Imputation

By David J. Stewart

       “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God IMPUTETH righteousness without works” (Romans 4:6). What in the world does that big word mean? The word “impute” means “to pass to one’s account, to count over” It means that Jesus took our sins upon His record and then placed His righteousness upon our record. Romans chapter four speaks concerning Abraham, “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was COUNTED UNTO HIM for righteousness” (Romans 4:3). Abraham was not saved by good works; rather, he believed God and was saved by Christ’s righteousness. Christ’s perfection was imputed (placed) on Abraham’s record in Heaven. God viewed Abraham in the righteousness of Christ’s own likeness. Abraham believed God concerning the coming Messiah which was to save His people from their sins. Why was Abraham able to simply believe God in place of merit (good works)? It's because Jesus paid the price for all people to be saved. You see, Abraham could NOT have lived perfect enough to please God. All mankind is corrupt and destitute of God and decency. Even in our sincerest efforts, humanity is tarnished with the curse of sin and rebellion. We need God.

We read in Romans 4:8, “Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not IMPUTE sin.” Not only was Christ’s righteousness imputed (counted) to Abraham’s record, but Abraham’s sinful record was imputed to Christ. Literally, Jesus became as sin for us and died a sinners death, “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” (2nd Corinthians 5:21). 

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up” (John 3:14). The children of Israel had sinned by complaining and God was punishing them. Many Israelites were dying from the bite of fiery serpents. The people came to Moses for help and then Moses went to God in prayer. Here’s what God told Moses, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery SERPENT, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live” (Numbers 21;8). This serpent symbolized sin but it represented our Lord Jesus Christ who became as sin for us. John 3:14 says that Jesus, just as the fiery serpent in Moses’ day, needs to be lifted up for all people to look upon for salvation. 

Are you perishing in sin? Look to Jesus! Are discouraged and lonely? Look to Jesus! Are you worried or scared? Look to Jesus! Are you tired or burned out? Look to Jesus! Are you sad or depressed? Look to Jesus! Are you feeling empty or worthless? Look to Jesus! Are you living in conditions of misery? Look to Jesus! Have you recently failed at something? Look to Jesus! Do you have guilt or hurt feelings over something in the past? Look to Jesus! Are you stressed out or panicky? Look to Jesus! Have you a sick loved one? Look to Jesus! Do you have cancer? Look to Jesus! Are you in prison? Look to Jesus! Are you a single parent? Look to Jesus! 

Likewise, are you healthy? Look to Jesus! Are you blessed and happy? Look to Jesus! Is everything going your way? Look to Jesus! No matter what your situation, Look to Jesus! Look to Jesus! Look to Jesus! ... Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1st Peter 5:7). 

And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was IMPUTED to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be IMPUTED, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Romans 4:22-24). Amen! These Scriptures were written that we also might have Christ’s righteousness imputed to our record and our sins imputed to Christ’s record. He who knew no sin became as sin that we who knew no righteousness could be made the righteousness of God in Christ. What a wonderful truth! To think that Jesus would actually bare my sins upon His own body and suffer the crucifixion for me. Even more wonderful is that He would place all of His righteousness upon my record so that I might be viewed upon by God as having the righteousness of Christ. Now that’s a loving God! Do you realize all that you will miss if you reject Christ as your Savior? 

“And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was IMPUTED unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23). Would you like to be the friend of God? It all begins when you say “yes” to Jesus and let Him become your Savior. Jesus earnestly wants to impute His righteousness to your record—all you must do is believe. Admit you’re a sinner, guilty of violating God's holy Law, and deserving of punishment in Hell. Turn to Christ now by faith and trust Him to forgive your sins and save you. We are not saved by our own self-righteousness; but by Christ's righteousness, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ which is imputed to us at the time of salvation by faith in Christ alone. 

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