Have you ever heard the phrase “imputed righteousness”? Imputed righteousness is a Christian doctrine that says Christ kept the law perfectly, so if we believe in His obedience to the law and what He did at the cross, we do not have to obey the law of Moses because we will be saved and made righteous by faith. So if you believe He obeyed the law, His obedience will be accredited to you, so when God looks at you, He does not see your mistakes and your failures; instead, He sees Christ and His obedience to the law of Moses.
This doctrine depends on another doctrine that says we can’t obey the law of Moses even if we wanted to. If you are unable to obey the law, and you know God requires obedience to the law, you would have no problem accepting the idea of the imputed righteousness of Christ. If we can prove, from the Bible, Paul said we are well able to obey the law of Moses, the doctrine of imputed righteousness is proven wrong and unbiblical because it stands or falls on this one thing: Are we able or unable to obey the Mosaic law? There is another way of proving the doctrine of imputed righteousness as being wrong and unbiblical. If we examine the consequences of this doctrine, we will soon see it is not only unbiblical; it is also one of, if not the most male chauvinistic doctrine in the church. So let’s begin by examining the consequences:
Have you ever read the law of Moses?
The majority of Christians have never read the law of Moses because they believe it is not relevant for them.
The law of Moses has in it about 613 commandments; among these, some are just for men, some are just for women. Then there are other commandments you can not obey without access to a temple. You have specific commandments on how a man should behave as a husband and a father and how a single man should live his life. Other commandments deal with married men and women, single women, and widows.
The very idea of imputed righteousness depends on Christ keeping the law for us, so if we believe in His obedience to the law of Moses, it will be accredited to our account. Have you ever wondered why a single Jewish male should obey commandments dealing with menstruation, widowhood, bridal preparations, and other commandments specifically for women or commandments dealing with married life and fatherhood?
The short answer is, of course; It is impossible. A single Jewish man can never be expected to obey the commandments dealing with married life or the commandments specifically for women. Jesus was a man; He was never married and never had children. How then can our faith in Jesus’s obedience to the law be accredited to a woman, father, mother, widow, and wife? The short answer is, of course; It is impossible because Jesus never kept those commandments.
If He never kept commandments for women, a father, a mother, a widow, it means He never “fulfilled” the law for them, and they can never be righteous by faith. If they can’t be righteous by faith, they are not saved, but it also means that only single men can be saved and become righteous by faith.
I hope you are now beginning to see the error of the doctrine of imputed righteousness and how it is one of the most male chauvinistic doctrines in the church.
So how do we become righteous, according to the Bible?
First of all, we need to know if the Bible says we can keep the law of Moses. If the answer is yes, then we dont need the imputed righteousness of Christ; instead, we need to make sure we have a righteousness of our own.
Paul answers this question in Phil 3:6, where he says he is blameless and can keep Moses’s law perfectly. Paul is not the only one who can keep the law of Moses perfectly. In Luke 1:6, we read how the parents of John the Baptist are well able to keep the law perfectly. Simeon in Luke 2:25 is another example that is well able to obey the law of Moses. These people were all regular human beings, and if they claim to be well able to obey the law of Moses, then we know the Bible says we are all well able to obey the law of Moses. If we can obey it, we dont need the obedience of Jesus credited to our account.
The Bible goes on to explain this in 1.John 3. Here in 1. John 3, the Bible says the one who obeys the law of Moses is righteous. So here we see we become righteous by what we do. If the Bible says we are righteous by our obedience to the Mosaic law, then we dont need the righteousness of Christ.
Did you notice what the Bible says in 1.John 3? It says women, men, single men, single women, widows, children, young adults; everyone can become righteous by deciding to follow Moses’s law. The doctrine of imputed righteousness says only single men can become righteous; the Bible, on the other hand, says EVERYONE can become righteous.
All of this raises another important question: Was Paul saved by the law?
The law of Moses has several commandments telling us how to atone for unintentional sins. If we sin by accident, we can atone for our sin by repenting and sacrificing a bull or a goat in the temple in Jerusalem. Deliberate sins are a different matter; there is no atonement for a high-handed willful sin in the law of Moses.
What happened if you committed a deliberate sin? The law of Moses says you would be cut off from God, cursed by the law (Deut 28:14-65), forever being a slave to sin. When you died, you would end up in hell, lost for all eternity. But being a slave to sin does not mean that you can not obey the law of Moses. So what Paul is trying is to tell is that it is possible to have done a deliberate sin and still be blameless well able to obey the rest of the law perfectly. We see this when it comes to King David and Uriah. In the book of Kings, David is described as being perfect and well able to obey the law except for the matter of Uriah.
Paul makes it clear in the book of Romans how all people, Jew and Gentile, have committed a deliberate sin. But even so, Paul says the Gentile who obeys the Torah (the law of Moses) are more righteous than the Jew who has been given the Torah but refuses to follow it. So even here, in the book of Romans, we see Paul telling us how to become righteous: By obeying the law of Moses. But as we have just learned, obeying the law does not mean you are guiltless in committing a deliberate sin.
The one who committed a deliberate sin would forever have to carry its consequences; these consequences are called the curse of the law (Deut 28:14-65). Because of what they had done, they would be under the law and a slave to sin.
When Paul says Christ took the curse of the law and freed us from ut, and when he says we are no longer under the law, he is not saying that the law of Moses has been done away with. He is saying that because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ for the first time in human history, Yehovah can grant forgiveness for intentional sins. So for the first time in human history, those who have been under the curse of the law, a slave to sin because of their deliberate sins, can now be set free if they repent back to the law of Moses and trust in what Jesus did at the cross. But as the author of the book of Hebrews says, this is a one-time offer only. If you commit a deliberate sin after repenting and accepting Jesus, you can not be saved, you will be forever lost. (Hebr 10).
If there is one thing you can know for sure, you have committed one or more intentional sins at one time in your life. If your right now decided to repent back to the law of Moses, you would have no problem obeying it, and you would be expected to be blameless in your obedience. If you made this decision, Yehovah would see you as righteous. You would be righteous because of your obedience to the law of Moses. But your righteousness will not and can not atone for your past sins. There is only one way for you to atone, and that is by faith in what Jesus did for you at the cross. If you atone by faith, and you repent, your repentance will make you righteous and forgiven. Your faith will restore your relationship to Yehovah.
The Bible says this is something a man, woman, child, widow, single man, and woman can do. Every human being alive, regardless of their gender, age, or married status, can become righteous and reconciled to Yehovah by repentance and faith.
So what have we learned today?
We have learned that the doctrine of imputed righteousness is a male chauvinistic false heresy. It is discriminating against women, children, married couples. We have learned how to become righteous and how to become reconciled by repentance and faith.
Make the decision today to repent and believe in the cross, you dont know how long you have left to live.