Righteousness is a big, important word that conveys one of the life's most vital concepts.
Ezra 9:15). "The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion" (Psalms 116:5). "The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made" (Psalms 145:17).
The Hebrew word translated righteousness has as its root the meaning of "right" or "straight." The Old English word used to translate the Hebrew word was "oughtness." God is right. God is straight. God is as He ought to be.
How then, does a sinner become righteous in the eyes of God?
The word "impute" means to "credit to an account" of another. It is an accounting term. When God imputes righteousness, it means that God credits "righteousness" to the account of a sinner. How can I be seen by God as "righteous" when both God and I know that that I'm a sinner.
God credits me with perfect righteousness when I believe in Christ. My trust (faith) is credited as righteousness to me" (Romans 4:22).
“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).
You are declared righteous by God through the gift of His righteousness given to all those with faith in Christ.
It is critical, however, to maintain the distinction between the "imputed righteousness" of Christ which is the basis for justification and this "imparted righteousness" which may be seen as the basis for subsequent sanctification.
For all you English majors out there, imbedded is a legitimate variant spelling of embedded.
To be imedded means "to fix into a surrounding mass; or to incorporate as an essential part or characteristic."
When something is imbedded, it cannot be removed. The characteristics of that which is imbedded are seen in the mass in which it is imbedded. For example, when red dye is imbedded into plastic, you have red plastic. When paint is imbedded into canvas, you have art. When righteousness is imbedded into a sinner, you have a person who begins to pursue what is right.
In essence, nobody has warrant to say they have been given the gift of imputed righteousness, and have in them the presence of imparted righteousness, until they life a life that shows evidence of imbedded righteousness.
Nobody who knows Christ continues in their sin. We all sin. We who have received the righteousness of Christ have righteousness imbedded within us, and therefore, the characteristics of living right are always present - for we can't help it.
It's imbedded within our DNA as followers of Jesus.