The True Source and Nature of Righteousness
Imputation is clearly taught in scripture: Man is neither guiltless nor righteous in himself; but by his faith in the guiltless, righteous Son of God, who suffered in his place and paid the punishment for the guilt of his sins, the Father God treats him, counts him, as guiltless and righteous. Psalm 106v30-31;Romans 4; Leviticus 7v18; 17v4. Imputation does not imply a transfer of moral qualities but of legal guilt and punishment, or legal righteousness. This is the Gospel, the Good News!!
Imputation is only half the story. The Holy Spirit was sent so that Jesus could live His perfect righteous life through the crucified believer: Matthew 5v48;16v24;Mark 8v34;Galatians 2v20.
Salvation is a process whereby the disciple is perfected throughout her/his lifetime – emptied of self and knowing/doing nothing apart from what the Father shows. This alone equates with doing the will of God and is where mere miracle workers fall short: John 5v20,30.
Doing God’s will in life just like Jesus did – as God demands this of us – is very moral conduct (John 5v20 & John 5v30 – these two verses point out Jesus’ example of obedience that we are to follow.) If Jesus emptied himself and yielded totally to the Father through the Holy Spirit, how much more should we. Nothing short of perfection is good enough for God.
God’s standard of perfection that He requires of us is Christ Himself, that is why Christ had to come and take our place on the cross, and why we have to make so much of the blood of Jesus to cover us throughout our lives and in eternity. Perfection for the disciple is a perfection of consecration – we are required to live perfectly according to the light we have – confessing sin and the cleansing blood if we fall short. 1John1v5-9.
The imputation of Christs righteousness to someone who is born again is the only way God can justly treat us as if we had never sinned else His absolute holiness (=absolute wrath against sin) would require Him to send us to Hell. The idea that someone born again with a new nature would not follow God’s standards of moral conduct is a nonsense.
No one is saved who does not first hear about and believe on the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, in other words if she/he does not receive Christs righteousness by faith she/he is not saved full stop. To build righteousness or morality on any other foundation is religious, legalistic and vain.