IMPUTED AND INHERENT RIGHTEOUSNESS COMPARED
§ 155. While Christ’s vicarious obedience constitutes the righteousness imputed to us 1 and accepted by our faith,2 and is a necessary cause of our salvation,3 our own obedience constitutes a righteousness inherent in us,4 and is a necessary fruit 5 and evidence 6 of our faith, but in no wise a cause of, or necessary for, our salvation.7
1. While Christ’s vicarious obedience constitutes the righteousness imputed to us…
Cf. § 148.
2. …and accepted by our faith,
Cf. §§ 146. 147.
3. …and is a necessary cause of our salvation,
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Cf. Christology, § 124, g.
4. …our own obedience constitutes a righteousness inherent in us,
Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Ephesians 4:22–23 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind.
5. …and is a necessary fruit
Titus 3:8, 14 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (14) And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.
Matthew 7:17–18 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.
6. …and evidence
James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.
7. …of our faith, but in no wise a cause of, or necessary for, our salvation.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.
Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the Law.