Sunday, November 11, 2007

Dial Daily Bread

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread":

In our Sabbath evening family worship, the question came up: “What is the difference between imputed righteousness, and imparted righteousness?” The question is momentous, for it opens the door to vast understandings of truth.

The Greek word for imputed righteousness is dikaiosune, a good word to learn, to know, to write in your Bible margin. It is always only the righteousness of Christ—He is always its ultimate value. He is the only God in the universe who possesses genuine righteousness because He went to the cross and there died the “second death.” None of the inhabitants of the vast unfallen universe possesses real righteousness, for none except Christ has died the “second death.” No unfallen angel possesses “righteousness.” They have only “holiness.”

The reason? To choose of His own free will to die the second death motivated by genuine love (agape) is alone genuine “righteousness.” The Islamic God (their Allah) rejects the cross of Christ, rejects the love revealed there; thus rejects dikaiosune, which is defined as “the righteousness of saints” (Rom. 8:4).

Imputed righteousness is a legal or “judicial verdict of acquittal” (Rom. 5:16, REB) achieved by the Son of God because He has died the “second death” of the world (yes, of the universe). What He has accomplished is alone the legal or ultimate tender of character—value that the universe can know. Scripture assures us that the “unfallen inhabitants” of the universe appreciate that divine sacrifice of agape and ascribe unending praise to the Son of God (cf. Rev. 19:1-7). It’s time that those who profess to keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus also learn to appreciate or “comprehend with all saints the what is the breadth, and length, and depths, and height; and to know the agape of Christ which passeth knowledge” (Eph. 3:18, KJV).

Imparted righteousness is a different word in the original language—dikaioma. It is the gift of Christ’s righteousness finally appreciated, received into the heart so that the soul can never be moved, it now hates sin with such total hatred that he or she would rather die forever than yield to a sinful temptation; it is a sharing with Christ that agape, being a “partaker with Christ of the divine nature”(2 Peter 1:4).

For example: I give you a check for a thousand dollars and you have the check in your hands; but in fact you don’t even have a dime. The money is still in the bank in my name. You only have an imputed $1000, worthless to you until you take it to the bank and “cash” it.

But even the paper money is worthless unless it is backed up by what is of monetary value—gold, silver, or platinum. We could say that only that in your possession is value imparted. Until then money anywhere has had only imputed value.

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