21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance – Day #12 2 Corinthians 5:21
This is day 12 of a video series called 21 Days of Once Saved Always Saved Salvation Assurance. It’s January 2022 and, in honor of the new year, my church in Marietta GA has asked us to dedicate 21 days to the Lord to draw closer to Him. Over these 21 days, I’m going through 1 passage of Scripture a day that proclaims our salvation assurance in Christ and shows how salvation can never be lost or forfeited but is held securely in place for us by our heavenly Father so we can have confidence that we are eternally saved.
Today’s passage is 2 Corinthians 5:21:
“For He (the Father) Hath made Him (Jesus) to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV)
This lesson is about imputed righteousness and how imputed righteousness proves Once Saved, Always Saved. I did a longer and more detailed video on this topic, which you can find on my channel if you are interested. The word “impute” means to pass to one’s account. So, the meaning of imputed righteousness is this: The moment you place your faith in Jesus for salvation, believing that He died for your sins, was buried and rose from the dead, at that very moment two things happen:
Your sins (past, present, future) are removed from your record and placed on Christ, imputed to Christ, with Him making payment for those sins on the cross, and then,
God’s perfect righteousness is placed on you or imputed to you. God’s own righteousness is placed on your account.
From that moment forward, you have a new position before God, one of perfect righteousness. It’s not a righteousness of your own that you earned through obedience. It is God’s own righteousness that He credits to your account through your faith in Christ. It is God saving you by His Grace through faith in Christ and giving you His own perfect righteousness. From that moment forward, we no longer stand in our own righteousness. We no longer have to prove our righteousness or worthiness before God. Instead, we stand in His righteousness. We stand in Christ’s obedience, in His worthiness. He was the One Who was obedient, not us. He is the One Who is worthy, not us. We stand in His imputed righteousness. That is our new permanent position before God. Because of that, we can never lose our salvation.
So, let’s look at how this works:
It begins with your sins being imputed to passed to Christ.
“And you, BEING DEAD IN YOUR SINS and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He quickened (made alive) together with Him, having FORGIVEN YOU ALL TRESSPASSES; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, NAILING IT TO HIS CROSS;” (Colossians 2:13-14 KJV)
The moment you believe the Gospel, your sin is imputed to Christ. Literally, your sin is nailed to His cross, where He paid for every last one of your sins. It says you have been forgiven of all trespasses. All means all sins (past, present and future). Those who falsely believe you can lose your salvation try to say that only past sins were forgiven up to the moment you believe, but not your future sins, which means you have to walk in obedience to keep yourself saved, obeying all of Christ’s commandments and putting an end to sin, otherwise you can lose your salvation. No, they are totally wrong on this. All means all. When Christ died on the cross, all of your sins were future. All sins in your life (past, present and future) are nailed to the cross the moment you believe in Christ. That means there is complete forgiveness. Your record before God is forever wiped clean. When Christ said on the cross, “It is finished,” He really meant it.
In terms of obedience, it’s not our obedience that counts toward our salvation.
“For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One (Christ) shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19 KJV)
Notice that it is Christ’s obedience that saves us, not our own. It is the obedience of One (Christ) that makes us righteous. As far as salvation is concerned, we do not have to obey commandments to be righteous before God. Obedience is important for discipleship that follows salvation. But our own obedience has nothing to do with our salvation, because Christ has already made us righteous. It is His obedience that we stand in by faith.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Romans 10:4 KJV)
It doesn’t say Christ is the end of the law, but that He is the end of the law for righteousness. In other words, we no longer have to obey a list of laws and commandments to obtain righteousness. Instead, the perfect righteousness of God is given to everyone that believes. It doesn’t say “everyone that obeys.” Our own obedience does not count for salvation. It says, “to everyone that believes.”
Paul goes on to say,
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” (Titus 3:5 KJV)
We don’t save ourselves or keep ourselves saved by our own obedience, trying to rid ourselves from sin and obeying Christ’s commandments. This is what Lordship Salvationists teach and it is a lie. They are not believing the Gospel that we are saved by God’s grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. This verse says that our own works of righteousness, our own works of obedience, do not count for salvation. Instead, God saved us through faith by His mercy.
This concept of imputed righteousness started in the Bible with Abraham.
“…Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 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.” (Romans 4:3-5 KJV)
When Abraham believed God, God credited righteousness to Abraham’s account. God declared Abraham righteous not because of anything Abraham did, but because he believed God. Therefore, the principle is this: “to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” The moment we believe in Jesus, we are declared by God to be perfectly righteous, possessing not our own righteousness that we work for, but His righteousness which He gives to us freely.
In the last part of this same chapter in Romans, Paul extends this same concept of imputed righteousness to believers in Christ:
“…for us also (believers in Christ), to whom it (God’s Righteousness) shall be imputed, if we believe on Him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:24-25 KJV)
When we believe in Jesus, God’s perfect righteousness is imputed or credited to our account. From that point forward, we stand in His righteousness and, therefore, we can never be condemned for we are forever perfectly righteous in His sight.
This perfect righteousness is not dependent on us obeying laws or Christ’s commandments, for Paul says:
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO ALL AND UPON ALL THEM THAT BELIEVE…” (Romans 3:21-22 KJV)
Righteousness comes by believing in Jesus. The very righteousness of God is by faith to all and upon all them that believe. This means everyone who believes in Jesus will be saved and can never lose their salvation. There aren’t some believers who will be saved because they are walking in obedience while others will lose their salvation because they weren’t walking in obedience. Our own obedience has NOTHING to do with our salvation. Our obedience does have to do with our daily discipleship, where we learn to walk as a follower of Christ. But discipleship follows salvation. It is not part of it. Salvation is by God’s grace alone through faith in Christ alone. And to all that believe, the very righteousness of God is placed on their account. This means Once Saved, Always Saved, because we stand forever in His righteousness, not our own.
Paul was so emphatic about this very point that he said his goal was:
“…that I may win Christ, and be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:” (Philippians 3:8-9 KJV)
Paul clearly said that his goal was not to establish his own righteousness by obeying laws and commandments. That’s not how we become righteous before God. Instead, righteousness comes by faith in Christ, the very righteousness which is of God by faith.
Paul was so adamant about this that he gave a warning against self-Righteousness
“For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (Romans 10:3 KJV)
This verse is speaking directly to Lordship Salvationists, those who believe that you can lose your salvation if you don’t obey all of Christ’s commandments and rid yourself of sin to prove you are worthy before God. Paul says they are going about to establish their own righteousness, that they have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. This means they haven’t submitted themselves to the belief that we are saved by faith in Christ alone. They really don’t believe the Gospel that Christ died to pay for all of their sins and that His work is finished. They think they have to finish it by obeying commandments. They’re not trusting in Christ. They’re trusting in their own obedience. They don’t believe the Gospel and they have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. Don’t be like them. We are saved forever by God’s grace through faith in Christ alone. Nothing more.
But this brings us to the daily Practice Of Righteousness
Does this imputed righteousness mean we can go on living in sin without consequence?
Of course not.
The Apostle John said:
“Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.” (1 John 3:7 KJV)
In this verse, we see both the daily practice of righteousness (“he that doeth righteousness”) as well as our permanent position of righteousness (“even as he is righteous”). We are to practice righteousness in our daily lives even as we already are righteous before God because of what Christ did for us. According to John, we are already righteous in God’s sight, hence the phrase, “even as he is righteous.” Because we are already righteous before God, we should do righteousness or practice righteousness in our daily lives. In other words, as disciples of Christ and part of our discipleship of being transformed to be like Christ, we should practice righteousness in our daily lives because that is who we are before God. Our practice of righteousness doesn’t make us righteous. It shows that we already are righteous, made that way by Christ through faith.
We can picture this on a chart.
Before we were saved, as far as God was concerned, our righteousness was at 0%, for God’s Word says that ALL of our righteousness are as filthy rags in Isaiah 64:6.
Then came the moment of salvation: the moment we believed in Christ, the moment we believed the Gospel. At that very moment, as far as God is concerned, our righteousness immediately went from 0% to 100% – Perfect Righteousness. By placing our faith in Christ, believing that He died for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day, not only were all of our sins forgiven, but we were given a new identity in Christ. We were declared just, righteous, holy, sanctified. We were adopted into God’s family. Immediately, the very moment we believed in Christ, that is our new identity. That is who we now are. That is how God sees us. The old is past. The new is come. The penalty of sin is forever removed. We have a new position, and it is forever in Christ. No matter what happens from that point forward, that is our legal position before God’s throne, and it will never change. When Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished,” He really meant it. Our battle over sin and death is over. We have won and are now victorious in Christ.
But then comes the practice of living righteously for God. The main challenge is that our minds are still trained to think like the world. So, while our position before God is one of perfect righteousness, our daily practice of how we live may look very different because we’re still yielding to our former way of thinking.
To fix this, with God’s help and leading, we begin the process of learning to walk in our new identity, an identity that we are in fact just, righteous, holy/sanctified, children of God. And as we learn to walk in our new identity, the practice of sin begins to fade and is removed. More and more, instead of sin in our lives, we begin to see holiness manifesting itself in our daily walk. This is the lifelong process of discipleship, becoming transformed to be like Jesus.
But notice that, even at our best behavior, we are still far short of that 100% righteousness line in terms of our own personal righteousness, how we live. The good news is that we don’t have to perform for God to be found worthy. He has already declared us worthy through faith in Christ. Our position before Him is one of total worthiness because of Christ, not because of us.
The next step beyond this (and I believe coming up soon) will be the rapture, when we will receive our eternal bodies. At that very moment, when we are in the very presence of Christ and these old mortal bodies are done away with and our cloudy minds are given new clarity, not only will the Penalty of Sin and the Practice of Sin be removed, but finally the very Presence of Sin will be removed. In our new eternal bodies, we will no longer be tempted by sin and have to struggle against it. We will be suitable at that point to live with God with not even a trace or presence of sin in us.
The real question is: Where are you right now before God? Are you saved and standing in the righteousness of Christ? Being saved comes down to this:
Salvation = God’s Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.
Nothing more. Nothing less. There are no other requirements to be saved than to believe in Jesus. The question is: do you believe this? Or are you like those who are not trusting in the finished work of Christ but are trying to prove yourselves worthy through your own obedience. Well, let me give you some help: You’re not worthy! You never will be. None of us are. It is Christ who is worthy. We stand in His obedience by faith, not our own. We stand in His righteousness by faith, not our own. He makes us worthy. He makes us righteous.
Once you believe in Him, you are born again, and you are forever a child of God. Our Father is a good Father Who will never abandon you but will preserve you in the faith.
If you are not certain about your salvation, time is getting very late. Don’t take the chance of missing out on God. Prophetically, the current “Age of Grace” where God is giving people time to turn to Him for forgiveness is almost over. When it ends, it will be too late. God’s judgment is coming. Those who are not saved will be separated from God for all eternity. Don’t take chances with God. Don’t play with Him. Take Him seriously.
If you are not 100% sure you are saved, don’t put it off any longer. You can know with certainty that you have eternal life today. Do it now before it’s too late.
Making Sure You Are Saved Is As Easy As ABC
Admit to God that you have sinned.
Believe that Jesus, God’s Son, died to pay for
your sins 100%, was buried and rose from the dead.
Call upon Jesus and ask Him to forgive you and save you.
If you make that decision to call upon Him, God gives you this assurance:
“For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13 KJV)
If you are still not sure, I’ll include a link to a video I did called, “What is the Gospel (in 6 Words)?”
Thank you for watching.