How can a Christian be "perfect" before God?

Is the righteousness of Christ imputed to the believer?

Romans 5:19, "As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous," compares and contrasts Adam and Christ. God declared all under Adam's headship sinners because of Adam's one disobedient act. That determined our natural standing. Adam's one sin was not imputed to us, but the result of that one sin was. One act of Christ's obedience (the cross) constitutes all under His headship righteous. His obedience "to the extent of death" is not imputed to us. Our righteous standing results from His death, not His life.

God imputed to us neither the righteous acts of Christ nor His own righteousness, a divine attribute. We have been made "righteousness of God in Him" (literally, "the" is missing, indicating the character of our standing) (2 Corinthians 5:21). Because of the cross, God is righteous to declare the believer righteous and to impute to him a righteous standing, perfectly in accord with His righteous requirements (see Romans 3:21-26; 5:1, 9).

D. Oliver