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*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

Romans 5:10-11 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 5:10
  • Romans 5:11

God loved us and died for us while we were sinners and enemies to Him. Now that we are saved by grace through faith and are justified in His sight, how much more will He care for those in His family?

The word translated enemies has the sense of being in open rebellion against God. We can see the progression that we were:

  1. Ungodly: (v 6) we were missing God’s character
  2. Sinners: (v 8) we were missing the mark set by God
  3. Enemies: (v 10) we were in open rebellion against God

This letter is addressed to believers in Rome, so Paul never tries to get them to believe on Jesus—they already have. Paul tries to help them understand what believing on Jesus has already done for them, and what it can continue to do for them: 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 (v 10).

While we were enemies of God—enemies because we were separated from God by sin—Jesus died on our behalf and took on the sins of the world. What believing on Jesus has already done for us (as believers) is reconciled us to God through the death of His son. We are no longer estranged from God’s family by sin. We now fully belong to God’s family, and nothing can separate us from that family or the love of a perfect Father. Jesus died because of God’s love for us, even when we were in open rebellion against God. How much more does God love us now that we are reconciled to Him and are in His family? Nothing can stop God’s love for His children.

We are not only saved from being enemies of God, but much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His [Jesus’s] life (v 10). How does this occur, and what exactly does Jesus’s life save us from that hasn’t already been accomplished through being made righteous in the sight of God? Even though we are righteous in the sight of God, and have a new nature indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we still have our old nature that we can choose to follow while living in a fallen world. Following the world is something we very much need to be saved or delivered from every day.

This occurs the same way we become righteous in the sight of God: by faith. We become righteous in the sight of God when we simply believe (Romans 4:3–7). We can be saved, or delivered, from the ongoing power of sin in our old natures and in the world through walking by faith each day. This faith looks like believing that walking in obedience to God’s commands is the best way for us, and choosing that path. That is why Paul stated in his theme verse (Romans 1:16–17) that righteousness happens from faith to faith, faith from beginning to end. Righteousness before God is declared by God when we believe. Walking by faith delivers us from the ongoing power of sin through the resurrection power of Jesus.

Verse 11 explains that it is an occasion for rejoicing because we are delivered, or saved, from so much. We are delivered from being enemies of God when God decides we are righteous in His sight by faith (v 10). We can exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (v 11)We have been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, which should bring us great rejoicing (exult).

It only makes sense to rejoice once something is received or accomplished. Football players rejoice that they won the game only after the time expires and the game is over. The fact that our reconciliation with God is accomplished, that there is nothing more to do, is cause for rejoicing. The competing Jewish “authorities” that Paul is contending with do not believe this. They believe it requires an ongoing adherence to religious laws and duties to be reconciled with God. It is probable that these “authorities” are contending with Paul’s ministry partners Priscilla and Aquila, fellow Jews who preach faith in Christ at the church in their house in Rome (Romans 16:3-5; Acts 18:2, 18, 26). This letter to the Romans seems motivated to help support their efforts to combat these competing Jews who want believers to follow the Jewish laws, rather than live by faith in Christ alone.

Paul is adamant that we have now received the reconciliation. Paul emphasizes the finality of this reality.

  • We have – we currently possess
  • We received – what we possess we obtained in the past, meaning we already have it
  • We have it now – the reconciliation with God through Christ is always present with us

Paul’s opponents maintain that reconciliation with God is always in the future and requires an ongoing religious observance. This sort of religious duty is a great burden, a burden that no one can bear. This burden is anything but joyful. Yet the great redemption of Jesus frees us from that burden and frees us from sin and death. It is an amazing, wonderful reality in which we should exult greatly.

Biblical Text

10 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. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.




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