2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Confess out loud, “I am the righteousness of God. Jesus became what I was (sinful), so that I might become who He is (righteous).” I believe it, do you? As a pastor, I have holy anger concerning how the devil keeps people in the rat race of sin by convincing them they are never really righteous. The devil has convinced people that because they were born a sinner, they are going to die a sinner and sinning is all they will ever do.
Satan teaches people, from an early age, that the temptation to sin cannot be defeated. He tells us that whenever we are tempted to sin, there is no other option but to give in to it and disobey God. The devil is a liar; and, he has convinced religious leaders in Christianity to buy into his lies as well. Many pastors and leaders teach their people that even after they are saved and born again, that they aren’t really fully saved from the power and presence of sin, but need to be saved over and over again, or that they will always be “half a sinner and half a saint.”
Sadly, these people read Romans 7, and believe Paul was teaching that as believers we would always be powerless against the sin that wages war against our minds. They neglect to understand Romans 8:2, where Paul boldly proclaimed, “because [of] Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” Paul firmly believed that once a person was saved they were totally free from sin and death in their soul and spirit. They were no longer a slave to the evil, within, and could freely do the good God commanded.
Think about it like this — before you came to Jesus there was no righteousness in you. You were utterly sinful (Romans 3:23). In the same way, now in Christ, there is no sin in you, you are completely righteous because you have been cleansed and purified from all unrighteousness (1 John 2:9).
In other words, as much as you were a sinner before Christ, is as much of a saint as you are now in Christ.
William Durham wrote, “In conversion we come into Christ, our Sanctifier, and are made holy, as well as righteous. When one really comes into Christ he is as much in Christ as he will ever be. He is in a state of holiness and righteousness.”
Some may ask, what about 1 John 1:8, which states, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” This is for the person who believes they have no need for salvation. They may say, “I’m a good person. I don’t have any sin or need any forgiveness from God.” Yet, for all those who do admit and confess their sins, John declared in the next verse, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). It is the one who humbly confesses their sins who is cleansed from all unrighteousness.
Do you believe when Jesus saved you from your sins, that you were really saved from the power and presence of sin? Do you believe that when you were born again and made a new creation you were really born again and made a new person? Do you believe when Christ died on the cross He really put to death your old sinful nature and purchased for you a new life that is for all who believe in Him? Do you believe that when you confessed your sins, you were literally washed and cleansed from all your unrighteousness?
If you believe it, then live like it, because Jesus made you righteous!
- Discard any bad teaching that has made you believe you are not righteous in Christ.
- Believe you are who God said you are and that you can do all that He said you can do.
- If you sin and act as you used to, repent and be cleansed, again, from all your unrighteousness, so that being without sin is your default existence.