SAVED BY HIS LIFE
T. PIERCE BROWN
In Romans 5:10, Paul says, “For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” This suggests some interesting thoughts, meditation upon which may be of value to us.
First, we recognize that “we were reconciled to God,” means that we have been saved from our sins. Then, when we find that those of us who have already been saved will be saved by his life, we realize that there are at least two aspects of salvation. Most of us already knew that, but there are many that assume that when a person is saved, he is saved, and that is the end of the matter. It is sometimes expressed, “Once saved, always saved.” It is true that once you are saved from some particular sin, you are always saved from the guilt and punishment of that sin. You can never be lost because of it. That has nothing to do with whether you may be lost because of a subsequent sin.
In Mark 16:16, when Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved,” many assume that he means “saved in eternity.” He means “saved from their sins,” as Matthew1:21says, “He shall save his people from their sins.”
We can see this point more clearly by an examination of such verses as 1 Timothy 4:16, “Take heed to thyself, and to thy teaching. Continue in these things; for is doing this thou shalt save both thyself and them that hear thee.” Timothy was already saved from his sins. But it was only by taking heed to his teaching and continuing in them that he would be saved eternally. Peter speaks of the same thing when he says in 1 Peter 1:4-5, “Unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to by revealed in the last time.” Note that the inheritance is reserved. The salvation is ready to be revealed. We have a salvation that is past and a salvation that is future.
As we started this study, my primary purpose was simply to examine something of the meaning and implications of “we shall be saved by his life.” How is it that those of us who have been redeemed by his blood and reconciled by his death can be saved by his life?
Probably the most significant passage that deals with the subject is Hebrews 7:25, “Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” Although we should not visualize a vengeful God waiting for some excuse to throw us into hell with a loving Jesus standing there pleading, “Please do not do that,” it is a precious thought to think of Jesus not only offering himself to die for us, but continuing to have an interest in our welfare, and saying to God, as it were, “This one has accepted my sacrifice and is dependent upon its merits for his salvation. He, in penitent faith has continued to demonstrate that he really loves us, so he should be forgiven.” Of course we know neither the exact manner nor extent of his intercession for us, but the fact that he lives and intercedes for us casts light on how we can be saved eternally by his life.