If there is one doctrine absent from modern Southern Baptist teaching to the great harm of Southern Baptist people in general, it is the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ.
This particular doctrine is found in several passages of Scripture including:
Rom 5:17 If, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:30 He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom and our righteousness and sanctification and redemption.
2 Corinthians 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Philippians 3:8-11 Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith--that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Imputed righteousness, which some, including Richard Barclay and John Wesley in the 18th Century, called "imputed nonsense," is the teaching of Holy Scripture that by God's grace, through faith in Christ, the believer is accounted "fully righteous" in the eyes of God because the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him, just as the believer's sins were imputed to Christ at Calvary.
This is why believers are called "co-heirs with Christ." This is why "there is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ." This is why believers can never become MORE righteous by their individual actions. We are as righteous as we will ever be in the eyes of God because of Christ's righteousness imputed (or credited) to us.
What are the practical effects of understanding this doctrine? Listen to Martin Luther's comment regarding the practical effects of imputed righteousness: "When God purifies the heart by faith, the market is sacred as well as the sanctuary." -Martin Luther
In other words, the more a believer understands that Christ is his righteousness and sanctification, then the more he begins to understand that the he lives his life DAILY trusting in Christ and not his own performance. He is free to be real, genuine, and transparent, and EVERYTHING is sacred to him --- including the marketplace of life.
How would the Southern Baptist Convention change if this doctrine of imputed righteousness were taught from the pulpits?
In His Grace,