Sunday, April 16, 2017

Sinners Justified By Faith Receive the Righteousness of Christ Imputed by God to the Elect

Justified sinners are those called by God's grace who, through faith in Christ alone, receive God's imputation to them of the satisfaction of Jesus's atoning death and righteous obedience, which for Christ's sake are accounted - credited - reckoned to them as righteousness for their unqualified pardon and acceptance before God as if really performed by them; not a righteousness infused or worked inherently into them, but imputed to them.

Heidelberg Catechism 60  Although my conscience accuses me that I have grievously sinned against all God's commandments, have never kept any of them, and am still inclined to all evil, yet God, without any merit of my own, out of mere grace, imputes to me the perfect satisfaction, righteousness, and holiness of Christ. He grants these to me as if I had never had nor committed any sin, and as if I myself had accomplished all the obedience which Christ has rendered for me, if only I accept this gift with a believing heart. 
Belgic Confession 22 Jesus Christ, imputing to us all his merits and so many holy works which he has done for us, and in our stead, is our Righteousness.
Westminster Confession of Faith 11.1 Those whom God effectually calls, He also freely justifies; not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting their persons as righteous; not for any thing wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ's sake alone; nor by imputing faith itself, the act of believing, or any other evangelical obedience to them, as their righteousness; but by imputing the obedience and satisfaction of Christ unto them. 
Westminster Larger Catechism 71 Although Christ, by his obedience and death, did make a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God's justice in the behalf of them that are justified; yet inasmuch as God accepts the satisfaction from a surety, which he might have demanded of them, and did provide this surety, his own only Son, imputing his righteousness to them, and requiring nothing of them for their justification but faith, which also is his gift, their justification is to them of free grace. 
Westminster Shorter Catechism 33 Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardons all our sins, and accepts us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone. 
Article XI Of the Justification of Man We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings; Wherefore, that we are justified by Faith only is a most wholesome Doctrine, and very full of comfort, as more largely is expressed in the Homily of Justification.


  1. The majority now teaches that---The imputation of righteousness does not come to the elect apart from Christ indwelling us and Christ does not come in us apart from the Spirit and faith.

    But I say---Christ does not come to the elect apart from the imputation of righteousness. The Holy Spirit is given by Christ.

    We should not assume that "union with Christ" means Christ "indwelling us"

    Christ being in us does not have priority over us being in Christ.

    Christ indwelling is Christ's presence in us, but without our being in Christ by imputation, we die.

    Romnas 8: 10 Now if Christ is IN you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through His Spirit who lives IN you.
    Romans 5: 11 We have now received this reconciliation through Him

    Though there is a "receiving by faith" (John 1), the receiving of Romans 5:11 and 17 is a "receiving by imputation".

    Romans 5: 17 Since by the one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who RECEIVE the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

    1. Good points, Mark. I think you're touching on the main question to be debated in that those who equate "union with Christ" to be essentially, if not solely, a mystical union or the indwelling of Christ in the believer are led to an understanding at odds with Scripture.