Under the law, a man who broke even one commandment was a sinner.
They could only become righteous by perfectly keeping the law.
James 2:10 “10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”
Romans 10 “5 Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them”
Therefore nobody was righteous under the law.
Romas 3 “20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
The law was canceled on the cross and it ended in the year 70AD when Israel was judged.
Today the law does not exist.
The Law began with Israel on Mt.Sinai and ENDED in 70AD.
We are in the new covenant.
A person becomes righteous by FAITH in Christ alone and not by works.
Romans 3 “21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in[h] Jesus Christ to all who believe.”
The unbeliever is a sinner irrespective of good works.
The criteria in the old covenant was works – if a person obeyed all the commandments, then he was righteous. If he broke even one, he was a sinner.
The criteria in the new covenant is faith alone – if a person believes in Christ, then he is righteous. If a person does not believe, then he is a sinner.
A believer is NOT a sinner because he is righteous by faith irrespective of works.
The believer is a NEW CREATION being the Righteousness of God in Christ!
2nd Corinthians 5
“17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.”
The Believer is Righteous, Holy and Perfect in Christ.
Not by our works but by the WORK of Christ – His death and resurrection alone made us righteous by faith in Him.
The believer can never lose salvation as long as they believe in Christ.