Tag Archives: imputation of Christ’s righteousness

“We don’t have to wonder if He likes us” by Jerrry Bridges

“The Bible tells us the bad news that we are in trouble with God, and then it tells us the good news that God has provided a solution that far surpasses our problem. Three times in his letters the apostle Paul paints a grim picture of bad news about us, and then each time he says ‘but.’

In effect, he is saying, ‘Here is the bad news, but here is the Good News as well.’ And in Paul’s message, the Good News always outweighs the bad news. Take just one of these instances, in Ephesians 2:1-9. After telling us that we were, by nature, objects of wrath, Paul says, but now ‘God, who is rich mercy,’ has actually ‘raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms.’

That is surely a dust-to-glory story. What could be a greater contrast than an object of God’s wrath seated with His Son in a position of glory? This good news doesn’t begin when we die. It certainly does address that issue, but it also tells us that there is good news for us now. We don’t have to feel guilt-ridden and insecure in our relationship with God.

We don’t have to wonder if He likes us. We can begin each day with the deeply encouraging realization that I am accepted by God, not on the basis of my personal performance, but on the basis of the infinitely perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.”

–Jerry Bridges, The Gospel for Real Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2003), 18.

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“This is the wonderful exchange” by John Calvin

“This is the wonderful exchange which, out of His measureless benevolence, Jesus Christ has made with us; that, becoming Son of man with us, He has made us sons of God with Him; that, by His descent to earth, He has prepared an ascent to heaven for us; that, by taking on our mortality, He has conferred His immortality upon us; that, accepting our weakness, He has strengthened us by His power; that, receiving our poverty unto Himself, He has transferred His wealth to us; that, taking the weight of our iniquity upon Himself, He has clothed us with His righteousness.”

–John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, John T. McNeill, ed, Ford Lewis Battles, trans, Library of Christian Classics (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960 [1559]), IV.xvii.2.

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“This is the summit of all blessing” by Horatius Bonar

“Acceptance, and completeness in our standing before God, are attributed to the cross and blood and death of the Divine Substitute. Poor as my faith in this Substitute may be, it places me at once in the position of one to whom ‘God imputeth righteousness without works.’ God is willing to receive me on the footing of His perfection ; and if I am willing to be thus received, in the perfection of another with whom God is well pleased, the whole transaction is completed. I AM Justified By His Blood. ‘As He is, so am I (even) in this world,’—even now, with all my imperfections and evils.

To be entitled to use another’s name, when my own name is worthless; to be allowed to wear another’s raiment, because my own is torn and filthy; to appear before God in another’s person,— the person of the Beloved Son,—this is the summit of all blessing. The sin-bearer and I have exchanged names, robes, and persons! I am now represented by Him, my own personality having disappeared; He now appears in the presence of God for me.

All that makes Him precious and dear to the Father has been transferred to me. His excellency and glory are seen as if they were mine; and I receive the love, and the fellowship, and the glory, as if I had earned them all. So entirely one am I with the sin-bearer, that God treats me not merely as if I had not done the evil that I have done; but as if I had done all the good which I have not done, but which my substitute has done.

In one sense I am still the poor sinner, once under wrath; in another I am altogether righteous, and shall be so for ever, because of the Perfect One, in whose perfection I appear before God. Nor is this a false pretense or a hollow fiction, which carries no results or blessings with it. It is an exchange which has been provided by the Judge, and sanctioned by law; an exchange of which any sinner upon earth may avail himself and be blest.”

–Horatius Bonar, The Everlasting Righteousness; or, How Shall a Man be Just with God? (Carlisle, Pa.: Banner of Truth, 1874/1993), 44-5.

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“O the sweet exchange” by Anonymous

“[God] gave up his own Son as a ransom for us, the holy one for the lawless, the guiltless for the guilty, ‘the just for the unjust’, the incorruptible for the corruptible, the immortal for the mortal.

For what else but his righteousness could have covered our sins?  In whom was it possible for us, the lawless and ungodly, to be justified, except in the Son of God alone?

O the sweet exchange, O the incomprehensible work of God, O the unexpected blessings, that the sinfulness of many should be hidden in one righteous man, while the righteousness of one should justify many sinners!”

Anonymous, “The Epistle to Diognetus” in The Apostolic Fathers, ed. Michael W. Holmes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1992), 547.

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