As Soon As God Credits Christ’s death to you, God also Justifies You

Romans 5: 9 Much more then, since we have NOW been declared righteous by His BLOOD (death), we WILL BE saved through Him from wrath.

Romans 5: 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—

In reaction to justification conditioned on the sinner, some Lutherans are teaching that all sinners are now born justified. In reaction to justification conditioned on the sinner, some “sovereign grace” preaches are teaching that God’s wrath is never personally on elect sinners.

Romans 5 does not specifically say that “all sinned in Adam”. Nor does the chapter ever use the word “imputation”. But the sin of verse 12 is not the result of death. The death is the result of “because all sinned”. We look to the context to see how it is that the “all” sinned. “All” sinned because of the representative sin of Adam.

Adam was our substitute. We don’t need to sin ourselves to be condemned to death. We are condemned to death because Adam sinned for us, as our representative. We are not guilty based on our corruption. Corruption is mediated to us because we are guilty. We sin but before that we were already constituted sinners.

Romans 5:13 “for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.”

It’s not only infants who died who did NOT sin like Adam. Everybody who died after Adam’s first sin but before the Mosaic law was given did NOT sin like Adam. Yet because of Adam’s sin and Adam’s representation, all these people died.

Not all born in Adam stay in Adam
all chosen in Christ are born in Adam
not all born in Adam are chosen in Christ
some born in Adam stay in Adam
some born in Adam are justified in Christ

Romans 6 describes two legal states, one of which is “free from righteousness”. Christ’s death has not always been credited to elect sinners. Every elect sinner was once “free from righteousness”. God will not accept us into His presence based on something in us, not even based on something God has put in us. If we have not yet been legally justified by God, we are “free from righteousness”. Romans 6 defines being in “new man” (the new creation) in terms of God legally being placed into the death of Christ. Once God credits us Christ’s death, we sinners are justified before God.

Romans 6: 4 Therefore we were buried with Him by BAPTISM INTO DEATH….5 For if we have been joined with Him in the likeness of His death, we will certainly also be[ in the likeness of His resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that sin’s dominion over the body be abolished, IN ORDER that we no longer be enslaved to sin, 7 since a person who has died has been justified from sin. ”

Christ was under law , Christ is no longer under law

Adam’s guilt is imputed to the elect until Christ’s death is imputed to the elect.

The elect in Christ are under condemnation until God justifies them.

The elect in Christ are under law until the elect are under grace

Christ was under law , Christ is no longer under law but Christ is still not under grace because Christ’s death satisfied the law.

Romans 6: 9 we know that Christ, having been raised from the dead, will not die again. Death NO LONGER rules over Christ. 10 For in light of the fact that Christ died, Christ died to sin once for all time

Christ was never under grace and is still not under grace. Christ was under the law because of the imputed sins of the elect. Romans 6 is about Christ’s condemnation by the law and His death as satisfaction of that law. Christ after His resurrection is NO LONGER under law. Christ’s elect, as soon as God credits them with Christ’s death, are no longer under law. The death of the justified elect is the SAME legal death that Christ died.

Christ was never under the power of sin in the sense of being unable not to sin. Christ was always unable to sin. The only way Christ was ever under the power of sin is by being under the guilt of sin. The guilt of the elect’s sin was legally transferred by God to Christ. Christ’s death to sin was death to the guilt of sin, and as soon as the elect are imputed by God with His death, the death of Christ justifies them from the guilt of sin and removes God’s wrath from them.. Romans 6:7: “For one who has died has been justified from sin.”

The word Imputation in the Bible describes two different actions. Fist, sometimes the word imputation describes the transfer, the legal sharing of what belongs to another. Second, the word imputation describes God’s declaration about persons who legally share in either Adam’s condemnation or Christ’s death.

Elect sinners are born personally under the wrath of God, guilty in Adam. As soon as God credits these sinners with Christ’s death, God at once also declares them justified. Elect sinners need to be justified. Elect sinners are justified by God putting them legally in Christ’s death. Elect sinners are justified when God declares them to be just because of having placed them into Christ’s death. God says they are now justified because they really are now legally just because of now being in Christ’s death.

Romans 5:9 “Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath.” The elect were born guilty, condemned, not justified. The righteousness by which the elect reign and which leads to life is not what God works in us. The righteousness by which the elect reign is Christ’s death imputed. Like they once legally shared in Adam’s act of sin, now the justified elect legally share in Christ’s one act of righteousness.

Guilt to Adam, then corruption. Righteousness to the elect, then regeneration. So many people have that wrong, even people who believe in sovereign predestination. Augustine, for example, thinks of sovereign regeneration as the righteousness. But we “federalists” say that it would NOT be just for God to give us corruption from Adam until first God legally gave us Adam’s guilt. We are born unable to please God because we are born guilty. We are born “free from righteousness” because we are born under God’s wrath for Adam’s sin imputed.

Romans 5:17 we “receive” the free (for no cause) gift of righteousness, not by our faith, but passively, by God’s imputation. The IT imputed is not our faith, because the righteousness (the death of Christ for the elect) is the IT which is imputed.

Regeneration cannot be before God’s imputation of Christ’s death, or the efficacy of Christ’s death would be made to depend on regeneration and faith. Regeneration and faith are necessary, but not as conditions of God’s joining the elect to Christ’s death. Romans 6 teaches God baptizes us (not with water) into death (Christ’s death).

Regeneration and faith are necessary results of God’s imputation of Christ’s death to the elect . Romans 8:10—“The Spirit is life because of righteousness.” God’s legal transfer of the elect’s guilt to Christ did take place in many cases thousands of years before or after God credits them with that death and justifies them. This justification, when it does happen, is not the result of the life which results from justification.

By being legally placed into Christ’s death, the ungodly BECOME no longer guilty before God. They BECOME in Christ the righteousness of God. To be in Christ does have the result of Christ being in the justified. There is a difference between being justified in Christ and Christ being in the justified. The difference is that justification is not based on Christ within but on what Christ’s finished death outside the elect, before or after the elect’s justification.

The legal life of the justified is based on what Christ’s death accomplished outside the elect. The merit of that death, the righteousness of that obedience to death, is not something inside the elect, like the new birth or faith. The righteousness is in heaven, not in Christ’s person separated from His work, and not in Christ’s work separated from His person. It is a righteousness outside the justified sinner which God counts as the righteousness of the justified sinner

II Corinthians 5: If One died for all, then all died. 15 And He died for all so that THOSE WHO LIVE should no longer live for themselves. When II Corinthians 5:15 identifies “those who live”, that indicative situation of being alive is not about the experience of new birth. When II Corinthians 5:14 teaches that “all died”, the legal state of being dead by Christ’s death is not about regeneration. John 5:24, “He does come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

Elect sinners are born under the wrath of God, But once God credits them with Christ’ death, these sinners becomes justified before God and will NOT be justified by works at some future judgment. Only the non-elect will be judged according to their works because only they will still be legally dead before God’s throne. The non-elect will be judged on the basis of works; in accordance with works the non-elect will receive what is their due (Romans 4:4). But elect and justified sinners have legal life now as a gift. They will not be judged, because they have been judged in Christ’s death. Their guilt was transferred to Christ and they were justified when they were joined to Christ’s death for their guilt. On that final day, it will be too late for anybody to be justified.

If one puts justification after life, it’s too late for justification. If one puts justification after a person’s new birth, then the justification is conditioned on the new birth and that’s not biblical justification. If one puts justification of a sinner some time after God credits a sinner with Christ’s death, what is the nature of that justification?

Romans 6:17 But thank God that, although you USED TO BE slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to… 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness….

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6 Comments on “As Soon As God Credits Christ’s death to you, God also Justifies You”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    How many Deaths did Christ Die? , by J C Settlemoir, in The Grace Proclamator and Promulgator, July 2016

    Some people say that Jesus died spiritually before he died physically. They say Christ died TWO DEATHS. John Calvin, “If Christ had died only one death, it would have been ineffectual”.

    B H Carrol—“Physical death is the separation of the soul from the body, and spiritual death is the separation of the soul from God. So just before that darkness passed away, Christ died the spiritual death”,

    The first question we ask when men tell us that Jesus died spiritually, is, where is the Scripture which teaches this? Just saying it does not make it so.

    Scripture tells us when Christ died. Daniel 9:26 says that the Messiah will be CUT OFF from life. This cutting off occurred only once. Christ only died once. I Peter 3:18 For Christ also suffered for sins once for all time, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God.

    Scripture does not speak of Christ’s deaths.
    Hebrews 10: 5
    You prepared a body for Me.
    6 You did not delight
    in whole burnt offerings and sin offerings.
    7 Then I said, “See—
    it is written about Me
    in the volume of the scroll—
    I have come to do Your will, God!”
    8 After He says above, You did not want or delight in sacrifices and offerings, whole burnt offerings and sin offerings (which are offered according to the law), 9 He then says, See, I have come to do Your will, He takes away the first to establish the second. 10 By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all time

    If Christ Died Spiritually Before He Yielded up His Spirit, Then His Sacrifice was not Acceptable. Philippians 2: 8 He was obedient to death. Christ could not be obedient in a swoon. Was Christ obedient all the Way? If so, Christ did not die before His death.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Jesus wept for a person who was going to die more than one time. Of course, Lazarus was also going to be raised from the dead by God more than one time. Also, Christ only died the one time, only was raised the one time. Christ does not die again every time you die. But if you are elect, then God will in time impute Christ’s one time death to you.

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2016/05/22/christ-offered-his-death-to-god-one-time-only/

  3. markmcculley Says:

    Revelation 13:8 written from the foundation of the ages n the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered
    Revelation 13: 10
    If anyone is destined for captivity,
    into captivity he goes.
    If anyone is to be killed with a sword,
    with a sword he will be killed.

    Jesus is not dying and has not been dying forever, but it has been God’s purpose forever that Jesus die only one TIME

    John 17: 24
    Father, I desire those You have given Me
    to see My glory,
    which You have given Me
    because You loved Me before the world’s foundation.

    I Peter 1:20 Christ, like a lamb without defect or blemish, was chosen before the foundation of the world but was revealed at the end of the ages

    https://markmcculley.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/then-and-now/

  4. markmcculley Says:

    had a tooth pulled today

    question was, if the tooth broke when the crown off the day before Christmas

    or in the days after, so that i “could have done something differently”

    but what does the order matter now?

    some would say this about the order of salvation
    but of course i do not agree

    2 Peter 1: 1 To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ
    Romans 8:10–”Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin,the Spirit is life BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
    Galatians 4:– And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

    Ursinus: At first view it seems absurd that we should be justified by anything without us, or by something that belongs to another. We explain how the satisfaction of Christ becomes ours. Unless Christ’s righteousness be applied unto us, we cannot be justified by it, . God himself applies Christ’s righteousness unto us, that is, God makes the righteousness of Christ over unto us, and accepts of us as righteous on account of Christ’s righteousness.

    A. A. Hodge–In Protestant Soteriology, there is– 1st. clear distinction between the change of relation signalized by justification, and the change of character signalized by regeneration. . 2nd. The change of relation, the remission of penalty, and the restoration to favor involved in justification, necessarily precedes, and makes certain the change expressed by regeneration. The continuance of judicial condemnation precludes the exercise of grace. Remission of punishment must precede the work of the Holy Spirit. We are pardoned in order to be good, never made good in order to be pardoned.

    Election is not the Atonement, but God’s election decided for whom Christ Atoned. (God does not love the elect because of Christ’s death, Christ’s death for the elect was because of God’s love). The atoning death is not the justification, but all for whom Christ died have been or will be justified.

    Romans 4: Righteousness will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up because of our trespasses and raised because of our justification.

    ”Raised” is not the cause of the justification of the last elect person to be justified, but the justification of that last elect sinner is the cause of “raised”. Abraham’s justification while he was not yet circumcised is also the cause of “raised”

    One point of clarification. I deny that anybody is justified before God without believing the gospel, as I deny that any non-elect are in the new covenant. The elect are not born justified. The elect are not “eternally justified”. Christ’s righteousness is not justification. God’s imputation of righteousness results in faith. Nobody is justified (logically or temporally) before faith in the gospel. I do not teach two kinds of justification.

    Bavinck–Under the influence of…. Amyraldianism, there developed the neonomiam representation of the order of redemption which made forgiveness of sins and eternal life dependent on faith and obedience which man had to perform in accordance with the new law of the gospel. Parallel with this development, Pietism and Methodism arose which, with all their differences, also shifted the emphasis to the subject, and which either demanded a long experience or a sudden conversion as a condition for obtaining salvation.

    Bavinck–As a reaction against this came the development of anti-neonomianism, which had justification precede faith, and antinomianism which reduced justification to God’s eternal love. Reformed theologians usually tried to avoid both extremes, and for that purpose soon made use of the distinction between “active” and “passive justification.” This distinction is not found in the reformers; as a rule they speak of justification in a “concrete sense.” They do not treat of a justification from eternity, or of justification in the resurrection of Christ, or in the gospel, or before or after faith, but combine everything in a single concept.

    Bavinck–Efforts were made to keep both elements as close together as possible, while accepting only a logical and not a temporal distinction. However, even then, there were those who objected to this distinction inasmuch as the gospel mentions no names and does not say to anyone, personally: Your sins have been forgiven. Therefore it is not proper for any man to take as his starting point the belief that his sins have been forgiven.

    Bavinck– There is no reason to recommend speaking of eternal justification. If one says that “justification as an act immanent in God” must of necessity be eternal, then it should be remembered that taken in that sense everything, including creation, incarnation, atonement, calling, regeneration, is eternal. Whoever would speak of an eternal creation would give cause for great misunderstanding. Besides, the proponents of this view back off themselves, when, out of the fear of antinomianism, they assert strongly that eternal justification is not the only, full, and complete justification, but that it has a tendency and purpose to realise itself outwardly. This amounts really to the usual distinction between the decree and its execution. The counsel of God and all decrees contained therein as a unit are without doubt eternal “immanent acts”, but the external works of God, creation, preservation, governing, redemption, justification, etc., are in the nature of the case “transient acts.” As works they do not belong to the plan of God’s ordering but to the execution of it.

    • markmcculley Says:

      Sadly, many (including Joyce Meyer) who talk about “imputed righteousness” are not at all talking about the fact that a. only the sins of the elect were already imputed to Christ or b. that the death of Christ was only for the sins of the elect.

      Many use the language of “imputed righteousness” but do not define the righteousness as Christ’s death for a definite elect people. Some only refer to Christ’s infinite general fund of law-keeping, and others don’t relate “imputed righteousness” to God’s law in any way.

      Philippians 3: But everything that was a gain to me, I have considered to be a loss because of Christ. 8 More than that, I also consider everything to be a loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Because of Him I have suffered the loss of all things and consider them —-in order that I gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but one that is through faith in Christ—the righteousness FROM GOD based on faith

      The FROM GOD righteousness EXCLUDES our works (after we are justified, our works enabled by the Holy Spirit). Amen. I wish that every preacher who teaches this truth would go on to define the righteousness from God. Is that righteousness from God EXCLUSIVELY the death of Christ or does that righteousness from God include his circumcision, his water baptism, his acts of obedience to the Mosaic law?

  5. markmcculley Says:

    Romans 6: 19 For just as you offered the parts of yourselves as slaves to moral impurity, and to greater and greater lawlessness, so now offer them as slaves to righteousness, which results in sanctification. 20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from righteousness.21 So what fruit was produced then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the result is the lasting life of the age to come

    become what you are?

    what are we?

    we are imputed as righteous before God

    we are declared as righteous before God

    God’s word says that those who believe the gospel are righteousness before God

    so that is what we are

    what could we do to become what we are?

    does becoming what we are mean that we are not really what we are?

    i do not agree that the justified elect are in a process of becoming justified

    slaves of sin, free from righteousness
    or already slaves of righteousness

    black of white, not a gray zebra

    no non-imputation of our sins without also the imputation of Christ’s death
    no remission of sins without also being declared justified before God
    no condemnation before God means justification before God
    my sins covered, passed over, and taken away, then also Christ my righteousness


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