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Monday
Apr072008

Theological Term of the Week

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double imputation

The doctrinal teaching that in justification, there is a two-way transfer: The believer’s sin is credited to Christ and Christ’s righteousness is credited to the believer.
  • From scripture:
    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)
  • From The London Baptist Confession, 1689, Chapter 11, Justification, Sections 1 and 3:
    Those whom God effectually calls He also freely justifies, not by infusing righteousness into them, but by pardoning their sins, and by accounting and accepting them as righteous, not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but for Christ’s sake alone. They are not justified because God reckons as their righteousness either their faith, their believing, or any other act of evangelical obedience. They are justified wholly and solely because God imputes to them Christ’s righteousness. He imputes to them Christ’s active obedience to the whole law and His passive obedience in death. They receive Christ’s righteousness by faith, and rest on Him. They do not possess or produce this faith themselves, it is the gift of God.
    Christ, by His obedience and death, fully discharged the debt of all those who are justified, and by the sacrifice of himself through the blood of His cross, underwent instead of them the penalty due to them, so making a proper, real, and full satisfaction to God’s justice on their behalf. Yet because He was given by the Father for them, and because His obedience and satisfaction was accepted instead of theirs (and both freely, not because of anything in them), therefore they are justified entirely and solely by free grace, so that both the exact justice and the rich grace of God might be glorified in the justification of sinners.
  • From The Epistle to Diognetus 9, dating from the mid to late 2nd century AD:
    He showed how long-suffering He is. He bore with us, and in pity He took our sins upon Himself and gave His own Son as a ransom for us – the Holy for the wicked, the Sinless for sinners, the Just for the unjust, the Incorrupt for the corrupt, the Immortal for the mortal. For was there, indeed, anything except His righteousness that could have availed to cover our sins? In whom could we, in our lawlessness and ungodliness, have been made holy, but in the Son of God alone? O sweet exchange! O unsearchable working! O benefits unhoped for! – that the wickedness of multitudes should thus be hidden in the One holy, and the holiness of One should sanctify the countless wicked!

Learn more

The term double imputation was suggested by Jen of joythruChrist. 
 
Have you come across a theological term that you don’t understand and that you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

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Reader Comments (6)

thanks for that explanation!

April 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeslie

I really do appreciate these posts. I get so excited when I read them because they're just so full of truth! I just know that inside me, there's this reformed chick just trying to get out. ;)

April 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjen elslager

I get so excited when I read them...

I get excited about those things, too. I don't know how anyone can think doctrine is boring! :)

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca

I certainly don't think it's boring! I had to come back today because I had more time to load the youtube. (I'm on dial up and these things take some time) I've actually never heard Sproul speak before this. I like his style. Very engaging and forthright.

And I had not heard of 'legal fiction' either. Must investigate...

April 10, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterjen elslager

That's a really old video, as you could probably tell. :)

I've been the recipient of the "legal fiction" remark once or twice.

April 11, 2008 | Registered Commenterrebecca

I'll share a thought with you and try not to get too preachy, but this Christmas I'm finding joy in the doctrine of double imputation. I'm Hopeful you'll agree and can share this joy, let me explain.

Christ could have easily come down to earth on Good Friday, violated a few natural laws to become human, been crucified for the propitiation of our sin, then resurrected and ascend into heaven, but he didn't just do that. That crucifixion imputed our complete sins to the cross, but his righteous life was what he imputed back to us (Double Imputation).

Just a warning, I'm going to mix some tenses here on purpose. Jesus was born of a Virgin, he is both man and God, and he lived a perfect righteous life on earth. He grew, learned and was tempted as any man could be from sin, but he did not sin. It was his time on earth that began as a babe, he then grew to a man, and by his works on earth he became righteousness for us. His life on earth, being human and without fault, is what we cling to for our justification. By Grace alone it was imputed to us on the cross, and is our only way to enter into into his kingdom, his righteousness alone is our only way to be called worthy of his perfect standard. This is so AWESOME!

Let us remember as we celebrate his birth, that this was the start of his perfect life lived on earth where he became a righteous man. One day we shall see him in all his glory, God the Son still fully man and fully God, because of his great mysterious gift to us.

To God be the Glory and may God bless you all.

December 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDoug Detwiler

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