Archive for the ‘Imputed Righteousness’ Category

Imputation is the Heart of the Gospel. (WHI – 2of4)

How important is the doctrine of imputation to your ministry?

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Related program: “A Tale of Two Mediators” and “Current Controversies Over Justification”
July 9, 2006 and September 30, 2007

Simply, to credit or reckon. Through Adam, the guilt of sin is imputed to all men; through Christ, righteousness is imputed to believers (Rom 5:12-21). On the cross, Christ exchanged his righteousness for man’s sinfulness (2 Cor 5:21) by means of imputation. The sins of believers were imputed (credited) to Christ on the cross, and the righteousness that belonged to Jesus Christ was imputed (credited) to believers. Thus, believers possess an “alien” righteousness and can stand before a righteous God.



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This righteousness of the Surety is conveyed unto us by imputation.

[This] is abundantly plain from many places of Scripture, particularly Romans

4:6, 11, 12, 23, 24. Now, this imputation of the Surety’s righteousness runs

principally upon these three things: (1) Upon the eternal transaction between

the Father and the Son, wherein the Son of God was chosen and sustained as

the Surety of an elect world. Then it was that He gave bond to the Father to

pay their debt in the red gold of His blood saying, “Sacrifice and offering thou

didst not desire . . . Lo, I come . . . I delight to do thy will” (Psa 40:6, 8). (2) It

is grounded upon the actual imputation of our sins unto Him: “The L


hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa 53:6). There is a blessed exchange

of places between Christ and His people: He takes on our sin and unrighteousness,

that we may be clothed with the white robe of His righteousness:

“He was made sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness

of God in him” (2Co 5:21). (3) This imputation goes upon the

ground of the mystical union between Christ and the believer. When the poor

soul is determined in a day of power to embrace the Lord Jesus in the arms of

faith, Christ and he in that very moment do coalesce

1 into one body. He

becomes a branch of the noble Vine, a member of that Body whereof Christ is

the glorious Head of eminence,

in fluence, and government. And being thus

united to Christ, the long and white robe of the Mediator’s righteousness is

spread over him, whereby he is not only freed from condemnation, but for

ever sustained as righteous in the sight of God: “But of him are ye in Christ

Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctifi-

cation, and redemption” (1Co 1:30).


From the sermon “The Believer Exalted in Imputed Righteousness” in


The Whole

Works of the Late Ebenezer Erskine


, Vol I, reprinted by Free Presbyterian Publications.


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Imputation, so far from being an exceptional case with regard to the righteousness of Christ, lies at the very bottom of the entire teaching of Scripture.  How did we fall, my brethren? We fell by the imputation of Adam’s sin to us.  Adam was our federal head: he represented us.  And when he sinned, we sinned representatively in him; and what he did was imputed to us.  You say that you never agreed to the imputation.  Nay, but I would not have you say thus, for as by representation we fell, it is by the Representative system that we rise.  The angels fell personally and individually, and they never rise.  But we fell in another, and we have therefore the power given by divine grace to rise in another.  The root of the fall is found in the federal relationship of Adam to his seed; thus we fell by imputation.  Is it any wonder that we should rise by imputation?  Deny this doctrine, and I ask you — How are men pardoned at all? Are they not pardoned because satisfaction has been offered for sin by Christ?  Very well then, but that satisfaction must be imputed to them or else how is God just in giving to them the results of the death of another unless that death of the other be first of all imputed to them?

From C.H. Spurgeon’s sermon preached June 2, 1861 Online Copy

you can order this sermon in the form of a small booklet for free here titled Jesus Christ Our Righteousness

find other great Spurgeon titles here

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As for him who, conscious of unfitness to draw near to God by reason of personal imperfection, is willing to be represented by the Son of God and to substitute a divine claim and merit for a human; let him know that God is willing to receive him with all his imperfection because of the perfection of another, legally transferred to him by the just God and Judge; that God is presenting to him a righteousness not only sufficient to clear him from all guilt and to pay his penalty to the full, but to exalt him to a new rank and dignity such as he could not possibly acquire by the labors or prayers or goodness of ten thousand such lives as his own.
The Everlasting Righteousness by Horatius Bonar

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