Friends or Enemies

“For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.”
Romans 5:10 NLT
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more certain, having been reconciled, that we will be saved [from the consequences of sin] by His life [that is, we will be saved because Christ lives today].”
Romans 5:10 AMP

Two different translations of the same verse today. The NLT comes from the angle that through Jesus we become what we always should have been – friends of God. The Amplified (and NIV) versions bring the thought that all people are enemies of God by default, and it is only through the death of His Son, Jesus, that we become reconciled to God, and are not His enemies any longer.

We all know why people are God’s enemies. I bang on about it often enough. Sin, the product of evil and wickedness, appeared on Planet Earth, sullying God’s perfect creation. And we see its impact all around us. I often think, as I meander around the West Fife woodlands near my home, that the beauty I see around me, the plant growth, the birds and small animals, even the occasional deer, is after its corruption from sin. And yet every year, during the Spring, I watch as the vegetation, now largely rotting away through the long winter months, somehow starts to burst into new life. Surely a prophetic statement of what is to come when God finally deals with sin and wickedness, releasing all creation from its bondage and death.

But we see most dramatically the impact of sin on the behaviour of our fellow men and women. If we read a newspaper, or log into an online media site, we will find reports of the consequences of sin. Lots of them. A quick glance at the BBC website this morning revealed that 10 out of the top 13 news stories were a direct consequence of sin-influenced problems. It’s no wonder that God considers those who reject Him and His ways as His enemies. 

Those of us who live in a relatively peaceful place, such as a Western society, will perhaps struggle to find any enemies that affect them. We may have enemies in a more abstract way, such as a hostile foreign power, but we couldn’t name an enemy we know personally. We might think of an enemy as someone who wants to do us harm, but in God’s view, an enemy is someone who rejects Him. Someone who refuses to even accept that He exists. 

The Amplified version ends Romans 5:10 with the declaration that Christ lives today. He has to be really, because God raised Him from the dead. He was resurrected long ago on the Easter Day. Jesus said, and as recorded by the Apostle John in Revelation 1:18, “I am the living one. I died, but look—I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and the grave“. Jesus has been alive for a long time, and will continue to be so for all eternity. He lives within us, if we let Him, by His Spirit. And because of that we will be saved, enemies of God no more.

Can we pilgrims feel the Spirit of Jesus within us? If not, we must ask Him into our hearts. He is more than willing to oblige. Jesus said to the Laodicean church, as John wrote down in Revelation 3:19-20, “I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends”“. We will know Jesus’ voice when He speaks to us, and He wants to share a meal with us, as friends. Isn’t that amazing? How could we ever refuse?

Dear Lord Jesus. We thank You for considering us Your friends. We are truly grateful. Amen.

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