THE DOCTRINE OF IMPUTATION

(Lesson 19 on Bible Doctrines) 



 

“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile” (Psalm 32:2).

 

“Imputation is the act of God whereby He accounts righteousness to the believer in Christ, who has borne the believer’s sins in vindication of the law” (C. I. Scofield, Scofield Study Bible, p. 1308).

 

“The Bible doctrine of Imputation transcends all other themes concerning the Christian, and because it has no comparisons in things of this world, it is not easily comprehended” (Lewis Sperry Chafer, Major Bible Themes).

 

I. THE SIN OF ADAM IS IMPUTED TO HIS POSTERITY (Rom. 5:12-14).

  1. Adam’s sin is imputed to the human race to the end that all are constituted sinners by nature.
  2. “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners…” (Rom. 5:19a).

 

II. THE SIN OF MAN IS IMPUTED TO CHRIST (II Cor. 5:21).

  1. The Bible teaches that there was a judicial transfer of the sin of man to the Lord Jesus Christ (Isa. 53:5,6; John 1:29; I Peter 2:24; 3:18).
  2. Man’s sin was imputed to Christ to the end that He became a sin-offering for the whole world (II Cor. 5:14; Heb. 2:9; I John 2:2).

 

III. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IS IMPUTED TO THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN CHRIST (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:3, 6-8, 21-25).

  1. Just as there was a judicial transfer of the sin of man to Christ, in like manner there is a judicial transfer of the righteousness of God to the believer (II Cor. 5:21).
  2. This forms the basis of our justification and acceptance with God.  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” (Rom. 8:1).

 

IV. BIBLICAL ILLUSTRATIONS OF IMPUTATION

  1. God made coats of skins and clothed Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21; cf. 3:7).  Concerning this picture of imputation, Scofield writes: “Type of `Christ, made unto us righteousness’ – a divinely provided garment that the first sinners might be made fit for God’s presence” (Scofield Study Bible, p. 10).
  2. A righteous standing was imputed to Abraham because he believed God (Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4:9-22; James 2:23).
  3. As the Old Testament priests were clothed with righteousness (Psalm 132:9), so all believers will be robed in the wedding garment of the righteousness of God at the second coming of Christ (Rev. 19:8; cf. Isa. 61:10).
  4. The apostle Paul’s relationship with his friend Onesimus, the runaway slave, is a wonderful illustration of imputation.  Paul wrote to Philemon, “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself” (Phil. 17).  This is a picture of imputation of merit.  “If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account” (Phil. 18) – this illustrates imputation of demerit.

 

CONCLUSION:

  1. If you die without the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you stand condemned, under the wrath of God, because the sin of Adam has been imputed to your account.
  2. But if you repent of your sin, and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, He who has borne your guilt will impute His righteousness to your account and make you acceptable before God.
  3. Yes, the old account was settled long ago;

    And the record’s clear today,

    For He washed my sins away,

    When the old account was settled long ago – F. M. Graham.     


Pastor James Barker
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