A Work Yet to Be Done

Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him” (v. 9).

- Romans 5:9-11

Paul now draws his arguments about the assured nature of salvation together—and tops them off. All that he has said in 5:1–8 points to believers’ security in Christ. But there is more, the apostle now says—“much more.”

The things God already has done for us, Paul says, tell us that He will do all that yet needs to be done to secure our salvation. The things God has accomplished were the crucial things; what remains is, as it were, a mere formality. But we don’t usually think of it that way, for what remains is the Final Judgment and the accompanying outpouring of God’s wrath. We see this as the crucial moment of redemptive history, the moment of truth for all people. This is certainly the case for unbelievers. But for the believer, the moment of justification is a far more important point in time. We know this because Paul is arguing from the greater to the lesser here. He writes that we have been justified by Jesus’ blood (declared righteous on the basis of Christ’s death on the cross) and have been reconciled to God (God Himself having removed the enmity between Him and us, again by Jesus’ work on the cross). Since these things are true, Paul writes, we will be saved from God’s wrath. “If God has already done such great works on our behalf, justifying us in Christ when we were ungodly and reconciling us to Himself when we were His enemies, God will obviously continue His work in the lesser task of seeing us through life and through the Final Judgment,” Dr. James M. Boice writes in his commentary. “If God has already justified us on the basis of Jesus’ atoning death, if He has already pronounced His verdict, any verdict rendered at the Final Judgment will be only a confirming formality.”

Our salvation, therefore, is utterly fixed and secure. And because that is so, we ought to “rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” We seem to have come full circle now, for Paul also spoke of rejoicing earlier in this section of Romans (5:2). But whereas he spoke there of rejoicing in our hope of final salvation, he is thinking now of rejoicing in God, the One who accomplishes the salvation of His people. Boice writes that “To rejoice in God is the greatest of all human activities.” And it is certainly the most appropriate activity for Christians, who are the recipients of a sure and certain salvation.

Coram Deo

Obviously, our salvation is not yet complete. And yet, the appropriate behavior for Christians is not doubting, second-guessing, and legalistic striving, but rejoicing, for our salvation is secure. Do you rejoice to be saved, knowing that you always will be saved? Read the verses below and let the joy of your assured salvation fill your heart.

Passages for Further Study

John 15:11; 17:13
Philippians 4:4
1 Thessalonians 5:16
1 Peter 1:8; 4:13

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