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The Righteousness Imputed

James 2:23


I was recently asked, “What is that righteousness that God imputes to his elect?” I know that some make a strict separation between what theologians call “the active obedience” of Christ in his life and his “passive obedience” in death. I really do not like those expressions, and use them here only to represent what men say. Our Lord’s obedience in death was no more passive than that of his life. Our blessed Savior’s death was but the consummation of his obedience as our Surety. He was not passive. He laid down his life for his sheep.

But what is the righteousness of God that is imputed to us? The righteousness imputed to God’s elect, the righteousness of God made ours in Christ (Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16; 2 Corinthians 5:21), obviously is not God’s attribute of righteousness; but that righteousness God requires of, performed for, and gives to his elect, is the righteousness Christ the God-man brought in (Daniel 9:24) by his obedience unto death, both the righteousness of complete obedience to God and of perfect propitiation in the satisfaction of divine justice (Matthew 5:20).







Don Fortner








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