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For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV)


Some may think it strange that I quoted the passage shown above in a thread about imputation. But it is not strange when consideration is given to what imputation is about. We are saved by grace and that is to say that every aspect of one's salvation is a gift given without reference to any worthiness one has or had as a prior acquisition. One is not given grace because one is good or did worthy things or believes true doctrine. Grace is given as saint Paul says to those who were still enemies of God.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly
. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us
. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if,
when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son
, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. (Romans 5:1-11 KJV)

Saint Paul undercuts every attempt to claim personal worthiness as the reason behind one's salvation in the above passage. He does the same in a number of passages in several of his letters. We are not saved because we deserved it. Yet in being saved we are changed and that is what the idea of imputation deals with. My Lutheran friends refer to having an alien righteousness by which is meant that the righteousness they rely upon is not their own nor one infused into them so that it becomes their own but one wholly external and wholly alien to them. Is that how you see imputed righteousness too?



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