OK, seriously, last one! I’ve found several errors in this author’s works dealing with imputed righteousness. Here’s my last one dealing with the same quote from yesterday’s post:
“Justification is more than forgiveness, since forgiveness is the cancellation of sin while justification is the imputing of righteousness, Forgiveness is negative (the removal of condemnation), while justification is positive (the bestowing of the merit and standing of Christ).”
“Justification is more than forgiveness. . . justification is the imputing of righteousness.” Here I’d like to part ways with the author.
I will agree that justification equals the imputation of righteousness. I will disagree that the imputation of righteousness is anything more than the forgiveness of sins! Therefore, justification is not adding something more, but removing sin. Period.
Romans 4:5-8 seems to equate the following: justification (4:5), forgiveness of iniquities (4:7); covering of sin (4:7), and not imputing sin (4:8).
Theologians, apparently sometime around the Reformation, began dealing with imputed righteousness according to accounting terms. However, the word “impute” does not imply a transfer of goods, but rather to think, reckon, esteem something to be so.
Imputing righteousness does not mean that righteous acts of another are added to my account. It means that even though I am not righteous, by faith, God reckons me righteous, thinks of me as righteous, counts me righteous.
What does it mean to be righteous? Righteous means “to be right!” No error, no sin, no wrong, all right. To be imputed, counted, reckoned righteous means to not have your sins imputed to you!
That’s what David said and Paul quotes him to explain it to us. How can you be more righteous than having no sin?
Consider Adam and Eve, they were innocent, always in the right, righteous in the Garden of Eden. God said not to eat from the One Tree. How could they be more righteous in this setting? Cut the tree down? Eat a ton of fruit from the tree next to it?
NO! They were righteous in everything they did, until they sinned and ate from The Tree. In order to be righteous again, they needed God to not impute their sin to them.
Same is true for us. We are not content with not having sin, we think we need huge amounts of righteous deeds, even if they are Christ’s, to be accepted. Nope, you just need to be without sin.
“Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” “And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.”
To not have sin reckoned or imputed to you is the exact same thing as having righteousness imputed to you. It is enough to be innocent, because innocent is perfect and right.