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Surpassing Worth

Daily Reading: Philippians 3

Scripture Focus: But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. (Philippians 3.7)

Devotional Thought: Earlier in Philippians 3, Paul listed some things in which he could have placed his confidence: Religious Experience – He was a circumcised Jew; Theological Education – He was a Hebrew of Hebrews; Jewish Ethnicity – He was of the people of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin; Sincere Emotions – He sought the fulfillment of the law zealously; His Superior Ethics – He lived as a blameless Pharisee. But, Paul counted those things as loss. None of them provided the righteousness he so desperately sought. What did? Knowing Christ!

Is righteousness imputed or imparted?

  • Imputed righteousness is how God sees you. He assigns the righteousness of Christ to you and sees you as righteous.

  • Imparted righteousness is what God makes you. He actually transforms your character to the character of Christ.

A crude illustration would be a garbage can. Imagine taking a sheet and writing “CLEAN” on it with a huge marker. If you throw that sheet over the garbage can, it still stinks. Or what if you took a hose and washed all the filth off the outside of the garbage can? It would still be full of rottenness. Imputed righteousness is like that.

Imparted righteousness is different. With imparted righteousness, the blanket is thrown over the garbage can and it is cleaned up on the outside. Then, all the garbage is dumped out of it, and it is cleaned on the inside, transformed into a new vessel fit for the Holy Spirit. That is imparted righteousness. Notice that the water of cleansing doesn’t come from within the garbage can. It is operated on from without. In the same way, we do not reform ourselves; God transforms us.

Thank God for the imputed and imparted righteousness of Christ!

Prayer: O Lord, I am "in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption" (1 Corinthians 1.30)! Hallelujah! I receive your imputed and imparted righteousness! Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord! 2 O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy! 3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared. (Psalms 130:1-4)

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