So, as you know on this site we often deal with controversial issues from Scripture. We find that most error in teaching comes about from not knowing the overall topic when quoting a given scripture. Often a scripture states very clearly a truth, but the truth is not fully explained. For example, take the verse following:
Ezekiel 18:24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. (KJV)
This passage should get your immediate attention. Is it true? It is scripture, so it has to be true. So what does it mean to you the believer in Christ? Doesn’t it say that your righteousness that you gained in Christ is suddenly and completely undone by your next sin? No, no it doesn’t say that.
You need to first understand that all your righteousness is as filthy rags. You have no righteousness — never had any, because of sin in your life. Your sin wiped out all of your righteous acts. That is a good rendering of what it says. And your problem along with mine is “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” In the flesh you cannot please Him. You can only do that in the Spirit. And then it’s not your righteousness it’s His.
So without knowledge and wisdom from the Holy Spirit man cannot understand truth when he sees it. The verse is true, what it means is a problem. If your trust is in your righteousness and not in Christ alone and His imputed righteousness to you; then you are without hope. Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness.
So when you see a scripture that seems to contradict all that you know; then apply to it all that God reveals about it in His word. To do that you must rely not on your wisdom but calling upon the Holy Spirit within you to lead; then you must study to gain His wisdom. Jesus’ promise to us is that The Holy Spirit whom He has sent you will teach you. Only in Christ is there life. Abide in Him.