Three Kinds of Righteousness

There are three kinds of righteousness, or at least three kinds of righteousness which bear that name.  

There is inherent righteousness, of which we have none.

There is imputed righteousness, which is all our justification.

And there is imparted righteousness. when God the Spirit makes us new creatures, and raises up in the heart that “new man, which after God” (that is, “after the image of God”) “is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

When the Lord said, “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven,” he did not mean only an external righteousness wrought out by his obedience to the law for them, but an internal righteousness wrought out by the Holy Spirit in them.

-J.C. Philpot, Through Baca’s Vale

One Comment

  1. Tim Bloedow October 24, 2013 at 5:51 pm #

    Barry, is Philpot treating imputed as synonymous with internal and imparted as synonymous with external? If not, I’m confused as to how his final paragraph relates to what went before.

    Having said that, I don’t think those terms as commonly understood are synonymous because keeping of the law is not exclusively external; it is both internal and external. I see/hear that contrast of internal/external often, even in reformed sermons/writings and have a great deal of problem with it. All external laws are expressions of the law of love – of God and of fellow man. Coveting – the 10th commandment – is more a sin of the heart than of external deeds. It’s a very problematc paradigm.

    Additionally, if what Philpot is trying to say is that that Christ in Mt. 5:20 was refering to iimputed righteousness rather than imparted, I’d like to know how he got that when it’s in the middle of a section that is very focussed on ethics, which is to say, those things that pertain to sanctification.

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