LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Covenant Theology on Imputed Righteousness

The entire article can be found here http://www.ids.org/pdf/classic/imputation.pdf
A Theological Disclaimer

Listen up and listen good! We are NOT rejecting the imputation of the work of Jesus Christ on the cross (his passive obedience) to the believer. I hope you caught the emphasis there. But for the sake of clarity, we will say it again but we will say it positively this time—we affirm the imputation of the sin-bearing work of Jesus Christ on the cross to the believer. The believer acquires the results of the sin-bearing work of Christ by faith alone in Christ alone. This faith is the result of God’s irresistible grace alone. We are only rejecting the imputation of the active obedience of Christ, and we reject it because we cannot find it in Scripture. We wholeheartedly embrace the imputation of the sin-bearing work of Christ as absolutely essential and foundational for our acceptance with the Father—essential to being declared righteous in his sight. The imputation of Christ’s cross work is the sine qua non of the Christian faith.

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Blogger jazzycat said...

It seems to me that since Jesus perfectly fulfilled the law and all righteousness without sin, he became the lamb without blemish that was necessary to be an acceptable substitute for the redeemed. By being fully man and sinless, He not only paid the penalty for the sins of the elect, but He provided the righteousness necessary for the elect to stand before God dressed in an alien righteousness. Our sin is imputed to him through faith and his righteousness is imputed to us by faith. The gospel reveals the righteousness of God through faith to all who believe. The following passages seem to point to Christ’s active obedience in fulfilling all righteousness.

Isaiah 53:11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

At Jesus baptism he gave John the Baptist the following reason for doing it:
Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.

Romans 5:18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.

May 17, 2008 11:24 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...


I see His obeying the Father in going to the cross as the one act of righteousness.

I don't see any solid ground in scripture to suggest the idea that Christ's active obedience had anything to do with our standing before God other than that He was to be sinless and spotless as THE sacrifice for sin.


May 18, 2008 11:21 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

The closing thoughts from the link...

"If you deny the imputation of the active obedience of Christ, aren’t you watering down the doctrine of justification?
That is a good question. We think that we are actually lifting the priceless sacrificial death of Christ to its rightful position within the incredibly important doctrine of justification. What does the death of Christ give the believer? Some say that the sacrificial death of the sinless Son of God procures for believers no better standing than Adam had before the fall. They say that the sacrificial death of Christ is insufficient for eternal life. But Scripture says that when believers receive the results of the death of Christ they have been made perfect forever (Hebrews 10:14). This language that the Holy Spirit uses gives us the clear picture that as the result of the death of Christ the believer is viewed as though he has obeyed God’s law perfectly, when in reality he has simply received the full forgiveness of his sins. God is telling us that in order for someone to be accepted by God, that person must have no black marks on his record. One can get a clean record in two ways: 1) obey God’s law perfectly or 2) have all of your transgressions of God’s law perfectly paid for through Christ’s sacrificial death. A clean record or being perfectly forgiven is equivalent to perfect obedience—it makes the believer righteous in God’s sight. That is exactly what the death of Christ gives to the believer according to Hebrews 10:14. If you deny the imputation of the active obedience of Christ while you affirm the imputation of what the Scripture says about the amazing sufficiency of the Sacrificial death of Christ you lift the cross high and the theological significance and meaning of justification remains unchanged."

May 18, 2008 12:58 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

Let me try again......
The following article is really good on giving a defense of the "active obedience" of Christ:
Click Here

I thought this was a really good explanation. It is fairly long, but a quick skim of the first part should give you a good idea of this view.

May 18, 2008 1:47 PM

Blogger mark pierson said...


I gotta work today, 3-11. Hope to reply tomorrow.


May 18, 2008 1:54 PM

Blogger donsands said...

"And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith". Phil. 3:9

The faith of Christ IS the righteousness of Christ, is it not?

May 18, 2008 5:07 PM

Blogger jazzycat said...

I am not sure what you mean by the faith of Christ. What version do you quote from? The ESV and NIV says faith in Christ and not faith of Christ.

I think this verse indicates that the elect receive Christ's righteousness through the same faith that provides atonement for sin.

Phil 3:9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—

IOW, we have a righteousness from God that comes through faith. It is not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ that covers us. He paid our sin debt by imputation of our sin to Him and provides us righteousness that is imputed to us from Him. We stand before God dressed in His righteousness. See Heb. 11:7.

May 18, 2008 9:32 PM

Blogger donsands said...

It's the KJV. It may not be the best translation.
However, I agree with you Wayne. Very well said.

May 18, 2008 10:01 PM

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I agree that there is no imputation of Christ's active obediance. I think the idea of Christ keeping the law in our place is a very muddled idea.

I think it is unfortunate that many Reformed theologians who rightly oppose the so-called Ne Perspective on Paul focus on imputation as their rallying point.

Every Blessing in Christ


May 19, 2008 4:35 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

The imputation is of righteousness, not active obedience. I believe Romans 5:17 is speaking of this very righteousness..........

Romans 5:17 For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

As the 2nd Adam, Jesus succeeded where Adam failed. He fulfilled all righteousness by being born of woman and under law. Therefore, he was fully man to qualify as our substitute and fulfilled the law on our behalf, which provides a righteousness that is by faith (Rom 1:17 & 3:21-22). Jesus said that he did not come to abolish the law, but he came to fulfill it.

May 19, 2008 8:42 AM

Blogger mark pierson said...

If you look at the very earliest posting on this blog you will see a 4 part series in the which you will be able to detect that I then subscribed to the idea that Christ's active obedience was what was imputed to us. Then I stumbled across the article in this post about two years ago. It gave me plenty of pause. Their argument from Hebrews 10 is quite compelling. There is plenty of scriptural support for His crosswork being what supplies our righteousness but NO evidence that His active obedience is what is put to our account. I believe that idea is more philosophy driven than scriptural. I do not reject all of the idea of Federal Theology though. I believe Adam's sin was imputed to the yet unborn human race and that the unredeemed are under the Adamic headship; much like those that are Christ's are under His headship.

May 20, 2008 8:26 AM

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

If we are dead to the law (Romans 7:4) it seems odd that the law should be the basis of our right standing with God.

May 20, 2008 10:45 AM

Blogger jazzycat said...

We can certainly agree that Christ not only paid our sin debt, but also provides us his righteousness.

Romans 5 through 7 are certainly interesting chapters and I must say that I have some differences with many reformers on some points.

May 20, 2008 4:17 PM


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