The Imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ

  By David J. Stewart | August 2013

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works (Romans 4:6) ... Philippians 3:9, “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.”

       What in the world does that big word mean . . . IMPUTETH? The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Jesus places His righteousness upon our record when we trust upon Him for salvation. Romans chapter four speaks concerning Abraham, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). 

What a beautiful truth! Abraham was not saved by good works; but rather, he believed God and was saved by Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s perfection was imputed (placed) on Abraham’s record in Heaven. God the Father viewed Abraham thereafter as having the righteousness of Christ. What a Savior!

Abraham believed God concerning the coming Messiah which was to save His people from their sins . . . “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Why was Abraham able to simply believe God in place of merit or good works? It's simply because Jesus paid the price for mankind's sins. You see, Abraham could NOT please God in his own self-righteousness, nor can we (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:3,4; Titus 3:5). No matter how much good we may do here on earth, our sins are still recorded in Heaven. Our sins must be dealt with.

This is why Jesus came to earth to paid the price for our sins with His own precious blood . . . “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” All mankind is corrupt and destitute of God. Even in our sincerest efforts, humanity is tarnished with the curse of sin and rebellion . We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are saved by Jesus' righteousness through faith.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

We read in Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not IMPUTE sin.” Not only was Christ’s righteousness imputed (counted) to Abraham’s record, but Abraham’s sinful record was imputed to Christ. Literally, Jesus became as sin for us and died a sinner's death . . . “For HE HATH MADE HIM TO BE SIN FOR US, WHO KNEW NO SIN; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Amen!

We read concerning Abraham . . .

“And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:22-24). 

This is a beautiful passage of Scripture, teaching that God is willing to IMPUTE Christ's righteousness to us as well, just as He did to Abraham, if we'll simply believe on the Lord... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”

These Scriptures were written for us, that we might also have Christ’s righteousness imputed to our record, and our sins imputed to Christ’s record. He who knew no sin, became as sin, that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21). What a wonderful truth! To think that Jesus would actually bear our sins upon Himself and sacrifice His precious blood for our sins—we are not worthy. Thankfully, God looked beyond our faults through His love and saw our need . . . “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

I cannot express in Words how much I thank the Lord for what He has done for a sinful worm like me. We're all wicked sinners in God's eyes. Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Savior? Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), which anyone may have simply by acknowledging their guilt of sin and believing on the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness . . . “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved, so that God the Father may view us as having the righteousness of Christ which is imputed unto us at salvation . . . 

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works (Romans 4:6).

“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was IMPUTED unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God ” (James 2:23). Would you like to be the friend of God? It all begins when you receive Jesus as your Savior. Jesus earnestly wants to impute your sin to His record and impute His righteousness to your record. All you must do to be saved is admit your guilty condition before God for violating His holy Law (Romans 3:19), and then believe that Jesus died, was buried and rose again for your sins (the gospel, 1st Corinthians 15:1-4). Believe the gospel! Trust upon the Son of God to wash away your sins with His shed blood that was shed at Calvary. 

Here is a very precious quote from Pastor Jack Hyles (1926-2001) from a sermon he preached in 1987...

“You're not unsaved because you're bad. You're not unsaved because you're mean. You're not unsaved because you're a drunkard. You're not unsaved because you're an adulterer. You're not unsaved because you're a liar. You're unsaved for one reason—YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED YOUR SELF UNTO THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD! God offers to give you His righteousness, to put on your record in Heaven, to cover your sins—not to stop your sins, you'll still be imperfect after you get saved—but judicially God offers to put His record in Heaven on your record, and blot out your sins as far as God's sight of your sins is concerned. And that is the imputation of God's righteousness!!!”

SOURCE: Dr. Jack Hyles - A quote from the classic MP3 sermon, “The Mystery Of Godliness.”

If you come as a sinner and trust upon the Savior Who died, was buried and bodily arose again, then you are saved my friend. We go to Heaven because we trust what Christ did for us; and not because of what we can do for Him. Our best righteousness is filth to God (Isaiah 64:6). We need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, that is, Christ's imputed righteousness (Matthew 6:33; 2nd Corinthians 5:21). Oh how foolish is the world today! Billions of unsaved religious people are headed for the Lake of Fire!

A demon's favorite activity is to make an unsaved person feel religious. Religion is the worst thing that ever happened to this world, because Satan uses it to blind men (2nd Corinthians 4:4). Religion says that everything is ok while a person is headed for Hell forever. My friend, everything is wrong if you've never been born-again. You need He Who is the beginning, Jesus, born in you (Revelation 1:8). That's what it means to be “born again”... being born anew by the Holy Spirit of God, by the seed of the Word of God (1st Peter 1:23).

No amount of personal effort can undo our sins. Isaiah 64:6 proclaims that even our BEST self-righteousness is vile filth to God. We are sinful by nature, by behavior, by motive and even by virtue. James 2:10 teaches that to commit even one sin is to become guilty of all in God's sight, because even one sin makes us unfit for the kingdom of God. That's why God sent His only begotten Son into the world to pay for our sins by His death, burial and resurrection. If you receive what Christ did as payment for your sins, then you are saved!!!

Christ's righteousness has been imputed (placed) upon your record, and your sins have been placed upon Christ at Calvary. This is Biblical salvation! Jesus paid a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt of sin that we could not pay. The Lamb of God was crucified for you and me, and His blood shed for our sins. It's all paid in full. Amen! Eternal life is a free gift based upon the PROMISES of God (Titus 1:2); not a reward dependent upon the performance of man (Ephesians 2:8-9). You simply receive the gift of eternal life by faith in THE GOSPEL (death, burial and resurrection) of Jesus Christ to have it (Galatians 3:26); you don't hope to merit eternal life by working for it.

There's only two religions in the world: DO and DONE. Most religions teach that to get to Heaven you must DO this and DO that; but the Gospel of Jesus Christ simply says that it's all DONE, Jesus has paid for our sins by His precious blood. 1st Peter 1:18-19, “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

What precious assurance knowing that God has placed Christ's righteousness upon us, and has laid our sins upon His Son (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Romans 8:32, “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” 1st John 3:5, “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” What an awesome God!

Imputation At Salvation
(by Dr. Jack Hyles, from the awesome book, Salvation Is More Than Being Saved)

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