In many parts of the
world there is a spiritual hunger and people are
asking, "What must I do to be saved?"
Long ago a jailer asked a
religious prisoner that same question. He received a
concise answer, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you
shall be saved you and your household" (Acts 16:31).
A Jewish lawyer
approached the Lord Jesus Christ one day and asked,
"What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" What
shall I do to receive my allotment in the
inheritance of God? What can I do to obtain God's
kind of life?
The lawyer was asking an
age-old question about eternal life. Is there a law
that will give this kind of life? What can I do to
obtain a dynamic, full, vivacious abundant life?
Jesus answered by asking
a question, "What is written in the Law? How does it
read to you?" (Luke 10:26).
This highly intelligent
religious student replied by quoting two verses from
the Old Testament. Luke quotes his response in Luke
10:27. "You shall love the LORD your God with all
your heart, and with all your soul, and with all
your strength, and with all your mind; and your
neighbor as yourself."
You must love the Lord
your God with all your heart, and with all your
soul, and with all your strength, and with all your
mind. You must not only love your neighbor, but you
must love him as yourself.
Jesus responded by
saying, "You have answered correctly" (v. 28). Then
Jesus quoted Leviticus 18:5, "Do this, and you will
live." You gave the right answer; now go and do it.
The religious student who
was talking to Jesus became very uneasy with this
response and tried to change the subject. Suddenly,
he was overwhelmed with conviction that he did not
live up to his own interpretation of the law. He
realized he was a failure.
Just Do It!
If you would attain to
eternal life by keeping the law, then keep the law.
Just do it and live.
There is only one
problem. Have you ever done it? Have you kept the
whole law every day, every hour of your life without
The LORD God is holy and
righteous. He expects perfect holiness. 99.99% is
failure in His holy eyes. James 2:10 says, "For
whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one
point, he has become guilty of all." We have all
gotten an "F" on our spiritual report card. "If we
say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and
His word is not in us" (1 John 1:10). The Apostle
Paul summarized the first two chapters of his
indictment to all mankind with these words from the
Psalmist, "There is none righteous, not even one"
Moreover, the Bible is
clear when it says that to be saved by keeping the
law requires that a person keep the whole law
perfectly, all the time. No exception is allowed.
The law must be kept, all of it, without any
omission, or failures, or exceptions, all of the
time, twenty-four hours a day, all of your life.
Only one person has ever
kept the law perfectly. Jesus Christ the Son of God
was without sin. He never personally experienced
sin. His heavenly Father declared three times, "This
is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
No one is saved by
Romans 3:20 cannot be any
clearer. "By the works of the Law no flesh will be
justified in His [God's] sight; for through the law
comes the knowledge of sin." Sinful man cannot live
up to the holy demands of God's law. No one is
righteous in the eyes of God.
Again, Paul gives a
summary statement when he writes, "There is no
distinction; all have sinned and fall short of the
glory of God" (3:22-23).
The purpose of the law
was to reveal sin. "Through the Law comes the
knowledge of sin" (v. 20). The law brings knowledge
and conviction of sin. Paul adds, "I would not have
come to know sin except through the Law; for I would
not have known about coveting if the Law had not
said, 'You shall not covet'" (7:7). In another
letter he wrote, "But the Scripture has shut up all
men under sin" (Galatians 3:22). It locked us up in
prison and threw the key away.
The law was never
intended to be a means of salvation for anyone. It's
purpose was to point out our weakness and failures
and lead us to Christ so we would put our faith in
Him to save us.
Everyone has sinned in
God's sight. There are no exceptions. All are
without merit in His presence. "There is no
difference" between the immoral, the self–righteous
or the religious person. Why? All have personally
sinned because to break the law in even one small
point is to "become guilty of all." If you have
broken the law, ever so slightly, you have broken
the law completely and are guilty. Therefore, all
have fallen short of God's expectations.
The apostle Paul has
taken pains to define and explain the fact of
universal sin in Romans chapters one and two. Our
personal sins give evidence to the fact that no one
measures up to the righteousness of God. Everyone
comes up short without the "glory of God." God's
"glory" is the measure of His righteousness. We are
lacking in divine righteousness, and are therefore,
void of His glory.
Martin Luther said, "Men
are altogether without any virtue in which they
might glory." All mankind has universally fallen
short of God's glory. Man lacks the righteousness
that God demands and is qualified as sinful.
God's penalty for
God has revealed His
wrath against all sinners. "For the wrath of God is
revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in
unrighteousness" (Romans 1:18). In fact, we are
storing up the wrath of God on our part for judgment
day (2:5). We can't blame God or anyone else because
we are the ones who are guilty. God has given us up
to fulfil our sinful pleasures (1:18-32). He has
given us up to self-destruction. We are "worthy of
death" (1:32). "The wages of sin is death" (Romans
6:23). We "are without excuse" (2:1). We are all
under sin (3:9, 23; 5:8), and are all guilty before
God (3:19). We are accountable to God for our
attitudes and actions.
It is a fair statement
that we are all "enemies" of God (5:10). Man in his
sinful state is hostile to God. He is a rebel at
The "wrath of God" is His
settled opposition to all that is evil. "God is
light and in Him is no darkness at all." It is His
very nature to be opposed to all evil. God abhors
evil. He hates evil. God is opposed to sin. Sin
separates God and man and causes enmity. "He who
believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who
does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the
wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). However,
the good news is that God's holy wrath against sin
is satisfied buy the sacrifice of Christ on the
history man has tried to build bridges to God by
means of good works. All of his bridges have ended
"What must I do to
inherit eternal life?" becomes "How in the world can
I do it?" I can't. All that sinful man can do is
come and cast himself upon the mercy of God. "God be
merciful to me a sinner!"
"How can a man become
righteous before God?" How righteous do I have to be
to be good enough to please God? Am I righteous
enough? As we have just seen in the opening chapters
of Romans no one is righteous enough to please God.
The Bible says there is only one way we can become
righteous. God has to provide the righteousness He
demands because we cannot do it ourselves. God's
requirement for obedience is so great that none of
us can ever live up to it. We have all sinned and
fallen short of God's glory. The high cost of
spiritual failure is death.
Our attempts to keep the
law perfectly ourselves as a means of salvation has
been entirely set aside because Another person has
rendered this perfect obedience to the law on our
behalf. God doesn't leave it to us to satisfy the
law, because "by the deeds of the law shall no flesh
be justified in His sight; for by the law is the
knowledge of sin." The Lord Jesus Christ saves us by
keeping the law for us. The Lord Jesus has satisfied
the law and kept it perfectly.
The good news is that
perfect obedience that God requires has been
obtained by Jesus Christ. In that sense, we are
saved by obedience. "Through the obedience of the
One, the many will be made righteous" (Romans 5:19).
The obedience to the Law that God requires setting
us right with Him is the work that God Himself
accepted in Christ on the cross. We stand right
before God because of the perfect obedience that
Jesus performed for us.
We cannot supplement it,
improve on it, or add anything to it. The work of
salvation was completely finished once and for all
by Jesus on the cross. God receives all sinners who
repent and put their trust in Christ to save them.
We are justified through faith, and not through any
works or obedience on our part.
Even simple faith in
Christ's work is not a work we perform. God creates
that faith in our hearts.
To believe on Christ is
to receive God's free gift of eternal life. You
cannot do anything to set your heart right with God.
God has already done all that needs to be done in
the perfect obedience of Christ.
All you can do is receive
this salvation, or eternal life, by trusting God's
message that you are accepted in Christ alone.
We are saved by grace
through faith in the finished work of Christ. We are
not saved by grace through obedience. We are not
saved by grace through baptism, or church
membership, or speaking in tongues, or any other
religious thing. Faith is not something we do as if
the emphasis was on a special kind of emotion. We
are saved by trusting ourselves to what God has
already done for us in Jesus Christ.
The believer can know he
is a child of God because he is not resting on any
righteousness of his own, but his righteousness is
in Jesus Christ. God has put His righteousness to
the account of the believer.
God's solution is
His own imputed righteousness.
The Bible is clear that
no one may gain a right standing before God through
good works because sin contaminates all (Romans
3:19-20). When man stands before God he is neither
righteous, nor able to perform righteous deeds that
will satisfy God. "All our righteousness are like
filthy rags" before the LORD God (Isaiah 64:6).
We deceive ourselves when
we think we are good enough to please Him. "The
heart is more deceitful than all else and is
desperately sick; who can understand it?" (Jeremiah
17:9). The apostle John was just as clear when he
wrote, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make
Him a liar and His word is not in us" (1 John 1:10).
God provides a
righteousness that pleases Him. It is "apart from
the Law" (Romans 3:21). We do not get any help from
the law. It only points its finger and says, "You
are guilty. You are a failure. You cannot live up to
my righteous demands." All attempts to live up to
the law only proves our repeated failures.
righteousness is "apart from" the law. It is
"separated from, or without making use of, or
without connection to" the law. Man cannot be made
right with God by good works.
However, God has made it
possible for man to be justified in His sight by
faith in Jesus Christ (v. 21). "But now apart from
the Law the righteousness of God has been
manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the
Prophets, even the righteousness of God through
faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe . .
. " (vv. 21-22). God makes it possible for all
people to be declared right before God by faith in
How does God's
righteousness come to me? It is "by faith in Jesus
Christ unto all and upon all them that believe."
Faith is a trusting in Christ, and what He has done
on our behalf for our salvation.
God by faith in Jesus Christ
Is it a cheap
righteousness? Definitely not. It is the most
expensive righteousness ever conceived. It is pure
and holy. The Son of God, Jesus Christ, obtained the
righteousness for us through His death for our sins.
It is the only kind of righteousness that God will
accept. It is a righteous standing before God. It is
God's gift to sinful man.
What the law could not do
because it was weak God did through His Son Jesus
Christ. He did it "apart from the law" (v. 21). It
is without making use of the law. We need a
righteousness totally outside of ourselves. We
cannot produce it within ourselves. It is out of our
God imputes His
righteousness as a gift to the believer.
Imputed righteousness is
God's kind of righteousness and is fully compatible
with His holy character. It is "a righteousness of
God" –– not man. God originates it; God provides it.
How does sinful man
obtain it? God gives His righteousness to all who
believe. God credits the righteousness of Jesus
Christ to the account of the believer.
"Even the righteousness
of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those
who believe . . . being justified as a gift by His
grace through the redemption, which is in Christ
Jesus" (vv. 22, 24).
Zane Hodge reminds us,
"Through justification we acquire the very
righteousness of God, which is credited to us on the
basis of faith alone (Romans 3:21, 22). Through
regeneration we acquire the very life of God, which
is imparted to us likewise on the basis of faith
alone. Therefore, in a moment of time we obtain both
perfect acceptance before the bar of God's justice
as well as full membership in His family."
In his letter to the
Philippian church Paul contrast his attempt through
law keeping, which ended in failure, and "that which
is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which
comes from God on the basis of faith" (3:9). If
anyone could have attainted a righteousness from
keeping the law it was the Jewish rabbi Saul of
Tarsus. Clearly, no one has ever received imputed
righteousness by fulfilling the law. Imputed
righteousness comes by faith alone in Jesus Christ
The only righteousness
that satisfies God's holy demands is imputed
righteousness. It is "the righteousness of God
through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who
believe." It is "being justified as a gift by His
grace through the redemption which is in Christ
Jesus" (v. 24).
The very God whom we
offended has Himself provided the Substitute for us.
He has set forth His own Son as the propitiation for
our sins. He has born our sin and our guilt. Jesus
was at the same time the Sacrifice for our sins and
the Great High Priest who offered Himself for the
Moreover, note carefully
that this sacrifice of Christ does not automatically
cover everyone. It only applies to the sinner who
has faith in Christ.
We are "justified freely
by His grace through the redemption which is in
Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a
propitiation in His blood through faith" (Romans
The death of Jesus Christ
is the means whereby the wrath of God has been
turned back form sinful man. His blood means a
sacrificial death has taken place. His life has been
poured out as a sacrifice for sin. His shed blood is
positive proof that a death has taken place. It is a
life given up in the place of another. See Romans
3:25; 8:32; Hebrews 9:12; 10:19; 1 Peter 1:19; 1
John 1:7; Revelation 1:5; 5:5; Matthew 20:28; 1
Corinthians 5:7; John 1:29.
God is the offended
person who propitiates Himself by the sacrifice of
Christ. D. M. Lloyd-Jones well said, "The very God
whom we have offended has Himself provided the way
whereby the offence has been dealt with. His anger,
His wrath against sin and the sinner, has been
satisfied, appeased and He therefore can now thus
reconcile man unto Himself."
It is the blood of Jesus
that secures everything. He is a "propitiation
through faith in His blood." This is the only reason
why the apostle Paul can say, "the righteousness of
God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and
upon all them that believe." Faith is the means
whereby we receive or appropriate the blood
atonement of Christ.
God demands a perfect
righteousness. Nothing less will be accepted. The
very moment sinful man attempts to add one touch to
the righteousness of Christ he spoils it. The touch
of sinful man contaminates the righteousness of God.
Therefore, it must be accepted by faith in Christ
and not anything sinful man contributes.
It is by faith alone in
Christ alone that the sinner takes refuge in Christ.
The "Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that
the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given
to those who believe" (Galatians 3:22). "The Law
became "our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may
be justified by faith" (v. 24). "You are all sons of
God through faith in Christ Jesus" (v. 26). You
can't get any clearer than Galatians 2:16 where Paul
writes, "a man is not justified by the works of the
law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have
believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified
by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the Law;
since by the works of the Law shall no flesh be
Faith is the instrument
to appropriate Christ's work and merit. It is based
upon the finished work of Christ's death for our
sins and resurrection.
Abraham is the superior
example Paul chooses to illustrate saving faith.
"Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned
to him as righteousness. . . So then those who are
of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer. . .
Now that no one is justified by the law before God
is evident; for 'The righteous man shall live by
faith'" (Galatians 3:6, 9, 11).
We are justified by
faith, or through faith, or upon faith (Romans 1:17;
3:22, 25-28, 30; 4:3, 5, 16, 24; 5:1; Galatians
2:16; 3:8, 9; 5:4, 5; Philippians 3:9).
The individual who has
faith is no longer looking at himself, and no longer
looking to himself. He no longer looks at anything
he once was, or what he is now, or is going to
become as the result of his own efforts. He looks
entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished
work. The Christian believer rests on that alone or
The object of
saving faith is Christ alone.
The apostle Peter
declared it is through Jesus Christ who was
crucified, whom God raised form the dead, in whom
"there is salvation in no one else; for there is no
other name under heaven that has been given among
men, by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).
We are not saved by
random access faith, but faith that is focused on
Christ. Even faith in God does not save us. It is
faith in the death of Jesus Christ who died for our
sins and rose form the dead. God gives eternal life
to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
Let's suppose for a
moment that you died today and stood before God.
What would you say if He asked to you, "Why should I
let you into My heaven?" What do you think you would
How would you fill in the
blank? Christ plus _________ = eternal life. Christ
plus good works? Christ plus my virtue? Christ plus
my church membership? Christ plus my faithfulness to
the church? Christ plus my trying to live a good
Christian life? Christ plus what? Christ plus my
baptism by immersion? Christ plus speaking in
It is none of these. It
is faith in Christ's work alone. The moment you add
anything thing to the completed work of Christ
before, during or after faith in Christ you are
saying Christ's work on the Cross was imperfect. Let
us be emphatically clear, Christ's work on the cross
on our behalf was all-sufficient in the eyes of a
Is it my faith that saves
me? No, it is not even our faith that saves us. It
is believing on Christ that saves us. "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." If
you say that your faith saves you, your faith has
become a work, and you have something of which to
boast. Faith does not save us. It is through faith
in Christ that we are saved. Faith is only the
instrument; it is not the cause of our
justification. It is the link to the object of
saving faith that is Christ and His saving work.
Jesus is the righteousness that saves us.
The cause of our
justification is the Lord Jesus Christ and all that
He has done. We must never put anything, not even
faith, in that place. Faith is only the channel
through which the righteousness of God becomes mine.
"[God] made Him [Jesus
Christ] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf,
that we might become the righteousness of God in
Him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
This righteousness of God
is "for all those who believe." God doesn't wait
until after we die before deciding whether He is
going to save us or not. He doesn't wait until after
we have lived this life and then decide whether we
have had enough faith, or done enough good works, or
were "good enough" to save us. God gives His
righteousness to all the very moment they believe on
Christ as their Savior. "The righteousness of God
through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who
believe" (Romans 3:22). It is God's gift by grace
through Jesus Christ.
There are no exceptions
because we are all sinners (3:23). The immoral, the
self–righeous and the devoutly religious person are
all saved the same way. The righteousness of God by
faith in Jesus Christ is for all who believe. There
is no difference because we all need it. The good
news of God's saving grace in Jesus Christ "is the
power of God for salvation to every one who
believes" (Romans 1:16). God doesn't justify good
people, self–righteous or even devoutly religious
people. He saves sinners. He justifies people who
have fallen short of His glory! He justifies
Paul is not even
concerned about the "proof" or genuineness of a
believer's salvation. He leaves that up to God. The
emphasis in Romans is justification by faith alone.
"Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as
righteousness" (Romans 4:3). "But to the one who
does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the
ungodly, his faith is reckoned as righteousness" (v.
5). "God reckons righteousness apart from works" (v.
Faith rests entirely and
exclusively upon the Lord Jesus Christ and what He
has done. Some anonymous poet has written:
"I rest my faith on Him
and Him alone
Who died for my
transgressions to atone."
Our placing our faith in
Christ is like the priest in the Old Testament
laying his hands on the head of the sacrificial
animal symbolizing the laying the sins of the people
on the animal by faith and saying,
"I lay my sins on Jesus,
The spotless Lamb of
The merit of every work
is groundless because faith alone is the means by
which a lost sinner receives justification and
reconciliation to God. "For by grace you have been
saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it
is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that
no one should boast" (Ephesians 2:8-9). Good works
will naturally follow because God works it in the
believer from within his new nature. "For we are His
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,
which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk
in them" (v. 10).
Justification does not
mean to make righteous, or good, or holy, or
upright. The Holy Spirit begins to do this in
regeneration and He carries it on in the work of
sanctification. He will perfect it in glorification.
However, justification does not refer to this
renewing and sanctifying grace of God. Justification
is simply a declaration or pronouncement respecting
the relation of the person to the law.
We are "justified freely
by His grace through the redemption which is in
Christ Jesus" (v. 24).
The Westminster Shorter
Catechism says, "Justification is an act of God's
free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and
accepth us as righteous in his sight, only for the
righteousness of Christ, imputed to us, and received
by faith alone."
God declares the
believing sinner that he has been made forever right
and acceptable to God. This is the sinner's new
position before the LORD God. It has been
accomplished by God's grace.
Justification "does not
simply mean 'just as if I'd never sinned.' That
doesn't go far enough! Neither does it mean that God
makes me righteous so that I never sin again. It
means to be 'declared righteous.' Justification is
God's merciful act, whereby He declares righteous
the believing sinner while he is still in his
sinning state. He sees us in our need, wallowing
around in the swamp of our sin. He sees us looking
to Jesus Christ and trusting Him completely by
faith, to cleanse us from our sin. And though we
come to Him with all of our needs and in all of our
darkness, God says to us, 'Declared righteous!
Forgiven! Pardoned!'" (Charles R. Swindoll,
Growing Deep in the Christian Life, p. 238).
Justification is a legal
standing with God based upon Christ's death and
resurrection and our faith in Him. We are declared
to be righteous by God. Therefore, justification is
the legal and formal acquittal from guilt by God who
is Judge. God pronounces the sinner as righteous,
who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ.
"Justified" means to
declare a person righteous. It is to stand before
the bar of God and receive His acquittal based upon
faith in Christ alone. Those whom God justifies by
faith He freely declares righteous. It is God's gift
to the sinner. It is without payment of any kind. It
is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ
alone. It is free to us because it is by His grace.
That does not mean it is cheap. It is the most
expensive gift heaven could give. God gave His Son
on our behalf. "He Himself bore our sins in His body
on the cross" (1 Peter 2:24). The blood of Jesus is
precious blood. It is of great value to God the
Father. It is held as of a great price, the most
precious thing to God. That blood redeems us. "You
were not redeemed with perishable things like silver
or gold from your futile way of life inherited from
your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a
lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ"
(1 Peter 1:18-19). Since it is that precious in
God's sight why in the world, do I want to add
anything to it? Why would I want to demean it by
touching it with my sinful hands? Imputed
righteousness is free because it is by His grace.
But it is not cheap! The Lord has done it all on our
behalf because we could not do it ourselves.
Because the Lord has done
all the work on our behalf He can therefore
pronounce righteous all who believe on Him. The
moment you place your faith in Christ as your savior
He declares you righteous. He pronounces the
believing sinner "not guilty!" If God therefore
pronounces the believing sinner acquitted up front
then this imputed righteousness had nothing to do
with works before, during or after that moment of
faith in Christ for salvation. God justifies us
freely through faith the very moment we believe on
The result of this
imputed righteousness is peace with God. "Therefore
having been justified by faith, we have peace with
God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). We
have been "reconciled to God" (v. 10). Since we have
been reconciled to God through the death of His Son,
"there is therefore now no condemnation for those
who are in Christ Jesus" (8:1). Moreover, our
justification can not possibly be a partial
justification. It is complete. We stand righteous in
the sight of God. God always does a perfect job. I
don't need to add anything to it––no works, no
baptism, no church membership, no obedience. You
cannot improve on what God has finished. God did
everything that He required to give us a right
standing in His sight. Since there is "now no
condemnation," there is absolute justification. This
is the believer's new standing before God. No wonder
there is "peace with God." We are reconciled to God.
We are no longer enemies with God (5:10). We are no
longer at war with Him. We have His peace.
One perfect person stands
between God and us. It is the Lord Jesus Christ. He
is our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5). He reconciles us to
God by His death. The wrath of God has forever been
removed. We no longer stand in fear of His judgment.
He has acquitted and forgiven us of all sin forever.
The apostle Paul can ask
the most difficult question, "Who shall bring a
charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies"
(Romans 8:33). Who can bring a charge against the
believer? What prosecuting attorney can make it
stick? No one. Not even Satan himself. God has
already declared us acquitted. Is He going to go
against His word? Of course not, all our sins are
under the blood of Jesus. Every one of them. Christ
died and rose again to cover every sin a Christian
commits. He is eternally acquitted and justified.
God imputes the perfect righteousness of Jesus
Christ to the believer.
F. F. Bruce helps us see
where God is going with us in the future. Our future
is certain because "the difference between
sanctification and glory is one of degree only, not
one of kind. Sanctification is progressive
conformity to the image of Christ here and now (cf.
2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10); glory is
perfect conformity to the image of Christ there and
then. Sanctification is glory begun; glory is
You can have
eternal life right now.
Let's suppose for a
moment that I died tonight and stood before the LORD
God who is the Supreme Judge of the Universe. No
doubt He would ask me, "Wil Pounds, why should I let
you into my heaven? You are a guilty sinner. How do
My response would be, "I
plead guilty, Your Honor."
My advocate, Jesus
Christ, who is standing there beside me speaks up
for me. He says, "Your Honor. It is true that Wil
Pounds is grievous sinner. He is guilty. He deserves
eternal punishment for his sinfulness. However,
Father, I died for him on the cross and rose from
the dead. Wil Pounds has put his faith and trust in
Me and all that I have done for him on the Cross. He
is a believer. I died for him, and he has accepted
Me as his substitute."
The Lord God turns to me
and says, "Is that true?"
I will respond to Him,
"Yes sir! That is the truth. I am claiming the shed
blood of Jesus Christ alone to cleanse me of all my
sins. I have put my faith in Jesus to save me for
all eternity. This is what You have promised in Your
word. Jesus said, 'For God so loved the world (and
this includes Wil Pounds), that He gave His only
begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should
not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
The Lord God responds:
"Acquitted! By order of this court, I demand that
you be set free. The price has been paid by My Son."
The truth is we all "fall
short" in our effort to attain a relationship with
the holy God. We need someone to rescue us and set
us free. That person has to be a substitute for us
because sin requires the death penalty. We need
someone who is holy and just in the eyes of the LORD
God. Only Jesus Christ can satisfy the holy eyes of
God. God in His rich mercy toward us sinners
provided someone as our substitute. The moment you
believe that Jesus died for your sins, you receive
an absolutely free gift. All of your sins are
completely forgiven and you are eternally justified.
God imputes His perfect righteousness to your
account. What you need is God's kind of
righteousness, not self–righteousness. He credits
your spiritual account with His perfect
All that is required of
you this day to receive the free gift of eternal
life is believe on Christ as your personal Savior.
Only by believing can a person appropriate the gift
of God. Ask Him to save you right now. Believe on
Him and you shall be saved.
To believe on Jesus
Christ is to be aware of the truth that Christ died
for your sins and to accept that truth and commit
yourself to it. There is the element of trust,
committal, obedience and abandonment to what you
In faith we receive and
rest upon Christ alone for salvation. Faith is to
trust in a person, the person of Christ, the Son of
God and Savior of the lost. Faith is not something
that merits favor with God. The essence of faith is
to bring the lost sinner, dead in his trespasses and
sins into direct personal contact with the Savior,
Jesus Christ. It is not faith that saves, but Christ
that saves through faith. Faith unites us to Christ.
Christ saves us. If you will believe on Him you
shall be saved today.
"Just as I am without one
But that Thy blood was
shed for me,
And that Thou bidd'st me
come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, and waiting
To rid my soul of one
To Thee whose blood can
cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God I come."
Title: What Must I Do to