Romans 5:9–11 — “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 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.”
The Apostle Paul does not inject his two cents into the argument that has divided much of Christendom for centuries, whether it is “once saved, always saved”, or Arminianism, that teaches a saved person must hold on for dear life to remain saved. The Apostle does not teach eternal security per se.
It is more true to say that every whit of Paul’s gospel shouts the security that the believer has in Christ after believing the Gospel.
The three verses above from Romans are an example of just that. Twice the apostle confirms “we shall be saved”. He does not say, “we might be saved if…”, but “we shall be saved.” From verses 6 through 8 previous to these under consideration, we find that when we were yet without strength is when Christ died for the ungodly. We learn that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
In verses 9 through 11, the apostle shows a comparison. He compares all that God accomplished through Christ while we were in our former, unsaved, ungodly condition with all that He indeed will accomplish through Christ now that we are justified.
When speaking of being now justified, we do need to review exactly how we are justified. The first question: Who did Christ die for? The answer from verse 5 is the ungodly. From verse 8, Christ died for sinners. If you find yourself fitting into one of those categories, you have Biblical evidence that Christ died for you. Does that mean that you are indeed justified and counted among those that are saved?
Go back to verse 1 of this same chapter:
Romans 5:1 — “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…”
In Romans 3:26, the apostle declares that God is just, and the “justifier of him which believeth in Jesus”. This does tell us that not everyone across the board benefits from this death that potentially benefits all, but only those who believe are actual partakers. From Romans 3:22, we learn that the righteousness of God is “by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe”.
Let us be sure to remember to start here, before we take these verses, and the remainder of chapter 5 to teach that everyone is indeed saved.
Let us also look now at the things that affect justification. The Protestant rally has long been reduced to “justification by faith alone”, in Latin, Sola Fide. Indeed, the apostle’s conclusion in 3:28 is that a man¹ is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. But does this really teach justification by faith alone?
Would it surprise you to hear me say that we are not justified by “faith alone”?
Read carefully the verses below:
Romans 3:24 — “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…”
Romans 5:9 — “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.”
Galatians 2:16–17 — “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.”
We are justified freely by God’s grace. How important it is to realize that it is not our faith that saves us! How this can so much put to rest the slogan “Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is never alone”. God’s grace justifies, and a man is justified by faith, because we are saved, as the apostle writes to the Ephesians, by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Romans 5:2 says that we have access by faith into this grace, this being justified and having peace with God, by faith. But our justification does not rest on the greatness of our faith, or the right kind of faith, but it rests in the person of our faith, and the greatness of God’s grace, freely given to the one with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice again in Romans 5:9 under consideration, that we are justified by His blood. This is not “faith alone” justifying us, it is the blood of Christ that is the justifying agent. Now, pit your works against that, or your “faith working” to justify you. You can’t! Period!
Galatians 2:16 & 17 says that works have no place in justification, and that we are justified by the faith of Christ², and more, that we are justified by Christ.
But it is not faith alone. That again makes our justification rest upon ourselves and not on God. We are justified by God’s grace. We are justified by the blood of Christ. We are justified by Christ Himself. We enter into this justification by faith without works, but hardly are we justified by faith alone. We are justified as an act of almighty God, and should be very clear about that. That makes our argument for the eternal security of the one that believes in Jesus a much more powerful argument, does it not?
Christ is not going to lose the one that is justified by His blood. MUCH MORE THEN the one justified by His blood is also saved from wrath through Him³. There is still nothing here that the believer needs to do to prove his worth in order to be saved. It is Christ that will save the believer from wrath.
The believer was reconciled to God while an enemy, and now reconciled, we who believe SHALL BE SAVED by HIS life. This is His resurrection life, the life that is given to every believer, the gift of God, eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We have received the atonement by Jesus Christ apart from anything that we can add. Christ died for our sins and offers to us the benefit of His death freely if we will simply believe this gospel is the way in which we enter into that reconciled condition with God. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19), and calls all in the world to be indeed reconciled to Him (2 Corinthians 5:20).
This epistle to the Romans speaks plainly of all that God has done and all that He will do for the believer before calling the believer to do anything. Indeed, as the epistle progresses, the apostle speaks of a proper “believer’s walk”, but this is how we walk as saved, not to become nor to remain saved. That is God’s work.
The assurance of salvation comes not from looking at ourselves to prove our salvation, but from believing God and what He states by His Word. We can believe ourselves to be indeed saved by believing God.
To be perfectly clear, the gospel of Christ that saves is the gospel presented by the apostle as a reminder of the truth of resurrection, that “Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. Justification by the faith of Christ is entered into by believing this wonderful gospel message. Our assurance lies not in our changed life, but in the greatness of the One that saves and keeps us.
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound…
- Note “a man” and not “mankind”. This is individual faith placed in Christ, not a blanket justification of mankind.
- The “faith of Christ” is a hot-button issue in some places. I would say simply that the faith of Christ is the body of doctrine to believe concerning Christ, which is the gospel of Christ, the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes it.
- The tribulation period that is spoken of in the book of the Revelation is called the great day of His (the Lamb’s) wrath (Revelation 6:17). Romans 5:9 says that we are saved from His wrath. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says that God’s Son from heaven, even Jesus already delivered us from the wrath to come. As being in Christ, we have no place in the day of that wrath. We are already saved from it.
Husband, father, engineer...Enjoys fishing, archery, guitar, running, and lifting, but most of all reading and studying God's Word.