Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | November 18, 2007

Lord’s Day Quote – RC Sproul

The ground of our justification is not this indwelling, however, but the merit of Christ wrought in himself, not in us.  It is the legal application of his righteousness to us by which we are declared just.  This is no legal fiction because real righteousness is really imputed.  There is nothing fictional about the righteousness of Christ. 

Imputation is at the heart of the Christian faith.  If imputation is fiction, then the atonement is fiction.  Christ’s cross was real, and the punishment he received in our behalf was likewise real.  He was the Lamb of God who bore our sins.  How did he do that?  As was symbolized in the Old Testament, our sins are transferred to Christ by imputation, not be infusion.  God counted Christ’s suffering as worthy satisfaction for our guilt.

Our salvation rests not only in Christ’s atoning death, but also in his life of perfect, active obedience.  If to secure our redemption Christ only needed to make an atonement for us, he could have come down from heaven and gone directly to the cross.  But he also had to fulfill all righteousness by submitting at every point to the law of God.  By his sinless life he achieved positive merit, which merit is imputed to all who put their faith in him.  Christ not only died for us, he lived for us as well.

RC Sproul, Grace Unknown The Heart of Reformed Theology 



  1. i love the “great exchange”! i think many christians understand that Jesus died for them but they don’t realize that he lived for them as well in order to give them his righteousness.

  2. A regular diet of preaching the Gospel on the Lord’s Day is the cure for this.

    Once you understand this aspect of imputation then you have a more robust understanding of the Gospel.

    This is a good book to read as well.

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