The Berean Expositor
Volume 52 - Page 168 of 207
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It is in man that this hostility and estrangement is found, not in God, for it is He Who
takes the initiative in His great love in providing "the redemption which is in Christ
"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son,
much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only so, but we also
joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the
atonement" (verse 10, 11).
A new word, reconciliation, comes in here, which gives us another aspect of Christ's
redeeming work. Reconciliation pre-supposes enmity, that of rebels against God, and
this reconciling work cancels this enmity, in the same way as justification deals with
sinners who have broken God's laws and are arraigned before Him as Judge.
It is important to realize that the Authorized Version's "atonement" in verse 11 means
reconciliation, for in 1611 the word stood for "at-one-ment" (to make at one), which
meaning it has now lost, and all modern translations correctly render the Greek word
used, reconciliation. God is always the Reconciler in the N.T. and man the object of His
reconciliation. The "life" of Christ in verse 10 is His resurrection life. The perfect
earthly life of the Lord Jesus by itself is never brought forward as the basis for salvation,
but His resurrection life is, as Rom. 4: 25 has already stressed; the resurrection of
Christ is therefore an integral part of the gospel, and this is confirmed in chapter 10: 9
and I Cor. 15: 3, 4.
It is important to note that the doctrine of reconciliation in its various aspects is
confined to the ministry of the Apostle Paul. It is in his ministry alone that we find that
God's reconciliation deals with:
the alienation from God, in Adam, apart from personal sins (Rom. 5: 12).
the alienation from God, as Gentile nations (Rom. 1: 18 and 11: 15).
the alienation from God, by sins committed (II Cor. 5:).
the alienation perpetuated by the distinction of circumcision and uncircumcision
which has been abolished in "the new man" of Eph. 2: 13-16.
the alienation of the whole body of Christ from its destined sphere of blessing "in
the heavenlies, far above principalities and powers" (Col. 1:).
The first of these, that sets aside the alienation introduced by Adam, lie immediately
before us in the new section of Romans that covers 5: 12 - 8: 39 which deals with
Adam and Christ. The words of 100: H. Welch are to the point here:
"We now enter the great inner section of this epistle . . . . . we leave behind the
question of sins for the deeper question of sin, the disobedience to the law of Sinai, for
the one transgression of the garden of Eden. Moses and Abraham fade from view, and
Adam is revealed as the channel of sin, death and its dominion. Here we are to learn the
utter ruin of the creature as something deeper than the failure of the Gentile under the law
of conscience, or of the Jew under the law of Moses. Here we shall plumb the depths of
the depravity of our nature; here we shall come face to face with the dread fact that in
our flesh dwelleth no good thing.  This is a more terrible revelation than that of
Rom.iii.12. There we read that there is none that doeth good; here we are to learn that,
apart from deeds altogether, there is not any that are good, or that have any hope or