Wednesday, June 26, 2013
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:19 KJV).
Soul salvation from everlasting hellfire is the Holy Bible’s most important doctrine, so let us be particularly careful with today’s Scripture.
God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself; however, that does not mean that everyone will eventually go to heaven. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:10:“For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” While salvation from sin and hell is being offered to everyone through Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork, the phrase “specially of those that believe” proves that the merits of Christ’s work at Calvary cannot profit each individual until he or she trusts it.
“Now to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith in counted [imputed] for righteousness. And therefore it was imputed to him [Abraham] for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; but for us also, to whom it 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 4:5,22-25). Imputation is conditional; the righteousness of Christ’s finished crosswork will not be applied to one’s account until one trusts it. Soul salvation is not automatic: it must be imputed by faith. There must be a believing heart in that finished crosswork to benefit a person.
God applies that forgiveness by faith when we trust the Gospel of Grace—that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He was raised again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). God placed our sins on Jesus Christ (imputation to Jesus Christ’s account), but then He gives us salvation through that sacrifice when we believe it (imputation to our account). It was the greatest exchange of all time—Jesus Christ took our sins, and God gives us His righteousness. Now, to the doctrine of justification….