The Deception of the Doctrine of “Imputed Righteousness” and its Consequences
“Imputed righteousness” is a popularly held doctrine in most churches today. In a nutshell, it is a doctrine that affirms the believer by what Jesus did on the cross for them. The doctrine conveys that righteousness is transferred to the sinner at the point of their belief in Jesus making them, as once sinners, now “perfectly righteous” in God’s eyes. They are deemed “righteous” because Christ obeyed and fulfilled all the requirements of being perfectly righteous on their behalf while he was on earth. It is from here on at the point of “belief” that they are assured in having the righteousness of Christ when they stand before the throne of God.
This following verse is used to affirm their doctrine:
But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to FULFILL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS.” – Matthew 3:15
A False Doctrine
Unfortunately, many have bought into the false doctrine of “imputed righteousness” that is not consistent with the full counsel of Scripture, not realizing that how they see “imputation” is not taught within its pages. Many find this doctrine attractive because it gives “assurance” that Yahweh (God) no longer sees their sins.
The reward of having “imputed righteousness” from Christ is that God no longer sees their past, present and future sins. The point of “belief” is all that is needed without acts of obedience because anything that is done on our part comes under the verse that states that “all our righteousness is filthy rags,” as it would be defined as “works.” They are assured that any sin that is committed cannot cause the person any guilt because they have already been forgiven quoting the following verse:
There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus. – Romans 8:1
Within this doctrine, the “believer” cannot be condemned for any further sins because their “faith alone” is satisfied through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. Once the “believer” is clothed in “perfect righteousness,” or are in possession of it, even though they continue to sin, it cannot be counted against them because the righteousness of Christ has already been transferred to them.
Whatever sin, no matter how big that is committed by the “believer” has absolutely no bearing on their salvation because their sins are no longer seen by God. The blood of Christ is a blindfold that has been put of the Father, meaning that He no longer can see their transgressions. All that the Father sees are the illusion of “good” things in them because they now have the “imputed righteousness” of Christ blinding Him from seeing the sins of His own children, “remembering them no more,” even the future ones.
The absurdity gets even worse as the adherents to this doctrine will unashamedly admit that they are still sinners and will continue to sin. They have no fear of God as they are assured in the illusion of the safety net that they have created for themselves. Turning from sinful behaviours through humble repentance is obsolete and deemed a vain practice in their religion because they possess what is called “imputed righteousness.” No longer can they be deemed as sinners, even when confronted with their behaviours. In their pride of “salvation,” they believe they do not need to repent and ask for forgiveness at all. Of course, what is the point when your future sins have already been forgiven.
OR DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THE UNRIGHTEOUS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The verses above in the minds of those who believe in the “imputed righteousness” doctrine can conveniently ignore the warning in the preceding verses. Although they continue in their lifestyle of sin, they believe they are counted “worthy,” even though they still have the characteristics within the list. They turn unrighteousness into “righteousness” by using Christ to make evil good.
Does this not sound like blasphemy to you?
All that matters is that at one particular moment in time they received saving faith. To simply “believe” they are forever sealed. This can never be changed regardless of how one might sin in the future.
WOE TO THOSE WHO CALL EVIL GOOD AND GOOD EVIL, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20
This is what the doctrine of “imputed righteousness” does calling evil, “good.”
The Truly Righteous Live by Faith
One of the most important things to know is that we need forgiveness because there is no other way to eternal salvation. Forgiveness from our Father through our Messiah is not only about “believing” that we are forgiven, but is also about an action of obedience too. Being counted as “obedient” is artificial without walking in the faith of Yahshua our Messiah. True faith should lead us to obey God fully in our lives. This is how we are accounted for as being righteous because “the righteous shall live by faith,” not believing that it is simply “imputed,” or transferred to us.
Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham “believed God, and IT WAS COUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS”? – Galatians 3:5
Righteousness is a personal character trait. It is not something that can be transferred from one person to another. In likewise manner, sin cannot be transferred from one person to another either. We are the ones responsible for possessing one, or the other. The personal righteousness of Christ is non-transferrable. We will all be held accountable for our own actions and that is why we need the forgiveness (grace) of God. The grace of God manifested will bring the fruit of repentance, which means having the conviction from the Holy Spirit to turn from our sinful behaviours. Forgiveness from God is not a one-time deal that means all are future sins our forgiven, but is about growing into the “perfection” that we are called to. It is about faithfully serving God from our heart avoiding sin at all costs. If we sin, we have an Advocate who works on our behalf through the process of repentance.
Our Father in heaven loves righteousness. He loved His Son because he was absolutely righteous. Simply put, righteousness is a condition that is deemed acceptable to God. This is what the Gospel is about. It is about receiving the power, or the ability to be in right standing with God through His Son. Most would agree with me on this, but here is where the road diverges when false doctrine comes into play.
What many believe "impute" to mean is a “transference,” but this never what it means. In the Greek [3049. logizomai] it means to take into account, or reckon. In the Hebrew [2803. chashab] it means to consider, or to take into account also.
Christ paid the penalty for our past sins on the cross, but nowhere do we read in Scripture that because of his righteousness when we choose to sin in the future that it is not accounted to us. This is why so many believe they are not guilty for their sins. They are just sorry because they got caught and believe they are off the hook in their sin-excusing doctrine.
When we look back at David in the Old Testament who had transgressed with murder and adultery, he was thankful that after he repented that God did not count his particular sins against him. The reason was that he truly repented and God forgave him as a result. If he had not repented, there would have been no forgiveness and his iniquity would have been counted against him.
And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, HIS FAITH IS COUNTED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom GOD COUNTS RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM WORKS: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; BLESSED IS THE MAN AGAINST WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT COUNT HIS SIN.” – Romans 4:5-8
David did not try to work off his sins of adultery and murder, but by faith he repented because he believed that Yahweh would not count his past sin through His mercy. David did not go unpunished because there are always consequences to sin, especially the big ones. Because David repented, he received forgiveness and mercy and was counted as righteous from his past sins. His forgiveness was contingent on repentance.
Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that FAITH WAS COUNTED TO ABRAHAM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised......
The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS WOULD BE COUNTED TO THEM AS WELL, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE FAITH THAT OUR FATHER ABRAHAM HAD before he was circumcised. For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF FAITH. – Romans 4:9-13
The righteousness of our faith is what reinstates us into right standing with God. It is not by being under the Mosaic laws, nor believing that God’s righteousness is a “transference” from Christ while continuing to sin.
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he GREW STRONG IN HIS FAITH as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why HIS FAITH WAS “COUNTED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.......
IT WILL BE COUNTED TO US WHO BELIEVE IN HIM WHO RAISED FROM THE DEAD JESUS OUR LORD, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. – Romans 4:20-25
Abraham possessed the “righteousness of faith” by his patience concerning the promises of God. God’s righteousness was not transferred to him, but it was by the working of his own faith that he was counted worthy. In similar manner, we too can be counted righteous by walking in the faith of Christ. Faith without works is a dead faith. Believing in the doctrine of “imputation” by “transference” is also a dead faith.
“Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. - James 2:22
The book of James reminds us of how Abraham’s obedience through faith was perfected. Nowhere does it say his righteousness was transferred to his account so that his future sins were forgiven.
It must be understood that when we repent and exercise saving faith, just as Abraham exercised, it is through our own personal faith that is deemed as righteousness before God. In this way, we are declared righteous by the walking out of the faith of Christ in our own lives, just as Christ also walked out his faith before his Father.
Little children, let no one deceive you. WHOEVER PRACTICES RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, as he is righteous. – 1 John 3:7
God sees our sins. We must repent, and by having the fruit of repentance He will no longer consider them, or account them against us. Those who believe they can hide their sins from the Father because of their cloak of “imputed righteousness” are like the emperor with no clothes.
Doesn’t the story sound all too familiar. The vain doctrine of “imputed righteousness” cares about nothing except wearing and displaying their “cloaks of righteousness” before others. The hired hands in church promise and assure the masses that they have the finest, best “robe of righteousness” made from the best divine invisible fabrics. They mime this out by dressing their pew warmers in their supposed “righteous garments.” Every Sunday in their procession to the “church” building, the church folk play along in their staged displays and celebrations of “righteousness.” Little do they know that one day when Christ returns, they will all be exposed for wearing absolutely nothing at all. They had no garments at all! They had been hoodwinked!
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and NAKED. – Revelation 3:17
Imputed Righteousness – The Gospel of Sin
The false doctrine of “imputed righteousness” is the moral depravity of what is called “Christianity” today. Obedience to the moral laws of God have been negated because the “believer” is deemed as being cloaked in righteousness. The blood of Christ is their cloaking device used on the Father where nothing can add or detract from their assurance of salvation. At one point in time they believe everything has been paid for and it’s all a done deal where they have nothing to do on their part. Henceforth, the “liberty in Christ” is a free-for-all while remaining slaves to sin still controlled by the old man. Jesus is used as a proxy for sinful behaviours.
O Timothy, guard the deposit entrusted to you. Avoid the IRREVERENT BABBLE AND CONTRADICTIONS of what is falsely called “knowledge” – 1 Timothy 6:20
The profession of faith by the masses today is devoid of repentance and sorrow for their sins, as they think the vileness of their hearts are cloaked in “imputed righteousness.” They believe in a faux faith having hearts that have not been transformed being devoid of the fruit of the repentance. Their false doctrines convince them psychologically of being “assured” of themselves.
The Four Points of the False “Imputed Righteousness” Doctrine
In conclusion, here is a summary of the “imputed righteousness” doctrine in four points:
- At the moment of having faith in Jesus Christ, you are justified and declared “righteous,” just by simply “believing.”
- The righteousness of Christ is then transferred to you as a free gift. You are no longer held into account for your sin from the above point onwards.
- The righteousness of Christ is a cloak that you wear that blinds the Father from seeing your sin while you continuing to sin in the future.
- You can be assured that no matter how vile your behaviours are that nothing will affect your salvation because you are deemed “righteous.” To work out your salvation beyond this would be considered “works.”
I know from personally having dialogue with several people who buy into this doctrine are double-minded individuals. They will use as many cherry-picked Scripture references that they know of to justify their sinful behaviours. In their seared minds, they believe that we cannot stop living in a lifestyle of sin. Righteousness and holiness are simply faux terms in their ideology to be used as a covering to excuse their carnal behaviours. Using these terms in a literal sense is a foreign language to them.
In this day and age moral decay is deemed as “saving faith.” The masses crowd into buildings called “church” and celebrate their imaginary faux covering. Anyone who believes in walking in perfecting faith are accused of being under the Law, or preaching a legalistic salvation by works. Their predisposition is to say that no one can be perfect and that people are sinning all the time because they are born sinners and cannot help it. They have no incentive to live holy in obedience to God because through Christ He has already forgiven them ahead of time.
The even more absurd thing is that they love to admit they are sinners and will continue to be. They are sinners saved by “grace” still slaves to their sin. They like their little slogans,
“You cannot have grace without sin!"
“You cannot out sin the grace of God!”
Whether they sin less or more is irrelevant to them because they have already been “sealed.”
How sad that many will be denied entrance into the Kingdom of God because they have null and voided their salvation that requires genuine repentance. Their serpentine doctrine declares them “righteous” still seared with the lusts of their flesh.
And with all WICKED DECEPTION for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had PLEASURE IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. – 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12
Christ crucified and resurrected means that we have the ability through him to subdue the desires of our flesh by repenting and denying ourselves by following in faith, or the Way of Christ. In the faith of Christ, we CAN literally have upright obedient hearts that leads to a faith that is counted as righteous before our Father in heaven.
Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the sake OF THE FAITH of God’s elect and their KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH, WHICH ACCORDS WITH GODLINESS – Titus 1:1
I don’t know about you, but the consequences of adhering to false doctrines have eternal ramifications.
Have you truly tested what you believe in?
Our righteousness is our obedience to God. This is the way He accepts us as son and daughters, or as brethren of Christ. The religious servants of Satan call this righteousness as "filthy rags," but they are greatly deceived.
At times it is not easy obeying God, but if we allow his love, grace and power to rule in our lives we CAN walk in victory being perfected in our faith being counted as righteous so we can enter into His eternal Kingdom.
The Great Sin Cover-Up
Related articles relevant to this theme:
- Can You Be Perfect in this Lifetime?
This article will attempt to explore the definition of the term “perfect” according to a Scriptural understanding, rather than the eisegesis of appealing to popular religious opinions.
- The False "Assurance" Doctrine that is Easily Sold in Church
Those within the Church system will gladly say that they are sinners because their false creeds give them assurances that they can continue to sin under their butchered version of “grace.”
- Church Doctrine endorses the License to Sin
There is a deception that is in the institutional church system that believes Christ’s blood has covered all the believers sins from the past, present and the future.
- The Trinity Doctrine Destroys the Faith of "Jesus Christ"
The Trinity doctrine is the foundation of Christendom, but many are unaware at how this doctrine destroys the Gospel, and the faith of "Jesus Christ."
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