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Jesus Took Away the Sin of the World

by David A. DePra

     Do you believe that Jesus Christ took away the sin of the world?

How about YOUR sin? Did Jesus Christ take away YOUR sin?

Well, to take away all sin is exactly the purpose for which Jesus

came. John the Baptist said so. Read John 1:29:

Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

     According to this passage, when Jesus died, as our passover

Lamb, He took away all of the sin of the world -- the sin of every

member of the human race who has ever lived.

     Probably most people would not argue with that statement. But

when it comes to our actual faith, many of us do not believe it is the

Truth. What we often do believe is that Jesus took away only the

sin of believers. And worse, we think that our sin is taken away

only at the point we DO believe. Otherwise, we think our sin


     We must be clear on this. It does not say here, nor does it say

anywhere in the Bible, that the sin Jesus took away was the sin of

ONLY those who believe on Him. Neither does it say that He takes

away our sin only at the point WHEN we believe. No. Rather,

Jesus took away all sin for all humans for all time -- as a completely

independent act.  It is a finished reality no matter what we then

choose to do with it.

     This is essential to see. The question for you and I regarding the

finished work of Christ is NOT whether Jesus took away my sin. No.

The question is what I am going to do with the fact He has. God

gives us two options: Faith or unbelief.

     Get that. We have ONE Christ and ONE finished Redemption.

What Jesus did is eternally in place and cannot ever be altered.

But we have TWO groups of people: Believers and unbelievers.

Believers embrace Christ and what He has done. As a result,

they receive eternal life through the resurrection. Unbelievers do

not embrace Christ, and consequently there can be no life through

the resurrection. But NEITHER the faith of believers, nor the unbelief

of unbelievers, can alter the fact that in Christ IT IS FINISHED. No.

All we can do is decide whether to believer or reject that finished


     Despite the fact that many Christians will say, "I know all of that,

so why rehash it?," we DO NOT KNOW IT. What we DO know is

the "doctrine;" the "teaching." But we do not know this Truth in our

hearts. The proof we don't know it is that we continue to be

governed by fear, condemnation, unbelief, and worse, by all of the

all of the religious traditions and exercises created by churches to

"take away sin." We say we believe "it is finished, " but our

day to day relationship with God says we don't believe it at all.

     The fact that Jesus, once for all, took away all sin, stands as a

foundational Truth of Christianity. If we do not embrace it, and begin

to allow it to govern us, we are never going to walk in true freedom.

Why We Still Sin

     If Jesus "took away sin" then we need to understand what that

means. What does it mean that Jesus "took away sin?" Does it

mean that sin ceases to exist?

     No, it cannot mean that. Why? Because you and I still sin. In

fact, John warns, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves,

and the Truth is not in us." (I Jn. 1:8)

     When Jesus took away sin, He was really "taking away" the

dominion and control sin had over us. Thus, rather than mean the

sin nature is GONE, it means that we are free from it's control. He

put to death the inward spiritual "nature of sin" that we acquired

through natural inheritance from Adam. As Paul says, "He that is

dead, is freed from sin."

     There are many ways to describe this. One way is to realize that

just as Jesus took away sin from us, He also took US away from

SIN. How? By birthing us into a new realm as a new creation -- a

realm where sin no longer has dominion over us.

     This is made clear by Paul in the epistle to the Romans:

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death,

we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this,

that our old man is is crucified with him, that the body of sin might

be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that

is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we

believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being

raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion

over him. For in that He died, He died to sin once, but in that He

liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon you also yourselves to

be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ

our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye

should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members

as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves

unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your

members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall

not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but

under grace. (Romans 6:5-14)

     In this passage from the book of Romans, Paul is telling us that

in Christ the power of sin -- of the sin nature -- is broken by death.

It is broken by the death of Christ -- and broken in us by our death in

Him. We are "planted" or "engrafted" into His death, can as a

result, His death becomes ours.

     Now, don't merely think of this in legal terms. Don't think in terms

of God "looking" at the death of Christ and saying, "I accept that

death for your death." No. That is fine, but it doesn't give us any

real power over sin in the practical world. Rather, think of it in

dynamic terms: In Jesus Christ, everything which is of the old

creation died. Jesus bore that. Thus, this "body of sin" which

held me captive to sin, is dead in Christ, just as surely as Christ

died. It no longer can hold me.

     That is why Paul tells us to "reckon ourselves dead to sin, and

alive to God." That is why he says not to yield to sin, but to yield

to God. He is saying that there has been a power which has been

broken by the death of Christ -- that of sin -- and that there is a

new life that has been given -- eternal life -- through the resurrection.

     The point is this: Before we embraced Christ, we HAD to sin.

One way or another. Even if our sin was self-righteousness. Even

if our sin was nothing more than unbelief. It was our NATURE to sin.

But after we embrace Christ, we don't have to sin. We are actually

free from it's power through the death of Christ.

     So why do we sin? Why is it still impossible to be without sin

Jesus has "taken it away?" In fact, we need to understand we still

sin -- to the point where John tells us that if we say we have no sin

we deceive ourselves.

     One reason is that we still have a physical body -- and all that

goes with it. Our physical body is NOT saved -- yet. And we do

live in a fallen creation. So despite the fact that the real us is one

with Christ, our "outer shell" is not saved. It is quite subject to all of

the sin of this old creation.

     But the real us, the new man in Christ, is saved. And Paul's

point in Romans 6 is that this new man in Christ is free from sin.

And "he" can take control of our body and minds. He can "yield" to

God, and refuse to "yield" to the old creation's pulls and habits.

     Thus, we see the conflict between spirit and flesh. Paul outlines

this in detail later in Romans 7 -- this war between flesh and spirit.

But throughout, the fact that I can still sin is NEVER said to have

any bearing on whether I am saved. No. I am saved. That is the

only reason I have the conflict to begin with. The fact that I am

free from sin, but continual to fail to act like it, does not affect my

true identity. I am a new creation in Christ if I have been born again.

     Many Christians have an "identity crisis." We look at our works

and performance, and from these decide about our identity. But

we should be doing the opposite -- for our identity never depended

upon our works and performance. It depends on HIM. So instead

of looking at our works to determine our identity, we ought to

realize that our identity depends on Him, and that our works will not

always reflect it.

     When John said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the

sin of the world," he meant it. Jesus Christ has taken away the

power of sin in our lives by bearing it on the Cross. And despite

the fact that sin does remain in our physical bodies right now,

even that is going to pass away. Someday we will be raised anew,

physically, free even from the presence of the sin nature.

Saved by His Life

     If there is one thing about death that is certain, it is that it is NOT

life. No, death is the opposite of life. Thus, once we realize that we

have died in Christ, we must realize that we, at that point, do not yet

have life. The death of Christ does not, of itself, save us. It cannot

save us -- it is not life. It is death -- our death. Thus, we must be

raised in Christ to newness of life through the resurrection. Then, we

have new life -- eternal life.

     Paul clearly states this Truth:

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the

death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved

by his life. (Rom. 5:10)

     The death of Christ is our death. At that point, all that was in us of

Adam is dead. But there is yet not life. There must come a

resurrection in Christ. But this resurrection is not a "reversal" of the

death of the old. It is a resurrection unto new life.

     What this means is that our "old man" in Adam is left in the grave.

We have resurrection in the Last Adam, Jesus Christ.

     Now, once we see that we are not saved solely by the death of

Christ, it leads us into the Truth regarding another misconception.

Many of us think that when God says Jesus took away the sin of the

that He really means Jesus took away the PUNISHMENT of the

world. We think that Jesus died so we don't have to die, and that

He was bearing our punishment of death for us on the Cross.

     But again, this is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible teaches

exactly what John 1:29 states: Jesus took away the SIN of the

world -- not merely the punishment FOR sin. Jesus was the

SIN-BEARER. Not the so-called "punishment-bearer."

     Seeing we are saved by the resurrection, and not merely by the

death of Christ clears this all up. For if Jesus was merely bearing

our punishment of death on the Cross, then we wouldn't NEED a

resurrection, would we? No. For our "punishment" would be

satisfied. God could then say, "I accept Jesus death as your

death. The Redemption is finished. You can now live forever."

     But He didn't say that. Christ had to be raised for the Redemption

to be finished. Yes, the old had to pass away. But where does that

leave us without the new? Still in death. It is through the resurrection

that we receive eternal life.

     So what we have is this: Through the death of Christ, sin is taken

away. We are reconciled and completely forgiven of God. This

was done for the entire human race. There is nothing anyone can

add to it, or do to negate it. But we must believe. Each person

must repent of his or her unbelief and embrace what Christ has

done. Those who do receive eternal life through the resurrection.

Freedom From Sin

     Actually, saying the Jesus bore our punishment, rather than our

sin, is quite a serious error. Think: If Jesus took away only our

punishment FOR sin, then what remains? Sin itself. Sure. If you

remove only the punishment for sin, you have done nothing to

solve the sin question. In fact, you have made it worse, for now

you have removed the penalty for sin, but left people IN SIN! Such

a thing could never be in the purpose of God.

     The fact is, all freedom from sin depends upon Jesus taking

away sin, rather than just paying the penalty FOR sin. If all Jesus

did was pay the penalty FOR sin, then we might say the penalty is

removed. But we cannot say SIN ITSELF is removed. Thus, there

would be no freedom. Yet Paul makes it clear from the same

passage from Romans that we are free from sin itself.

     See how clear Paul is about this. He says, "Our old man is

crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that

henceforth we should not serve sin." Then he elaborates, "For he

that is dead is FREED from sin." Paul later sums it all up to this

conclusion: "Likewise reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but

alive to God -- through the resurrection. Therefore -- do not yield

your members as instruments of unrighteousness. But yield

yourselves to God as those who are raised from the dead."

     Now what this means is this: God does not "give us power to

obey Him" -- sort of like God gives us a "booster shot" in the form

of grace. No. Rather, by His grace we are new creations -- a

creation that is already freed from sin through the Redemption.

Repent and Believe

     The best news possible is that Jesus Christ has taken away all

sin. This means that there is no sin which stands between myself

and God. All that was in me that stood as a wall between myself

and God is broken and taken out of the way.

     That's the good news. The "bad news" is that -- despite the

fact that God has taken away all sin -- that I can put sin back in

between myself and God. Really? Yep. But not the way most of

us think. We think we can put sin between ourselves and God by

SINNING -- by doing acts of sin. But this is not how we do it -- for

God has taken away all that sin. Rather, we put sin between

ourselves and God through UNBELIEF.

     Jesus took away all sin, but through unbelief we say He didn't.

Thus, by our unbelief we stand outside of what Christ has done.

In effect, the sin of unbelief is THE sin which stands between us

and Christ. It is, in effect, a refusal of the grace of God -- a refusal

of the solution for all other sin.

     Get that. Jesus took away all sin. So we don't need to take it

away. We cannot take it away. But we must believe He took it

away, and embrace the grace of God. If we don't, that is unbelief.

Unbelief is therefore the one sin, which by our own choice, keeps

us from embracing the grace of God.

     If unbelief is THE sin which keeps us from Christ, then unbelief

is THE sin we need to repent of. If I repent of unbelief, I will then

believe that all sin is taken away in Christ, and embrace the grace

of God. And then what happens? I will see that all of my "other

sins" are forgiven, and taken away by the Lamb of God!

     Many Christians are under the impression that we are supposed

to repent of our sins one by one, and when we do, they are

somehow, by our repentance, taken away, or put under the Blood.

But this cannot be true. Jesus has ALREADY taken away all sin.

Sin is ALREADY under His Blood, as an event completely

independent of our repentance, confession, or faith. What we do,

or don't do, with our sin, has no effect on the finished work of Jesus

Christ. What we need to REPENT OF is our unbelief -- of our refusal

or neglect to embrace this great Truth.

     If we repent of unbelief, and then BELIEVE, it is because we are

seeing that all sin is already taken out of the way by Christ. Then

we can move forward, not trying to take sin out of the way, but

forward, knowing that it IS ALREADY taken out of the way. This IS

freedom from sin.

     So aren't Christians supposed to repent of sin, or confess sin?

Yes, but not to take sin out of the way. Not to get saved over and

over again. Not in the sense of having to repent of each and every

little sin, in order to get God to forgive sin, or put it under the Blood.

Christians are to repent and confess sin as an acknowledgement

of the fact that God has ALREADY dealt with it finally and forever

in Christ.

     If I am saved, I am saved precisely because I have repented

-- once for all -- of unbelief. Sure. This only makes sense. If I

haven't repented of unbelief, then I am still IN unbelief -- and not

saved. I cannot believe and not believe in Christ at the same time.

I am saved by repenting of unbelief and by then believing and

resting in Jesus Christ.

     This repentance is once for all. It has to be. Because salvation

is once for all. I must once for all repent of refusing the grace of

God. I must once for all repent of not believing. If I do repent of

unbelief, then I am - what? I am believing! That means I am saved,

for I have placed my faith in the Son of God. THAT is once for all.

Then I move forward with Christ. I move forward -- not trying to

take sin away -- but move forward knowing it IS taken away. That

is faith. That is freedom.

     Thus, when we speak of being convicted of sin, or of repenting

of sin, or of confessing sin, we are not talking about being saved

over again. And we are not talking about having to repent of, or

having to confess, each sin before God will forgive us for each sin.

No. We are really talking about God bringing us into line with the

fact sin is already taken out of the way by Christ. Conviction of sin

is our realization of what HE has done, and that in Christ, we need

to start acting like it.

     When we repent of unbelief we walk through a doorway. We

exit the room of unbelief and bondage to sin, and enter the room

of faith and freedom from sin. But we still have to LIVE IN THE

NEW ROOM. Thus, we have the conviction and realization of sin

which God brings to us. We have the need to call sin what it is.

We have the need to repent of "sins" -- in the sense of wanting to

forsake them. But none of this means we are back in the room of

unbelief. No. We are in the new room. We have a new identity.

We are simply learning how to live like it.

     If I repent of unbelief, and embrace grace, I have a new identity.

Nothing can ever change that again. But I will spend the rest of

my life trying to live in harmony with my new identity. And along

the way, God will show me ways in which I fall short of this. When

I see these various sins and faults, we call this "conviction of sin."

When we call these sins what they are, we call this "confession of

sin." And when we change from living in these sins and faults to

obeying God, we call this "repentance." But none of this is done in

order to make me a new creation. It is all because I AM a new


Taking Our Sin to God

     There are really only two reasons why people refuse the grace

of God. Either they think they are too bad to merit it -- a

contradiction -- or they think they are too good to need it -- a

deception. Both are products of unbelief.

     Anyone who says that they can't take their sin to God because

they see how BAD it is, is self-deceived. Seeing the true evil of

our sin is never the reason we stand aloof from God. We stand

aloof because we don't we how bad sin is! For if we truly saw our

sin, we would run to God with it. We would know that there is

nothing we can do to take it away. We would come to see that our

only hope is if Jesus has already taken it away.

     People who stand aloof from God do not understand His love

and forgiveness. Perhaps they have the notion that coming to

God and confessing sin will leave them in a pool of depression,

unresolved guilt, and condemnation. But coming to God never

results in those things. In fact, depression, unresolved guilt, and

condemnation are the results of NOT coming to God by faith and

receiving HIS grace.

     Depression, unresolved guilt, and condemnation are often the

results of trying to solve the sin question on my own. I am trying

to make something ok which can never be made ok. Perhaps I

attempt to do this by "trying harder." Or perhaps by continually

"confessing" sin. But all of this is doomed to failure. It just makes

me feel more and more hopeless. The only solution is to believe.

I must believe Jesus has done all of this for me.

     Much of our resistance to coming to God with our sin finds it's

root in our wanting to feel good about ourselves. This desire can

govern us whether we know it or not. And because we may have

the impression that coming to God will make us feel bad about

ourselves, we tend to recoil and stand aloof. Perhaps we even

have ourselves convinced that we did come to God, and that all

we got out of it was a really bad guilt trip with no resolution.

     I must say it again: If we truly repent and come to God, it will

NOT result in a life-long guilt trip. It will not result in depression. It

will not result in feeling terrible about ourselves forever. It will result

in none of those things.

     But why? Sin is so negative. To admit we are a sinner, and lost,

and lousy, and terrible, and without hope -- don't all of these ugly

admissions attack our dignity and overturn our self-esteem? How

can any of this be a good and healthy thing to do?

     Well, it wouldn't be healthy at all -- if doing all of this was merely

an end to itself. But you see, that is the problem: Many people,

including many Christians, MAKE it an end to itself. We confess

and confess sin, but never seem to get free of the guilt. And

consequently, you end up with many Christians living in a perpetual

state of depression.

     All of the unhealthy conditions regarding sin are solved by one

thing: FAITH. Do we really believe we are forgiven -- totally and

forever -- by God through Jesus Christ?

     Now let's be blunt: Either you do believe it or you don't. This is

one of those all or nothing issues. You can't really "sort of believe

it," or "partially believe it." This is something which is either true or

it is NOT true: God has forgiven all sin, finally and forever, in Jesus

Christ. Do you believe it?

     Notice what I didn't ask: I didn't ask whether you FEEL like you

are forgiven. Neither did I ask whether you still sin. I did not ask

whether you have bad moods, or doubt yourself. I simply asked

whether you actually believe, in your heart, that you are forgiven,

finally and forever, for ALL of your sin, through Jesus Christ. It is

upon that question that the whole issue of walking in forgiveness

of sin turns.

We Must Believe

     Yep, the solution is FAITH. Because if you DO NOT believe

that the forgiveness of God is finished forever for you, then you are

opening the door for YOU having to finish it. And you are opening

the door for you living in a continual state of thinking it is NOT

finished. These is where all of the condemnation and guilt finds a


     Unbelief can be subtle. In fact, everything -- including confession

of sin -- can be done without one ounce of faith. It can be done as

nothing more than a religious duty.

     Did you ever realize that you can do what God says, but do it in

unbelief? Sure. Lots of people "obey" God, not because they

believe Him, but because they don't! They "obey" because they

are afraid of what will happen if they don't. Or they "obey" in order

to accomplish for themselves what God has already said is

finished in Christ. Of course, they aren't really "obeying" God --

the way God defines obedience -- but it looks and feels like it to


     Along this line, many people "confess sin" -- but not in faith. They

confess it in unbelief. Now, that might seem impossible, but we do

it all the time. How? Well, if I am confessing my sin in order to get

God to forgive me, I am confessing in unbelief. Why? Because

God has ALREADY forgiven me and I don't believe it!

     The Truth is, I am to confess sin -- not to get God to forgive

me -- but because I belief He already has. Sin IS forgiven. All

the confession in the world cannot add to that or subtract from it.

     Now, this might seem like merely a point of theology or

something. But it is not. It is Truth that I must see and live. I must

see that God does not forgive me because I confess sin. He

forgives me because of Jesus Christ. Period. By faith, I confess

this. I confess sin because I see that I am already finally and

forever forgiven through Jesus and Jesus alone.

IF We Confess?

     But doesn't I John say, "IF we confess our sin......." Yes, it does:

If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness,

we lie, and do not the Truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in

the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of

Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we

have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we

confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and

to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9)

     This passage has been made to mean that IF we confess, God

will forgive -- which leads to the conclusion that if we DON'T confess,

God won't forgive. So must we, as saved people, continually

confess in order to keep God's forgiveness "up to date?"

     NO. It can't mean that. Why? Because if God's grace for me

depends on my confession, then the work of Christ isn't finished.

In fact, it will never BE finished for me -- for I will never, in this

lifetime be able to stop sinning, and stop confessing. I will never

be "up to date."

     Things get worse from there. Think: If we must confess to GET

forgiven, then by definition, if we don't confess we are NOT

forgiven. Right? Absolutely. There is no middle ground here. You

are, right now, either forgiven or unforgiven. You cannot be both.

You have to be one or the other. And since we are talking about

the saved here, we have created something impossible: We have

created an UNFORGIVEN CHRISTIAN. We are saying that if a

saved person must confess in order to GET forgiven, that he is,

before he confesses his sins, unforgiven by God for those

unconfessed sins. But ask -- and this really is the whole issue in

a nutshell -- is there such a thing as an "unforgiven Christian?"

No, there isn't. In fact the reason you ARE a Christian is that

you have seen that God has forgiven you in Christ, and you have,

by faith embraced this Truth.

     The need for confession is simple: Just as our faith embraces

the forgiveness of God, so does our confession state it and agree

with it. Thus, we do not confess to GET forgiven. We confess to

acknowledge God's forgiveness.

     So when we read I John, we can now see the context and

sense in which God is speaking. John is saying, "If we confess

our sins, we are doing it because we know that God is faithful and

just to have forgiven our sin, and to have cleansed us from all


     Thus, the first chapter of John is not talking about us having to

maintain what Christ has done by "walking in the light" and by

"confessing our sin." No. He is saying that when we embraced

Christ, we WERE cleansed from all sin. He is saying that when we

believed we WERE forgiven for all sin. But BECAUSE we were

cleansed from all sin, and forgiven for all sin, we are free to confess

to God that we continue to make mistakes, carry indwelling sin, and

through weakness, do wrong things.

     We must see that Christianity is not a maintenance project. It is

not us trying to finish what Christ has started. It is us resting in the

finality of what Christ has finished. And out of that we honestly

admit that we continue to sin. We honestly confess that God, in

Christ, has forgiven us for all of it.

     Now, all of this Truth about the finality of God's forgiveness tells

us that there is no reason to stand aloof from God with our sin. Why?

Because it is ALREADY forgiven. It is already taken away in

Christ. So if we are standing aloof, there is only one reason, we

are --- what? We are NOT BELIEVING. Again, we see that

unbelief is the sin we need to repent of. It is what keeps us from


Forgiveness is Final and Forever

     Now, having seen that faith is the RESULT of seeing God has

forgiven us, rather than the CAUSE of that forgiveness, we can

take this Truth one step farther and make what might seem like an

even more shocking statement: There is no such thing as an

unforgiven human being -- whether they are a Christian or not.

God forgives everyone whether they believe or not, and whether

they ever become a Christian or not.

     What? How can this be? It can be because Jesus Christ died

for ALL human beings. None are excepted. The Lamb of God

took away the sin of -- who? The sin of WORLD! That is everyone!

And if ALL sin is taken away for all people, then all people are

forgiven -- for that is what His death accomplished.

     Now, before I lose you, keep reading. I'm not saying that

everyone is SAVED whether they believe or not. To the contrary.

That would be what is often called "universal salvation." This is not

Biblical. I am merely saying that the forgiveness of God is

FINISHED for all -- whether we believe it or not. But that is precisely

WHY we must believe! Because it is! That is precisely WHY we

must repent of unbelief. Jesus HAS accomplished all forgiveness.

We must believe and embrace this in order to be saved.

     So what we have is a Truth that is very simple: Jesus died for all

sin. Therefore, all who have sinned are forgiven. But likewise, all

have sinned by not believing. Thus, we must repent of unbelief.

Those who do believe and embrace Christ are saved. Those who

don't are not saved. God's forgiveness of them is something they

reject -- either through intent or neglect.

Paul states all of this in Romans:

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for

the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet

perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God

shows His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ

died for us. (Rom. 5:6-8)

     The conclusion is shocking, but wonderful: The death of Christ

for ALL sin is finished -- whether anyone believes and embraces

it or not. His death is finished as a completely independent act. It

has nothing to do with our faith whatsoever. IT IS FINISHED and

final forever.

     Now, if that were all there was to this Truth, we would obviously

have to say that everyone is saved whether they embrace Christ or

not: Universal salvation. And that would NOT be the Truth. People

are NOT saved whether they believe it or not. They are not saved

because even though Christ died for them, they don't believe! They

are unbelievers! As a result, they have no life in Christ through the


     This Truth is clearly shown is the scripture we quoted earlier

from Romans:

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the

death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved

by his life. (Rom. 5:10)

     Here we see that everything which separated man from God,

namely sin in us, was taken out of the way by the death of Christ.

Our faith or unbelief has no effect on this. It is FINISHED. But this

does nothing to impart to us life. Only if we believe are we united

with Christ in His death and resurrection. Only if we believe do we

receive eternal life -- new life -- in Jesus Christ.

     We have to get it through our heads that salvation is new life. It

is not a remake of the old creation. It is not. Salvation is a new birth.

Therefore, forgiveness itself does not give us new life -- for it

applies to the old creation and is the closing out of the OLD life.

Salvation is only in the resurrection unto NEW life -- not merely in

forgiveness of the old. That is why Paul must say that "we are

saved by His life."

     The conclusion is cut and dry. If no one ever believed and

embraced the finished work of Christ, IT IS STILL FINISHED. Jesus

didn't need our faith to finish it! But if no one ever believed and

embraced the finished work of Christ, then no one would be saved.

We must embrace the finished work of Christ to receive salvation

and eternal life through the resurrection.

     Thus, we are now able to see the Truth: Our faith does not

cause God to forgive us. No. He has already forgiven us! Rather,

our faith BELIEVES and EMBRACES God's forgiveness. And it

results in new life in Jesus Christ -- as a new creation.

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