I looked at imputed righteousness in my last post, Jesus righteousness being credited or ‘imputed’ to us which leads to the Father treating us as He would Jesus. I also referenced imparted righteousness. If imputed righteousness treats us as having something we don’t actually possess what is the effect of imparted righteousness?
Before answering my question let me ask another question. If we have been born again what happened? What have we become? Understanding this tells us how we both can and should live. Our calling as believers is something the Holy Spirit spoke to me over two decades ago, ‘Become who you are.’ I have continued to understand that at deeper levels over time. Then in recent years I was at a work event and a speaker was sharing about a change they had gone through and said, “To become who we are we have to let go of who we were.” I thought about that. That thought further captures the working out of imparted righteousness. While 2 Corinthians 5:21 talks about imputed righteousness, earlier in the chapter Paul captures imparted righteousness.
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)
Paul here refers to conversion and what happened in our spirits. While he does not use the exact same language as Jesus, he is referring to what Jesus spoke of in John 3, the need to be born again, or more literally, born from above. Our spirit is literally reborn at conversion. Being born again or becoming a new creation is the same thing. Having a new spirit means that we have had something imparted to us. Our calling then is to learn how to live out of this new nature, to become who we truly are.
The answer to my earlier question around the effect of imparted righteousness is that we need to learn to understand who we truly are and live out of that identity.
I will expand further on this in my next post as this is the answer to the question so many of us have about how to live the Christian life.