Michael F. Bird on Imputation vs Incorporation

“Rather than imputation, a better description of the biblical materials is incorporation into the righteousness of Christ.  The verdict that God the Father executes on the Son is shared by those who are united to the risen Jesus.  They share in the verdict: Jesus’ obedience to his messianic task of redemptive suffering.  So Jesus’ obedience does become ours–but not through artificially dividing Jesus’ obedience into active and passive varieties, not through a medieval concept of ‘merit’ that is imputed instead of imparted, not because Jesus is the exemplary Pelagian who earns salvation when we cannot, not by fulfilling a covenant of works that required meritorius fulfillment, not by way of righteousness molecules floating through the air to us; rather, we become ‘righteous’ in Christ when by faith we participate in the vicarious death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We are incorporated into the righteousness of Jesus Christ.” –Michael F. Bird, Evangelical Theology, emphasis added

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