Now, the whole deal of salvation is about substitution. Christ took upon Himself the penalty of our sin, and we are allowed to wear the righteousness of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:21
"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him."
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."
We are christians. So, in the middle of this whole confusing substitution thing, what happened to our sins? What happened to our sinful nature?
Well, what happened to our sins is that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for all of our sins with His blood. He paid for all your sins: past, present, and future. Remember, when He died, all your sins were future sins. None of those sins can now be held against you - God already poured out His wrath for those sins on Jesus Christ. There is no wrath or penalty left for us, who are in Christ Jesus.
"For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God."
Christ died for all our sins on the cross, if He had paid for all our sins except one, then we still would not make it to heaven. That is not the case, He took the full penalty for all our sins, and we are clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ Jesus. Now, given that all of our sins were paid for by the precious blood of Christ, we cannot be punished for them again. This is important because unbelief and rebellion are sins.
"But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin."
If anything that is not of faith is a sin, then a person who turns away from God is unbelief is sinning. A christian's sins are all paid for, and therefore that act of unbelief, if it were to occur, would have already been specifically paid for by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some people say that if you, as a christian, turn away from God, then He will condemn you to hell. But if Christ already paid for that sin of unbelief, why would God require further payment for that sin? God could just as easily condemn you to hell for the lies you told, or for the wicked things that you have said. But God does not condemn us, because He has already punished Christ fully for those sins. Our sins, a christians, are paid for.
1 Peter 2:24________________________________________________________
"...Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree."
What else does the Bible say about our sins? It says that our sins have been removed from us. Practically, we still sin. Positionally, those sins are not identified with us, and our guilt is taken away.
“ Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “ Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool."
"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us."
Now think about that for a moment. White as snow. Imagine that. Now think about the east and the west. If you travel north long enough, you will eventually be headed south, but the east and the west never ever meet. That is how far our sins have been removed from us. As christians, we are white as snow, and our sins are infinitely far from us! All our sins are gone. That includes the sin of unbelief and rebellion.
Now we know that all of us who are in Christ are born again. We know that we are a "new creation."
2 Corinthians 5:17
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
But what of the old nature? Practically, we still feel the tug and temptation of the flesh, and we are exhorted in Scripture not to live according to the flesh, but to be slaves of righteousness. Positionally, we are a new creature, and we are not our old self. That is no longer who we really we. In Christ, as new creations, we are each perfect. Our old self, technically, is not the real you anymore, and technically is dead.
"But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me."
"...knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin."
"I have been crucified with Christ; 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 for me."
"Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
Our old nature is no longer us, and is technically dead. If then, a christian turned away from God in unbelief or rebellion, then technically it's not him who is sinning, but the old nature. The old nature was crucified with Christ, is dead, and otherwise doesn't count! Positionally, before God, we are perfect, being clothes in Christ's righteousness. Why would God send a (positionally) perfect christian to hell? He wouldn't.
Looking over the scriptures, we can see that christians cannot be damned to hell for the sin of unbelief or rebellion for these three reasons:
- We are positionally perfect - the part of us that is sinful has, technically, already been killed
- Any and all sins we, in any capacity, are responsible for have been laid on Christ, and He has split His blood receiving the full wages for all our sin
- Our sins have been removed from us, and before God, we are as white as snow
I know, it seems too good to be true. But the fact is, we could be damned to hell for any sin we've ever committed. However, God is so amazingly loving and gracious that He was willing to hurt and suffer for us, for our sins, so that none of our sins would be held against us. It really seems amazingly unreal when you start to think about how truly incredible it is!! No wonder people reject the gospel every day because it seems too good to be true...