The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
II Corinthians 5:21
+ Imputed Righteousness +
The word “righteousness” implies a correct or right relationship with God. It has to do with the character or quality of being right. Without righteousness there can be no fellowship with God, for it is God’s standard of perfection. In seaman’s language, “to right a ship is to restore it to an upright position from a leaning position.” In the Old Testament the righteous are contrasted with the unrighteous (Genesis 18:25). In the scriptures, we see the failure of man’s righteousness (Isaiah 64:6) and the success of God’s righteousness through the Lord Jesus Christ. Remember, the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God (I Corinthians 6:9).
“Never think of yourself apart from Christ.”
- John Wesley
In considering the subject of righteousness we must take a look at the word “impute.” For every believer has imputed righteousness. The word impute means to ascribe to or reckon. It is an accounting term which means “to credit to one’s account.” It is the Acts of one person adding something to the account of another person whether good or bad. For example, in Philemon 17-18, a man by the name of Philemon who lived in Colossas (Turkey) owned a slave by the name of Onesimus. This slave ran away to Rome and while in Rome the Apostle Paul lead Onesimus to the Lord. Paul then sent him back to his master asking the master to receive him. Paul said in verse 18, “if he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account.” In other words, Paul was asking him to impute Onesimus’ wrong to himself.
Please consider three types of imputations in the Scriptures:
Adams’s Sin Imputed to the Human Race
In Romans 5:12-21, imputation is implied. According to verse 12, sin and death are passed upon all men, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:,” God sees us spiritually dead because of our parents. We inherited our dilemma from Adam. We are charged with Adam’s sin even though we did not participate in his rebellion in the garden of Eden. We are charged with Adam’s sin. It must be realized that physical sins as well as personal sins have their origin in the sin of Adam. A man sins because he is a sinner by nature and not a sinner because he sins. The same is true of a rooster. A rooster crows because he is a rooster, crowing does not make him a rooster. The Bible says in I Corinthians 15:22, that “in Adam all die.” According to Ephesians 2:1-3, we are by nature (birth) the children of wrath. We are born in the image of Adam (sinful flesh) because like begets like (Genesis 5:3). As one man once said, “Adams vote as head of the head of the race is like a representative in congress or the senate who by one vote obligates us all.”
The Human Races Sin Imputed to Christ
According to I Peter 2:24, Jesus Christ bore our sins in his own body, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” In I Peter 3:18, he suffered for sins, the just for the unjust. In other words, our sins were imputed to Christ when he hang on Calvary’s cross. The entire chapter of Isaiah 53, deals with the crucifiction of Christ. In verse 4, he bore our grief, in verse 5, he was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities and in verse 6, the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. These scripture verses simply reveal unto us that our sins were definitely imputed (Put to his account) to the Son of God. Also, in II Corinthians 5:21, Jesus Christ was made to be sin for us. As the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ took our place on Calvary’s cross. In Leviticus 16:20-22, the translation of our sins to Jesus Christ is clearly seen in the laying of hands on the head of the live goat by the high priest. The sins of Israel were transferred to the goat and it was sent into the wilderness to never be seen again. The laying of hands expressed identification with the substitute. The term “scapegoat” is still used today for one who takes the blame for something committed by another.
Christ’s Righteousness Imputed to the Believer
Imputed righteousness is the only remedy for imputed sin. According to II Corinthians 5:21, the righteousness of Christ is put to the account of the believer “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” The Lord Jesus Christ’s perfect obedience and death on the cross is reckoned to our account as through we had accomplished it ourselves. As Adam’s sin was imputed to us, the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to all who believe according to Romans 5:19, “For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” In Romans 3:10, we see that there are none righteous in themselves but through faith we are made righteous (verse 22). According to Romans 10:5, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. The Apostle Paul in Phil. 3:8-9 spoke of the righteousness of God which is through the faith of Christ in contrast to the righteousness which is of the law. The righteousness is revealed in the gospel of Jesus Christ according to Romans 1:16-17. Only through Christ can we have this imputed righteousness. Abraham by faith received God’s imputed righteousness according to Romans 4:1-3, 20-25. He is our example for He is the Father of all who believe. According to Isaiah 32:17-18, the result of righteousness is peace, rest and joy.
In conclusion according to 1 Corinthians 6:9, the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. I beg of you to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior that you may be saved and clothed in the righteousness of God, (Revelation 3:5, 7;9-14, 19:7-8, Matthew 22:12).
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.”
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523