Justified By An Imputed Righteousness
The majority of religious people have no idea that the doctrine of justification by an imputed righteousness represents the foundational truth of Biblical Christianity.
Most people I encounter don’t even know the words “impute” or “imputed” are Scriptural words.
Modern religion has convinced lost religious men and women that God has changed the way He deals with men; therefore we have to change our approach to reach lost sinners. Most religion no longer emphasizes the Doctrines of Grace, but has replaced doctrine with emotionalism and sentimentalism. It seems like doctrine (Scriptural teaching) is a dirty word to this generation.
Sadly, most people would rather sing, or give testimonies, or be entertained, than hear about the glorious Person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. They choose a Church based on what entertainment it provides for their children, or what social advantages it provides them as adults, as opposed to those doctrines which glorify God as a “just God and a Saviour”, exalt Christ as the ONLY Saviour of sinners, and exclude all boasting in human flesh.
To keep it as simple as I can, the sinner’s justification before God (being declared legally righteous, having both the penalty, guilt, and defilement of sin eternally removed), can only be accomplished in one way – “For He (God the Father) hath made Him (Christ the Son) [to be] sin for us (God’s elect), who knew no sin (this refers ONLY to Christ); that we (God’s elect) might be made the righteousness of God in Him (Christ the Son).” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
In what way could Christ be “MADE” sin by the Father?
We know Christ was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens” (Hebrews 7:26).
He never thought an evil thought or performed an evil deed while in the flesh. Even when they hated Him without a cause and nailed Him to the cross, He “loved His neighbor (including His worst enemy) as Himself.”
The ONLY WAY He could be “made sin” and still be our Saviour was through the elect’s sins (ALL OF THEM) being IMPUTED (legally reckoned or charged) to Christ – “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed” (1 Peter 2:24).
Now in the same way that Christ was “made sin”, i.e., by a legal transaction where God charged all the sins of God’s elect to Christ, requiring from Christ as their Sin – bearer the full penalty for their debt (“The wages of sin are death” – Romans 6:23), all God’s elect were at the Cross, “made the righteousness of God in Him.”, i.e., by a legal transaction.
God the Father charged all the merit of Christ’s perfect righteousness as the sinner’s Substitute to the account of ALL GOD’S ELECT – “Even as David also describeth the blessedness (eternal happiness) of the man, unto whom God imputeth (legally reckon) righteousness WITHOUT WORKS” (Romans 4:6).
How important is this truth?
Any sinner who is ignorant of it or who will not submit to it are at present in a state of lostness – Read Romans 10:1-4 prayerfully. God help you to rest in Christ’s righteousness imputed as your ONLY HOPE of justification.
By Richard Warmack