Faith in the Blood in the Judgement Hour
The Bible is very clear that we are justified by a righteousness that is found in Another. This is the righteousness of faith and the only righteousness that can enable us to be ready for the coming of our Lord in His glory. Those who are trusting in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord upon the cross of Calvary are ready for His coming no matter when our Lord should appear. There is perfect sinless righteousness only in the person of Christ. All our good works and prayers and our Christian characters which are the fruit of the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit are tainted with the corrupt human nature we inherit from fallen Adam. The righteousness that is in us by our good works and deeds must still have the incense of the merit of Christ imputed unto them to be acceptable before God and worthy of reward. This corrupt human channel which all have through Adam necessitates that we come to God through the only mediator between God and Man, the only Good Man, Jesus Christ. In Him is contained the righteousness by which we are accounted and reckoned righteous by the unmerited grace of God.
Our Lord was NOT righteous by faith. That is, He never needed to be justified by an external righteousness found in Another for He was the very essence of the righteousness of God in His own person. He alone could say "the devil comes to Me and can find nothing in Me". He alone could say that He always did the will of God and had no sin in Him. Of Him alone could the Father say, "This is by beloved Son with whom I am well pleased." The Law of God could find nothing in Him to condemn for He as the Second Adam and the incarnate Son of God was the very embodiment of the righteousness of the Law.
Repentant believers in Christ are always accepted before God and His Law on the basis of Christ's perfect sinless life and atoning death ALONE. The indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer which begins to write the law of love for God and Man in our hearts is a down payment of the life that we shall have in eternity. Until then our salvation begins in faith and ends in faith in the righteousness that is by faith alone in the imputed righteousness of Christ upon all and unto all who believe. All have sinned and all (including the most pious and godly of Christian believers) continually fall short of the glory of God, but being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and we rejoice in the glory of God to be revealed at His coming. All other ground is shifting sand and the deception of self righteous, blind, miserable, naked wretchedness, and pompous flatulence of the Antichrist.
If our Lord Jesus Christ had not lived a sinless life and died for our sins no amount of faith in God could save us. Faith does not have any saving merit or value in itself. Before God could save any sinner He had to provide a righteousness that fulfilled the righteousness demanded by the Law and justice of God. God could not set aside His holy Law to save lost humanity. The righteousness of God had to be fulfilled so that the unmerited grace of God could then flow to the human family and bring eternal life to all repentant sinners who put their faith in the Substitutionary life and death of Christ.
The conditions of God's Everlasting Covenant had to be met. The conditions of eternal life are the same today as they were for Adam before the fall— perfect obedience to the Law of God. We as fallen helpless sinners born in the bondage and slavery of sin cannot meet the terms of the Law. The terms for all are: "OBEY AND LIVE" and the inverse is also true: "DISOBEY AND DIE". The Law of God demands death to all who transgress its holy commandments.
Christ died to fulfil this righteousness of the Law. The Law of God demands a sinless life of all the human family. This Christ has provided as the new Head of the family of Adam. The terms of the Everlasting Covenant have been fulfilled by Christ the new Head of the race. All who believe in Him as their Savior and Lord are accounted to have perfectly fulfilled all the righteous requirement of the Law.
Believing repentant sinners are saved by the unmerited grace of God through faith in the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. Faith has NO saving merit. We are saved by the OBJECT of our faith, namely the holy sinless life of Jesus Christ whose righteous sinless life is IMPUTED unto the believer. Thus we are not saved by our works of righteousness but rather by the WORKS of God in Jesus Christ. The perfect finished work of our salvation is "in Christ" and was finished from the foundation of the world in Him. Nothing "in us" is the basis of our right standing with God. Only the blood of Christ can present us as faultless before the throne of Grace and so it is that we are saved by faith IN the blood and NOT saved by faith as a quality in us.
These fundamental issues of the Protestant Reformation were dealt with at the Counsel of Ratisbon. Had the Reformers adopted the position of salvation by faith as a saving quality IN the believer, the Reformation would have faltered and Rome would have overthrown the Protestant Reformation. Thus the true children of the Protestant Reformation continue to proclaim salvation by grace alone through faith alone IN the sinless life and atoning death of our Lord Jesus Christ alone.
Reply by Bill Diehl:
The Bible does indeed interpret itself! When we quote a Pauline expression, "whatsoever is not of faith is sin", we must understand it from the Pauline perspective and not from some forced definition as to what he means by "faith". When Paul states that the gospel begins in "faith" and ends in "faith" he means exactly what he explains in the coming chapters in Romans. "He who is justified by faith shall live!" The entire epistle of Romans is dealing with Justification by Faith and the fruit of having been justified, namely loving obedience to the commandments to love God and our neighbor through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Those who seek to be accepted of God either now or on the Last Day by their obedience to the Ten Commandments are NOT of faith but of works and are as blind as the Jews who, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, went about to establish their own righteousness by obeying the commandments.
I have a question for you which will answer your question. Are you committing willful high-handed disregard for the commandments NOW as a born again Christian? Of course not! You are keeping the commandments of God and you are putting your faith in Jesus' sinless life and atoning death to cover your shortcomings aren't you? Well, the same gospel that is saving you now will save you at the coming of our Lord in all His glory. Being justified by faith in His blood we rejoice in the glory of God. The apostle Paul (who did not claim sinless perfection) was ready for the coming of the Lord and so are all who are of faith in the blood of Jesus.
We will be confessing our faults to one another until the Last Day. And we will be praying the Lord's prayer until the Last Day— Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive each other.
Paul had the full gospel of Christ. Nothing can be added to the gospel that He preached. The Protestant Reformation is RECOVERING the gospel that was cast down by the papacy. We are not ADDING to it something that Paul and the other apostles did not proclaim. When Christ sat down in His throne it was after having completed the work of reconciliation having obtained eternal salvation for all who believe (present continuous).