6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, not that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
The death and resurrection of Christ go together the way the justification and sanctification of the believer go together. They work together, and the work is finished and ongoing. Christ died for us while we were still enemies. We would be still enemies of God, but he has reconciled God to us, pacified his anger, calmed his wrath. We might still consider ourselves enemies of God, and behave that way even, but God will not consider us his enemies no matter how much we consider him to be ours. This was what Christ accomplished for us on the cross, but his resurrection also brings salvation, because it is this life we are joined to in baptism, his life his newly resurrected life. We become members of his body, in such a mysterious way that though he has his own existence separate from ours, he lives in this world through his church, the members of his church working together to bring this salvation to everyone. So that just as we are justified by his death, much more we are saved by his life. We are justified by his death on the cross, but we are sanctified, made holy and given to ever more growth in his grace, maturation in his faith through his life as he comes to us and instructs us through his word, through preaching and teaching, through baptism and the Lord’s Supper, he operates through these things to bring us salvation to save us who have been justified because his life in this world is the life of his bride with whom he has become one flesh, the life of his church.