Romans 4:2-5 (HCSB)

If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to brag about — but not before God. For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him for righteousness.
 Now to the one who works, pay is not considered as a gift, but as something owed. But to the one who does not work, but believes on Him who declares the ungodly to be righteous, his faith is credited for righteousness.

     Faith is credited for righteousness.  The word “credited” is interesting.  It is the Greek word λογίζεται, which means “to count, to enumerate, to reckon, to impute.”  I like the definition impute because it means “to credit to one’s account,” which to me gives the best sense of the meaning here.  God does not see our faith and give us righteousness as a reward for our faith.  He credits righteousness to those who believe, even though they are not righteous.  This would be like me having a debt I owe.  The lender decides to free me of the debt.  He enters into his records that the debt has been paid.  What I owed was credited to me.  Did I pay the debt?  No.  Is the debt paid?  Yes.  Do I owe anything? No.  This is imputed righteousness.
     We need to make sure that we don’t think we are declared righteous because of our faith.  We are declared righteous because God took the penalty of our sin upon himself in Christ at the cross.  We believe this in faith.
     EBC: “Abraham’s faith was credited to him “as righteousness,” which means that faith itself is not righteousness.”
     Do you have this righteousness dear reader?