I have been reading a lot of Donald G. Barnhouse lately and, though I do not agree with everything he says, he does make some very good points for us to consider. Here is one excerpt on the imputed righteousness of Christ on believers:

Do not think that the convict is to say, “God, I have done twenty per cent by Donald Barnhousemyself and so I need eighty per cent from you.” And do not think that the ethically god man is to say, “God, you see that I have done eighty per cent by myself and so, fortunately, I need trouble you for no more than twenty per cent to make up that which is lacking.” On the contrary, the convict must learn to curse his twenty per cent of human righteousness, abandon all hope of salvation by means of it, and come to the cross of Jesus Christ to receive the one hundred per cent of a totally different righteousness which is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ on the basis of His atoning death for sin and sinners. And what is much harder, the good man must curse the eighty per cent of human righteousness, abandon all hope of salvation by means of it, and come to the cross of Jesus Christ to receive the one hundred per cent of a totally different righteousness which does not come from man at all, but which is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ on the basis or His atoning death for sin and sinners.

We often see our own good works as worth something to Christ, but to believe that would be to say you helped Christ help you which would mean salvation by works. We are saved by grace alone through faith in Christ’s accomplished work. The point Barnhouse was implying was how HARD it is for a “ethically good” man to shed his good works as opposed to a guilty sinner. Christ gives so many examples of this in the Bible; the poor man and rich man, the prodigal son, and the parable of the laborers (Matt 20:1-16) are only a few.

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