Category Archives: Salvation

Substitution – The unlimited substitutionary atonement for sin. Christ bore our sins in His own body…

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God’s righteousness and justice demand that he execute the sentence He has decreed upon sin. ”The soul that sinneth it shall die . . .” (Ezekiel 18:20) ”The wages of sin is death . . .” (Romans 6:23) This means that judgment must fall on every human being, because we are all sinners. However, the word of God tells of that our judgment has, in fact fallen on another person, the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the fact of Christ’s taking the punishment that was meant for us that is known as the doctrine of substitution.

You can see a simple example of the idea of substitution in Mark 15:7. Barabbas was guilty of several crimes, including murder and insurrection. The Roman government had already condemned him to death by crucifixion. But Barabbas never saw his cross! Because Jesus took his place on the cross. In fact, Christ was Barabbas’s substitute both physically and spiritually.

The doctrine of substitution describes both the nature of Christ’s death and the method God uses in providing salvation for all of us. The guilt of the sinner is never denied. Substitution is taught in the Bible in a variety of ways.

Substitution is Taught by Old Testament Sacrifices

There are six steps involved in making a sacrifice. The first three steps were taken by the sinner for whom the sacrifice was being made.

  • He selected and presented the proper sacrificial animal, Lev. 1:2
  • He identified with the sacrifice by placing his hand on its head, Lev. 1:4
  • Then, he killed the animal, Lev. 1:9

Three actions were then performed by the priest:

  • He skinned the animal sacrifice and cut it into pieces, Lev. 1:6
  • He prepared the altar, Lev. 1:7
  • He burned the sacrifice on the altar, Lev. 1:9

The purpose of the sacrifice was to gain the sinner’s acceptance. The sacrifice was made that it may be accepted for him to make atonement on his behalf. The sacrifice made a covering and gained acceptance before the Lord.

Substitution is Taught by Direct Prophecy

The portion of Isaiah from chapter 40 to chapter 66 is the heart of the Old Testament teaching about the Messiah. It begins with a prophecy of the ministry of John the Baptist in Isa. 40:3-5, and it concludes with the new heavens and new earth in Isa. 66:22. The general lines of truth are as follows.

Summary of the Messiah’s Work, Isa. 52:13-15

Jehovah (one name for God) introduces the Messiah with the words “Behold, my servant…” The word behold calls out attention to important matters. It says “wake up, don’t miss this.” The word servant is a reference to the Messiah. The New Testament clearly shows the Lord Jesus to be the one who fulfills this prophecy. When Philip was talking with the Ethiopian eunuch as he read this very passage in Isaiah, the issue was raised as to the identity of the servant. Philip took this passage and preached Jesus to him (Acts 8:26-35).

Jehovah made a triple declaration about the Messiah. First, He said that the Messiah would be successful in His work. The passage says that He shall deal prudently, the word meaning to act intelligently so as to succeed. It refers to effective action. It is placed before the words my servant and is em­phatic.

Jehovah then says that the Messiah will be glorified. “He shall be exalted..”, or a more literal translation, “He shall rise.” This is the beginning of His glory and is fulfilled in his resurrection. Then, extolled, that is, he will raise himself, the continuation of phase one and fulfilled in the ascension of Christ. Then, he shall be very high, a phrase in which the Hebrew uses a stative verb which refers to a fixed position. This is fulfilled in the session of Christ (Heb. 1:3), where He is seated at the Father’s right hand.

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Propitiation – Jesus Christ is our Mercy Seat, our place of propitiation!

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Propitiation is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ by which He appeases the wrath of God and conciliates Him who would otherwise be offended by our sin and would demand that we pay the penalty for it.

Propitiation is translated from the Greek word (hilasterion), meaning “that which expiates or propitiates” or “the gift which procures propitiation”. The word is also used in the New Testament for the place of propitiation, the “mercy seat.” (Heb. 9:5). There is frequent similar use of hilasterion in the Septuagint. Ex. 25:18 ff. The mercy seat was sprinkled with atoning blood on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16:14), representing that the righteous sentence of the Law had been executed, changing a judgment seat into a mercy seat (Heb. 9:11-15; compare with “throne of grace” in Heb. 4:14-16; place of communion, Ex. 25:21-22).

Another Greek word, (hilasmos), is used for Christ as our propitiation. 1 John 2:2; 4:10, and for “atonement” in the Septuagint (Lev. 25:9). The thought in the Old Testament sacrifices and in the New Testament fulfillment is that Christ completely satisfied the just demands of a holy God for judgment on sin by His death on the cross.

God, foreseeing the cross, is declared righteous in forgiving sins in the Old Testament period as well as in justifying sinners under the new covenant (Rom. 3:25, 26; cf. Ex. 29:33, note). Propitiation is not the placating of a vengeful God but, rather, it is the satisfying the righteousness of a holy God, thereby making it possible for Him to show mercy without compromising His righteousness or justice.

The Hebrew kaphar, means “to propitiate, to atone for sin”. According to scripture, the sacrifice required by the Law only covered the individual’s sin making the sin offering and secured personal divine forgiveness. The Old Testament sacrifices never removed man’s sin. “It is not possible…”, Heb. 10:4. The Israelite’s offering implied confession of sin in anticipation of Christ’s sacrifice which did, finally, “put away” the sins “done previously in the forbearance of God”. Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:15, 26. The word “atonement” does not occur in the New Testament; the word in Rom. 5:11 is “reconciliation”.

The beginning of the subject of propitiation is found far back in the Bible, back to the designing of the tabernacle in the wilderness, the tent which God had the people of Israel set up which would be the center of His presence on earth.

The tabernacle occupies a large portion of Scripture, sixteen chapters in the book of Exodus and the whole book of Leviticus. Every feature of the tabernacle, of the worship carried out there, of the priestly life and duties, of the vestments of the priests, the sacrifices, the feast days–every feature was vitally important and designed by the Lord for eternal purposes. It is very important for the church age believer to have a good working knowledge of the Levitical system in order to appreciate fully the work of Christ and the plan of God as they have been instituted in the world.

There was great stress on the blueprint of the tabernacle.

Exodus 25:8-9 “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”

The pattern was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai, along with the Law. Read Hebrews 8:1–6. The tabernacle was a symbolical expression of spiritual truth.

The congregation of the Jews did not go beyond the courtyard of the tabernacle. They made offerings only at the brazen altar; and only the priests were allowed to go anyplace else in the tabernacle. The tabernacle was the dwelling place of God on earth, and God was unapproachable by sinful men. The main lessons being taught had to do with the perfection of God and the sinfulness of man.

The Furniture of the Tabernacle

Brazen Altar

This altar was the be­ginning of a person’s approach to God. Animal sacrifices made there taught that substitutionary sacrifice is the first step toward fellowship with God. When a person passed outside the gate of the tabernacle, the only thing that he could see was the smoke rising from the burnt offerings, and through the one gate could be seen the altar of sacrifice and the blood being shed. Everything else was hidden from view by the curtain. This was a continuous reminder of “the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.” The only thing the unbeliever can ever see is the Gospel, the good news of Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for us.

A description of the brazen altar is found in Ex. 27:1–8 and Ex. 38:1-7.

The Laver

Here the priests cleaned their hands and arms before performing any service or act of worship (Ex. 30:17-21). It was placed between the brazen altar and the tent of worship (the holy place). This cleansing symbolized the spiritual cleansing which is essential to both worship and service.

The Candlesticks

These illustrated the need for illumination, the light of the world. See Ex. 25:31–40; 37:17–24.

The Table of Bread

An illustration of the need for spiritual food. See Ex. 25:23–30; 37:10–16.

The Altar of Incense

From Ex. 30:1–10, this piece of tabernacle furniture illustrated the need for acceptable worship and prayer. No animals were offered on this altar. The offering was an incense offering, indicat­ing that which is pleasing to God, divine good (gold, silver, and precious stones). The fire for the altar of incense came from the brazen altar, indicating that worship can only come after salvation. No strange fire was allowed; and Nadab and Abihu died for disobeying this rule.

The Veil

The veil symbolized the barrier between God and man; only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, and that only once a year on the day of atonement, to offer the blood on the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant.

The Ark of the Covenant

The ark of the covenant was located in the holy of holies of the Tabernacle. It was made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. Its dimensions were 50 inches long by 30 inches wide by 30 inches deep. The ark was a picture of Christ bearing our sins, the box part representing Christ. The wood illustrated the humanity of Christ, the gold represented His deity.

Inside the ark were three objects representing sin (Num. 17:8, 10; Heb. 9:4). The tables of the Law represented sin in the sense of violation or transgression of God’s order. The pot of manna represented rejection of God’s provision. Aaron’s rod represented revolt against God’s authority.

Over the top of the box was a lid of solid gold, the mercy seat (or throne). Over each end of the mercy seat was a gold cherub, the highest ranking angel. The first cherub represented the absolute righteousness of God, and the second cherub represented the justice of God. Together they represented the holiness of God. The cherubs faced toward each other, wings outstretched towards each other, and looked down at the mercy seat. “Righteousness” looks down and condemns (Rom. 3:23). “Justice” looks down and assesses a penalty.

Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest went into the holy of holies twice; once to make atonement for his own sins, and then to do so for the people. He sprinkled blood from the sacrifice on the ark, on the top of the mercy seat, between the cherubs. This was a graphic illustration of God’s grace provision for sin. “Righteousness” looks at the blood of the animal, which represents the spiritual death of Christ on the cross, His substitutionary atonement, and is satisfied. “Justice” looks at the blood and is satisfied that the penalty paid for sin was sufficient, teaching that Christ was judged and paid the penalty for us.

Therefore, the ark speaks of redemption – Christ paid for our sins, paid our ransom, to purchase us from the slave market of sin.

So we have in the ark and the mercy seat a picture of God’s satisfaction with the work of Jesus Christ known as propitiation.

Now, the Hebrew word for mercy seat is kapporeth. The Greek word used in the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament is hilasterion. This same Greek word is found in the New Testament in Rom. 3:25; Heb. 9:5; 1 John 2:2; and 4:10 and is translated “mercy seat” or “place of propitiation”. So there is a direct relationship between the mercy seat in the tabernacle and the doctrine of propitiation.

Summary

Because of propitiation, God is free to love the believer without compromising either His righteousness or justice. The thought in the Old Testament sacrifices and in the New Testament fulfillment is that Christ completely satisfied the just demands of a holy God for judgment of sin.

Propitiation is not the placating of a vengeful God; but it is, rather, the satisfying of the righteousness of a holy God making it possible for Him to show mercy without compromise. Propitiation demonstrates the consistency of God’s character in saving the worst sinners. Propitiation reconciles man to God. This means that sin is no longer the issued between man and God. The only issue, for the Old Testament and New Testament believers, is “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31)

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Reconciliation – How God the Father changes (reconciles) us to His own standards and righteousness.

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The word reconciliation refers to the process of changing something thoroughly and adjusting it to something else that is a standard. For example, when you adjust your watch to a time signal, you are reconciling the watch to a time standard. Or when you reconcile your checkbook, the standard to which you match it is the bank’s record of your account. On rare occasions the bank must reconcile its accounts to yours.

In the Bible, reconciliation is the word used to refer to the process by which God changes human beings and adjusts them to the standard of His perfect character. Rom. 11:15 refers to the “reconciling of the world”. The Greek word used here is the noun καταλλαγη(katallagei). This word is also used in Rom. 5:11, “…but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.” Note that man is not active in reconciliation and provides nothing toward reconciliation. Read also 2 Cor. 5:17-21.

Reconciliation also appears in the verb form καταλλασσω (katallasso), meaning “to reconcile”. It is used in the active voice in 2 Cor. 5:18 with the meaning of “reconciling someone to someone else.” In this case, God reconciles us to Himself, through the Lord Jesus Christ. This verb in the passive voice means “to be reconciled” or “to become reconciled”, and it is used in the case of man’s relationship to God in Rom. 5:10 and 2 Cor. 5:20. The passive voice is also used in cases of reconciliation between people, as in 1 Cor. 7:11 and Matt. 5:24.

Another Greek word translated “to reconcile” is ιλασκομαι (hilaskomai), meaning “to reconcile” in the sense of providing propitiation, as in Luke 18:13. It is used of the activity of the Lord Jesus Christ as high priest in making reconciliation for His people, Heb. 2:17.

Rom. 5:6-11 points out that the whole world needs to be reconciled to God. Note the adjectives in this passage which stress this need: “ungodly”, “without strength”, “sinners”, “enemies”.

Reconciliation is an important consideration in the study of the doctrine of The Barrier. By the death of Christ on the cross, the world is thoroughly changed in its relationship to God, Eph. 2:14-18 and Col. 1:20-22. That is, through the cross of Christ the world is so altered in its position respecting the character and judgment of God that God does not now impute sin to human beings. The world is therefore rendered savable!

Because the position of the world before God is completely changed through the substitutionary atonement of Christ, God’s attitude toward man can no longer be the same. God can now deal with souls in the light of Christ’s work.

Notice that God is never said to be reconciled to man. God is immutable, so He does not change. Reconciliation is only possible in one direction. What sometimes seems to be a change in God is actually an unchanged attitude of God viewing a reconciled man. God, having how accepted Christ’s work, is able to continue to be just toward man. He can now offer salvation.

A person profits from reconciliation by faith in the Gospel. Once he becomes a believer, a person can partake in all of the blessings which accompany his position in Christ, including the privileges accruing from reconciliation.

The believer, in turn, has the responsibility of becoming a minister of reconciliation, 2 Cor. 5:18–19. The truth of reconciliation is one of the key salvation doctrines to be used in witnessing to those without Christ.

Related doctrines to study: Propitiation, The Barrier and Furniture of the Tabernacle

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Redemption – A study of the doctrine of redemption, God’s special intervention for the salvation of mankind.

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Redemption is a term used in the Bible to refer to the special intervention of God for the salvation of mankind. This use of the word deals with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross in which He paid the price to purchase human beings and set them free from their slavery to sin. On account of Christ’s substitutionary atonement, He is called the redeemer.

There are other ideas closely related to the primary concept of redemption which relate to the necessity for redemption and its various aspects and to the effects of the ministry of God’s grace in the life of the Christian believer.

Old Testament Background and Typology

Redemption of Firstborn Sons, Firstlings of the Flock, First Fruits

The word “redemption” in the Old Testament is the translation of the Hebrew word pädäh, meaning “to deliver” or “to sever”. It was continuously stressed to the Israelites that they belonged to Jehovah because He had redeemed them (severed them from bondage in Egypt) and had provided the land of Canaan for them to use as a gift from God and for His glory. For this reason, all Israel owed their lives and their service to God, in effect making the whole nation a kingdom of priests, at least in spirit.

However, only Levi and the descendants of his tribe, who became known as the priestly tribe, were actually set apart for the service of the tabernacle. Everyone else from the eleven other tribes was to be redeemed, or purchased, from service by redeeming the firstborn of both men and animals.

A son was considered firstborn if he was the first son born to his mother. If a man had more than one wife, each wife could have a firstborn son. Each firstborn son was presented to the Lord on the 40th day after his birth and redeemed by a payment of five shekels of silver to the priests (Num. 18:16: Ex. 13:15; Luke 2:27).

The firstlings of oxen, sheep and goats were to be brought to the sanctuary within a year and eight days after their birth, and sacrificed (Num. 18:17). The firstborn of an ass, which was an unclean animal, was redeemed by sacrificing a sheep in its place; or, if not redeemed in this manner, was put to death itself (Ex. 13:12 ff; 34:20). Later, the law provided that the ass could be redeemed with money, the amount to be determined by the market value of the ass plus twenty percent, according to the priest’s valuation (Lev. 27:27; Num. 18:15).

The firstfruits of the harvest were sacred to Jehovah because He is the Lord of the soil (Ex. 23:19). These were given to the priest to be presented as an offering. The whole congregation was required to offer an annual thanksgiving offering at harvest time by presenting a firstfruits sheaf at the Passover. These were not to be burned but were to be given to the priests for their use, with the provision that only those priests who were ceremonially clean could eat the firstfruits. The amount of offering of firstfruits was not specified by the Law but was left to each person’s discretion.

Later in Jewish history, the children of Israel began to be called the redeemed of the Lord, after they had been set free from the Babylonian captivity (; Isa. 51:11). The two verses do not fit this context.

The Kinsman Redeemer

According to the laws regarding punishment and retribution for crime, when a person was assaulted, robbed or murdered, it fell to the nearest kinsman to bring the criminal to justice and to protect the lives and property of relatives. This obligation was called “redeeming and the man who was responsible for fulfilling this duty was known as a redeemer (Heb. go-el). The job of redeemer would fall to full brothers first, then to uncles who were the father’s brothers, then to full cousins, and finally to the other blood relatives of the family (Lev. 25:48). The kinsman redeemer of the Old Testament was a type of the Lord Jesus Christ as redeemer. There were four requirements for the redeemer, both in the type and in Christ:

  1. The redeemer must be a near kinsman. To fulfill this Christ took on human form.
  2. The redeemer must be able to redeem. The price of man’s redemption was the blood of Christ (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 1:18-19).
  3. The redeemer must be willing to redeem (Heb. 10:4-10). Christ was willing to be our redeemer.
  4. The redeemer must be free from that which caused the need for redemption; that is, the redeemer cannot redeem himself. This was true of Christ, because He needed no redemption.

READ Ruth 3:9-13; 4:1-11.

The nation of Israel as a whole required a redeemer to redeem the lands which had been taken over by foreign powers, so they looked to Jehovah to become their go-el. The period of exile gave an even greater force and meaning to the term redeemer than it had before; and the book of Isaiah contains nineteen of the thirty-three Old Testament references to God as Israel’s covenant redeemer.

Redemption in the New Testament

Slavery to Sin

In the New Testament we see that all people are slaves because all are sold under sin and in spiritual bondage.

Rom. 7:14, “For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.”

Acts 8:23 uses the phrase “the bond of iniquity”.

READ John 8:31-36

READ Romans 6:12-18

See also Rom. 7:23; 2 Tim. 2:26; 2 Pet. 2:19.

Furthermore, all people are helplessly condemned to die.

Ezek. 18:4, “Behold, all souls are mine, saith the Lord. As the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine. The soul that sins, it shall die.”

1 Cor. 15:22, “As in Adam all die…”

See also John 3:18, 36; Rom. 3:19; Gal. 3:10.

The Principle of Redemption

The principle of redemption, then, is the concept of bondage to the slavery of sin and freedom from its domination (John 8:31-36). To be redeemed means to be purchased from slavery.

The Greek word (lutroo), means “to release for ransom; to liberate; to redeem”. It comes from the word (luo) meaning “to loosen; to unbind; to set at liberty”. It is used in

1 Pet. 1:18,19, “Forasmuch as you know that you were not redeemed (lutroo) with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

Titus 2:14, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem (lutroo) us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”**

The noun (lutron) means “the price paid; the ransom”, as in

Matt. 20:28, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom (lutron) for many.”

Jesus Christ purchased our freedom; and His blood is the payment for the redemption. Psalm 34:22; 1 Peter 1:18,19; Gal. 3:13; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7.

Therefore, Jesus Christ is man’s redeemer, and as such He is divinely appointed. The redemption that He brought represents both His own love and that of the Father for the whole world.

The word (agoradzo) means “to buy; to redeem; to acquire by paying ransom”. Derived from agora, “marketplace”.

1 Cor. 6:20, “For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in you spirit, which are God’s.” This is analogous to the OT idea in which the Israelites owed their very existence to God.

Rev. 5:9, “And they sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for you were slain, and have redeemed us to God by your blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

See also 2 Pet. 2:1; Rev. 14:3.

The word (exagoradzo) means “to buy out of the hands of a person; to redeem; to set free.”

Gal. 3:13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.”

The word (apolutrosis) means “to dismiss for ransom paid; redemption”.

1 Cor. 1:30, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.”

**Rom. 3:23-24, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Eph. 1:7, “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace.”

Heb. 9:15, “And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”

Rom. 8:22-23, “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until not. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

**Eph. 1:13-14, “In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom after you believed, you were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”

Some Implications of the Doctrine of Redemption

Redemption is the basis of our eternal inheritance. See Eph. 1:13,14 and Heb. 9:15 above.

Redemption is the basis of justification. Rom. 3:23, 24 (above).

Redemption includes the total forgiveness of sins; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14.

Redemption results in adoption.

Gal. 4:4–6, “But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the Law, To redeem them that were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”

The doctrine of redemption is used to orient believers in time of stress.

Job 19:25, “I know that my Redeemer liveth…”

At the point of redemption we can have peace of mind, stability, a relaxed mental attitude by knowing the doctrine and that God has paid for and provided for everything.

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Justification – Outline of the doctrine of Justification.

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Definition:Justification is God’s act of grace by which He pardons a sinner and accepts him as righteous on account of the atoning work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Remission of sin, absolution from guilt, and freedom from punishment are part of justification.

In order to be justified, a person must be given a righteousness equivalent to God’s perfect righteousness. Hence, imputation precedes justification. Imputation is the charging to the account of one person something which properly belongs to another. The Lord Jesus Christ shares his perfect righteousness with the believer, Rom. 3:22; 4:11; 9:30-32; 4:4, 5.

Because righteousness has been imputed to us, God calls us “justified”. “Abraham believed God and it was imputed to him for righteousness.” Hence, imputation of righteousness on the basis of faith brings about justification.

The means of justification is redemption,

Rom. 3:24. “Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.”

Justification produces reconciliation. Rom. 5:1

Because God the Father is satisfied (propitiation), we are freely justified.

Justification occurs at the moment of a person’s faith in Jesus Christ, Rom. 3:28; 5:1; Gal.3:24.

Justification does not occur through keeping the Law of Moses, Gal. 2:16.

Justification during the believer’s lifetime is described in James 2:21-25. This is the function of the faith rest principle in living the Christian way of life under grace.

The principle of temporal justification is found in Matt. 11:19 and Luke 7:35.

Related Topics: Reconciliation, Propitiation, The Barrier and Imputation

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Imputation – How God the Father “credits” our sin to Christ and His righteousness to us.

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Introduction

Imputation is a wonderful principle of the plan of God, and you have been involved with imputation since the day you were saved.

To impute means “to set something to one’s account.”

In the Bible imputation is used as a legal term in several different ways. For example, when Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon, he told Philemon that if Onesimus had incurred any debts they were to be put on Paul’s account (Philemon 17,18).

When a groom says to a bride “with all my worldly good I thee endow”, he is talking about imputation, placing to the bride’s account all of his property.

The Greek verb for imputation is logizomai. It is used more than 40 times in the New Testament, ten times in Romans 4 alone, the imputation chapter. In the KJV of Romans 4 it’s translated “counted” in 4:3, 5, “reckoned” in 4:4, 10, and “imputed” in 4:6, 8, 11, 22, 23 and 24.

Three Imputations in the Bible

In the first type of imputation, God imputes to us what actually belongs to us in the first place. Where Romans 5:12 says that “death passed upon (logizomai) all men, for that all have sinned”, death is part of our spiritual heritage from Adam. Death has been reckoned to our account. Adam’s sins was not his alone, but it was placed on every person’s account, on the debit side, you might say.

In the second type of imputation, God the Father imputes to the Lord Jesus Christ that which does not belong to him. 2 Cor. 5:21 says that “He (Christ) was made to be sin for us, even though He knew no sin…”. This is the Bible concept of substitution; Christ died for our sins, not his own. Isaiah 53:4-6. The verse does not say that Christ became a sinner, but that sin was set to his account that was not his.

The third type of imputation occurs when God imputes (credits) to the sinner what is not actually his. Again, 2 Cor. 5:21, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Here, the actual perfect righteousness of God is credited to us. This righteousness, which is placed on the credit side of our ledger, is known as imputed righteousness or justification.

God declares men to be righteous on the basis of faith. Read Romans 4:3. “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him (logizomai) for righteousness”. God makes men righteous on the basis of practice by the Word (John 17:17) and the filling of the Holy Spirit.

logizomai from the Lexicons

A study of various Greek lexicons shows that logizomai has some very interesting uses in the Bible. If you will study each of these verses in the context, it will help you to understand the concept better, and you will find a lot of practical application for this doctrine. Here are three principal meanings for logizomai in the Bible and in other sources of New Testament Greek studies.

To reckon; to calculate

The word means “to count, to take something into account” in 1 Cor. 13:5 (cf. Zech. 8:17); 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 4:8 (cf. Ps. 32:2); and 2 Tim. 4:16.

It is used in Romans 4:4; 4:6; and 4:11 in the sense of “crediting.”

It means “to credit something to someone” in Romans 4:3, 5, 9 and 22; Gal. 3:16; James 2:23 (cf. Romans 4:10, 23 ff; Gen. 15:6; Ps. 106:31).

In the commercial world of New Testament times, logizomai was a technical term “to charge to someone’s account” and was so used in 2 Cor. 12:6. (Other references: Orientis Graeci Inscriptiones Selectae, edited by Dittenberger, 1903; and Fayum Towns and Their Papyri, by Grenfell, Hunt, et al.)

The idea of calculation is seen in other places in the concepts of “to evaluate, to estimate, to consider, to look upon as, something, as a result of calculation”. You will see this in Acts 19:27 (cf. Isa. 40:17) and Rom. 9:8; 2:26.

The word is used in the sense of “to count” or “to classify”. In Greek Papyri in the British Museum, Kenyon and Bell said of a camel’s colt: “which is now classed among the full grown.” In the Bible, see Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37 (cf. Isa. 53:12).

Still under the idea of reckoning or calculation, logizomai means “to consider; to look upon someone as”, as in 1 Cor. 4:1; 2 Cor. 10:2; Rom. 8:36 (cf. Ps. 44:22); Rom. 6:11.

Think about; ponder; consider; .

This is the word logizomai used in the sense of one’s mental preparation for the act of “reckoning” or “imputing” something to someone’s account or credit. It means “to have in mind, to propose, to purpose”. See Phil. 4:8; John 11:50; Heb. 11:19; 2 Cor. 10:2, 11.

It is used as “to think; to believe; to be of the opinion” in Rom. 2:3; 3:28; 8:18; 14:14; Phil. 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:5; and 1 Pet. 5:12.

Words from the Papyri

Oxyrynchus Papyri XII, “the due amounts in money and corn are reckoned (logizomai) here” (107 or 108 AD)

ibid III, “let my revenues be placed on deposit (logizomai) at the storehouse” (2nd or 3rd Century AD)

Florentine Papyri (AD 254), “reckoning (logizomai) the wine to him at sixteen drachmae…”

Source materials for this article: Unger’s Bible Dictionary; Kittel’s NT Greek Lexicon; Chester McCalley’s written notes on imputation; Moulton and Milligan studies in the papyri.

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Note the declarations of Scripture about the guarantee of our salvation

This is an excerpt from the Grace Notes study of 1 Peter 1:5

Note the declarations of Scripture about the guarantee of our salvation:

John 6:47, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” God gives eternal life, not spasmodic life or intermittent life.
Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God keeps our salvation until he comes back again.
II Timothy 4:18, “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!” No question, no doubt, no equivocation but absolute assurance that God will preserve us for eternity.
Hebrews 5:9, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.” God gives eternal salvation, not temporal.
Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” The finished work of Christ saves us from the penalty of sin but the unfinished work of Christ at the right hand of God is saving us from the power of sin.
Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He will complete what he starts.
Jude 1, “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.” God preserves us because of our association with Christ.
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Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, Be glory and majesty, Dominion and power, Both now and forever. Amen.”
Dr. Grant Richison. (n.d.). 1st Epistle of Peter -1.