published by Living Stream Ministry.
From Issue No. 14, June 1999