Can It Ever Be Said That Righteousness Is Imparted, By God, To The Christian, Or Is Righteousness Only Imputed?
Before we answer, let us first ask the question, “what does the verb “impart” mean?”
1828 WEBSTER: “IMPART”
1. To give, grant or communicate; to bestow on another a share or portion of something; as, to impart a portion of provisions to the poor.
2. To grant; to give; to confer; as, to impart honor or favor.
3. To communicate the knowledge of something; to make known; to show by words or tokens.
1913 WEBSTER: “IMPART”
1. To bestow a share or portion of; to give, grant, or communicate; to allow another to partake in; as, to impart food to the poor; the sun imparts warmth.
2. To give a part or share; to obtain a share of; to partake of.
3. To communicate the knowledge of; to make known; to show by words or tokens; to tell; to disclose.
Can it be said that, after the inner/inward man, even the new man (i.e., that born again spirit which was born from above), true believers have been (a) ‘bestowed a share or portion’ of the righteousness of God; (b) ‘given, communicated, or granted’ the righteousness of God; (c) ‘enabled to receive the knowledge of’ the righteousness of God,” having that knowledge ‘communicated to them, made known to them,’ by God Himself through His holy word; and (d) ‘made to partake in’ the righteousness of God.
Some Key Biblical Passages:
1 Corinthians 1:30-31 “But OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is MADE UNTO US wisdom, and RIGHTEOUSNESS, and sanctification, and redemption: 31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
Jeremiah 23:6 “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this [is] his name whereby HE SHALL BE called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”
Jeremiah 33:16 “In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this [is the name] wherewith SHE SHALL BE called, The LORD our righteousness.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which AFTER God is CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS and true holiness.”
[NOTE: ktizō, “created,” means both (a) to create, form, completely transform and (b) to make habitable.]
Colossians 3:8-10 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new [man], which is RENEWED IN KNOWLEDGE after the image of him that created him”
2 Peter 1:4 “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
2 Corinthians 5:17,21 “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new…. 21 For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD in Him.”
[NOTE: poieō, “made,” literally means made, and not simply ‘imputedly made,’ or ‘reckoned to be made,’ or ‘legally deemed made,’ or ‘thought to be made but not actually made,’ but (instead) literaly made, as in one ‘actually doing something, performing something, to bring about that which is actually made].
Romans 5:19 “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be MADE RIGHTEOUS.”
[NOTE: kathistēmi, “made,” here means set as, established as, appointed to being, ordained as, constituted, conducted or brought to being…, shown or exhibited to be, brought forth/forward as… — this also pertains to a literally, actual, righteousness.]
Romans 8:4 “That the righteousness of the law might be FULFILLED IN US, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
[NOTE: plēroō, “fulfilled,” means filled, furnished, accomplished, filled up, rendered full, to cause to abound, completed, brought into effect, brought to realisation, manifested, performed, executed, etc.]
The christian [in light of the finished work of Christ on Calvary, as made effectual in their quickened hearts by the Holy Ghost, and through eternal vital union with Christ (and thus with the Triune Godhead in Him, of whom He is the fulness bodily)], has been really and truly made righteous — not after the flesh, but after the spirit, IN and BY the Spirit of God. The Christian is a new creation, made in righteousness after the image of Him who created them. The quickened saint is eternally yoked to the LORD who is their righteousness, they live in Him, and He is their life. They have been made literally righteous in Him, though not having a righteousness of their own, and though not having any works of righteousness apart from Him, and apart from His effectual working in them (by the Holy Spirit). They have been literally, and truly, and actually, made partakers of the divine nature, which is a perfectly righteous nature, and thus that righteousness of God, which is in and of God, and which ultimately is God, has truly been both imputed to them and (as a result) imparted to them.