Rom 5:9-10: 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
Here in Romans 5:9-10, we distinguish between justification and salvation; they are two different words meaning two different things. Paul says the cross reconciles us (2. Chor 5:18) and justifies us, but it does not save us. What saves us is the life of Christ, but it can not justify us or reconcile us to God. This is very different from what is being preached in most churches today. Most Christians believe per the Nicene creed, which says the central theme for Christians is the cross and nothing but the cross.
How does Paul believe it is possible to be saved by the life of Christ?
When reading Paul, James, John, Peter, and Jude, it is evident they all agree on salvation being a different experience from justification. At the same time, all the Apostles agree justification and salvation depend on each other, so you can not separate the two. This is why James and John say our faith in the cross is dead and unable to save us if we reject the law of Moses. And this is why Paul, in Corinthians, encourages his readers to imitate the life of Christ as he imitates the life of Christ.
So what does it mean to imitate the life of Christ? It means to live our lives the way He lived His life. As Christians, we all know He kept the law of Moses, so if we want to imitate His life, we have to do what He did and keep the law of Moses. What happens if you keep the law of Moses? John says in his letters the one who obeys the law becomes righteous, and Jesus says in the Gospels if we are righteous, we will have no reason to worry about anything because Yehovah, our Father, promises to save us from every need.
If you keep the law of Moses imitating the life of Christ, Paul says you will be saved. Being saved by the life of Christ means to keep the law of Moses; it is that easy. But keep in mind, Paul is not saying the law can give us eternal life just as he is not saying justification can save us.
Paul would never agree with our concept of salvation, where the main focus is to achieve eternal life. Salvation was strictly for the here and now in this life, and justification was for life to come after death. So what Paul is saying here is in line with both Deut 28:1-14, Matt 6:25-34, Yehovah promises to save you in this life from whatever life might throw at you if and only if you keep the law. But keeping the law will never give you eternal life. To achieve eternal life, you must also be justified and reconciled to Yehovah, and the only possible way is through the cross of Christ. Justification and reconciliation through the cross can not and will never save you in this life. And as Jesus says, in Matt 7:21-23, if you are justified but not saved (you believe in the cross but reject the law), He will reject you.
So why do most Christians disagree with Paul when they believe justification, reconciliation, and salvation can only be achieved through the cross?
First and foremost, because they never study their Bibles, but second of all, they do not love Yehovah, and they have no love for Jesus. How can we know this for sure? Because according to Jesus, the only way for you to show Him that you love Him is by obedience to the law of Moses. (John 14-17)
This is why we Christians live weak, powerless, defeated lives and why we do not see the book of Acts in our churches. In Rev 12 and 14, we are promised victory over the devil if and only if we are justified by the cross and saved by obeying the law of Moses.
Does this mean that as long as we are justified by the cross, obeying the law, we will never be sick, never have lacked, and live trouble-free lives from now and until we die or Jesus returns?
The Bible never promises us a quick fix to anything, so the answer is no. Salvation from life’s challenges is not Yehovah removing our problems; it is Yehovah saving us in the midst of them. We see this in the life of Daniel; he was not saved from the lion’s den; he was saved in the lion’s den.
We see this with the three Hebrew children thrown into the fire; Yehovah did not save them from the fire; He saved them in the fire.
When you face a sickness, a financial crisis, Yehovah does not promise to save you from your problems. He promises to save you in your problems as long as you keep the law. How and when He will save you is 100% up to Him, our “job” is to keep the law to be saved and never complain, just as Daniel did not complain when he was thrown into the lion’s den. The three Hebrew children did not complain when they where thrown into the fire. We must never complain or question Yehovah when we are thrown headfirst into a battle with cancer or financial crisis. We must keep our faith and obedience, believing He will save us, no matter how long it takes. Because if we do, we will come out of the fire not even smelling of smoke, and the lion’s mouths will be closed.
What are you facing today?
Just being justified by the cross will never save you from cancer, financial crisis, or whatever it might be. Repent and come back to the law of Moses, imitate the life of Christ, and trust Yehovah to save you in the midst of your trial.