God pronounced Righteousness

Posted: April 6, 2012 by doulos tou Theou in Christianity, Discipleship

“But this is the amazing message, and this is what is meant by justification – that God tells us that, as the result of the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, because of his life, his death and his resurrection, if we believe on him and trust ourselves solely and entirely to him, God pardons and forgives our sins. Not only that, he declares that we are free from guilt: more than that, justification includes this. He not only declares that we are pardoned and forgiven and that we are guiltless, he also declares that we are positively righteous. He imputes to us, that is, he puts to our account, the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who was entirely without sin, who never failed his Father in any way, and who never broke a Commandment or transgressed any law. God gives to us – puts upon us – the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and then looks upon us and pronounces that we are righteous in his holy sight. That is the biblical doctrine of justification.”

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones

  1. kim/nannykim says:

    Jesus said in Matt 23 to the teachers and Pharisees::You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.

    So does he impute or transform? Does he declare us righteous or actually make us new and righteous–. ? Are we new creations or only declared forgiven? Does he put it to our account or are we really changed? Some have said Luther said we are dunghills covered with snow but I can’t find where he has said this—that analogy would be too much like Matt 23.

  2. doulos tou Theou says:

    thanks for the questions,

    Would you say the Pharisees in Matt 23 were saved? Were they trusting in their righteousness or the righteousness of Yahweh?

    I ask this because to me in your question that’s the disconnect, they would have to be “born from above”, as Jesus tells Nicodemus, for your questions with that text to apply with your thoughts.
    That seems to be a transformation that the Holy Spirit does to glorify Jesus.

    So to answer your questions I would say yes.

    I would say what comforts and sustains the believer is the promises God makes about what He declares about you and does to you.

    Rom 8
    ‘And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.’

    2 Corinthians 3:18
    And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

    This scripture was very comforting to me this week, its from Romans 4

    if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

    7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
    8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

    We only become those whose deeds are forgiven by faith


  3. kim/nannykim says:

    I agree that it is a transformation that comes from the Spirit. I think what bothers me about Luther’s view and many Protestants is that their definition of justification does not seem like a transformation or a new creation. Ezekiel 36 :25 “I will sprinkle clean water on you , and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give
    you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give
    you a heart of flesh.27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.” This speaks not of an alien righteousness, but of a real change. God steps in and changes the heart–and it is a heart that loves and follows God. By the description Jesus gives in Matt 23 the Pharisees did not have this change of heart. They would be like the Pharisee in the parable Jesus gives in Luke 18 of the Pharisee and the tax collector. It does take a recognition that we are sinners and a need for repentance. It does take a recognition that this change and new birth is from God and His grace.The tax collector realized his sin and asked for mercy.” The tax collector went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” It seems clear that God has to change the heart –we are dead in sin until that happens. When He changes the heart the person is a new creation.

  4. kim/nannykim says:

    I left the page a moment and I couldn’t get back to my comment so I posted it and am continuing here. I need to end here because of time–will have to get back at a later time! however — In 2 Cor 5:21 “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” When we are in Christ–joined with Him he effects this change–we become the righteousness of God. Does he declare us righteous because he changes us and makes us so? Or is it merely that he declares us righteous but we remain unchanged? It seems that he does do a change and it is not merely an alien righteousness.

    It seems that Romans and Galatians are speaking directly about the Gentiles– the fact that Gentiles do not have to come under the system of the Jewish law to be saved. It is stressed in both of these works that salvation is of God and through His grace. At the same time Paul says in Gal 6:16 For neither circumcision counts for anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation.,” It is not the law that creates the new heart. But it is a NEW heart that is needed. Not merely a declaration of forgiveness although it is included . When one is saved by God– There is a change–we go from death or being dead in sin to new life–we are joined to Christ and as 2 Peter 1 : 3 says His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith ,with virtue…..etc 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For IN THIS WAY THERE WILL BE RICHLY provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

    I have to go–I don’t want to take up your time–just feel that there are problems to the imputation theory that is used instead of the infusion one. We are partakers of the divine nature!!

    I also get upset at people who feel that if one is Catholic that a Catholic does not believe one is saved through Christ and through grace! Many Protestants feel they need to convert Catholics (well, yes, the nominal ones those that do not really know Christ—just as Protestants who are nominal). Everything comes from him–the grace is what produces the new creation. The grace is what produces the faith. The grace is what produces the works. When we get to heaven Christ judges us on if we know Him. The proof that we know him is that we have loved Him and followed Him and obeyed him–that is what he says.His grace produces a real change and not just some kind of declaration without change. We believe in a grace that changes the person. Not a cheap grace, you, know?

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