Justification (Imputed Righteousness) Pt. 2

Yesterday I posted a video of a young R.C. Sproul talking about the imputed righteousness of Jesus. You can check the video here “Justification (Imputed Righteousness)“.

I really like how Sproul explains Jesus’ work on the cross. He first discussed that Jesus took our sin on himself. This is one transaction of Jesus’ propitiatory sacrifice. Our sin became Christ’s sin. This puts us in a place of non-guilt. However, there is a problem. It isn’t the guilt-free people who get into heaven it is the righteous people who get into heaven. In Matthew 13:34 Jesus says:

Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” -ESV

In Matthew 25:46 Jesus says:

And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” -ESV

Jesus taking our sin from us and placing it on himself is essential in justification, but it is not enough. We must be righteous not just sinless. This work is referred to as imputed righteousness. Jesus takes our sin on himself and places his righteousness on us.  We see the imputation of Christ’s righteousness in many places in Scripture. Lets look at 2 Corinthians 5:21:

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For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. -ESV

Here we see the two transactions of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus became sin. He didn’t “know” sin. This means that he never participated in or gave into sin. This sinlessness makes Jesus’ sacrifice perfect. Because of Jesus’ standing as holy and righteous he was an acceptable sacrifice for our sin. That is transaction number one. The second transaction is Jesus giving us his righteousness.

As Jesus said in Matthew 25 the righteous that enter into eternal life. The second transaction of Jesus’ sacrifice accomplished the need to be righteous. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 5, “so that we might become the righteousness of God“. This righteousness isn’t ours. Nothing good can come from us. Good can only come from God. This is the amazingness of Christ’s work. Not only does it take our sins from us but it makes us righteous. It accomplishes what we could never accomplish. It is perfect, holy, and final. I love how Tullian Tchividjian speaks to this when he writes:

It is true! No strings attached. No but’s. No conditions. No need for balance. If you are a Christian, you are right now under the completely sufficient imputed righteousness of Christ. Your pardon is full and final. In Christ, you’re forgiven. You’re clean. It is finished. “Wrecked by Grace”

May we all live lives that reflect this essential truth of justification.


About Travis Berry

I am a blatantly honest person who loves to think, read, discuss, and write about God and theology. I have a bachelor's degree in Youth Ministry from Crown College. I work at a church in Houston, TX as a Youth Director and love every minute of it! I am married to a wonderful woman named Becky and we have one amazing child! I have a love for God's Word, and a fervor to live it out in the fullest, and I pray this blog reflects that. Thanks for checking out AnotherChristianBlog!.

Posted on January 4, 2012, in Christianity, Theology and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. FYI In the Catholic Church justification is granted by God from baptism firstly, (Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1992 “Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith.”) instead of plainly by faith, and from the Sacrament of Reconciliation after if a mortal sin is committed.(Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1446 “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as “the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.” ” A mortal sin makes justification lost even if faith is still present. Before baptism faith is required of adults. The baptism of babies requires the parents’ promise to pass on the faith to the child. Baptism is called the sacrament of faith.

    • JT,

      Thanks for the comment. I do not know if you are Roman Catholic or not, but the reason Rome does not have the Gospel is because it rejects Christ’s perfect work on the cross. If I am truly justified from my sin then I do not need to be in fear of going to purgatory to pay for those sins. Christ’s work paid for that sin. Christ’s work is perfect and thus, makes those who believe in him perfect. Hebrews 10:11-14 says:

      11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

      Rome rejects verse 14 by it’s insistence on people constantly going to the representation of Christ’s work, Eucharist, and by doing penance. Without a perfect sacrifice there is no justification. Without justification there is no salvation. Without salvation there is no peace. I pray you find peace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because it cannot be found anywhere else.


  1. Pingback: Echoes from the Past | Erskine | Emerald's Notebook

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