Did Christ’s sacrifice really account for all of our sins as His children? Isn’t there something left that we need to do to obtain eternal life? And what about all of the religions out there that say that there is something that we still need to do? Let’s dive into God’s word to find these answers and to grow in the faith as believers in Christ Jesus.
In Romans 3:23, the Apostle Paul makes it explicitly clear that every single individual has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Ever since the fall of mankind described in Genesis 3, all of mankind has been imputed with sin, and outside of faith in Jesus, mankind’s relationship with God is severed. In Romans 3:10 it says, “none are righteous, not even one.” Later in Romans 6:23, the Apostle Paul shows that sin leads to death, but that God’s free gift to mankind is eternal life in Christ Jesus. So, who is in Christ Jesus? It is those that repent as Jesus taught in Mark 1:15 and believe in the gospel, which is Christ Jesus, His actions, and His teachings. In other words, we must repent and believe in all that Christ did and in who He is. Many point to Romans 10:12-13 here, and it is key to note that in this passage that those who call on His name are calling on the name of the Lord and in turn calling Him Lord.
Romans 10:12–13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
To call Him Lord means that we have acknowledged that the way in which we were living was in sin and in opposition to God and that we are now submitting to Him as Lord of our lives. This means we are no longer going to seek to live the way we want or to chase our desires, but instead that we are going to live for Him.
Romans 6:1–4 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
In other words, the entire world will not be saved and brought into His eternal Kingdom, but it is only those who genuinely repent and their lives will then show that they truly belong to Him, that there has been a real transformation of the heart. Jesus’ teachings make it clear that there are two groups of people in this world, those who are His and those who are not. For those that are His, they will enter into His eternal kingdom, for those that are not at the time of judgment, they will enter into eternal punishment and that should grab a hold of our hearts.
Matthew 25:46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Now, this brings us to exactly how we are saved. When we acknowledge our sin, and we repent and turn to Christ as Lord, believing in Him, something divine happens. At that time, we are credited with His righteousness, and our sin is laid upon Him in which He paid for on the cross.
Romans 3:21–25 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
You see, God justified all who would come to Him through sacrificing His Son Christ Jesus. What an amazing love He displayed for those who become His children. God did what we could not do for ourselves because our sin is too great, and we could never pay for it all. Now watch how beautiful this is. When we turn from our sin and to Him, we are given His righteousness, which covers all of our sins, past, present, and future. Look at these verses with me:
Colossians 2:13–14 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
He canceled all of our debt on the cross so that we wouldn’t have to pay one drop for our sins; what a merciful and gracious God we have!
Hebrews 10:14–18 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,” then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
And as you read above, by one offering which, is His Son, He has perfected us, and then in verse 17, His word tells us that He will no longer remember any of our sins. None of them, not even one. How amazing is that? When I think about all of the sins that I have committed, and then see that God, out of His gracious love, sent His Son to die for my sins, I can’t help but to cry out and to say thank you God!
Also notice, that He says above in verse 18, that there is nothing left to be done. Now here is where many go wrong. They read verses like James 2:14 and think that they have to do something to further earn His grace or to cover future sins. However, James is writing to those who are already Christians. Therefore, what James is saying is, that if we are really in the faith, then we will live like it. This is the same thing that the Apostle Paul says in Romans 6:1-2,
Romans 6:1–2 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?
For those who are in Christ Jesus, for those who are in love with Him as our Lord, we will want to run far from our sin and live a life that is for Him. As Jesus said, we are to bear fruits that show we have turned from our sin.
Matthew 3:8 Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
However, those works we do as His children, knowing all of our sins are already covered, we do them out of love, from the heart, to please our Lord, not to earn grace or to try and cover our sins. Our sins are already covered completely in Christ. Read Colossians 2:13-14 and Hebrews 10:14-18 again.
So, as children of God, we can know that all of our sins are covered through faith in Christ Jesus and that there is nothing left to be done in regard to our sin, nor is there any other way that we can be saved but by Christ’s sacrifice. Knowing those things, we can go and live a life for Christ Jesus. And when we mess up and stumble into sin, we can repent, get back up and praise God for already forgiving us.
In the upcoming weeks, I will write more on this, and if you have more questions, please send them to me, but know that we have a gracious God, who if we turn to Him and believe in Christ Jesus as our Lord, that He has paid for all of our sins on the cross, so that we can live a life that is pleasing to Him, giving Him all of the glory for it!