What is Imputation?
According to the Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897), the word Imputation is used to designate any action or word or thing as reckoned to a person. Thus in doctrinal language (1) the sin of Adam is imputed to all his descendants, i.e., it is reckoned (considered) as theirs, and they are dealt with therefore as guilty; (2) the righteousness of Christ is imputed to them that believe in Him, or so attributed to them as to be considered their own; and (3) our sins are imputed to Christ, i.e., He assumed our “law-place,” undertook to answer the demands of justice for our sins. In all these cases, the nature of imputation is the same (please read Romans 5:12-19). In other word’s, Adam is the representative of all those who are in the old creation. Christ however is the representative of all those who are in the new creation (John 3:3). A representative acts for all those who are under him or come from him. This is the case for both Adam and Christ. Through Adam, sin and death entered into the world. Death became the common lot of all of Adam’s descendants (mankind) because all have sinned through Adam. It is also true that mankind commits individual acts of sin thus adding to his/her condemnation. In Christ however, is life and righteousness before God. In Adam you are guilty, but if you are in Christ you are innocent and “there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1)
2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Romans 4:4-5 “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness…”
Philippians 3:9 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith…”
Brothers and Sisters, this is the Good News of the Gospel, God transferred all of your sins to Christ’s account as He hung on the cross, and He was punished on your behalf. Also, since Christ lived a perfectly sinless life, God is able to transfer His innocence to the account of His followers. Your debt is paid in full; never to be paid again! The word Imputation itself is not necessarily a word you need to bring up during an evangelism opportunity, but more importantly, explain the Biblical meaning of the word. Explain first, that the Bible teaches that all mankind are sinners, both by nature and practice. Everyone born of human parents inherits Adam’s sin, and also sins by his/her deliberate choice (Romans 3:23). Second, explain that the wages of sin is death, both physical death and eternal separation from God in Hell (Romans 6:23). Lastly, explain how at an immense cost, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die as the substitute for guilty sinners and how salvation from the wrath to come, sin, and its wages is offered as a free gift through faith in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 3:16-17). There should be nothing more important than to share the Good News of the Gospel to anyone and everyone that you can during this time. Brothers and Sisters let us therefore be obedient vessels of God’s Grace and share the Good News with the lost and hurting in your reach.
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