Archive for August 25, 2010

The IT Counted, Credited, Reckoned

August 25, 2010

Romans 4:24-25 “IT will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised up for our justification.”

Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered him up for us all, how will He not also WITH HIM graciously give us all things?”

1. Christ and His work are credited. This is my way of saying that we can distinguish but never separate His person and work. Also we can distinguish but never separate his death and his resurrection (and also the life of obedience before His death).

2. Though this sounds difficult, we are saying that God counts according to truth. God counts righteousness as righteousness! This sounds too simple, and it is, so we bring in two factors. a. The righteousness counted as righteousness is not our righteousness (not our works of faith) but legally “transferred” to us when Christ marries us, so that what is His is still His but now ours also. b. Justification is not only the righteousness, but the righteousness imputed to the elect.

3. Imputation means two things. One, the transfer. Two, the declaration. God is justified, declared to be just, without transfer. God is counted as just because God is just.

Some exegetes relate Romans 5:13-14 to infants, but I think it’s about the Mosaic law–until then, there are no commands like Adam had commands. But this means that 1. the Mosaic covenant leads to death. 2. Most importantly for the context, this means that God is NOT counting the sins in between against them. So why are they dying? They are dying because of Adam’s sin imputed to them (verse 12)

Romans 5:12-13, whatever else we say about it, is in support of verse 12 and the imputation of sin. No sins of their own counted: no matter, Adam’s sin is counted against them.

The elect have been born guilty, condemened, not justified. They are unrighteous ( prior to justification). Therefore, the crediting of Christ’s righteousness to them must be done if God is to save them. In fact, this is how God saves them, by crediting them with Christ’s righteousness

This righteousness by which the elect reign and which leads to life (of the quality and quantity of the ages to come) is not what God works in us, but imputed.

Guilt to Adam, then corruption. Righteousness to the elect, then regeneration. So many people have that wrong, even people who believe in sovereign predestination. Augustine, for example, thinks of sovereign regeneration is the righteousness. And even Calvin, on the first Adam side of things, puts corruption before guilt. In other words, Calvin taught a mediate imputation of guilt. First, he said, we got corruption from Adam, and then the guilt.

But I say (with federalism) that it would not be just for God to give us corruption from Adam until first God legally gave us Adam’s guilt. If we don’t get the first Adam side right, it will make it hard to understand the Christ (last Adam) side of things.

Romans 5:17 we “receive” the free (for no cause) gift of righteousness, not by faith, but passively, by imputation.