“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
In one of my past blog posts, I wrote about why all Christians should study theology. I explained how Christians, by definition, are theologians. Because of that, we should study theological doctrines.
One of the most misunderstood and (unfortunately) neglected doctrines is the doctrine of double imputation. Don’t be confused by the big word here. When explained, it’s very simple. Double imputation is at the heart of the gospel.
What is Imputation?
I understand how intimidating this word can be. But I also know that if we really commit ourselves, nothing is too difficult to learn. This word imputation is not just a theological word. It’s also an accounting term.
Stephen Nichols of Ligonier Ministries said this about imputation:
The word imputation comes directly from the Latin. It is an accounting term; it means “to apply to one’s account.” Expenses are debited and income is credited.
Imputation is not something that is difficult to understand. We already have an understanding of it outside of Scripture. When we see how it’s used in accounting, it’ll make it easier to understand when studying it in the Bible.
Applied to The Sinner’s Account
Imputation, like I said above, is truly at the heart of the gospel. This doctrine states when a person repents of their sin and believes in the gospel, all of their sin—past, present, future—is laid on Jesus (on the cross, where He absorbed God’s wrath!) and all of Christ’s righteousness is credited to the sinner’s account.
Without imputation, no man can be saved.
If Jesus had solely died for our sins, and not credited His perfect life to us, we would only be a “blank slate.” We wouldn’t have any righteousness. We wouldn’t be allowed to enter Heaven because we would not be perfectly righteous, which is what God requires.
This is why imputation is important. We see this doctrine explicitly states in 2 Corinthians 5:21, which says, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
God made Jesus to be sin, who knew no sin (who had no sin!), that we, who repent and believe, might become the righteousness of God in Christ!
Friends, there is nothing more beautiful than this reality, that in Christ, God sees us as perfectly righteousness.
Spotless. Blameless. Without sin. Perfect.
These are the words that describe those who are in Christ. Amazing!
And it’s all because of Jesus! It should go without saying that we did nothing to deserve this! Jonathon Edwards once said that “you contribute nothing to your salvation except the sin that made it necessary.”
In the words of Voddie Baucham, if you can’t say “Amen!” say “Ouch!”
Ponder This Great Reality
Christian, it would do your soul well to think upon this reality, that you’ve been credited with the righteousness of Christ and that all your sin was punished in Christ on the cross.
It is biblically accurate to say that you are just as holy as Jesus as. God loves you just as much as He loves Jesus. What grace!
Let this doctrine penetrate your heart and motivate you to persevere in your faith and increase in holiness.
Soli Deo Gloria