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Welcome to the resource side of our website. Here you will find more than 400 links to studies in a wide variety of doctrinal topic areas. These studies are intended to be comprehensive and to relate a step-by-step, reasonable analysis delving deeply into the scriptural texts. (We also offer video and audio presentations of some studies.)

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June 20, 2024

What does it mean to be "credited as righteous"?

The New Testament holds up Abraham as our father in the faith. In some translations, James 2:23 says "Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness." Likewise, Jesus' parables depict forgiveness in terms of a debtor whose account is credited as paid. Do New Testament statements like these mean that righteousness is given in advance as a credit to those who believe? More specifically, would this mean that we are expected to live up to this credit by living righteously and turning from sin throughout our lives just as someone would pay off financial credit or even a loan? Would this idea nullify the assertion that atonement is given to us as a gift? Would it constitute the type of works-based salvation that is rejected in the New Testament?

For more information on
the New Testament discussion of forgiveness, faith, debt, and credit please see our study entitled:

on Credit

Q:I'm new here. Where should I get started?
The arrangement of topics to the left provides a recommended reading order. It is designed to reflect a step-by-step progression from more basic topics to more complex ones. However, it is not necessary to follow this order. Those who are more familiar with certain topics may easily read whichever studies are of interest without first going through all of the earlier topics in the list.

systematic theology:
a reading guide

logical fallacies
a list of false