> Could you send me your scriptural references that support the need to
> believe in the
> "imputed righteousness of Christ" being a part of the gospel?
> And please include what exactly you mean by that. Being raised a
> Baptist, I
> recognize the phrases, but if called upon to define it to an unbeliever,
> what would I say? What is imputed? What is righteousness? These are
> fundamental to our being able to go futher in this discussion.
They certainly are. Imputation and righteousness are vital elements of the true gospel. Now this is something that is very appropriate for discussion on the True Gospel List. And we also need to answer the question: Is anyone who is ignorant of or does not believe in the imputed righteousness of Christ a Christian?
Righteousness is perfect obedience to God's law.
Imputation is to reckon to the account of another.
Double imputation is part of the gospel:
1. The sins of God's elect were imputed to Christ, so Christ became guilty in his person for the sins of His people and was justly punished for those sins, even though he was sinless in his character and conduct.
"For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin ..." (2 Cor. 5:21a)
"But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities ... and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isa. 53:4-6)
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree ..." (1 Pet. 2:24)
2. The righteousness of Christ is imputed to His people, so His people become righteous in the person of their substitute and are accepted before God, even though they are still sinful in their character and conduct.
"... that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (2 Cor. 5:21b)
"... so by the righteousness of one shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19b)
If one does not believe in salvation by imputed righteousness, then he obviously believes in salvation by a righteousness of his own. This is why, in Romans 10:3, God states that those who are ignorant of God's righteousness are going about to establish their own. Now what is this "righteousness of God" that is so important that those who are ignorant of it are lost? Well, we know that the gospel reveals this righteousness (Romans 1:17). And one of the key passages on this subject is Romans 3:20-26:
"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin. But now the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, [I say,] at this time HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."
Wow. Every time I read this, I am immeasurably blessed. If any of you on this List could get ahold of what God is saying here, we'd have a real discussion of the true gospel. The gospel reveals how God is just to justify the ungodly. It reveals God as a "just God and a Saviour" (Isa. 45:21b). Any "gospel" that reveals God to be neither a just God nor a Saviour is from the pit of hell. And this is just what the "gospel" of universal atonement does. In the "universal atonement" heresy, God is not just, because he punishes those in hell for whom Christ was already punished, and God is not a Saviour, because Christ's blood has no efficacy in and of itself to save. This is such horrible blasphemy that we should shudder at the thought of it.
The only true God is one who does not show love, mercy, and grace at the expense of His justice. The righteous demands of His Law MUST be satisfied for all those to whom He shows love, mercy, and grace. And the only true Christ established a righteousness that DEMANDS the salvation of all whom He represented. Anything less is no God and no Jesus -- it is a mockery of the true God, and God will not have it.
May God bless this to the hearts of His people.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Marc D. Carpenter
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