Imparted righteousness


Imparted righteousness

Imparted righteousness, in Methodist theology, is that gracious gift of God given at the moment of the new birth which enables a Christian disciple to strive for holiness and sanctification. John Wesley believed that imparted righteousness worked in tandem with imputed righteousness. "Imputed righteousness" is the righteousness of Jesus credited to the Christian, enabling the Christian to be justified; imparted righteousness is what God does in Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit "after" justification, working in the Christian to enable and empower the process of sanctification (and, in Wesleyan thought, Christian perfection).

criptural support

* Jeremiah 31:33-34 "But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”" ("ESV")
* 2 Corinthians 3:18 "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." ("ESV")

John Wesley

* Sermon #4: [http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-004.stm "Scriptural Christianity"]
* Sermon #14: [http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-014.stm "The Repentance of Believers"]
* Sermon #17: [http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-017.stm "The Circumcision of the Heart"]
* Sermon #20: [http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-020.stm "The Lord Our Righteousness"]
* Sermon #45: [http://gbgm-umc.org/umhistory/wesley/sermons/serm-045.stm "The New Birth"]

Hymnody & other sources

Charles Wesley believed in imparted righteousness. This comes through in the Wesleyean hymnody such as his famous hymn "And can it be". The last verse reads:

No condemnation now I dread;Jesus, and all in Him, is mine !Alive in Him, my living Head,And clothed in righteousness divine,Bold I approach the eternal throne,And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

Clothed in righteousness divine. Ephesians 6:14 [TNIV] says "Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the "breastplate of righteousness" in place...."

Protestant distinctive in imparted righteousness

Preachers and theologians from various Protestant traditions (not only Wesleyan) use the term "imparted righteousness" to identify the righteous principle imparted by God to believers when He regenerates them. Believers thereby become "partakers of the divine nature" (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). It is this principle of righteousness imparted to men in regeneration which is ever in conflict with the old Adamic nature. Protestants, however, maintain the distinction between the "imputed righteousness" of Christ which is the basis for justification and the "imparted righteousness" which is the basis for subsequent sanctification.

While this doctrine is rooted in Scripture, it is somewhat problematic for some Christians (notably Calvinists) to call it "imparted righteousness," for that which is imparted is a righteous "principle" into man's nature, not "righteousness" per se. Care must be taken in using the term "imparted" righteousness because it is sometimes confused with and sometimes intentionally used to refer to the Roman Catholic doctrine of "infused righteousness," which in Catholicism is the basis for justification.

ee also

* Righteousness
* Imputed righteousness
* Andreas Osiander

External links

* [http://wesley.nnu.edu/wesleyan_theology/theojrnl/16-20/18-14.htm John Wesley's Doctrine of Justification] by Charles Brockwell...includes a concise discussion of imparted righteousness
* "Encountering God" by Andrew Purves and Charles Partee, Chapter 9: "The Struggle for Saintliness" (ISBN 0-664-22242-0)...opposed to the idea of imparted righteousness
* [http://www.njupc.com ] Voice of the Pastor Study Series


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