Monday, March 28, 2011

Active Obedience Imputation Is Not Biblical - Part 5: "A Mini-Catechism Refuting Active Obedience Imputation"

Perhaps a mini-catechism might clarify why Active Obedience Imputation is not biblical.

I offer this as a conclusion to this five-part series of posts.

Think through these questions with me:

Q. What is imputed to us?
A. Christ's righteousness.

Q. What is righteousness?
A. In this context we might say "rightness", or right standing with the Holy God, without guilt of sins.

Q. Is righteousness inherent in men?
A. No, they are born and live in wrong standing or wrong relationship with God, and stand guilty of sins, until they are justified, or declared righteous by God.

Q. Is righteousness inherent in Christ?
A. Yes, since He has always been in right standing and right relationship with God, and has always been sinless.

Q. When a man is regenerated and given faith in Christ, is he justified or declared righteous, once forever?
A. Yes.

Q. How is he declared righteous?
A. In the pattern of Abraham, his faith is credited to him as righteousness, Christ's righteousness is imputed to him, and he is thereby declared righteous (that is, in right standing and relationship with God, without guilt of sins, which are forgiven).

Q. By what act or series of acts is this justification obtained?
A. By ONE act, the shedding of the blood of Christ in his death on the Cross, which of course was followed by His burial and resurrection.

Q. Is there a CLEAR scripture to prove this?
A. Yes, here are two:
Romans 5:18, "So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through ONE ACT of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men."...and,
Hebrews 10:14, "For by ONE OFFERING He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified."

Q. What then of His life of obedience to the Father?
A. He did indeed live a life of "Active Obedience", which should never be discounted, but it did not make Him righteous.

Q. Was His obedience instrumental in His righteousness?
A. By no means. His righteous is inherent in Himself. His obedience did, however, authenticate His righteousness, and identify Him as the Messiah and Son of God, along with many other prophetic and miraculous authentications.

Q. And it is this righteousness inherent in Him that He imputes to us?
A. Yes, through the instrument of the ONE ACT on the Cross.

Q. Are you intimidated by the fact that so many godly Reformed men disagree with you?
A. Not in the least, though I am humbly willing to change my mind in a moment, if there might be an abandoning of red herrings, smoke and mirrors, Confessions and favor of just a verse or two which might show that Christ's "active obedience" is imputed to us....AND if my analysis of the aforementioned Rom. 5:18 and Heb. 10:14 are dealt with exegetically, instead of merely evaded.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4


Anonymous said...

Brilliant, a piece of meat to chew on. Amazing how we're told the opposite all the time (especially by leaders) and we don't even think of questioning it!

Joseph G. Krygier said...

When once you have slaughtered a sacred cow, you will be a marked man. Write on brother. BTW, do you have the entire piece as a single file?

Terry Rayburn said...


Ain't that the truth :)


Terry Rayburn said...

Hi Joe! Long time no talk with.

Thanks for the input. I've been a marked man as long as I can remember :)

I don't have it in a single file, but feel free to copy and paste.


Anonymous said...

I would argue that for the second party of the treaty with God, that treaty written in stone that says essentially "Love or die," and that second party being us, to satisfy the requirements Christ's righteousness as a member of the God Head is insufficient.

It is not enough for God to make a covenant and to allow it to remain unfulfilled. The breaker must die for their sins, which Christ did. This alone does not allow us to go to the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, though, for while we may have been had all our evil actions removed, our failure to love, those positive requirements, remain unfulfilled.

Romans 3:31, we do not nullify the Law through faith but we establish it. It was fulfilled. What brought death has had its sting removed. Where is death's victory? Where is its sting when the implement of death, the Law, as been satisfied.

I can't not read the Bible without seeing the Law as a constant insatiable headsman demanding more and more, demanding I love when even as a Christian there is barely any love in me. If Christ's love is not also credited to my account I'm still as good as dead. The Law will find me and say, "You did not murder, but you did not love."

Terry Rayburn said...


Not sure where you're coming from, but these things are for sure:

1. We died to the law, and thus are not under it anymore (Gal. 2:19; Rom. 6:14).

2. Jesus surely fulfilled the law, but that's not what was imputed to us. It was His inherent righteousness that was imputed to us.

3. When we are declared rightous (justified) upon believing in Jesus Christ, it is as though we had never sinned nor ever been a sinner.

If you're saying that His good deeds (such as His love) are what is credited to us, then you fall woefully short of what the Bible teaches. For example, His helping a little old lady across the street was not credited to us; giving to the ministry of His local church in Nashville, Tennessee was not credited to us; and so forth.

As long as you think in terms of GOOD WORKS being credited to us, you are excluding myriads of good works, and thus we are "incomplete".

But the Bible says we are "complete" in Him (Colossians 2:9,10), so there are no "good deeds" lacking, because it is not "good deeds" that it is about -- it's "righteousness", a state of being in right standing with God as though we had never sinned nor been a sinner.

Hope that helps.

Anonymous said...

> But the Bible says we are
> "complete" in Him (Colossians
> 2:9,10), so there are no "good
> deeds" lacking, because it is not
> "good deeds" that it is about --
> it's "righteousness", a state of
> being in right standing with God as
> though we had never sinned nor been
> a sinner.
> Hope that helps.

Yes, much clearer I believe. It seems that you do not count the righteousness of Christ as Active Obedience, but constraint Active Obedience to mean only those things done by Christ in flesh. If that's accurate, the confusion lies in terms not doctrine.

Aussie John said...


I'm with Joseph in his comment. Sacred cows are the heaviest of burdens traditionally placed on the shoulders of our brethren.

Satan loves sacred cows because they divert their attention from Scripture to tradition,and from focusing on what Christ has accomplished, to what they are expected to accomplish.

Excellent work.

Terry Rayburn said...


Nice of you, mate. Thanks.

Terry Rayburn said...

By the way, John, I like your blog :)

Anonymous said...


Where does it say specifically that Christ's righteousness was imputed to us? If it was God the Father's righteousness that is specifically cited as imputed to us over and over again in Scripture--would this not bolster your position?