“Righteousness … shall be imputed to us.” (Romans 4:22-24)
To understand the word “imputed”, picture funds being transferred from one account to another. Banks do it every day. Imagine yourself totally destitute and unable to pay your debts. Then in an astounding act of grace someone assumes all your debts, and at the same time transfers to your account such “abundance” that you never have to work. That’s what happened at the cross when God “imputed” all your sins to Christ’s account, and “imputed” all His righteousness to your account. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? Would you say, “I can’t allow you to pay all these debts alone, so I’ll work to prove myself worthy of your grace”? We do that when we “add” our good works to Christ’s finished work. Salvation is like health food labelled “no man-made additives”.
St. Paul writes, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). In the same sense God “made” Jesus who never sinned, to “be” sin, He “made” you who could never be righteous enough, to “become” righteous in His eyes. “But I feel such guilt when I sin.” You’re supposed to! But when Christ took away all your sin, He took away all your guilt. So what are you feeling? Inner conflict! Your regenerated spirit is telling you that you can’t indulge in sin; it’s not who you are anymore! Why did God do it this way? Because any righteousness we could achieve falls far short of what He requires. Rejoice — today God sees you clothed in the righteousness of Christ, therefore you’re always loved and accepted by Him.
Heavenly Father, thank You for the righteousness you have given me — undeserved and unearned, by Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.