How should we view our righteousness in Christ, imputed or imparted? James says that it was counted to Abraham and thereafter he was called a friend of God: James2. 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”, and he was called a friend of God. We all want to be called a friend of God; not by ourselves or by our friends, but by God.
Here is a good worldly illustration. You join a tribe and you come with an empty sack of safety. You pledge your allegiance to the Chief of the tribe and he gives you a sack full of safety. From now on you are not safe of your own accord; you are only safe by the Chief’s accord. You can go around with this sack of safety and remain safe as long as you stay in the tribe. But should you leave, you leave with the same empty sack you came with and your safety now has to be guaranteed by you. If that sack of safety had been imparted, you could have taken it with you and maintained your own safety of your own accord. But it was not and now as a lone sojourner in the land you are doomed.
This is the image of your righteousness in Christ. The following is a good scriptural description of righteousness in the Bible by J. Cottrell; “God’s own righteousness is imputed or credited to the sinner’s account. If we attempt to stand before God on the judgment day dressed only in our own righteousness—a “filthy garment” (Isa 64:6)—we will be condemned, not justified. That is why God offers to clothe us with “a robe of righteousness” that he himself has prepared (Isa 61:10). This leads Paul to say that on that day he wants to “be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith” (Phil 3:9). The gospel is the power of God for salvation because “in it the righteousness of God is revealed,” to take the place of our own futile human righteousness (Rom 1:16–17). Anyone who rejects God’s righteousness and seeks to establish his own righteousness as a basis for acceptance by God is doomed to be rejected (Rom 10:3).”
“What, then, is imputed to our account as the basis for our justification? Not Christ’s active righteousness—his doing, but his passive righteousness—his dying. Jesus not only satisfied the commandments of the law; he also satisfied the law’s requirements for penalty. He took its punishment in our place through his substitutionary and propitiatory death on the cross. This is the “one act of righteousness” that constitutes the righteousness of God: “Even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men” (Rom 5:18). Thus the righteousness of God revealed in the gospel and imputed to our account is Christ’s satisfaction, on our behalf, of the law’s requirement for penalty. In essence the righteousness of God is the blood of Christ.”
If God’s righteousness were imparted, we would receive it and own it of our own accord thereafter, but since it is imputed in glory, and impossibly imparted, we must remain in Christ. Hallelujah
Published on Monday, August 22, 2011 @ 7:02 AM CDT