RECKONED RIGHTEOUSNESS

QUOTE:  A. E. KNOCH  From Magazine named  “Unsearchable Riches”

BY:  JONATHAN MITCHELL

MAY 26, 2004

In an article by A.E. Knoch, recently printed in the magazine “Unsearchable Riches,” he discusses the topic of “Reckoned Righteousness.”  Herein he makes some cogent observations:

1. “The reckoning has been called ‘forensic,’ as though the result of judicial procedure, which might be called a legal fiction.  Bluntly stated, it hints that Abram did not do right, but God overlooked this and falsified the record… Indeed, some of the more enlightened translators reject this term in favor of ‘imputed’.”

2. “This, again, is generally accepted to mean ‘the righteousness of Christ’ ‘accepted by the Divine Father as a substitute for the righteousness of mankind.'”

3. “Impute implies that Abram was not righteous.  Attribute and ascribe are milder, but they still need the word vicarious in order to relieve their tinge of injustice.”

I agree with Knoch on these points, and feel that the traditional concepts of justification and righteousness are built on an erroneous understanding of what the Scriptures are teaching on this issue.  What Abram did was right.  “Abram’s passive acceptance, his belief that God is true, whatever He says, is the basis of God’s reckoning.” (Knoch)  The Greek logizomai, “reckon,” is of the same family as the word logos (a thought; an idea; a word).  I think that “considered,” or “accounted (as in adding up or recording on an account)” is a better translation of the verb.  It was not a forensic pronouncement, but rather an acknowledgement and an entry into God’s “scrolls” of a fact about Abram.  Did God give Abram the faith?  Yes.  And thus, with our gift of faith – which is in fact Christ’s faith – are we sons of Abraham.  Abram, in passively accepting and then responding in faith, was within God’s righteousness – it was the right way to be; it was the way pointed out (i.e., to believe God and live by faith), which was later revealed as “The Way, the Truth and the Life,” i.e., “Christ.”  This was not a legal fiction of ascribing something that was not really there, or of transferring another’s state of being righteousness to Abram, as though he was not in this situation.  The faith imparted into Abram by the word of Yahweh created in Abram a reality of righteousness – a reality which accepted the word, and believed God.  Thus was Abram accredited as “being righteous.”

We, too, become God’s righteousness, as we passively receive the implanted word of Truth and have Christ’s faith birthed within our spirits.  Another metaphor for this is of our being placed into Christ, Himself, and partaking of the Vine – the sap of the Spirit flowing within our branches, producing the Spirit’s fruit.  This is the way that is right.  It is the righteousness that comes from God and is place within us, and we within It (Him).  It is the way that is “considered right.”

 

RECKONED RIGHTEOUSNESS [Jonathan Mitchell]          1

 

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