Imputation is defined in The Oxford Universal Dictionary 1955 edition as being
1. (1545) The act of imputing or charging; the fact of being charged with a crime, fault, etc.
2. (1581) Theol, The attributing to believers of the righteousness of Christ, and to Christ of human sin, by vicarious substitution; also, the imputing of the guilt of Adam’s sin to all his descendants. (1545)
The word imputation is one of the least mentioned word in sermons coming from our pulpits today from Laodicean age preachers. Yet, it is one of the most important Doctrines in the Bible for our Eternal Security. It is of no wonder today that many preachers have gone by the wayside and now preach what I would call retread preaching. It appears to be the consensus today among many preachers, who have small attendance and small churches, that if you are not attending regularly than you must not really love God and if you do not really love God, then you may have never really been saved when you thought you were. Hence backsliding is never mentioned as a primary reason for a lack of attendance and instead a sense of questioning one’s own salvation comes to the forefront. As a result, the same congregation seems to get saved over again with the idea if they are sinning that they never were really saved the previous time or times. Christians that start questioning their salvation and eternal security no longer witness like they should because they have no real assurance to give to the lost of the world. This can turn into a vicious circle of dwindling church attendance and reinforcing the belief that there are a lost people in their own congregation. Never does it come to mind of the pastor that the sheep are not being fed doctrine from the pulpit and that is the real cause for a lot of churches failing in this Laodicean Church age. It is like an owner of a car coming in for fuel because the gas tank is running on empty and instead of getting premium quality gas, they get a watered-down product. After a while the owner of the car realizes there is nothing for them there and leaves and goes in search elsewhere. A lot of car owners end up on the side of the road never finding a place to restore energy to their vehicle. We have a lot of Christians with no spiritual energy because of the lack of doctrine coming from the Pulpits
This is where the doctrine of Imputation is so important. It attacks the heretical retread style preaching from so many misinformed pastors today. Imputation is a very important doctrine that gives a Christian a firm foundation in the belief of Eternal Security of the Believer. It energizes them to know they have something real to give to others and growth occurs instead of malaise.
What takes place in imputation is God imputing his perfect record on to your record so that you could be declared righteous. He also as in the definition of imputation takes your record of sin and charges it to himself on the Cross of Calvary and pays for those sins with his own sinless shed blood. The Lord Jesus Christ can then declare you righteous and redeems you with his shed blood so that you are saved by grace and not by works. Furthermore, your whole life is placed on the cross so that your whole life of sins is paid for when you accept The Lord Jesus Christ to be your personal savior.
Let us now look at the Scriptures and see how well this matches up with what has just been said.
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Three main points are brought forth in the above vs.
The first is that Being justified is through faith and not by works.
Ephesians 2:8, 9 confirms this.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
The second thing that is mentioned is that God imputeth righteousness without works. So imputation is God imputing his sinless righteous record and making it our record so that we can be righteous in God’s eyes as far aa salvation is concerned..
The third thing that is mentioned is that the Lord Jesus Christ will not impute sin on the individual he declares righteous.
That is because our sins are imputed to Jesus Christ while he is on the cross.
In that sense we are crucified with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
As far as salvation is concerned we are dead to sin so sin cannot be imputed to our record.
8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.
8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
When an individual gets saved, he or she receives a sinless record from Jesus Christ himself so the Lord can Justify that individual and declare him or her righteous.
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
One important thing to note here is that imputation deals with receiving the righteous record of the Lord Jesus Christ to be justified. We are eternally secure.
Verse 25 mentions sins that are past. We still will have to answer for how we live after we are saved. We do sin after we are saved, but that does not affect our salvation. It will affect one’s closeness with the Lord Jesus Christ and their relationship with him. Imputation does not give the right for the Christian to go on willfully sinning.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
In summary, imputation for the Christian is the Lord Jesus Christ giving you at salvation his life’s record of righteousness and at the same time taking your sins and life’s record and placing it on the cross with him and pays the punishment for those sins. You are redeemed and purchased through his shed blood at Calvary.
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.