We're Saved by God's Righteousness in Christ
By David J. Stewart
Romans 10:3-4, “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. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
The Bible plainly teaches that we are saved by God's righteousness, which is only in Christ Jesus. Romans 10:3-4 speaks of unsaved religious people, such as Catholics and Lordship Salvationists, who go about to establish their own self-righteousness. Of course, they are in denial as are most heretics.
There are many false gospels today being taught in the churches. Ray Comfort, John MacArthur, Aiden Tozer, Paul Washer, Kirk Cameron, and a host of other false prophets teach that salvation is more than simply putting one's trust in Christ to be saved. They teach that a person must also try really hard to stop sinning to be saved. They wrongly understand this to mean repentance.
The Bible teaches something very different, and the difference is night and day. The Bible doesn't teach salvation as a two-step process. You don't reform as Aiden Tozer teaches, and then secondly are regenerated. That is a false teaching. The Bible teaches that the person who turns to Christ to be forgiven of his or her sins, has repented. The repentance is NOT turning away from sin; but rather, turning TO Christ to be forgiven of one's sins. God makes the changes.
There is not one Scripture in the Bible that says “turn from sin” or ”repent from sin” to be saved. Rather, the Bible teaches in Matthew 21:32, “For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him.” Notice that Jesus said believing is repentance. The emphasis is clearly upon believing. Jesus said that when the Pharisees heard the Gospel, they believed not. If they had repented, then they would have believed. Biblically, in the Greek, repentance regarding salvation simply means a change of mind. The Bible doesn't tell us what that change of mind is, so we safely should not speak where the Bible is silent.
What we do know, as plainly taught in Romans 10:3-4 is that “Christ is the END OF THE LAW for righteousness to every one that believeth.” The man who trusts upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ is saved immediately, completely and permanently! The Law has served its purpose once a person trusts upon Jesus Christ to be forgiven of their sins. Acts 10:43, “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” Christ is THE END of the Law to him that believeth.
Carefully notice that the intent of the Law is not to cause a person to stopping breaking the Law. That is what Catholics falsely teach. God didn't give us His Commandments to keep; but instead as a measuring stick by which to compare ourselves, to show us our need for salvation. Christians obey God's Law out of a heart of love and gratitude, and of fear of being chastised as God's children if we sin; but we do NOT keep God's Commandments as a means of salvation, nor to please God in any way by our own self-righteousness. We are saved by God's mercy that nailed Jesus to the cross.
The purpose of God's Law, i.e., God's Commandments, is to show us our desperate need for a Savior. Galatians 3:24-25, “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” The Law teaches us that we are sinful, woefully sinful, and that we all deserve to be punished in eternal Hell as guilty sinners. The purpose of the Law is to point us to Jesus Christ, Who is our only hope of redemption. Whereas the Law condemns us; Christ sets us free from the curse of the Law by faith. Nowhere in the Bible are we taught to keep the Law as part of salvation.
Lordship Salvationists require a person to commit to stop sinning, amend their ways, depart from the sinful world, and surrender their life to obey God's Commandments in order to be saved. These are all damnable heresies rooted in self-righteousness. Using a train as an example, Lordship Salvationists require people to stay aboard the train of the Law while trusting Christ; but that is wrong, wrong, wrong! We're supposed to get off the train. The Law has done its job. We are now under God's merciful grace that saved us (Titus 3:5). We have been freed from the curse of God's Law that had once condemned us to Hell.
If you want to be saved, then you need to trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God; and get off that train of self-righteousness! The Pharisees thought they could be saved by riding the train, i.e., by keeping the Law. The purpose of the train wasn't to live on the train; but rather, to bring you from point A to point B. Christ is waiting at point B to save those who trust upon Him. Lordship Salvationists claim to trust Christ; while refusing to get off the train.
The Law shows us our guilty condition, condemned for violating God's holy Commandments. Romans 3:19, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD.” The end of the Law is Christ to every one that believeth; but to those who don't believe, the Law will take them all the way to Hell forever. The Law is as a train, taking us to the Savior to be forgiven of our sins and justified by the precious literal blood of Jesus. Romans 5:9, “Much more then, being now JUSTIFIED BY HIS BLOOD, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” If you don't trust Christ, then the train will take you to Hell.
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