What It is Imputed? Only One Justification

The Object of Faith is Imputed

Galatians 3:5-8 quotes Genesis 15:6, which tells us that Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him as righteousness. Luther tells us that to have faith is to have Christ indwelling, and tells us that God really is pleased with the faith God has given us, and that this faith is really righteous in God’s sight and thus imputed as so.

But Luther does not explain how this righteous faith (produced according to him by God in the water of regeneration) satisfies the law of God. (Since Luther taught that, if you were a sinner, Christ had died for you, then Luther’s message cannot be that the elect were saved by Christ’s death alone.)

To begin to understand Genesis 15:6, we need to know that “as righteousness” should be translated “unto righteousness”. (See Robert Haldane’s commentary, Banner of Truth). That’s important to see, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t explain the imputation.

Whether we see imputation as the transfer of something, or if we see imputation as the declaration of something (without a transfer, or after a transfer), what is the “it” which is being imputed? No matter if we have gone to great lengths to say that it is not credited as righteousness but only unto righteousness, what is “it” and why is God imputing “it”?

The “new perspective” tells us the imputation is without a transfer, and that it only means declaring that certain folks are in the covenant. In this way of thinking, “it is imputed” simply means that God declares people just without talking about how and why they got that way.

“It” has an antecedent, but the antecedent is not faith alone. God imputes the righteousness revealed in the gospel to a person justified by the gospel.

“Faith” in Galatians 3:5-8 is defined in two ways: not by works of the law, and the gospel preached to Abraham.

God did establish a conditional covenant with Abraham. In Genesis 17, he warned that anybody not circumcised would be cut off from the covenant. But that conditional covenant with Abraham is not the gospel God preached to Abraham.

God did not say to Abraham: if you believe, then I will bless you. God said, I will bless you without cause, not only so that you will believe but also so that in your offspring there will be one who will bring in the righteousness for the elect alone required by the law.

The “it” which is imputed by God to Abraham is the obedient bloody death of Abraham’s seed Jesus Christ for the elect alone.

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One Comment on “What It is Imputed? Only One Justification”

  1. markmcculley Says:

    “the children of wrath by nature…”

    ej: Eph 2:3 – God’s children our wrathful in their nature. Wrath in many places in referring to man’s sin. “Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.”[Psalms 76:10] “A fool’s wrath is presently known: but a prudent man covereth shame.” [Proverbs 12:16] aj:The clear context is referring to the nature of the God’s elect before conversion, not the nature of God towards them before their conversion.
    “…the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the
    mind; and were by nature…” That is all about sin, not God.

    mark: Sin offends the holy God. Sin is about God. Sin is against God. You agree with the liberals, in thinking that God is never reconciled to elect sinners, and that God never needs to be reconciled to sinners. So in Rom 5:11, the only reconciliation to be received according to you is not objective, but only the overcoming of the hostility of the already justified.

    A bit strange that: overcome your hostility by overcoming your
    hostility—While you attempt to praise God for justification, ironically, you turn it all into regeneration only (the overcoming of our hostility).

    NOW that we are reconciled (subjectively, because objectively God was always propitiated), we will in the future be saved by His resurrection.
    More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have NOW received reconciliation.

    @Give me the text that says the children of wrath by nature were never under the wrath and never under sin. You don’t have one. Thus you have to “perception” the before and after texts.

    “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” [2 Timothy 1:9]

    mark: purpose is eternal, calling is in time; “according to” should tell you two different things

    “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be
    against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall
    lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…” [Romans 8:31-35]

    mark: Christ could never rise again, He is God and eternally purposed to
    rise and therefore was eternally risen. There can be no before and after with God. No justification after. NO risen after death. It’s all at the same time with God. Therefore, always and already at the throne of God. No bringing in of righteousness (Daniel 9), no making an end of sin. Since God purposed to do those things before the world began, they have always been done.

    All at the same time, simultaneous, that is time already. Don’t bother me none, these people with righteousness imputed but no life yet and no gospel yet….

    Sarcasm, sorry, it’s late, I’m going to bed…James 1:20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness that God requires


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