Thinking back to my childhood, the first ever thought that I remember having about GOD was not of HIS love, but of HIS wrath. If I had to be honest, I would have to confess that the first time I gave my heart to the LORD it was not because I loved HIM. It was because I feared HIM, or rather feared what my end would be if I didn’t believe in HIM… which was to send me to hell.
This notion made me afraid of GOD. It really did. While I was still growing in my knowledge of GOD and struggling with works of the flesh, I would always fear being hit by a car, or whatever sudden calamity would befall me, dying and going to hell. Every day was a struggle within myself. What if I died now, would I be saved, would I go to heaven?
Thank GOD that I was taught about the completed work of our FATHER, which HE did through Jesus Christ on the cross.
In order to gain a better understanding, let us start at the beginning. What exactly happened when Adam fell into sin?
GOD created man in HIS image and likeness so that mankind may rule and reign on earth as GOD would. Adam and Eve were in a position of righteousness. They fell into sin and were no longer in the state of righteousness; they were in the state of sin. Subsequently every child born from there on forward would be born in sin, although that child did not commit any sin. Why is this? Because sin is not something you do, it is something you are. You are either in the position of sin or you are in the position of righteousness.
Let us look at the words of Jesus Christ where he explains this to us.
John 16:8-9 (NKJV)
And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me.
Jesus Christ teaches us that the Spirit will convict us of sin (singular), not sins (plural). Then he explains what this sin (singular) is. It is the act of not believing, showing once again that there are only two positions: a position of righteousness and a position of sin. He is not talking about your carnal sins, which involve the works of the flesh, but of sin, which is the state you are in before you are born into righteousness.
Please look at the definition of ‘sin’; it is the Greek word hamartia, and, in this passage of scripture, it is a noun, not a verb. It is not something you do, it is something you are. Please also note that the Spirit will convict the world of sin, not those who are born again, because they have already been moved over from the state of sin to the state of righteousness. Believers are in the world but not of the world anymore. We have been taught that the Spirit convicts us of sin (the believers), which is not what Scripture teaches us.
The cross of Jesus Christ made it possible to cross over from the position of darkness (sin) to the position of light (righteousness).
Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
How do we become the righteousness of GOD, you may ask?
That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
When you believe in the work of the cross, the following happens: GOD forgives your sins, HE saves you and you are born again from HIM, a birth into the position of righteousness. At the very moment you believe and confess (confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, not confess your sins) you are moved from the position of sin to the position of righteousness. GOD is the one who moves you, because you are born from HIM. HE is the one that takes you out and puts you in.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
The above illustration is what happens when you confess as per Romans 10:9. You pass over. Jesus became sin so that you can become the righteousness – not so that you may do righteousness but that you may become righteousness.
Please look at the definition of the word ‘righteousness’. It is the Greek word dikaiosune which in this passage of scripture is also a noun. Again, this is not something you do, it is something you are. You become righteousness.
What did you do to become sin? Nothing. Adam sinned and we all fell short of the glory of GOD. From Adam, sin was birthed.
What did you do to become the righteousness of GOD? Nothing. Jesus Christ did the work and we simply needed to believe. Due to the work of Jesus Christ, we are born from GOD, which is righteousness in ITSELF.
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.
GOD is the one who put you in the position of righteousness and there is nothing you can do to remove yourself out of that position, as it was not your work that did the placing in the first place.
GOD saves by way of us being born again, not by forgiving our sins.
Let us look at the natural type of the lamb, in the Old Testament. Once a sacrifice was made for sin on behalf of an individual, it would cover that person for the year to come. Whatever sin they committed in that year, it would already be forgiven (like a prepaid account). It was not committed in hindsight for sins done in the past, but in foresight for sins that would still be committed.
This is the work of the cross, it removed your sin completely, even the sins (works of the flesh) that have not been committed yet. The cross did not only change your position of sin, but also forgave the works of the flesh. FOREVER.
For by one offering He has perfected FOREVER those who are being sanctified.
Our first step into the faith is the forgiveness of sin. If we do not believe that this work has been completed, we will never trust GOD for anything else. We would never be able to move to step two of our faith. If GOD says, then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more“ (Heb 10:17) and this work has not been completed, how would we be able to trust GOD for all the other promises HE made? If the first step is not completed, we will never move to the next step. This is where the church finds itself even after two thousand years, still at the cross; and they miss the purpose of the cross. Because we do not believe we are ‘once saved, always saved’, we stay at the cross, asking for forgiveness for something GOD already accomplished two thousand years ago through the work of Jesus Christ. This work is eternal. Why are we still doubting this? Because of this the church is not growing up to maturity.
And having been perfected, He became the author of ETERNAL SALVATION to all who obey Him.
Do you remember what Adam did when he sinned? He hid himself from GOD. This is what sin consciousness will do to us. If we do not believe this work is complete we will constantly be sin conscious and hide ourselves from GOD.
We know GOD cannot be in the presence of sin. Therefore in the Old Testament, the high priest had to be purified of sin before entering the Holy of Holies. If there was sin in his life he would be struck dead when entering the Holy of Holies. Scripture teaches us that GOD does not live in temples built with hands any more (Acts 17:24) but that our bodies are now the temples in which GOD lives (1 Cor 6:19). If sin (the position) was present in our lives whilst GOD was living in us, we would fall dead on the spot.
Although we still have works of the flesh, we are not sinners any more. You cannot be a sinner and a Child of GOD.
Consider the following question. How many times did you give your heart to the LORD? Once… twice… ten, twenty times? Maybe More? This makes the work of the cross null and void, as if it never happened. You can only give your heart to the LORD once! From thereon forward you are a Child of GOD; you have been born again. You are never again known as a sinner.
You may ask, “Are you telling me that I can never be lost again after I confess the Lord Jesus Christ and accepted his sacrifice for my position of sin? Are you telling me that there is nothing I can do to not be the righteousness of GOD anymore? Are you telling me that even if I curse GOD that I will still be HIS righteousness?” This is exactly what we are saying.
Let us look at the following example.
A husband and a wife have a beautiful child whose name is John. Let us call them Joseph and Mary. John grows up and says to his father Joseph: “I hate you, I do not love you anymore, I want nothing to do with you, you are not my father anymore”. John moves overseas, changes his last name, changes his first name, changes his eye colour, dyes his hair…
Is John still the child of Joseph and Mary? Yes, because John was born from Joseph and Mary and there is nothing that John can do to change that. He will forever be the child of Joseph and Mary.
This is what happens when we are saved. We are born again from GOD. There is nothing you can do to change that. You are born from GOD and HE will forever be your FATHER.
1 John 3:9
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
You will never be placed in the position of sin again because you were born of GOD the day you accepted the sacrifice. You will be a Child of GOD forever. This is the completed work of the cross.
Does this mean you do not need to ask for forgiveness of your sins at the end of the day? Yes, it is exactly what this means. You cannot ask GOD to forgive your sins, because HE already has.
Do we still repent when we have works of the flesh, however? We most certainly do, but not so that GOD can forgive our sins, for this HE already did, but because we have a relationship with our FATHER and we have a responsibility to represent HIM. So, if I miss the mark with my works of the flesh I will speak to my FATHER and tell HIM I have remorse for what I did wrong, that I am sorry for not representing HIM accurately, that I repent of my works that did not reflect HIS Kingdom and HIS righteousness.
Does this mean we can do whatever we like? Most certainly not. We can never use our freedom as an excuse to do what we want.
1 Peter 2:16
As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.
It would certainly not be the first time for the above question to come up. When Paul ministered the completed work of the cross, the people had the same reasoning, that they could do whatever they wanted. The answer is, No!
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
We are dead and the lives we live we live for HIM. We were not put on this earth to be saved but to represent GOD. To be HIS image and likeness, to rule and reign, to tend and to keep. Earth should reflect heaven; this is done when we represent GOD accurately. We died with Jesus on the cross when we accepted the sacrifice, but more than that, we should be raised with Jesus Christ. If we do whatever we like we have not risen and we are still dead to the plan of GOD. The Kingdom will never be seen in our lives.
1 Peter 4:1-3
Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries.
1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.
Sometimes we are naughty Children of GOD, but we are still HIS Children. We will always be HIS offspring but sometimes we do not look like HIS offspring. This is sad. For the righteousness of GOD should look like the righteousness of GOD, in word and in action. We may think that this message will make us more likely to ‘sin’, to do the works of the flesh. We may think that this is a license to sin. But Paul teaches us differently.
For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.
This message will not make us want to sin more, it empowers us to reign as we should.
And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.
No one can snatch you out of the FATHER’s hand, not even yourself.
But what about 1 John 1?
1 John 1:5-10
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
We should understand a bit of context when we read 1 John. John wrote this book for the Gnostics. The Gnostics claimed that a truly enlightened man would have a superior spiritual knowledge and this knowledge would bring them to the state of light, the state of righteousness. In fact, the word “gnosis” means “to know”. Gnosticism did not deal with sin, as they believed that sin was in the body and they were spirit, thus there was no need for a sacrifice, for their spirit was not sinful. They did not believe in sin, but rather in ignorance.
This is what John is talking about. He is telling the Gnostics that if you think you are in the light without going through the sacrifice you are lying and fooling yourself. You need to recognise and confess your position of sin; this you do ONCE. He teaches them that if they say that they were not in the position of sin and thus not needing the sacrifice, then they make GOD and Jesus Christ out to be liars.
But what about Heb 10:26?
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
Remember what the function of the Spirit is. To convict the world that they are in a position of sin. Once the Spirit has convicted you and you become aware that the only way to be saved is to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and to be reborn as a Child of GOD, and you do not accept this sacrifice and stay in that position of sin, you are in trouble. For there is no other sacrifice. If you have received the knowledge, but do not want to accept it, there remains no other sacrifice for you. The only way is through the completed work that GOD did through Jesus Christ.