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.

    2. I would trace the problem to a reluctance (on both sides of the union debate) to saying much about election and/ or about election having already decided for whom Christ died.

      Hebrews 9:12 Christ entered once into the holy place, HAVING OBTAINED PERMANENT REDEMPTION for US

      But how can you believe if you don't know if God will give you believing?

      how can you take a breath without knowing if God will give you another breath

      why would you not want to breathe?

      why would you insist on knowing that Jesus died for you before you would believe?

      would you like it better if Jesus died for everybody even though not everybody will be saved from God's wrath?

      would you like it better if at least your believing was not a gift God with the death of Jesus?

      would you like it better if it wasn't the death of Jesus that made the difference but instead your believing?

      would you like it better if God loved those who will perish under God's wrath just as much as God loved those who God will save?

      would God be more righteous to you if Christ's death was not enough to turn sinners into those who believe what God says about Christ's death?

      would God be more righteous to you if God did not care what you believe about believing making the difference?

      Does Christ's righteousness depend on what you do with that righteousness?

      Romans 8: If God is for us, who is against us?
      32 God did not even hold back His own Son
      but handed Him over for US all;
      how will God not also ( along with His Son) GIVE us everything else?
      33 Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect?
      God is the One who justifies.
      34 Who is the one who condemns?
      Christ Jesus is the One who died,
      but even more, has been raised;
      Christ Jesus also is at the right hand of God
      and intercedes for us.

      all for whom Christ died will in time believe the gospel
      the gospel is not that Christ died for all sins and all sinners
      you can't know if Christ died for you until after you believe the gospel

      but how can you believe if you don't know if Christ died for you?
      the gospel is not that Christ died for you
      Christ died for the elect to give them the gift to believe

      those who believe are those for whom Christ died
      we have no Bible to say that Christ died for anybody who never believes the gospel

  2. Norman Shepherd---"The covenant should not be viewed from the perspective of election, but election from the perspective of the covenant. In evangelism, we do not need to talk about election and should not talk about election."

    Calvin: There are those are malignant towards God and who would rob God of His glory who reject and will not endure the doctrine of eternal election, which being buried out of sight… Let those roar at us who will. We will ever brighten forth, with all our power of language, the doctrine which we hold concerning the free election of God, seeing that it is only by it that the faithful can understand how great that goodness of God is which effectually called them to salvation.

    Calvin--But you will say, In a matter so difficult and deep as this, nothing is better than to think moderately. Who denies it? But we must, at the same time, examine what kind and degree of moderation it is, lest we should be drawn into the principle of the Papists, who, to keep their disciples obedient to them, make them like mute and brute beasts.

    Calvin--Shall it be called Christian simplicity to consider as hurtful the knowledge of those things which God sets before us? But (say our opponents), this teaching of election is one of which we may remain ignorant without loss or harm. As if our heavenly Teacher were not the best judge of what it is expedient for us to know, and to what extent we ought to know it! Wherefore, that we may not struggle amid the waves, nor be borne about in the air, unfixed and uncertain, nor, by getting our foot too deep, be drowned below. Let us so give ourselves to God, to be taught by Him, that, contented with His Word alone, we y never desire to know more than we find therein.

    Now, if we are not really ashamed of the Gospel, we must of necessity acknowledge what is therein openly declared: that God by His eternal goodwill (for which there was no other cause than His own purpose), appointed those whom He pleased unto salvation, rejecting all the rest; and that those whom He blessed with this free adoption to be His sons He illumines by His Holy Spirit, in order to receive the life given in Christ; while others, continuing of their own will in unbelief, are left destitute of the light of faith, in total darkness.