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Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness?

Counted Righteous in Christ: Should We Abandon the Imputation of Christ’s Righteousness?

John Piper

| Crossway | 2002

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Are Christians merely forgiven, or do they possess the righteousness of Christ? Recently the time-honored understanding of the doctrine of justification has come under attack. Many question how—or if—we receive the full righteousness of Christ. Martin Luther said that if we understand justification “we are in the clearest light; if we do not know it, we dwell in the densest darkness.” And now, in this new and important book, John Piper accepts Luther’s challenge. He points out that we need to see ourselves as having been recipients of the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and therefore enjoy full acceptance with God and the everlasting inheritance of life and joy. Piper writes as both a pastor and a scholar. His pastor’s heart is shown in his zeal for the welfare of the church. His careful scholarship is evident in each explanation and undergirds each conclusion.

“Does Christ’s lifelong record of perfect obedience to God get ‘credited’ to your account when you trust in Christ and are ‘justified’ by God? This has been the historic Protestant understanding of the ‘imputation of Christ’s righteousness,’ but John Piper warns that we are in danger of losing this doctrine today because of attacks by scholars within the evangelical camp. In response, Piper shows, in careful treatment of passage after passage, that the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to believers is clearly the teaching of the Bible, and if we abandon this doctrine we will also lose justification by faith alone. I am thankful to God for John Piper’s defense of this crucial doctrine.”—Wayne Grudem Research Professor of Theology and Bible Phoenix Seminary.

“The Gospel must be defended in every generation. Today, as in the sixteenth century, the central issue is the imputation of Christ’s righteousness. John Piper clearly and powerfully proves this is the view of the Bible and not merely of orthodox Protestant theology. The church must say ‘No!’ to those who declare that imputation is passé. If imputation is passé, then so is the Gospel.”—R. C. Sproul.

Author Bio

John Piper (b. 1946) is a widely respected theologian and bestselling author who served as Pastor for Preaching and Vision of Bethlehem Baptist Church for 33 years. He still serves as chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. Logos has collected his sermons in the John Piper Sermon Archive (1980–2014).

Piper attended Wheaton College where he majored in literature and minored in philosophy. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary, where he studied under Dr. Daniel Fuller. Piper received his Doctorate in Theology from the University of Munich and taught biblical studies for six years at Bethel College.

In 1994, Piper founded Desiring God Ministries, which provides Piper’s sermons, articles, and information on titles he has authored. One of his bestsellers, Desiring God: Meditations of a Christian Hedonist, prompted the name of the ministry.

Several of Piper’s books have been Evangelical Christian Publishers Association Christian book award winners including What Jesus Demands from the World, Pierced by the Word, and God’s Passion for His Glory. The Crossway John Piper Collection (39 vols.) includes 39 titles from Piper, including Love Your Enemies and A Hunger for GodHear how Piper uses Logos for his Bible Study