I think the truth of the matter is not too deep nor too difficult to discover. Self-righteousness is an effective bar to God’s favor because it throws the sinner back upon his own merits and shuts him out from the imputed righteousness of Christ. And to be a sinner confessed and consciously lost is necessary to the act of receiving salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. This we joyously admit and constantly assert, but here is the truth that has been overlooked in our day: A sinner cannot enter the kingdom of God. The Bible passages that declare this are too many and too familiar to need repeating here, but the skeptical might look at Galatians 5:19–21 and Revelation 21:8. How then can any man be saved? The penitent sinner meets Christ and after that saving encounter he is a sinner no more. The power of the gospel changes him, shifts the basis of his life from self to Christ, faces him about in a new direction and makes him a new creation. The moral state of the penitent when he comes to Christ does not affect the result, for the work of Christ sweeps away both his good and his evil and turns him into another man. The returning sinner is not saved by some judicial transaction apart from a corresponding moral change. Salvation must include a judicial change of status, but what is overlooked by most teachers is that it also includes an actual change in the life of the individual. And by this we mean more than a surface change, we mean a transformation as deep as the roots of his human life. If it does not go that deep it does not go deep enough.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2
Salvation must include a judicial change of status, but what is overlooked by most teachers is that it also includes an actual change in the life of the individual.
Change us, Kind Father, through and through. We need a transformation as deep as the roots of our lives.