An Imputed Righteousness

“For just as through one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One the many will be made righteous.”
— Romans 5:19

Many today think that they are good enough to make it into heaven. But what they don’t reckon with is their actual sinfulness. They are clothed in the filthy rags of their own self-righteousness, but they are too blind to see it.

How about you? You could get hit by a car and killed this very afternoon, and you could find yourself dressed for the worst ultimate, eternal disaster that you have ever even imagined. In what are you dressed? Your righteousness or Christ’s? What you have done, or what God has done for you upon the cross?

John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, also wrote Justification By An Imputed Righteousness. That is what we believe. That is what Christianity is. It is justification—that by which we are accepted, pardoned, and received into paradise—justification “by an imputed righteousness.” Not an inherent righteousness, not one of our own accomplishments of our acquiring, but something which is reckoned to us but belongs to another—the righteousness of Christ.

The great Count von Zinzendorf put it so very well in a familiar hymn:

Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
My beauty are, my glorious dress;
‘Midst flaming worlds [in the final judgment] in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head.

Salvation is by good works—that is, the good works of Jesus who died on behalf of sinners.

Heavenly Father, thank You for dressing me in the white robe of Your Son’s imputed righteousness. Thank You, Jesus, that because of Your shed blood, I am clean and spotless without blemish or wrinkle…