Are We Friend or Foe?

When God sees us, does he see a friend or foe? It is very rare for someone to identify themselves as a foe of God. All that matters, though, is how God characterizes us.
In Genesis 3, sin enters the world when Eve and Adam eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (cf. Genesis 2:15-17). As a result, the relationship between man and God changes. In Genesis 3:7-13, we see Adam and Eve hiding from God.
Sin brings a broken relationship with God. We can no longer approach him as we did before sin entered our heart. We are forever separated from God until someone, who is qualified, brings us back together with God.
Romans 5:9-11 paints a vivid picture of our spiritual condition. Having no hope for a solution, Jesus died for our sins so that we can be saved (Romans 5:6-9). He is our justifier defending us before God.
First, prior to salvation we are the source of God?s wrath. Paul says that when we become a Christian we are “saved from wrath” (Romans 5:9). Wrath is a passionate rage which boils up suddenly. It is anger in action.
Wrath “denotes an internal motion.”/1 God hates sin so much that it rises up from the very core of his existence. Sin sickens him.
Sin enslaves us, bringing spiritual death (Romans 1:21-32; 6:23). Sin, represented by darkness, cannot be where God is (1 John 1:5). David writes, “For you are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness” (Psalm 5:4).
Second, prior to salvation we are enemies of God, a serious, sobering thought. The word “enemies” means “hostile, hating, opposing one another.” /2 In secular Greek it was often used of “hating.” /3
Do we really want to be an enemy of God? Do we wish to be hated by him? We are enemies because we are living for Satan. Satan is the adversary of God?s people, the “father” of lies and a “murderer from the beginning” (1 Peter 5:8; John 8:44).
Paul writes that he is trying to do the work of God and is hindered because he is faced with “many adversaries” (1 Corinthians 16:9). The word “adversary,” used of Satan and his supporters, simply means an enemy. Enemies are adversaries of God. Hence, if we are not a Christian, we are in Satan?s army as he fights against God (Ephesians 6:10ff).
Despite the hopelessness, God has an answer to our separation from God. As Christians we are “justified by His blood” and are “saved from wrath” through the death of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9). We are no longer enemies because we are “reconciled” to God. “Reconciled” means “to recover God?s favor.” /4 We become friends again with God. Jesus brings us back to God because his blood is on our souls.
Deaver writes, “Reconciliation inherently involves mediation.” /5 First Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” Jesus loved us so much that he gave himself as a sacrifice for us. We are made righteous “at the cost of his blood.” /6
How, then, can we do anything but honor his sacrifice with our lives? Paul writes that baptism represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-4). Jesus? death should inspire us to die for him so we can show his light to the world (Matthew 5:14-16). He is worthy of our praise and sacrifice.
1/ Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 452.
2/ Ibid., 265.
3/ Theological Dictionary of the New Testament 2:811.
4/ Thayer, 333
5/ Roy Deaver, Romans, 162
6/ Frank Gaebelein, Romans, 60

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Richard lives in Florence, Alabama and is married to Deirdre. They have three daughters. He is an avid reader, devoted writer and lover of history and research. He is the author of "The Most Important Question" and is working on more books.

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