The Imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ

  By David J. Stewart

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works (Romans 4:6).

       What in the world does that big word mean . . . IMPUTETH? The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Jesus places His righteousness upon our record when we trust upon Him for salvation. Romans chapter four speaks concerning Abraham, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). What a beautiful truth! Abraham was not saved by good works; but rather, he believed God and was saved by Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s perfection was imputed (placed) on Abraham’s record in Heaven. God the Father viewed Abraham thereafter as having the righteousness of Christ. What a Savior!

Abraham believed God concerning the coming Messiah which was to save His people from their sins . . . “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Why was Abraham able to simply believe God in place of merit or good works? It's simply because Jesus paid the price for mankind's sins. You see, Abraham could NOT please God in his own self-righteousness, nor can we (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 10:3,4; Titus 3:5). No matter how much good we may do here on earth, our sins are still recorded in Heaven. Our sins must be dealt with. This is why Jesus came to earth to pay the price for our sins with His own precious blood . . . “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” All mankind is corrupt and destitute of God. Even in our sincerest efforts, humanity is tarnished with the curse of sin and rebellionWe need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ. We are saved by Jesus' righteousness through faith.

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

We read in Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not IMPUTE sin.” Not only was Christ’s righteousness imputed (counted) to Abraham’s record, but Abraham’s sinful record was imputed to Christ. Literally, Jesus became as sin for us and died a sinner's death . . . “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” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). Amen!

We read concerning Abraham . . .

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:22-24). 

This is a beautiful passage of Scripture, teaching that God is willing to IMPUTE Christ's righteousness to us as well, just as He did to Abraham, if we'll simply believe on the Lord... “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

These Scriptures were written for us, that we might also have Christ’s righteousness imputed to our record, and our sins imputed to Christ’s record. He who knew no sin, became as sin, that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:21). What a wonderful truth! To think that Jesus would actually bear our sins upon Himself and sacrifice His precious blood for our sins—we are not worthy. Thankfully, God looked beyond our faults through His love and saw our need . . . But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

I cannot express in Words how much I thank the Lord for what He has done for a sinful worm like me. Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Savior? Eternal life is a free gift (Romans 5:15; 6:23), which anyone may have simply by acknowledging their guilt of sin and believing on the name of Jesus Christ for forgiveness . . . “To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins” (Acts 10:43). It is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are saved, so that God the Father may view us as having the righteousness of Christ which is imputed unto us at salvation . . . 

Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works (Romans 4:6).

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was IMPUTED unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Would you like to be the friend of God? It all begins when you say yes to Jesus and let Him become your Savior. Jesus earnestly wants to impute your sin to His record and impute His righteousness to your record. All you must do to be saved is admit your guilty condition before God for violating His holy Law (Romans 3:19), and then trust upon the Son of God to wash away your sins with His shed blood. Admit you’re a sinner deserving of Hell. Turn to Christ now in faith and trust Him to forgive your sins and cleanse you.


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