The IMPUTED righteousness of CHRIST – is not Biblical

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was IMPUTED UNTO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS: and he was called the Friend of God. James. 2:23 

hypocriteThe word ”imputed” comes from the Greek word ”logizomai” (Strong’s 3049) which could be translated as ”reckon, count, charge with; reason, decide, conclude; think or suppose”. Notice that it doesn’t mean ”transfer”, but rather ”reckoned” or ”counted as”.

The word is found 41 times in the New Testament, and 4 of those times the word is translated as ”impute” in the KJV.  Rom 4:6-11 and  22-24 have the same Greek word (logizomai) as in James 2:23, and it doesn’t mean ”transfer” there either. These verses use the same word even if they are translated differently:

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was counted unto him for righteousness. Rom. 4:3

Even as Abraham believed God, and it [believing God] was accounted to him for righteousness. Gal. 3:6

And therefore it [faith] was imputed to him for righteousness. Rom. 4:22

CountedRom 2:26, Rom 4:3, Rom 4:5, Rom 9:8, Reckoned = Luk 22:37, Rom 4:4, Rom 4:9-10 and Rom 6:11, Rom 8:18, Accounted = Rom 8:36, Gal 3:6

We are asked to be righteous just like Jesus is righteous  

This doesn’t mean that the only means to get saved is to have lived a life free of sins just like Jesus did, but neither is the promise”If you only believe in Jesus, he will confirm you as righteous even if you’re not”. First we must be cleansed in the blood of Jesus – upon repentance – and then the idea is to be led by the Spirit and not by the flesh, which no one else will do for us. We are not able to go piggybacking on Jesus.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.7 Little children, let no man deceive you: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS.8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

God’s wrath is still upon us if we sin, and if we are under God’s wrath we are not saved.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” (NASB)

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Jesus righteousness cannot be transferred/injected into us and we are not righteous unless we LIVE righteously

Our righteousness does not depend on being injected another person’s righteousness, but our righteousness depends on how we live our lives.  

Jesus lived a perfect life (always being obedient to God the Father) and died on the cross for us, and in THAT WAY he is our righteousness. Had Jesus not lived an obedient life for us, he could not have been our righteousness, because the atonement wouldn’t have been perfect. He is NOT our righteousness because he has transferred his righteousness into us (and neither did he literally take our sins on himself as in some kind of an exchange) to make us righteous in position despite that we still live in sin. It’s important to understand that Jesus did NOT obey our moral obligations for us and instead of us!  The Bible talks about imputed righteousness but NEVER the imputed righteousness ”of Christ.  We can read about the righteousness of GOD throughout the Bible (and that Jesus is righteous), but the idea that God looks upon us and sees the righteousness of Christ in us (or the blood of Jesus) instead of our sin, will result in a license to sin. When God looked at the churches in Revelation, he DID notice their sins and asked them to repent.

We are not justified by the works of the law but by God’s grace, so to say that we need perfect obedience to the Torah to be credited to our account in order to be justified is justification by works instead of justification by grace/mercy. God cannot declare the guilty to be innocent – like in a forensic justification – as that would be a lie, but God can PARDON the guilty and he does so if the guilty person repents from his sins.

Abraham is given as an example when it comes to being righteous/justified through faith, because he was counted as righteous BEFORE the law of Moses started to apply. Not all who have Abraham as a forefather are the children of Abraham and saved, but only those who are spiritually circumcised (in their hearts) and BELIEVE the way he did – and he showed his faith with some amazing deeds (work). Those who WALK as he did and obey God as he did (which is something we DO) are circumcised in heart and the true children of Abraham. We do not deserve salvation by anything we do (or believe) but faith without deeds is dead.  We can read ”blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin”, which shows that all people apparently don’t have sin – namely those whom the Lord do not impute sin. Who are they? They are the ones who have confessed their sins, repented and who walk with Jesus. So when we read ”God imputeth righteousness without works”, it means the works of the law (the Torah and the 613 laws in it), and naturally God wouldn’t impute righteousness to Abraham if he only sat under a tree and ”believed” without showing his faith by OBEDIENCE. Not obedience to the law of Moses (which didn’t exist at the time) but obedience to GOD.

When it comes to Rom. 4:6, it doesn’t say that a person is especially appreciated and blessed if he doesn’t have any works to show up at all and that he only has ”faith alone”. If that were true, it would mean that the less works we have, the more blessed we are and the better it is. No, Paul’s point is to get the jews to understand that they are not saved due to being born Jews and/or for obeying the Torah (613 laws), but a person is blessed/saved if he repents from his sins, believes in Jesus and through this procedure becomes cleansed from his sins. Those are blessed whose trespasses are FORGIVEN, because then God will not impute sin to them. Does this wonderful promise only apply to the Jews? No, Paul wants them to understand that also the uncircumcised (the gentiles) have his promise which is by faith and not by law. Notice how many times we can read about ”circumcision”, so this is what is in focus (the ceremonial law) because the Jews were so concerned about it.

Rom. 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.—20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

James doesn’t contradict what Paul is saying. James says that Abraham was justified BY WORKS, and not faith alone. Are we perhaps teaching salvation by works if we choose to quote James?

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?23 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.24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. 

Paul is not disappointed with the Galatians for their suggestion that it’s still necessary to obey the ten commandments faith alone 3

In the letter to the Galatians, the reason for Paul’s objection to Galatians’s attitude is NOT because they wanted to return to silly old laws such as the ten commandments – just like ”Do not kill, steal, lie or commit adultery”. Why would he be disappointed or upset about that? Those commandments have been in use ever since the days of Adam, and they never cease to apply. No, Paul was disappointed with their teaching that circumcision – which is a ceremonial law in the Torah – was still necessary for salvation. The ceremonial laws are not necessary for salvation, but the law of love certainly is (and the ten commandments provide details of how the law of love works). Paul makes a different between the works of the law (Torah), and the obedience of the holy Spirit.  The Torah was our  schoolmaster to keep us in order  until the arrival of Jesus – after Jesus death the holy Spirit took over as our guide – and we’re supposed to have the law of love in our hearts. We will never be ”free” from the requirement to love God and our neighbor as ourselves, and as long we are slaves to sin (obey sin) we are definitely not free.

Acts. 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

Gal. 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.— 19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.—22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Paul makes it clear that sinning = spiritual death (also for christians).

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

The significance of having our faith ”imputed” as righteousness, is that God forgives us our transgressions and treats us as though we have never sinned. This means that our sins disappears (without taking a detour in the body of Jesus) and God doesn’t have to LIE to declare us not guilty.  We are 100% cleansed when we are forgiven and free from our sins, but it doesn’t say ”once cleansed always cleansed”. If we become dirty once again, we’re back at square one.

2 Cor. 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.filthy pig

2 Pet. 2: 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.


13 tankar om “The IMPUTED righteousness of CHRIST – is not Biblical

  1. Here’s the issue with your view. The way you define repentance means that eventually you have to stop sinning 100% to be saved. You claim in other areas a you don’t teach sinless perfection but you do. You say that if one keeps committing sin over and over it wasn’t true repentance, which means you’d have to completely stop sinning. There isn’t a person alive who has done that and that includes you. Scripture says anything that is not of faith is sin. Anytime you are unloving you are in sin. For people who hold this view, you basically turn a blind eye to your own sin. You would consider them mistakes but not sin. Or you’d maybe excuse yourself for sinning here and there.


    • Hello there

      ”Eventually”? No, from the start the fact is that sinning separates us from God. It was Satan who told Eve the exact opposite – that breaking the law of God (sinning) will not cause death. He lied.

      << You claim in other areas a you don’t teach sinless perfection but you do

      Where do I say that I don't (or where I do) teach "sinless perfectionism"? In order to know if I side with this idea or not, the term must be defined. I definitely teach on my blog that sinning leads to death, and that goes for believers as well.

      <<Anytime you are unloving you are in sin. For people who hold this view, you basically turn a blind eye to your own sin

      The solution is to not be unloving. What sins can we not stop doing for God? Did he not create us with the capability to be faithful to him? If we can avoid sinning for days and weeks, we can also avoid sinning for years and for ever. The fact that we have sinned in the past should not prevent us from avoiding sins in the future. Naturally we get more than one chance to be faithful, but we can't fool God who knows our hearts. If we mix righteousness with sins, we have not truly repented. We can't serve two Masters.


      • I’ll ask you plainly then. I see you quoting 1 John 3:6-9 and in another blog you said that the present tense doesn’t mean practice sin. That 1 John 3:6-9 doesn’t teach he who keeps on sinning as in habitually or unbroken isn’t saved. But that as in verse 9 in the kjv, who ever is born of God does not commit sin for his seed remains in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. From what I understand from reading your material, you can not sin even once after salvation. If you say you can then you don’t abide by your reading of verse 9 which says he cannot sin. That means even once after being saved. So do yo teach that a true Christian can not sin even once after salvation?


      • Hello!

        I’m not saying anywhere that we ”can not sin” after salvation. Even Jesus Christ could sin, be he chose not to. We could follow his path but we have instead chosen to sin (usually multiple times). I am saying, however, that you cannot have your salvation and your sin/sins too because you must stick to your one Master. Jesus did not die for us so that we could keep on sinning with no fear of any consequences. Sinning still leads to death, and Satan is the one who teaches the exact opposite to fool us. If you are lead by the Spirit (if you obey him) you don’t sin (you can’t sin if you are an obedient follower). That is the promise. It took one sin for Adam and Eve to be sinners, and the same goes for us. Fortunately we get more than one chance, but repenting means a lot more than a daily ”I’m sorry”.


  2. This is proof you teach sinless perfection for salvation.
    “God’s wrath is still upon us if we sin, and if we are under God’s wrath we are not saved.”
    So based on your theology you aren’t teaching sinless perfection as in one can not sin.

    But you are teaching sinless perfection in regards to if you do sin you are still under Gods wrath and not saved.

    So for you to be consistent you’d have to claim you have to walk perfectly sinless to stay saved. If you claim this isn’t what you teach you are a liar for I see it all over your pages.

    You clearly teach works salvation, you clearly says we have to live righteous to be saved that means be perfectly obedient to be saved. How does that differ from the law of Moses?
    Also was Abraham sinless even after being declared righteous? He lied saying his wife was his sister, he didn’t trust God so had sex with Sarah’s hand maiden and those are only the things recorded.


    • Hello!

      <<This is proof you teach sinless perfection for salvation.

      Again, it depends on what you mean with this term which cannot be found in the Bible. I can quote from the Bible that sinning leads to death, so are those Biblical authors teaching sinless perfectionism?

      <<But you are teaching sinless perfection in regards to if you do sin you are still under Gods wrath and not saved.

      Yes of course I teach that God's wrath is still upon a sinner! The Bible says it!

      <<So for you to be consistent you’d have to claim you have to walk perfectly sinless to stay saved. If you claim this isn’t what you teach you are a liar for I see it all over your pages.

      Yes, you have to walk perfectly sinless to be saved, just like the Bible says. Fortunately we we don't get one single chance, but if we mix righteousness with sin (serving two masters) we are not saved. We cannot have both our sin and our salvation. Jesus told us "Be ye perfect, just like your Father in heaven is perfect". Was he kidding? We have to endure to the END to be saved.

      <<You clearly teach works salvation

      OK? In that case I'm in good company with Jesus, James, Paul, John, etc.

      <<, you clearly says we have to live righteous to be saved that means be perfectly obedient to be saved. How does that differ from the law of Moses?

      The law of Moses has about 613 different laws, most of them ceremonial, dietary and similar. We are not sinning if we break such ceremonial laws. Huge difference.

      <<Also was Abraham sinless even after being declared righteous? He lied saying his wife was his sister, he didn’t trust God so had sex with Sarah’s hand maiden and those are only the things recorded.

      Abraham repented.



  3. I ran across your post while trying to address imputation and the issue of J by F:
    I believe Acts was a dividing line in God’s story for Israel in setting them aside and their evangel of circumcision and covenants to that of the Body of Christ and Paul’s evangel of cross theology. I don’t really care about your idea of sins, (blood took care of that, but the issue of sin and being in Adam) but imputation. Have you discussed Justification by faith versus righteousness by faith?


    • Hey John and thanks for your post.

      If you check the long list of posts on the right hand side, you will find posts concerning faith, works, sin, righteousness, etc. My view is that faith without works is dead and:

      Ja. 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.



      • This is what I was looking for. Where you and I are going to disagree is that I see a difference between the gospel of the circumcision by the disciples and the gospel of the uncircumcision by Paul. Acts 13. One gospel for Israel and her covenants, while another, based on the cross, Paul’s, and related to the Body of Christ. The one for terrestrial calling, while the other for celestial calling. Israel to gospel the earth, while the body to gospel the heavens. Most theologians want the PSA (penal substitionary atonement) and imputation of righteousness (justification by faith) instead of a righteousness by faith. I just ran into the issue and must work it out. God Bless.


      • Hey John

        I don’t see why we would necessarily disagree about the two types of circumcisions, but maybe we would disagree on justification by faith (not sure). I don’t believe in the penal substitution theory or that we can get someone else’s righteousness transferred into us as some (mostly Calvinists) believe.

        1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.



      • At this point in time in my thinking: J by F is judicial versus R by F: which we now have because of our belief in CJ as Lord and Savior. J by F as it relates to imputation…which we both disagree on. I went to your blogroll, but I need a password. I have always loved NT Wright and he just must get me out of my theological dilemma, but I was interested in your arminianism article.


      • Hey John
        I wasn’t referring to my blogroll but my list of articles which you find on the right hand side if you scroll down. The ones in English are on top.
        Many blessings


      • I see your list. Surprised to see you are trinitarian. What I have found is that once one questions ”orthodox” theology…they fall like stubble. So, is Paul’s gospel a continuation of Judaism (P, J, & John)? Were there two gospels being proclaimed or one post Acts 13? I, at this moment, believe the mid-Acts (13) theology to have a major theological point. One gospel for the earth through the nation of Israel and one gospel for the celestials (pre-trib rapture) as noted by Paul. One fleshly, the other spiritual. Now, don’t confuse the Acts 2 theologians with 13ers. God Bless.



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