For if when we were enemies
For the further illustration of the love of God expressed to sinners, by the death of his Son, the state and condition God's elect were in when Christ died for them is taken notice of; they "were enemies"; to God, to his being, perfections, purposes, and providences; to Christ, to his person, offices, grace, and righteousness; to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit, and his divine operations and influences; to the people of God, and to the Gospel and ordinances of Christ; which enmity is deeply rooted in their minds, is causeless, and undeserved, and is implacable, and irreconcileable without the power and grace of God; which grace of God is wonderfully displayed in the reconciliation of such persons,
by the death of his Son.
Reconciliation implies a former state of friendship, a breach of that friendship, and a making of it up again; which no ways contradicts the everlasting and unchangeable love of God to his people; for this is not a reconciliation of God to them, but of them to God:
we were reconciled to God;
not God to us; and this reconciliation is for their sins, an atonement for them, rather than of their persons; which being done, their persons are reconciled, not to the love, grace, and mercy of God, or to his affections, in which they always had a share, but to the justice of God injured and offended by their sins; and so both justice and holiness on one side, and love, grace, and mercy on the other, are reconciled together, in the business of their salvation; which is brought about by the sufferings and death of Christ: this expresses the wonderful love of God, since this reconciliation arises purely from himself; the scheme of it is of his own contriving; he, whose justice was affronted, and whose law was broken, took the first step towards it, and conducted the whole affair; and which was effected at the expense of the blood and life of his own Son, and that for persons who were enemies to them both. In consequence of this, another reconciliation of them is made by the Spirit of God in regenerations, of which notice is taken in this passage:
much more being reconciled:
to God, as a sovereign God, in his decrees, in his providences, and in the method of salvation by his Son; to Christ, to the way of salvation by him, so as to submit both to his righteousness for justification, and to the sceptre of his kingdom, to be ruled and governed by it; to the Spirit, so as to be led by him, to walk after him, and to depend upon him for the carrying on, and finishing the good work of grace begun in them; to the people of God, so as to love them, and delight in their company; and to the Gospel and ordinances, so as highly to value them, long after them, and take pleasure in them. Now from both these reconciliations is inferred the sure and certain salvation of persons so reconciled:
we shall be saved by his life;
by the life of Christ, and which designs not so much his life as God; or his living in the hearts of his people by faith; though neither of them are to be excluded; but his life, as man, and that not either his private or public life, as man here on earth, though this has an influence upon, and a concern in the business of salvation; but more especially here is meant the interceding life of Christ in heaven, where he lives, and ever lives to make intercession for his people, and to see the salvation he has obtained by his death applied unto them, and they put into the possession of it.