Doctrinal Pet Peeve–Christ’s Righteous Deeds Were not Added to Your Account

Yesterday I stated that “Christ did not keep the law for you.” Yes, His Law-keeping, which showed Him to be the spotless sacrifice, was all done to provide us with salvation, so in a general sense perhaps Jesus kept the law for you, but that’s not what people mean when they say this phrase.

“Christ kept the law for me” is another way of stating “Christ’s righteous deeds were added to my account.”

In other words, according to this statement, I am counted righteous because Christ’s righteous deeds He did while on earth (His law-keeping), was added to my account, thus making me right with God.

The theological term is: Christ’s active righteousness.

This is all part of the Calvinist system of salvation.

The full system goes like this:

“He [Jesus] took our sins and their penalty in our place by dying on the cross for us. This substitution leaves us with a ‘not guilty’ verdict as we face God’s judgment with respect to our sin.

“Yet being ‘not guilty’ is not the same as being righteous. This is where Jesus’ obedient life comes in. As our sin is debited to his account, Christ’s active righteousness is credited to our account.”

That quote is from a Calvinist professor. I have a number of problems with that statement, but I’ll stick to the active righteousness part.

According to this statement, which is the Calvinist understanding of atonement, we are justified by works of the law, it’s just that Christ did the works of the law for you.

One wonders why He had to die and rise again. One also wonders why Paul said we are justified by faith in Christ’s blood.

“One act of righteousness leads to justification and life” Paul said in Romans 5:18. It wasn’t a life of righteous acts, it was one righteous act. What was the one righteous act Jesus did that justifies? Paul tells us several verses earlier, “we have now been justified by his blood.” His death was the one righteous deed that leads to justification and life.

The Calvinist predicament is that since Christ took all your sin away and replaced it with His good deeds, He obviously couldn’t have done this for everyone, because not all are saved. Which leads to Limited Atonement–that Christ only came for the elect.

This is contradicted by Scripture in several places. Here’s one, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” World doesn’t mean “elect.” If Limited Atonement is true, the New Testament is a liar, whosoever will actually can’t, and the Gospel is not for anyone who believes.

What Christ did on the cross was huge. It’s what we put our hope in. I have heard many people question why there’s so little talk about the life of Christ in the sharing of the Gospel.

Well, because according to 1 Corinthians 15, the Gospel is about Christ dying for our sins, being buried and rising again. We are justified by faith in His blood, not by His law-keeping.

If you are not a Calvinist, stop saying “Jesus kept the law for me,” or “Christ’s righteous deeds are added to my account.” Because, ultimately, you aren’t defending the Gospel; you are defending Reformed Theology, Calvinism, and Limited Atonement.

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