Background Scripture: Romans 4 (NASB)
Faith in Jesus is credited as righteousness. What then is righteousness? The scripture says our righteousness is as filthy rags. (Is. 64:6)
The act of ascribing or crediting something to someone.
In this respect, we are discussing the doctrine of imputation. The sin of Adam was imputed to all his descendants. It is reckoned as theirs, and they are dealt with accordingly. Therefore, all are shaped in iniquity. Romans 3:23 declares that “all have sinned,” and they fall short of the glory of God. Then Romans 6:23 says that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Yet there is hope for the repentant. The righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to them who believe in Him. It is attributed to them as they believe by faith. That is why we are told to put on Christ. (Rom. 13:14) Our sins are imputed to Christ, i.e., and He assumed our “law-place.” In doing so, He undertook to answer the demands of justice for our sins.
Righeousness is accounted separately from works. The Hebrew and Greek terms which are translated “righteousness” or “justice” signify that which is right. It conforms to the character of God. He graciously made a covenant with His people (Israel). His righteousness takes the form of keeping that covenant with acts of deliverance and salvation along with judgment on His enemies. Righteousness is demanded of man for fellowship with God. It is obtained through simple faith in Christ, which results in the righteousness of Christ being accounted to the believer. (Romans 3:21-23) It is gradually incorporated into the practical life of the believer through the ministry of the indwelling Spirit. (Romans 8:4; Ezek. 36:26)
Further References for Study
Attribute of God
Gen. 18:25; Deut. 32:4; Ps. 7:9-17; 9:8; Is. 9:7; Jer. 12:1; Rom. 3:25-26; 2 Pet. 1:11
Given to man Justification
Is. 45:8, 24-25; 46:13; Hosea 10:12; Rom. 1:7; 1 Cor. 1:30
Revealed in the gospel–Rom. 1:17
Is of the Lord–Is. 54:17
Described as the righteousness of faith–Romans 4:13, 9:30
The righteousness of God by faith in Christ–Romans 3:22