Preachers and theologians from various Protestant traditions have used the term "imparted righteousness" to identify the righteous principle imparted by God to believers when He regenerates them. Believers thereby become "partakers of the divine nature" (cf. 2 Peter 1:4). It is this principle of righteousness imparted to men in regeneration which is ever in conflict with the old Adamic nature.
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.
While this doctrine is rooted in Scripture, it is somewhat problematic to call it "imparted righteousness," for that which is imparted is a righteous principle into man's nature, not righteousness per se. Care must be taken in using the term imparted righteousness because it is sometimes confused with and sometimes intentionally used to refer to the Roman Catholic doctrine of infused righteousness, which in Catholicism is the basis for justification.
Wesleyans and Seventh Day Adventists have used the term in ways which seem to make it part of the basis for final justification.
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