The Two Halves of the Gospel in Romans 5:10

Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog.

When we read through the Bible, Romans 1:15 may not stand out too much to us. In it Paul says, “For my part, I am ready to announce the gospel to you also who are in Rome.” On the surface, this sentence seems quite ordinary and unsurprising; after all, Paul preached the gospel to many people.

But in verses 6-7, Paul clearly states who he was writing to: “the called ones of Jesus Christ,” “the called saints.” He was writing to the believers in Rome. If we stop and think about verse 15 in this context, a question arises: Why would Paul need to announce the gospel to believers in Christ who have already been called and saved? The answer lies in the two parts of the gospel of God presented in Romans 5.

What is the gospel?

What comes to mind when you hear the word gospel? Maybe we recall the phrase good news, or we think of Christ’s dying on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Maybe we remember verses like John 3:16, about God so loving the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that we could have eternal life.

Usually we regard the gospel as being about the redemption of Christ, His forgiving us of our sins, and His saving us from eternal judgment. And verses like Romans 3:24, which says, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” tell us redemption is a major part of the gospel. Without Christ’s redemption we’re hopeless, and we can have nothing to do with God. Praise God for our redemption!

But the gospel doesn’t actually end with redemption. That’s why Paul was ready to announce the gospel of God to the believers in Rome—because there’s more.

Romans 5:10 says,

“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.”

We were once God’s enemies, but through Christ’s death on the cross we were reconciled to God! How incredible! But the verse doesn’t end there. Following this incredible statement is the phrase much more. We’ve received an incredible reconciliation, but there’s much more! What could be more than forgiveness for our sins, salvation from eternal perdition, and reconciliation to God?

Being saved in Christ’s life

The answer to our questions lies in the next phrase of the verse: “much more, we will be saved in His life.”

So what does being saved in His life mean? Let’s look at note 4 on this verse in the New Testament Recovery Version to understand this phrase:

“To be saved in Christ’s life is to be saved in Christ Himself as life. He dwells in us, and we are organically one with Him. By the growth of His life in us, we will enjoy His full salvation to the uttermost. Redemption, justification, and reconciliation are for the purpose of bringing us into union with Christ so that He can save us in His life unto glorification (8:30).”

The first half of Romans 5:10 speaks of God’s saving us in an objective, positional way, which was accomplished by Christ’s death on the cross. This is the half most of us usually think of when we consider the gospel. But God’s heart isn’t just to save us outwardly from eternal destruction. Actually, as the note points out, our redemption, justification, and reconciliation are for our salvation in Christ’s life. This is the focus of the second half of Romans 5:10.

In John 11:25, Jesus said that He is the life. When we believed in Him, He came to live in us, in our human spirit, as life. Now He wants to spread Himself as life into all our inward parts. By His spreading and growing in us, He saves us in His life from all negative things such as our flesh, our old man, our self, sin, the world, and more.

These negative things manifest themselves in our lives in many ways and show us our need to be saved in His life. Perhaps we have a bad temper, or we’re lazy, jealous, impatient, proud, selfish, unclean, divisive, or worldly. We have so many things within us we need salvation from on a daily basis!

For example, the Lord wants to save us in His life from the anger we feel, and from what comes out of that anger, when someone cuts us off while driving. He wants to save us in His life from our impatience with our children, our irritation with our spouse, or our exasperation at work or at school. In situations like these, the Lord wants to save us from our natural responses by spreading within us as life. We can experience being saved in His life from our anger, impatience, irritation, exasperation, and many other things, by learning to turn to the Christ who lives within us, in our spirit, and opening these feelings to Him. When we genuinely open our situations and feelings to Him, we allow Him to come into that place in our heart and fill it with His life.

A practical way to experience being saved in His life is to call upon the name of the Lord. This simple prayer helps us turn back to Christ within and begin opening our heart, even our angry or hurting heart, to Him. We’ll also discover that daily spending time with the Lord to pray, confess our sins, allow Christ to operate in us, and enjoy Him in the Word is a joy and a privilege that greatly opens the way for us to be saved in His life day by day.

Consecrating to be saved in His life

God’s salvation begins with redemption and, much more, includes being saved in His life. God wants us to experience Him and enjoy Him day by day so we can grow in His life to be transformed and express Him both personally in our lives and with others as His Body. This is Paul’s gospel for believers.

Let’s consecrate ourselves to the Lord to be saved “much more in His life” today. May the Lord open His Word to us and enlighten us so we can see and enter into the full gospel of God revealed in His Word.

“Lord Jesus, thank You for dying for me and shedding Your blood for me. Thank You for reconciling me to God through Your death on the cross. I’m truly and eternally grateful. But Lord, I also want to experience being saved in Your life. Lord, grow in me and save me in Your life daily. Transform me more into Your image so You can gain the church, Your Body. I love and praise You, Lord. Amen.”

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