The Bible teaches that the sins of a Christian [those who come to Christ in faith] are “expiated” totally, having been paid for in full by the blood of Jesus Christ, and that through Christ’s perfect keeping of the Law, His righteousness is then fully credited to the believer.
II. The Bible’s Position
1. Romans 3:21-26 “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: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
2. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
3. Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”
4. Ephesians 2:8,9 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
5. Romans 11:6 “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.”
6. Galatians 2:21 “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
7. Isaiah 61:10 “I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
III. The Bible’s Problem with Man paying for his own sins
The Bible teaches that before the all holy God, man is spiritually dead. The heart of man must be born again by God’s free grace – not probed into for its own goodness. It has NO goodness to offer God. Isaiah 64:6 says that ,”all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” in the sight of God!
1. Genesis 2:17 “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”
2. Ezekiel 18:20 “The soul that sinneth, it shall die…”
3. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
4. Mark 7:20-23 “And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”
5. Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
6. Ephesians 2:1 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.”
7. Colossians 2:13 “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses.”
8. John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”
9. Romans 3:10-11 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.”
10. Romans 8:7 “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”
Man cannot earn, add to by his own efforts, or work for his salvation. The Bible is very clear on this point. In attempting to add a ‘works gospel’ to Christ’s finished work on the cross, the substance of what is then taught is that “grace is no longer grace” (Romans 11:6).
To attempt to pay for and therefore merit your own salvation was the sin of the Jewish Pharisees, and of the Apostle Paul before his conversion!
But the Bible proclaims the good news that Christ’s sacrifice is the full payment for our sins (see * Hebrews 10:14, 17-18). Best of all, Christ’s perfect righteousness is imputed to the believer simply by faith in Christ’s finished work on the cross.
* Heb 10:14, 17, 18 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. […]
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Clearly, “For by grace are ye saved through faith … not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9