10. 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.
10. Si enim quum inimici essemus, reconciliati sumus Deo per mortem Filii ejus; multo magis, reconciliati, servabimur per vitam ipsius.
This is an explanation of the former verse, amplified by introducing a comparison between life and death. We were enemies, he says, when Christ interposed for the purpose of propitiating the Father: through this reconciliation we are now friends; since this was effected by his death; much more influential and efficacious will be his life. 1 We hence have ample proofs to strengthen our hearts with confidence respecting our salvation. By saying that we were reconciled to God by the death of Christ, he means, that it was the sacrifice of expiation, by which God was pacified towards the world, as I have showed in the fourth chapter.
But the Apostle seems here to be inconsistent with himself; for if the death of Christ was a pledge of the divine love towards us, it follows that we were already acceptable to him; but he says now, that we were enemies. To this answer, that as God hates sin, we are also hated by him his far as we are sinners; but as in his secret counsel he chooses us into the body of Christ, he ceases to hate us: but restoration to favor is unknown to us, until we attain it by faith. Hence with regard to us, we are always enemies, until the death of Christ interposes in order to propitiate God. And this twofold aspect of things ought to be noticed; for we do not know the gratuitous mercy of God otherwise than as it appears from this -- that he spared not his only-begotten Son; for he loved us at a time when there was discord between him and us: nor can we sufficiently understand the benefit brought to us by the death of Christ, except this be the beginning of our reconciliation with God, that we are persuaded that it is by the expiation that has been made, that he, who was before justly angry with us, is now propitious to us. since then our reception into favor is ascribed to the death of Christ, the meaning is, that guilt is thereby taken away, to which we should be otherwise exposed.
1 "By his life," the abstract for the concrete; it means, "through him being alive," being at God's right hand, having every power committed to him, and making intercession for us Romans 8:34. "Because I live, ye shall live also." John 14:19. -- Ed.