By Tom Roberts
III. To solve our problem, we must answer a question, “What is imputed unto righteousness?”
1. Gen. 15:6- Moses said, “it (faith) is imputed unto righteousness.”
2. Rom. 4:3 – Paul agrees that “it (faith) is imputed unto righteousness.”
3. Jas. 2:23 – James agrees “it (faith) was reckoned unto him for righteousness.”
B. If “it” refers to the perfect life of Christ being imputed, where is the Scripture?
C. Faith that is “imputed unto righteousness” is either a biblical “faith” or we must invent a new use for it. “Faith” is used in two senses in the Bible.
1. The faith: objective, outside of man, the gospel, God’s righteous plan to make men righteous (Jude 3, Rom. 1:17).
2. My faith: personal, subjective (within man), with Christ as the object. More than mental assent; shown by works (Heb. 10:39; Its. 2; Heb. 11; Rom. 1:5). Saving faith is never faith apart from works (Jas. 2).
3. Some try to invent a third definition: “the faith of Christ” or “the faithfulness of Christ” and have this being imputed. If Christ and His faithfulness is that being imputed, we are back to faith itself being a gift of God and man is totally passive in the matter of salvation; it is unconditional; God arbitrarily saves those He wills and damns those He wills; free will is a delusion.
IV. What is the action of imputation? Basically, three possibilities exist: (suggested by Terry Green)
a. Considered and earned. (This would be faith itself imputed, the concept of the rabbis and wrongly charged me.)
b. Considered and transferred. (This is the denominational view: faith of Jesus, faithfulness of Jesus, the perfect, personal righteousness of Jesus.)
c. Considered and accepted.