Changing the Word of God, Part 2: Righteousness

(See Part A for an introduction to this blog.)

Religious Christianity, defined as Catholicism, Protestantism and the cults, adamantly denies the righteousness of the believer. Instead, they say that believers are “sinners” who are credited (imputed) with Christ’s righteousness.

All false doctrine is based on human reasoning trying to resolve a perceived dilemma. In the Part A post, the false assumption was based on the question, “If all people are not saved, it must then be true that all people are not forgiven.” This led to one of two false conclusions: either [1] Christ died only for the sins of the saved (the error of limited atonement) or [2] Christ died for everyone’s sins but it is not applied until a person becomes a believer (the error of potential forgiveness).

In Part B, the false assumption is, “Since I still sin, I must still be a sinner. This is a critical false teaching in that you must be righteous to be saved into the family of God. The Bible teaches that God freely makes righteous all who trust in Christ as Savior. The perceived dilemma is resolved when you understand that your born again heart has already been made fully and forever righteous but you still live in a “house” that has not yet been made righteous. This is why you can still sin, but this is the very reason you live by faith; Christ lives in you and He is your power to live righteously.

Romans 8:10 and if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.

2 Corinthians 5:2 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,

Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

If you simply read the Bible as it is written, you will see that it clearly proclaims that God has made all believers fully righteous in their born again heart. It is spiritual perfection living inside mortal imperfection. Your heart (spirit) is the real you, not your earthly house.

There are dozens of verses whose meaning has been reinterpreted to fit the “I’m still a sinner belief.” It is important to understand that if you are still a sinner, you have not yet been saved.

The denial of the righteousness of the believer is more subtle than the denial that the Cross forgave all sins of all people. Each of the verses below declares that believers have already been made righteous. (There is wildly varied teaching on this subject. Some sources do state the truth; however, it is very hard to find the truth stated in simple enough terms that non-theologians can understand it.)

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? [17] If any man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is holy, and that is what you are.

Incorrect Interpretation: One writer says, “This proves that though Paul regarded them as lamentably corrupt in some respects, he still regarded them as a true church – as a part of the holy temple of God.” This is another way of saying that believers are sinners who God accepts anyway because they trust Christ as Savior.

Ephesians 4:24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Incorrect Interpretation: One writer says, “After our salvation, we wear the righteousness of Christ” implying that we are credited with Christ’s righteousness rather than being made righteous because Christ lives in us.

2 Peter 1:4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

Incorrect Interpretation: One writer says, “God puts at the disposal of every Christian divine operating assets whether or not we utilize them, whether or not we are aware of them.” This is simply a way of denying that God makes believers literally righteous in their born again hearts.

1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Incorrect Interpretation: This verse, more than any other, is simply denied. The interpretation is made to say, “he cannot live a lifestyle of sin.” A born again believer can no longer sin in their spirit (heart) because Jesus is joined as one with them (1 Corinthians 6:17). The believer cannot sin because Jesus in them cannot sin. It is the not-yet-redeemed mortal body that is still able to sin. This is the precise reason that believers live by faith. Only the power of Christ in you can lead to righteous living. Real righteous living never comes from a person’s own human self-effort; only self-righteousness comes from human strength.

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These additional verses will be helpful in understanding this blog.
All Sins Forgiven: Mark 3: 28; John 1:29; Acts 13:38; Romans 5:10a; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Colossians 1:20; Colossians 2:13; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 9:22,26; Hebrews 10:12,17,18; Hebrew 2:9; Hebrews 7:27; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 John 2:2,12.
Believers Receive a New, Clean Heart: Ezekiel 11:19; Ezekiel 36:25; John 3:3,7; Acts 11:9; Romans 6:1-2,6,7,11,14,17-18,22; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Galatians 5:24; Titus 3:5; 1 John 1:9b; 1 Peter 2:24a.
God Makes Believers Righteous in Their Born Again Heart: Ezekiel 36:26; Romans 5:17,19; Romans 6:18; Romans 8:10b; 1 Corinthians 6:16-17; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 10:14; 1 Peter 1:23; 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 3:9.
Jesus Lives in You (Literally) as His Holy Spirit: John 14:20,23; Romans 5:5b; Romans 8:9; 1 Corinthians 6:17,19; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Galatians 2:20; Ephesians 1:23; Ephesians 3:19b; Ephesians 5:30; Colossians 1:27; 2 Timothy 1:14a; 1 John 4:15-16.

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