Are We Saved By The Unbrella of Jesus Christ?

Some teach that we are saved by “faith only” and that once we are “saved” our life is covered by the umbrella of Jesus Christ. At the point of salvation, God doesn’t see our life with all of its imperfections, He sees only the “righteousness” or life of Christ. Therefore, no sin can be charged against God’s elect. This umbrella is the present life of Christ. They claim that such is taught in Rom. 5:10, 17; I Cor. 1:30-31, Gal. 3:27 and other places. I do not believe that one is saved by “faith only” but that is another subject for another time.

No doubt we are saved by the life of Christ, that is, the perfect life of Christ that was given as an atonement for sin (see Rom. 3:24-26). Jesus is the lamb of God (the perfect sacrifice) that takes away sin. Therefore, He is our righteousness by means of His blood atonement (read all of Rom. 5:10). It was through His obedience (see Rom. 5:19) that all men can be saved, and this obedience resulted in death on the cross: Phil. 2:8-9: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name . . ” This harmonizes with what is written in the book of Hebrews 5:7-9: “In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, he learned obedience from the things which He suffered, and having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation . .” In order to emphasize the work of Jesus in dying for our sins, He is referred to 27 times in the book of Revelation as “the lamb.” I do not intend to belabor this point. I also agree that the present life of Christ as our Lord, mediator, High Priest, etc. also has to do with our salvation, but no where do I read about Christ being our umbrella so that God only sees the life of Christ.

But just assume that we are saved by the umbrella of Jesus Christ, which I do not believe, here are some real difficulties in trying to harmonize this with the Bible:

• We are not saved by the umbrella of Jesus Christ if we continue in the practice of sin: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be!” Rom. 6:1-2

• We are not saved by the umbrella of Christ if we do not walk in the light: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7).

• We are not saved by the umbrella of Jesus Christ if we refuse to keep His commandments: “By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected, By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:3-5).

• We are not saved by the umbrella of Jesus Christ if we do not love others: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” (1 John 3:14-15).

• We are not saved by the umbrella of Christ if we seek to be justified by law: “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). The context here is clearly circumcision and the law of Moses, but the application is any law system whereby man seeks to justify himself because such is possible only through perfect law-keeping.

Yes, we are saved by the righteousness of Christ by
means of His death, burial, and resurrection. And as
long as we are faithful to Christ by willingly rendering to Him our heart, life, and obedience, He will never depart from us nor forsake us.

But there is no reality in “cheap” grace which offers a false hope and assurance without any sacrifice on our part. I believe that real Christians have “blessed assurance”, but it must be on God’s terms and not ours. Any theology that offers salvation apart from our serving God with the whole heart is contrary to the plain teachings of Jesus Christ.
--- Lindy McDaniel


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