“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:10-11)
This passage tells us that God saves His enemies and makes them His friends. How weird is that? Not at all. This passage played a pivotal role in my own salvation, and probably the salvation of most Christians. These words gave us the great news that through the work of Christ we now have peace with God. This is the essence of God’s grace: Christ died to justify us, to make us righteous before the Father so that we may be saved from God’s justice and so escape His wrath against sin. We do not deserve His grace because we were His enemies, alienated from and hostile to Him. Even so, God sent His Son Jesus to die for us. There was nothing worthy or desirable in us, yet He loved us so much that He showered His grace on us and reconciled us to Himself.
And yet, though we know we are justified by God’s action in and through Christ, we have difficulty appropriating, understanding or believing it. Therefore we must always bear in mind that salvation comes all by God’s grace and His work, lest we become conceited and think we have earned or merited it because we are such good people or else fall into despair because of our sinfulness. And in addition, we have an obligation to share God’s grace and pour it out upon others as the Lord has poured it out on us. This is so that others may know the truth, repent and rejoice in the Lord Jesus Christ who has bought us reconciliation with His own blood. For if the Lord did this great thing for us while we hated Him, so ought we to give our lives in love to those who hate us as well as Him so they too may know of His grace.