From Conformed to His Image by Oswald Chambers:
" '...unto whom God imputed righteousness without works. Romans iv, 6.'
To impute means 'to attribute vicariously' ; it is a theological word.The revelation made by the Apostle Paul, viz, that God imputes righteousness to us, is the great truth at the basis of all our Protestant theology; we are apt to forget this today. Righteousness means living and acting in accordance with right and justice, that is, it must express itself in a man's bodily life. 'Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous' (1 John iii, 7). Imputed righteousness must never be made to mean that God puts the robe of His righteousness over our moral wrong, like a snow drift over a rubbish heap; that He pretends we are all right when we are not. The revelation is that 'Christ Jesus is made unto us, righteousness' ; it is the distinct impartation of the very life of Jesus on the ground of the Atonement, enabling me to walk in the light, as God is in the light, and as long as I remain in the light God sees only the perfections of His Son. We are ' accepted in the Beloved.' "