The Twofold Obedience of Christ
Theologians often speak of the active and passive obedience of Christ. His active obedience consisted of His perfect keeping of the law of God throughout His life. His passive obedience consisted of His willing reception of the punishment of sinners’ breaking the law. Both are imputed to sinners who trust in Christ, so that they are seen to be perfectly righteous in Christ and without any penalty for breaking the law (see Westminster Confession of Faith 11). “Passive obedience” is somewhat of a misnomer, since Christ’s enduring the penalty of sin was an active endurance.