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John Piper – Righteousness Not Our Own

30 Sep

I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish in order that I might gain Christ, (9) and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith.

When Paul says that he aims to be found “in [Christ], not having a righteousness of my own,” does he mean that the righteousness he hopes to have in Christ is the righteousness that consists in his own faith? That is highly unlikely, because the righteousness that he aims to have is his by virtue of being “in Christ” (ἐν αὐτῷ, en autō) and is said to be “through faith” (διὰ πίστεως, dia pisteōs) and “based on faith” (ἐπὶ τῇ πίστει, epi tē pistei). The conceptual framework here is not that faith is our righteousness, but that, because of faith, we are united to Christ in whom we have a righteousness “from God” (τὴν ἐκ θεοῦ, tēn ek theou). This too supports our earlier conclusion that imputed righteousness is not “righteousness that consists in our faith,” but rather an external “righteousness credited to us because of our faith.”

~John Piper~




Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2002), 62-63.

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John Piper – Righteousness Imputed by Faith

19 Aug

4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

This leads to the second crucial thing to notice about the connection between verses 5 and 6—namely, the parallel between God’s act of justifying in verse 5 and God’s act of crediting or imputing righteousness in verse 6. We have seen that “the ungodly” in verse 5 parallels “apart from works” in verse 6. It is natural then to take the phrase, “justify the ungodly” to be parallel with “credit righteousness apart from works.”

Therefore Paul thinks of justification of the ungodly in terms of a positive imputation of righteousness apart from works. And this righteousness is the direct object of the verb “credit/impute” (“[God] credits righteousness,” λογίζεται δικαιοσύνην χωρίς ἔργων, logizetai dikaiosunēn chōris ergōn, 4:6). Thus he is not using the same wording or grammar as in verse 5 where “faith is imputed for righteousness,” but rather he is saying that righteousness (an objective reality outside us) is imputed to us. Justification in Paul’s mind is God’s imputing righteousness to us “by faith” rather than faith being treated as righteousness within us.

~John Piper~




Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2002), 58.

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D.A. Carson – Justification and the Vindication of God

22 Apr

The way that Jesus propitiates his Father is in the Father’s wise plan. All of God’s justice is worked out in Christ, who takes our curse and penalty in his own body on the tree. That is why Christians speak of satisfying the wrath of God. This expression does not mean that God is up in heaven smirking, “This really satisfies me.” It means that the demands of his holiness are met in the sacrifice of his own Son. His justice is satisfied in Jesus’ propitiatory sacrifice so that all may see that sin deserves the punishment that he himself has imposed, and the punishment has been meted out. This vindicates God so that he himself is seen to be just, as well as the one who justifies the ungodly (cf. Rom. 4:5). Justification is first and foremost about the vindication of God. God simultaneously preserves his justice while justifying the ungodly. That is the heart of the gospel.

~D. A. Carson~


Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 67

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John Piper – Preaching and Living Justification by Faith Alone

22 Feb

Preaching and living justification by faith alone glorifies Christ, rescues hopeless sinners, emboldens imperfect saints, and strengthens fragile churches. It is a stunning truth–that God justifies the ungodly by faith. “To the one who does not work but trusts him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” (Rom. 4:5). History bears witness: the preaching of this truth creates, reforms, and revives the church.

~John Piper~




Brothers, We Are Not Professionals (Nashville, TN; B&H Books; 2013) p. 25.

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John Piper – Justification and Sanctification

8 Dec

Justification is the gracious act of God in which, by uniting us to Christ through faith alone, God counts us perfectly righteous solely by imputing to us his own righteousness accomplished by Christ, thus satisfying all the law’s demands for our punishment and perfection through Christ’s own suffering and obedience on our behalf.

Sanctification is the gracious act of God, distinct from justification, and not part of it, by which God progressively frees us from sinning and conforms us to the character of Christ. Historic Protestant faith has always believed that anyone who is truly justified will be truly sanctified. One of the main points of this book is that the reason this is so is that the same faith that unites us to Christ for justification is also the conduit for the power of God’s Spirit for sanctification. And that faith is profoundly and pervasively future-oriented.

~John Piper~




Future Grace (Colorado Springs, CO; Multnomah Books; 2011) p. XI-XII.

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R.C. Sproul – Does Justification Matter To You?

20 Jul

As sinners with recalcitrant hearts, human beings have no fear of the justice of God, in part because they are ignorant of his Law and additionally because, when they are aware of it, they hold it in contempt. We have all become, as Jeremiah said of Israel, like a harlot who has lost the capacity to blush (Jer. 6:15; 8:12). We assume that our works are good enough to pass the scrutiny of God at the final tribunal. And we do this despite the apostolic warning that by the works of the Law shall no flesh be justified (Rom. 3:20).

People who consider themselves just enough in their own goodness do not tremble before the Law and feel no need for the gospel. For such, the matter of justification is not of great importance. It is merely a “doctrine,” and to the contemporary church few things are deemed less important than doctrine.

~R.C. Sproul~


Justified by Faith Alone (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2010) p. 11

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R.C. Sproul – Comfortable in God’s Presence

12 Jul

The struggle we have with a holy God is rooted in the conflict between God’s righteousness and our unrighteousness. He i5 just, and we are unjust. This tension creates fear, hostility, and anger within us toward God. The unjust person does not desire the company of a just judge. We become fugitives, fleeing from the presence of One whose glory can blind us and whose justice can condemn us. We are at war with Him unless or until we are justified. Only the justified person can be comfortable in the presence of a holy God.

~R.C. Sproul~


The Holiness of God (Carol Stream, IL; Tyndale House Publishers; 1998) Chapter 7: War & Peace with a Holy God

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