Justification-Imputation-c

The “shuns” are biblical teachings that end in -tion.  All Christians need to be familiar with core biblical teachings, and the Fun with Shuns study is a fun way to learn biblical truths or reinforce the doctrines you already know.  You’ll be better able to live and share your Christian faith when you have a full knowledge of what you believe and are able to clearly articulate it.

It’s important to fully understand what Jesus has done for us (Justification) and what He has given to us (Imputation).

Fun with Shuns #5 — The Gift of SalvaTION

Much confusion can arise if one does not have a full understanding of the doctrine of salvation.  We have covered the revelation of the full gospel of salvation, and we defined Christ’s works as the propitiation and expiation of our salvation.

As Christians, we know that salvation is a gift from Christ and that it is of Christ and in Christ, but many Christians do not fully understand the three distinct acts of God in salvation, by which we are given the gift of salvation.

The Bible defines these works of God as justification, sanctification, and glorification.  It’s important to understand each word and to distinguish between them.  When the word “salvation” is used in the Bible, it sometimes is used in reference to justification, sometimes to sanctification, and other times in reference to glorification.  Justification, sanctification, and glorification are three biblical doctrines that define the glorious gift of salvation that Jesus has given us.

JustificaTION

jus·ti·fi·ca·tion \ noun \ jəs-tə-fə-kā-shən\

1: the act, process, or state of being justified by God
2a : the act or an instance of justifying : vindication

jus·ti·fy \ verb \ jəs-tə-fī\

1: a : to prove or show to be just, right, or reasonable
    b (1) : to show to have had a sufficient legal reason
      (2) : to qualify (oneself) as a surety by taking oath to the ownership of sufficient property

When we receive the gift of salvation we are justified by God. It is the work of God in declaring a man approved in His sight by the atonement Jesus made for sins and the imputation of His own righteousnesses. Justified is often explained to mean, it’s “just as if I’d never sinned.”  When a sinner comes to Jesus in repentance and faith, trusting in His work on the cross for the forgiveness of his sins, then the sinner is both washed clean of his sins by the blood of Jesus (Revelation 1:5) and made righteous by Jesus’ work of imputation.

Hide God’s Word in Your Heart

Romans 3:24  being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,

Romans 6:5-8  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 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. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: When Christ saved us, He justified us, He made us righteous.  

ImputaTION

im·pu·ta·tion \ noun \ im-pyə-tā-shən\

1: the act of imputing: as
a : attribution, ascription

 im·pute \ transitive verb \ im-pyüt\

1: to lay the responsibility or blame for often falsely or unjustly
2: to credit to a person or a cause : attribute <our vices as well as our virtues have been imputed to bodily

Imputation is an important part of our justification, but it is a doctrine that is not often taught.  The Bible tells us that “there is none righteous, no, not one,” (Romans 3:10).  This should cause us to ask the question, how then can we be found righteous when we stand before God?

The answer is that we are made righteous in Jesus.  Jesus imputes (credits) His own righteousness to our account and that is the justification by which God sees us as righteous.  So when it is said that being justified is “just as if I’d never sinned…” it’s not anything we have done.  It’s because our sins are forgiven and we have been given the righteousness of Jesus.

The “Doctrine of Imputation” is sometimes called “Double Imputation,” referring to the imputation of man’s sin to Christ on the cross and the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to sinners who come to Him in faith.  In the midst of that imputation the atonement took place. First, all the sins of man were laid upon Jesus. Then Jesus’ blood was shed as the atoning sacrifice to pay for man’s sins.  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth about “Double Imputation” and gave a clear teaching on what imputation means for Christians.

2 Corinthians 5:21  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.

The fourth-century church father, Athanasius, called this “The Glorious Exchange” and the 16th-century Protestant reformer, Martin Luther, referred to it as “The Great Exchange.” Simply put, the Doctrine of Imputation is:  Christ lived the life we could not live and He died the death that we should die. He took our sins upon Himself and gave us His righteousness. This imputation of His righteousness takes place in our justification and we are then reconciled to God and righteous in His sight.

  • Justification declares the sinner righteous.
  • Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin.
  • Justification is what Christ did for us by paying the penalty for our sins and imputing His righteousness to us.
  • Read about Sanctification and Glorification

Hide God’s Word in Your Heart

Colossians 1:21-22  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

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to give a reason for the Hope that you have (1 Peter 3:15).  When you can’t share the gospel with your words, share it by leaving tracts that tell people about God's grace.

When leaving a tract, always be diligent to pray about the short gospel message. Pray that it be found by someone who is in need of Jesus’ saving grace, and pray that the person will have a tender heart and open ears to receive the gift Jesus desires to give them.  

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