BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ONE (part 3)
There is nothing in man himself that can recommend him to God. The saved man has repented of his own defective righteousness and has entrusted himself only to the perfect Righteousness of Jesus Christ. His confidence does not lie in anything he has done, but only in what His Substitute has done for him. He looks to nothing in and of himself for assurance of salvation, but entrusts himself solely to Christ and His Righteousness. The Christian trusts in nothing and no one but the Righteousness of Christ, and because his trust lies ONLY and COMPLETELY in Christ’s Righteousness, HE HAS NO TRUST ‘LEFT OVER’ to place in anyone or anything else! IF RIGHTEOUSNESS COMES BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ANOTHER, THEN THAT IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS ONE MUST WHOLLY AND SOLELY ENTRUST ONESELF TO. Christ’s perfect Righteousness is the only means by which a man is saved. To illustrate this point, picture the following: God is on one side of the ocean and the elect are on the other. How can God get His grace and mercy across to His people, and by what means can He then bring His people to Him? No other way than by means of a ship called ‘THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST!’ One must be wholly submitted to the Righteousness of Christ or one cannot be submitted to it at all. If Righteousness comes by another, then it is obviously and abundantly clear that to be saved, one must trust in something totally outside of oneself; in something which does not and cannot proceed from one’s own person. This does not come naturally to man, who obstinately adheres to his own views whilst rejecting God’s Word on the matter. If Righteousness comes by another then it stands to biblical reason that it cannot come from us, and so it is HE to Whom we must look and place our confidence in, and in Whom we must trust COMPLETELY. If ALL of justifying Righteousness comes from another, then ALL our trust, comfort, peace and eternal security should be in, and because of, that other. No one can rightly consider themselves a Christian if their trust is not completely in Christ Jesus the Lord. This trusting must be according to God’s definition of trust and not our own. You cannot be fully trusting in one thing whilst at the same time having confidence in anything else. God demands a righteousness in which even He cannot find a flaw. Only the Person and Work of Christ, the Representative of His people, qualifies a man for heaven. Only HIS Obedience meets every requirement of God’s Holy Law. Peace and assurance is the believer’s not because he finds comfort in the fact that he hasn’t committed a particular sin or types of sins, but that His Savior, His Representative, his Redeemer, has not committed ANY sin, but has perfectly obeyed every law of God, and that His perfect sinless Obedience has been imputed to him. It is by Christ alone that a saved man can come boldly before the Throne of Grace and enter into God’s glory without fear of punishment (Heb. 4:14-16 cf. Heb. 10:19,20).
But how so? How is it that man, who can do nothing in and of himself to get saved or remain saved, possibly ever come into right standing with God and meet with His approval based on the Obedience of another? How can another’s obedience make us righteous? To those who cannot discern the answers to these questions, there remains nothing but to believe that man must do his part in contributing to, and maintaining, a ‘saved’ state. The answer to the above questions, for those who have ears to hear, is Imputation: the charging of man’s sins to the account of Christ (on the cross), and in turn, the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness to those sinners for Whom He died. "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21 cf. 1 Pet. 3:18). By way of imputation, God can remain a Just Judge and simultaneously be the Savior of those who have so terribly sinned against Him (see Isa. 45:21-24). "Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS that are past, through the forbearance of God; TO DECLARE, I say, at this time HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: that He might be Just and the Justifier of him which believeth in Jesus...therefore we conclude that A MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH WITHOUT THE DEEDS OF THE LAW" (Rom. 3:24-26,28). How can God be Just and the Justifier of those who have sinned against Him? By Imputation! God has wisely chosen, according to His purpose and grace, a people to become His special people, a chosen nation of believers and worshippers of the true and only God (Eph. 1:4,5). He has done this, not according to any of their deeds, but solely according to His great Grace and Mercy: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" (2 Tim. 1:9). Salvation is not something which is earned, but is a free gift which comes from God and is given to His elect ones. God’s Christ, Jesus the Holy One, was sent to this earth to live a life of perfect obedience and to die the death that was appointed Him. This was all done, not for Himself, but for all those whom He represented, all those for whom He was sent to save. Christ was sent to save His people from their sins, the Scripture says, and in this He could not, and did not, fail (Matt. 1:21).
In order for God’s Law to be fulfilled and His Justice satisfied, He requires total and complete obedience as well as complete and total payment made to His Holy Justice. Man could never obey the commandments of God because man, to begin with, is a sinner and all he does is stained with sin. A corrupt tree can only bring forth rotten fruit (Matt. 7:17,18). All of man’s deeds, even his best efforts at obedience, are a stench in God’s nostrils. No matter how hard a man may try to obey God, he always falls short of the Standard God has set. This is why salvation has graciously and mercifully not been conditioned on man’s efforts at obedience but on the Obedience of Another, on the only one who could achieve perfect righteousness: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God...(Graciously) Therefore it (salvation) is OF FAITH, (not of works) that it might be BY GRACE; (not reward) to the end the promise (not the offer) might be SURE (not merely possible) to all the seed (not everyone)..." (Rom. 3:23 & Rom. 4:16). The best a man could do in an attempt to satisfy the demands of God’s Justice would be to spend an eternity in Hell. Yet even in this state man could never pay for his sins, for in all his sufferings he would never cease from sinning. You cannot pay for sin whilst a sinner. Not even in hell can man make any restitution to God by his sufferings, because in hell man shall always remain a sinner, a sinful creature. And perhaps the worst part of hell for those who are there, and who will go there, is knowing that for all their sufferings they cannot atone for a single solitary sin, EVER! So from all this we see that there is nothing man can do, not his best religious work and not any amount of suffering, even if that suffering takes place in hell itself, that can even begin to meet the demands of God’s Holy Law and Justice. This is why man needs a Rescuer, a Savior. A Substitute Who can meet ALL of God’s demands of obedience and Who can also make full payment for all of a man’s sins. Jesus Christ has done this for all those whom God chose and gave to Him from before the foundation of the world (see Jn. 6:37).
Christ was able to fully obey the Law of God in that He was not a sinner like other men, for He was not born of the seed of man but virgin born of the Seed of God (Matt. 1:23; Lk. 1:35). Christ Jesus lived a perfect life. He could not sin and He did not sin, thus establishing a perfect Righteousness, the only Righteousness, by which a man can be saved (see Matt. 5:17). Christ’s Righteousness does not only consist of His perfect obedience to God’s law as a man, but also His perfect obedience even unto the death of the cross. Christ suffered and died, not for Himself, nor for any other reason than for the sins of His people, to appease the wrath of a Holy God towards those people. Before salvation all God’s chosen, just like other men, were children of His Wrath (Eph. 2:3). Christ atoned for their sins fully, paying the price for their sins by laying down His Perfect Sinless Body on their behalf (Eph. 5:25,26 cf. Isa. 53:8; Jn. 10:11,15). The Perfect Sacrifice for an imperfect people; the Just for the unjust (1 Pet. 3:18 cf. Rom. 5:6). The sins of God’s people, His elect, were imputed (charged) to Christ and He took them out of the way, nailing them to His cross, signifying full payment made. The language of nailing their sins to the cross as found in Colossians 2:14, speaks of finality of payment. In the Middle East, the custom after full payment of a debt was to drive a nail through the account. This custom is also practised in Western countries. It can be witnessed whenever a bill, account or debt has a spike driven through it. It may also be seen in banks when a cheque is cashed or withdrawal slip is dealt with. They are both pierced through by a spike. It signifies that payment has been made IN FULL and there is nothing of the debt outstanding, nor anything more that the creditor can demand.
The Sacrifice of Christ was a sweet smelling savor to God (Eph. 5:2), for Christ was sinless and His sacrifice a perfect one, spotless and unblemished, as the Old Testament sacrificial lamb was, which was a type of the Christ Who was to come. This is one reason why Christ is called the Propitiation for our sins (1 Jn. 2:2). Christ is the Propitiation, or Satisfaction, to all that God’s Law and Justice demanded. It is faith in Him alone that saves, for He is the only one who has achieved anything! The Christian believes the truth because of Him. That’s why the true believer, and only the true believer, has his faith and hope ONLY in God and in nothing that proceeds from himself. THE FAITH THAT COMES FROM, AND IS GIVEN BY, GOD TRUSTS ONLY IN GOD. "Who by Him (Christ) do believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God" (1 Pet. 1:21). There is nothing which God’s Law and Justice demands, that Christ’s obedience unto death, even the death of the cross, has not fully met (Heb. 7:27; 9:12, 24-26; 10:10,12,14). God’s law requires no other obedience, and God’s Justice makes no further demands that Christ Jesus has not already fulfilled, for the salvation of all His people. "Now where remission of these (sins) is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 10:18 cf. Isa. 53:11). "If those sins are wholly blotted out, there is no more need of sacrifice to atone for them, any more than there is a need to pay a debt again which has been once paid." Some may still argue, "But surely there has to be something we must do?" WHY? Why, after Jesus Christ has done everything, do I have to do anything in order to get saved or stay saved? What could there possibly be left for me to do which HE has not done? According to the following Scriptures, Christ has left nothing undone: "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the Body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreproveable in His sight" (Col. 1:20-22). No, my friend, nothing more needs be done; nothing needs to be added to what Christ has done, for He has done it all. Christ has sat down, for His Work is finished. Man cannot do anything to get saved or even remain saved, and Christ needs do no more to save and keep saved all for whom He lived and died (Jn. 19:30; Heb. 1:3).
The sins of every elect child of God have been charged to, and been fully paid by, Jesus Christ. All for whom this was done owe nothing to God’s Law or God’s Justice in order to get saved or remain saved. Their slate has been wiped clean, and the Perfect Righteousness of Christ, the only one to have ever complied with the law of God perfectly, has been graciously charged to their account. Before this, they were bankrupt, unable to pay their debt to God let alone establish any positive balance in their spiritual bank account with God. Man has nothing in his account, or any credit, with God without the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ. Anything and everything that a man’s obedience fails to attain, Christ’s Obedience HAS attained: "And BY HIM all that believe are justified from ALL THINGS, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses....For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God" (Acts 13:39 & Heb. 7:19; cf. Gal. 3:21,22). That is how salvation is possible for such horrid sinners as us. It is by Christ, and because of Christ, that a man is saved. "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us..." (Gal. 3:13). The Message of the Gospel is not bondage to the law, but FREEDOM IN CHRIST!, for He has obeyed the law perfectly. Why, in light of this glorious Truth, would any man seek salvation based on his own obedience when Christ, the sinless One, has already established the Perfect Obedience by which a man is saved? Instead of trusting in your own obedience, why don’t you simply believe in and submit to the Righteousness of Christ? If you decline to do so, what possible reason could you have? Surely you are not of the belief that you must add to what Christ has done? Isn’t Christ’s Righteousness good enough for you? Doesn’t it meet with your approval? What makes anyone believe, who thinks that Christ’s Righteousness is not good enough for them, that their righteousness is going to be good enough for God? If Christ’s Righteousness is not good enough for you to place your whole trust in for all of salvation, what gives you the idea that God is going to accept you based on your righteousness? Isn’t His Obedience enough for you to trust in? Do you think you have more of a chance with God if you come to Him with your own obedience? Do you honestly think you will gain more by your own obedience than with that of Christ’s?
Anything added to or taken away from the rule of imputation, such as man’s ability to obey enough to get saved or stay saved, or disobey enough in order to lose his salvation, is an abomination in the sight of God because it is an outright denial of the sufficiency and efficiency of the Person and Work of the Savior He has provided. The Person and the Work of Jesus Christ for all those for whom He died, meets EVERY condition God has set in order for His chosen ones to be saved and made Righteous in His eyes. GOD DOESN’T REQUIRE ANYTHING MORE, SO WHY SHOULD YOU? GOD IS FULLY SATISFIED WITH CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS, SO WHY AREN’T YOU? If the reader knows of any righteousness that can rival the only Righteousness which justifies the many, or anything which must be added to that perfect righteousness—which would suggest that it is not perfect at all—would they please inform this author. Do not allow anyone to deceive you. Do not allow anyone to lead you away from the Biblical Truth that salvation does not come by the individual obedience of any, but solely and wholly by the obedience of ONE: Jesus Christ FOR the many. "Scripture knows of only ONE righteousness uniting God and man, and the world has never seen another."
If one has Christ, then one is a beneficiary of all that Christ is and all that He has done on their behalf. If one has Christ, then one has an inheritance which will never fade away, but is securely reserved for them in Heaven: "To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you" (1 Pet. 1:4). To have Christ is to abide in His Doctrine, His Gospel and no other (1 Jn. 2:9). Christ has done what He has done in order to glorify His Father and to gain and secure eternal life for all His people. If you seek to add to what Christ has done, then you cannot be said to trust in Christ and have turned your back on Christ and are seeking some other way to salvation. ALL OTHER ‘WAYS’ TO SALVATION LEAD ONLY TO HELL!! In the spiritual realm, only ONE road leads to heaven and ALL other roads lead to destruction. Notice that Christ has not done what He has done in order to merely make salvation possible, which is what modern ‘christianity’ would have us believe, nor to simply be the initiator or instigator of salvation, a catalyst for some process of salvation which only the individual sinner can complete through his personal obedience and faithfulness. Christ has come to save His people from their sins and this He has fully accomplished by His Life and Death. Christ has not only procured salvation for His people, but He has also SECURED their salvation, for He has obtained their ETERNAL Redemption (Heb. 5:9; 9:12). His people have not merely been brought from a state of lostness to a state of salvation, but they have been made new creatures in Christ, they are preserved in Christ and are kept eternally by the power of God (1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 1). It is by God’s saving power that a saved man perseveres in the faith, which is why none can snatch them from either the Son’s hands or those of the Father (Jn.10:28,29). Christ has secured a people for God. These people will continue to sin in their lives but this cannot alter the fact that the penalty for all their sins, past, present and future, has been paid for by Christ’s Sacrifice on the cross. Otherwise how could His Sacrifice have eternal benefits? This could never have been done by their own feeble obedience to God’s Law. You see, it is not our obedience which keeps us saved nor our sins which can bring about the loss of our salvation, for God has declared "...His Righteousness for the remission of sins..." (Rom. 3:25). "Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (Rom. 5:9).
Christ is the Surety for all His people: "By so much was Jesus made a Surety of a better Testament" (Heb. 7:22). The nature of a surety is one that undertakes and engages for another. "As the Surety, He is the personal guarantee of the terms of the new and better covenant, secured on the ground of His perfect sacrifice." Christ was not the Surety for an indeterminate number of people, but for the elect people of God. The foundation of the promise of eternal life has not been laid on the sands of man’s empty and vain attempts at obedience towards God, but upon the solid Rock: Jesus Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith in what Christ has done, NOT IN THE WORKS THAT WE DO, so that the glorious promise of eternal life MIGHT BE SURE, being based on the Perfect Obedience of Christ and not on the imperfect and fickle ‘obedience’ of sinners. "For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was NOT to Abraham, or to his seed, THROUGH THE LAW, but through the righteousness of faith....For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise....Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe" (Rom. 4:13; 4:16; Gal. 3:18,21,22). These verses show the utter vanity of man trying to come to God by his own obedience, and that the promise of salvation is not by obedience to the law through the deeds of man, but is by faith in Jesus Christ—Who He is and what He has done—to all them that believe. IF SALVATION IS BY GOD’S PROMISE, THEN IT IS NOT AN OFFER AND CANNOT BE ATTAINED BY YOUR WORKS. "Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that WORKETH NOT, BUT BELIEVETH on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for Righteousness" (Rom. 4:4,5). "For BY GRACE are ye saved THROUGH FAITH; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8,9). These verses of Scripture show clearly that believing is not a work or effort on which salvation is conditioned, but is a free Gift from God.
Surely in light of this evidence, there can be none who would still contend that a man who is kept by the power of God can release himself from God’s saving grip and once again become an enemy of God, no longer reserved eternally and preserved in and by Christ, but now reserved and appointed for the fires of hell. Surely God’s wrath towards the sinner, which has been fully appeased by the Sacrifice of Christ, cannot now be unappeased, for this would mean that there were sins left unatoned for, or that Christ’s Sacrifice failed to make full atonement for some sins. Surely those people for whom Christ died shall never suffer the wrath of God "For God HATH NOT appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him" (1 Thess. 5:9 cf. Rom. 5:9; 2 Thess. 2:13,14;). ‘Christ died for my sins’, many boldly and with much certainty claim. But how can this be when they insist that, if they do not sufficiently obey God’s commands, they can again return to a condemned state and be forever lost. They show by this that they have no idea of what they are saying when they declare ‘Christ died for my sins’. ‘Christ died for some of my sins’ is the best they could say if they are to be perfectly honest with themselves. They say nothing Christ has done will ultimately profit them if they do not adequately obey the commands of God. For in saying that by certain sins they can again come under God’s wrath, they are saying that Christ’s sacrifice did not atone fully for all of their sins. They cannot be true believers in the Only Savior Who died for all the sins of all the people whom God had given Him for all time, who believe that one can eventually lose what Christ has gained. The Gospel of Christ remains hidden from such people, and if the Gospel is hidden, the Scripture says it is hidden to them that are lost (2 Cor. 4:3). Such people are not saved, nor have they ever been saved, for their ignorance of the true Christ and what He has done for His people is, and will forever stand as, a testimony of their lost state if they remain in such spiritual darkness. Remember that the redemption that has been obtained by Christ is eternal and that His people have been irreversibly and unchangeably justified. God is eternally satisfied with the Righteousness of Christ. The people for whom Christ lived and died are now eternally cleansed by the blood of Christ and have had His very own Obedience charged to their account! (see 1 Cor. 6:11 cf. Eph. 1:7; Heb. 9:12-15; Rev. 1:5).
These Great things are not subject to change but are eternal. What more could be done for them, nay, what more NEEDS to be done, to secure the eternal future of God’s chosen in Heaven!! WHAT COULD ANY MAN DO WHICH CHRIST HAS NOT ALREADY DONE? What part of God’s Law or God’s Justice did Christ fail to satisfy? What is there that Christ neglected to do? What is it that holds those who believe that one can lose one’s salvation in the grip of fear of one day ending up in a fiery hell? The truth of the matter is, such people are lost. They have not been made free but remain prisoners of fear. When it comes right down to it, they are no different to any religious person who ignorantly strives to find, and remain in, God’s favor by their own obedience. They have never been given the True Gospel and been saved, for they have never believed in the one and only Savior Who has done everything, met every condition, for a man’s salvation. THEY HAVE NEVER BELIEVED THAT ALL OF SALVATION, FROM BEGINNING TO FINAL GLORY, IS CONDITIONED SOLELY ON JESUS CHRIST THE SAVIOR AND NOT IN THE LEAST PART ON THEMSELVES. They believe in a satanic counterfeit, a savior whose efforts at obedience are not enough to guarantee the salvation of any. They believe in a savior who has barely been able to do more than what any sinful man can do. Their savior provides a way to be ‘saved’, or ‘saves’ a man upon that man meeting certain conditions, which this phony liberator either did not or could not meet, yet he cannot keep that man saved by his obedience and death. OF WHAT POSSIBLE USE WOULD A SAVIOR BE, IF WHAT HE DID TO SAVE WAS NOT ENOUGH TO SAVE? The ‘salvation’ this savior has provided cannot be made sure to any, for their status can change at any moment based on their disobedience. What then is the obedience of such a savior worth? And what of his death? What did he achieve by it that cannot be completely undone by the sinful deeds of a mere man, the penalty for which deeds was supposed to have been dealt with by his death? Such an impotent ‘savior’ deserves nothing but scorn and derision. All glory and praise belongs solely to the true Christ, Jesus the Lord and Savior of His people, Who fully accomplished, and was successful in, all that He set out to do for His people.
Our Savior is the True Savior. He is the True Rescuer of all His people for He has done, He has fully accomplished, all that He set out to do. His life was perfect. His death was perfect. His flawless Righteousness imputed to all His people is what is necessary to GAIN, SECURE and ENSURE their salvation. THEIR HOPE IS ANCHORED TO HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS! Nothing on man’s part could possibly be added to any shortcomings of the Messiah, for He has no shortcomings. IT IS MAN THAT HAS THE SHORTCOMINGS; WHICH IS WHY MAN NEEDS A SAVIOR!! THERE IS NOTHING IN GOD’S PLAN OF SALVATION WHICH HAS BEEN OVERLOOKED. Every condition laid down in God’s Law and Justice has been fully met. IT IS CHRIST’S RIGHTEOUSNESS ALONE THAT SAVES!! Jesus Christ fully accomplished what God sent Him to the earth to do: establish a perfect Righteousness on behalf of His people by obeying God’s Law and making full payment, or atonement, for their every sin by His Sacrificial death on the cross. Man’s incapability of being saved by his own deeds, by anything he can do, is a fact which the Scriptures make abundantly clear. "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin...Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Rom. 3:20,28 cf. Gal. 1:16; 2:7-14; cf. Acts 13:39; Heb. 7:18,19). If salvation cannot be by our works, then it must be by faith in another’s works. All that the Law of God does to a man who is trying to obey it, is show him that his obedience is a dismal failure. It reminds him that he is a sinner who cannot gain access by the portals of the Law, but only by the Door of grace. So then, if salvation is not by the deeds of sinful man, then it can only be by the sinless One: the God-Man Jesus Christ. If there is nothing we can do to get saved then isn’t it obvious that we must look to something which is outside of ourselves? THE LAST THING A MAN NEEDS TO DO IS TO LOOK WITHIN HIMSELF FOR SALVATION! Only by the obedience of another, Christ Jesus, is a man saved. If you look to yourself then you are not looking to Him. Anything to which a man has entrusted himself to for hope of salvation will keep him from looking unto Christ as his only Hope. "Anything that keeps a man from looking ONLY unto Christ for ALL of salvation is idolatry." Those who insist that man must play his part in his own salvation give clear evidence that they are yet in their sins, for they are like the followers of any false religion who vainly attempt to obey, and who arrogantly trample the blood of Christ, in their insane rush to gain acceptance with God by their own deeds, or think that they must do this and abstain from that in order to remain in God’s ‘good books’. This supreme tenet of humanistic thought has carried billions to an eternal hell and continues, under the guise of religion, to give a counterfeit comfort and false refuge to all who hold to it.
Far from being a virtue, it is the height of human arrogance and presumption to think that man can do anything to get saved, to find favor in the eyes of God. Equally arrogant is the thought that man, once ‘saved’, can do anything to keep himself saved or get himself unsaved. There is no room for the True Christ of the Gospel in such thoughts and beliefs, for all do away with the sufficiency, finality and eternality of what Christ has done. If you hold to any one of these false teachings, my friend, then you have a fiery future awaiting you. Far from being a minor theological error, these teachings are the very essence of satanically inspired pseudo-christianity. You have a Wrathful God to face, in Whom there will be no mercy for those who do not know Him and who have not obeyed His Mighty Gospel wherein is revealed the only Righteousness that saves, that of Jesus Christ: "...the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess. 1:7-9).
There once was a man called Saul of Tarsus. He was a Pharisee of Pharisees. A most dignified and religious man, who followed the Old Testament Scriptures with incomparable zeal and attention. Outwardly he appeared righteous unto men and was greatly respected. He considered himself to be blameless and a great servant of God, in that he persecuted the ‘sect’ of people who believed that Jesus was the Messiah. But upon his being visited by God and having the Gospel of salvation revealed to him, he promptly separated himself from his own righteousness, his own efforts in religion to attempt to please God and remain in God’s favor. He turned his back on, and completely repented of, his Pharisaical life and all that he had previously trusted in to see him safely to heaven. He turned his back on the many years he had diligently served and obeyed his religion. All that he once considered to be gain to him, this he now saw as vain and horribly and indelibly stained with his own sinfulness, and so cleaved to the only Righteousness that is completely sin free, which the Holy Gospel reveals as the only one which saves and secures a man for heaven: the Righteousness of Christ Jesus the Lord (see Rom. 1:17,18). The man later became known as Paul the apostle and you can read his own account of this great change in his life and mind in Philippians 3. Most will readily refer you to the book of Acts when speaking of Paul’s conversion, but Philippians 3 actually gives you the details and tells you what Paul was brought out of and made alive to; what he repented of and what he now acknowledged as the truth. Paul stated that he did not want to be found any longer with his own righteousness, which he once trusted in and entrusted himself to, and which he had considered being the mainstay of his life but which he now referred to as dung, but only that Righteousness of God which is through the Faith of Christ. Christ said that if your righteousness does not exceed the righteousness of the Pharisees, you cannot be saved (Matt. 5:20). In light of this, Paul’s rejection of that very righteousness that Christ said must be exceeded if any are to see heaven, is a powerful statement: even the righteousness of the most ‘holy’ and religiously devout person on earth is not enough to gain or ensure any man’s salvation. Even Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee and member of the aristocratic Sanhedrin, a leader of the Jewish nation, was told by Jesus that even he, with all his religion and piety, needed to be born again if he would see and enter the Kingdom of heaven (Jn. 3:1-3).
The righteousness of only one Individual saves and that Individual is Jesus Christ. Just as Paul the apostle rejected his own efforts at obedience to God’s Holy law, so too, all of Christ’s people have rejected and repented of their own ‘good deeds’, their very best yet utterly worthless attempts at obeying God in order to either get saved or to remain saved. Upon being born again, and not before, they all believe and trust in the Righteousness of Another and not in their own. As long as a person is trusting in anything they do or have done they are in a lost state, even if they attribute their deeds to God (see Lk.18:9-14). God’s people do not want to be found with their own righteousness when they get to heaven, as they did in their lost religious days, but only with that Righteousness of Christ. Christ’s Righteousness is the ONLY one which God will not reject! All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags to a Holy God, and all attempts to find favor with God have been fully repented of by the true born again believer. We have turned our backs on our righteousness and been made to eternally lay hold of the Righteousness of another, fully believing that His Perfect Obedience unto death was more than enough to GAIN AND SECURE for us an ETERNAL salvation.
The following is most important, as it is in response to those who so falsely accuse preachers of the true Gospel that how we live and what we do matters not, and that we promote a ‘live as you choose’ attitude to life. Every believer strives to be obedient to God’s command to be holy and every believer fails in this endeavor. Anyone and everyone knows that we cannot ever obey God perfectly. Even the irreligious sinner knows he is not perfect. This truth resides in every man, barring some who have joined extreme cults and believe that they no longer sin. These people, according to the Scriptures, are liars who deceive themselves (1 Jn. 1:8). Though the true believer knows that no amount of stringent effort on his part to obey can in any way maintain his saved state, he nevertheless knows that he must do his best to live an obedient life, for this is the will of the Lord. This he does with the help of God, not in order to stay saved or make himself better qualified for heaven for his salvation is fully grounded in the Righteousness of Christ, and he is not among the foolish who think that, having begun in the spirit, he must now be made perfect by the flesh (see Gal. 2:3), but in order to follow the teachings of His Lord, to worship Him and to show his gratitude to such a loving Savior. The true believer’s obedience to God is not a legalistic one, but one borne out of love and gratitude. It is not motivated out of a hope for reward, but out of love and devotion towards the One Who has freely given him the gift of Life: "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO (not because of) good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10). Significantly, the true Christian has been made UNTO good works, implying that before being made new in Christ he had no good works by which he could recommend himself to God. The good works began only AFTER being born again and certainly not before. God justifies the UNgodly (Rom. 4:5; 5:6). The true believer does not subscribe to the lie that now he is saved, he can live any way he likes because his salvation is not dependant on what he does but on what Christ has done on his behalf. His attitude is not one of ‘my salvation is secure so its time to eat, drink and be merry’. The true believer agrees with the Scriptures: "He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked" (1 Jn. 2:6). People who live wanton lives and who care not for the consequences of their sins, nor for the amount of hurt and pain they might cause others, are only deluding themselves if they think they have been born again of the Spirit of God. This is not the path of the true believer, but that of a deceived person who has nothing to base his ‘salvation’ on. True salvation gives Faith which produces works and is not dead (see Jas. 2:17). God does not promote sinfulness. In response to those who thought that "if sin has been the occasion of grace and favor, ought we not to continue in it, and commit as much as possible, in order that grace might abound?" Paul the apostle said of such nonsense "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Rom. 6:1,2 cf. 1 Thess. 4:7). The truly saved person knows that he is saved because of another and by the Righteousness of another. He knows that there is nothing in and of himself that has met, or can meet, any of the requirements of God. Therefore his obedience is not aimed at meeting any of the conditions of salvation, for these have all been fully met by his Representative and Substitute, Jesus Christ. Consequently, he seeks to live a life of obedience as is commanded him, in love and gratitude towards His Savior. But the command to live holy is not a condition upon which the man’s salvation depends, for that salvation has been given based on the Obedience of Another. Nor does a failure to live right carry with it the penalty of hell, for the penalty of hell has been fully paid by the Death of Another. God does not contradict Himself. He does not say "By the Obedience of One shall many be made Righteous", and at the same time insist that unless the individual who is saved by the Obedience of Another does not himself obey sufficiently now that he is saved, he will lose what has been gained for him. This would be to deny the entire reason for having sent a Savior in the first place and completely distorts the true meaning of the word saved.
"God says not, He shall make them capable of Reconciliation; He shall in part justify; He shall fill up their deficiency, and perfect what is wanting in their duties: No! But He shall accomplish the whole work; He shall execute the Great Office without a rival; without a partner, He will justify the faithful, and not they themselves. This Method of becoming Righteous, through the Obedience of Christ, is worthy of all acceptation, because it gives the highest glory to God. Nothing can be so effectually calculated to abase the sinner, and exalt the Savior, as THIS Way of obtaining salvation. This will bring down the lofty look of man: this will lay every assuming thought in the very dust, and leave the Lord alone glorious and exalted. THIS thoroughly secures to God His great Prerogative, and utterly excludes human boasting, and brings unmingled honor and glory to the Surety of men. Whereas, was life eternal the Reward of their own works, there would be some pretension for self-admiration. Men would arrogate some of the Merit to themselves, and say in their hearts, ‘My power and the might of my hands hath gotten me this wealth.’ If they were to expect the blessing of the eternal state as wages which they have earned, O! What a damp would this strike on their thankfulness! How little would they think themselves obliged, and, indeed, how little would they be obliged, to God the Savior, on this footing. But when saints in Light view their heavenly Inheritance; when they survey that great, exceeding great and eternal weight of Glory, and remember that they did NOTHING to deserve all this ineffable felicity; that, if it had not been procured entirely by their dying and Obedient Savior, they had been everlastingly banished from the realms of Blessedness; O! What pure and fervent gratitude must this inspire them with! What an emphasis and ardor, while they utter that devout acknowledgement, ‘Not, not unto us, O Lord! Not unto us, but unto Thy dear and adorable name be the praise! We were enemies in our minds, and by our wicked works; but Thou hast redeemed us unto God by Thy Blood: all our choicest actions were polluted and unclean, but Thou hast worked out for us a Perfect and Everlasting Righteousness.’" "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law" (Rom. 3:27,28 cf. Gal. 6:14).
And what about you, dear reader? Do you fully trust in the Obedience of Jesus Christ unto death as having fully gained and secured your eternal destiny? Do you boast in nothing else but the Savior and all He has done? Have you turned your back on and wish not, along with the apostle Paul, to be found on Judgement Day with your own righteousness, but only that Righteousness of Christ? Or are you one of the people who believe that before they ever heard the Gospel which contains such Truth, you were nonetheless saved? Do you believe that even though you knew not the Truth of salvation being only through the Obedience of Another, you were nevertheless saved because of your sincerity or because of your religious bent and that you had faithfully attended church for 20, 30 or 40 years? Will you stubbornly contend that you were saved whilst ignorant of, and therefore not submitted to, the Righteousness of Christ? If so, what is it that makes you different from the Jews whom Paul said were lost because they were ignorant of, and not submitted to, the Righteousness of Christ? (see Rom. 10:1-4). If you have answered ‘yes’ to any one of the last three questions, then I must tell you that you are yet in your sins. You remain dead to the Gospel of Christ which says no man is saved by his own obedience to the law, but only by the Obedience of Jesus Christ. You remain dead to the Gospel of Christ which says that without the Gospel of Christ, that reveals the only Righteousness which saves, no man is saved (Mk. 16:16). Any who say they were saved before they knew of the Righteousness of Christ, are saying they were at one stage in their lives justified and accepted by God and righteous by their own deeds, their own righteousness. Nothing less can be concluded about those who subscribe to a pre-Gospel salvation, who say they were saved whilst ignorant of the Righteousness of Christ (see Rom. 10:1-4). Can’t you see, friend, that if you were ignorant of Christ’s Righteousness, you were also ignorant of God’s Gospel wherein such a saving Righteousness is revealed? (see Rom. 1:17,18). No one is saved before believing in the only Way to salvation. No one is saved before hearing and believing the Gospel (Mk. 16;16). Can’t you see that when you were ignorant of the Gospel you were ignorant of the only Righteousness that saves, and therefore without salvation? Despite all this evidence, this author knows only too well the sad fact that some of you have not been moved. Some of you will continue in a blind state, clinging to, and refusing to let go of, that which you have trusted in for years and have become more and more convinced will save you. Some of you might have changed a few of your beliefs and understood a little clearer, but you will not call dung all that you have held to prior to hearing the only Gospel which saves. Some of you may now see that it is only Christ’s Righteousness which saves, and yet strangely will still hold onto some moment from your religious past prior to hearing of this Righteousness, and believe that you were nonetheless saved. For those who refuse to repent of their past religion, of the pseudo-christian gospel which has never, and will never, save any, there is only damnation which awaits you.
The Scriptures say that one can only savingly trust in Christ after one has heard His Gospel, wherein His Righteousness is revealed: "In Whom ye also trusted, AFTER that ye heard the Word of Truth, THE GOSPEL OF YOUR SALVATION: in Whom also AFTER that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise" (Eph. 1:13). Paul the apostle is speaking here of the Ephesians and their trust in Christ rightly being their only hope for salvation. Significantly, he states that they trusted in Christ only after they heard the Word of Truth which he immediately defines as being none other than the very Gospel of God, the Gospel of their salvation. We learn then from Paul’s statement that none can be said to truly trust in Christ before they actually hear the Gospel of God, for it is only within the confines of that Gospel that Christ, and His Righteousness, is revealed: "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation...for THEREIN is the Righteousness of God revealed..." (Rom. 1:16,17). One cannot trust in the True Christ after having heard a false gospel! No one has ever been saved by hearing a false preacher, led by a false spirit, proclaiming a false gospel, which tells of a false christ. A false gospel can do nothing but declare and promote a false christ, otherwise Paul the apostle would never have called a man who brings a false gospel ‘accursed’ (see Gal. 1:8,9). No one is blessed who is accursed, and no one who calls a man blessed whom the Holy Spirit calls accursed can themselves be in a blessed state, or saved.
Additional support for the fact that none can savingly know God prior to hearing and believing the Gospel of God, may be found in the following passage of Scripture where Paul was thanking God for the Colossians since he heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and "For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before IN THE WORD OF THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, SINCE THE DAY YE HEARD OF IT, and KNEW THE GRACE OF GOD IN TRUTH" (Col. 1:5,6). The only place these Colossians heard of the hope of heaven was the Gospel and the only time the evidence of its fruit was manifest was since the day they heard it and not prior to that glorious day when they heard of and knew the God of grace IN TRUTH. The only place where you will hear of the grace of God in truth is the Gospel of God. Only then can a person truly believe in the God of all grace. Trusting in Christ is inextricably connected with the Gospel of Christ. Therefore, without the hearing, understanding and believing of the GOSPEL OF CHRIST, wherein is revealed the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF CHRIST, there can be no true trusting in the CHRIST OF THE GOSPEL. In other words and in accord with Peter’s statement in 1 Peter 1:23, none can possibly be born again of the incorruptible Seed of God unless they have heard the Gospel, understood it and believed it, and submitted themselves unto the Righteousness of Christ (see 1 Pet. 1:25). Before knowledge there is ignorance. Before light there is darkness. Where there is no life there is only death. The blind man cannot see until after his blindness has been removed.
No one is denying that you have lived a moral life. No one is even denying that you have lived a religious life and that you have been most sincere and devout in your intentions. Your sincerity is not being questioned. Your zeal for God is not being questioned. What is being brought to your attention is that God’s Word denies that your righteousness is equal to that of Christ’s, which alone can save. What God’s Word denies is that no matter how religious or moral any are prior to believing in His Gospel, none are saved without the Righteousness which only that Gospel reveals. If you believe you were ever saved before hearing and believing God’s Gospel which reveals Christ’s Righteousness as the only way to salvation, then you are basing your salvation on something which God does not recognize. Whatever it is that you have been taught and believe in, IT IS NOT THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST. IT IS NOT THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST in which you abide, and therefore I must tell you the Word of God says you have not God: "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, HATH NOT GOD. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 Jn. 9). I say this to warn you. I say it in love because I do not want to see any deceived and foolishly go on believing, for whatever reason, the nonsense that they can in and of themselves, with some help from God, be saved, or that they were saved before believing, or even hearing of, the only Gospel that reveals the only Righteousness which saves. If you think that you have too much of your life to give up and forsake to lay hold of these truths, and cannot even bear to think of how all this would affect your relationship with family and friends, please stop for a moment and think of just how much Paul turned his back on and gave up, that he might win Christ and be found with His Righteousness which is of faith and not his own righteousness which is of the law. Paul lost the respect of all his peers and the prestige and position of authority he once enjoyed whilst a Pharisee. He was even persecuted by former friends, to the point they wanted him dead! However, none of this deterred Paul from receiving and abiding in the Gospel of the Righteousness of Christ. And if you are serious for God, you, like Paul, will not be deterred or scared off by the ramifications that come as a result of believing this Gospel.
I implore you to read the Scriptures, think carefully about what you believe, study this book, read the other writings of this author, order a free copy of this author’s catalogue which is filled with wonderful items by various Gospel teachers promoting the only Gospel that saves. Write to this author and discuss with him any troubles you have coming to terms with the truths taught in this book. I would be most happy to go into further detail with you regarding the glorious Gospel of God.
"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ: for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. FOR THEREIN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith" (Rom. 1:17,18).