No Longer an Enemy


In the days of the American Revolutionary War there lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania, a preacher by the name of Peter Miller who enjoyed the friendship of General George Washington. There also dwelt in that town one Michael Wittman, an evil-minded man who did all in his power to abuse and oppose this preacher.

One day Michael Wittman was involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to death. When the old preacher heard this news, he started out on foot and walked the whole seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for this man's life. He was admitted into Washington's presence and at once begged for the life of the traitor.

Washington said, "No, Peter, I cannot grant you the life of your friend."

The preacher exclaimed, "My FRIEND?? Why, this man is the bitterest ENEMY I have."

Washington cried, "What? You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an ENEMY? Now that puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon."

And so he did. And Peter Miller took Michael Wittman from the very shadow of death back to his own home in Ephrata -- no longer as an enemy, but as a friend.*

Due to our sins, you and I have been found guilty and sentenced to death. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," and "the wages of sin is death" (Romans 3:23; 6:23). However, Christ walked the road to Calvary to seek reconciliation to God for US (His enemies) Romans 5:10. But unlike Peter Miller, Christ did not just enter "the very shadow of death" to save us; He actually gave His life so that we might be reconciled to God.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a RIGHTEOUS MAN, though for a GOOD MAN someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still SINNERS, Christ died for us! Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For IF, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the DEATH of his Son, HOW MUCH MORE, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his LIFE!" (Romans 5:6-10).

Through Christ you and I can be reconciled to God, IF. We will respond to Him in faith (Hebrews 11:6), repentance (2 Corinthians 7:9-10), confession (Romans 10:9-10), and baptism (immersion) for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38; 22:16). Then, as we CONTINUE to walk in the light of His Word, the cleansing blood of Jesus will CONTINUE to wash our sins away (1 John 1:7).

The VALUE of something is often determined by the PRICE one is willing to pay for it! Consider the GREAT price that was paid for OUR reconciliation (a restored relationship) to God.

Truly, OUR response should be to walk with Him now, not as an ENEMY, but as a FRIEND.

God bless you.

David A. Sargent, Minister sargentd@juno.com

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