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Theology > Salvation > Work of Salvation > Justification > Imputation


In the act of justification righteousness is imputed to the believer. The Greek word is logizomai, meaning “to impute, reckon, count, credit, or account”; the word appears slightly over forty times in the NT, with nearly half being in Romans (Rom. 2:26; 4:3, 4-5, 6, 8, 9-12, 22-25; 5:13; II Cor. 5:19; Gal. 3:6; Jas 2:23; “impute” is used in the KJV in Rom. 4:6, 8, 11, 22, 23, 24).

Imputation is God’s crediting of our sins to the account of Christ, and the crediting of the righteousness of Christ to our account; through this double accounting the believer is justified. Imputation is God’s work on behalf of the sinner.

Clearly the Scriptures speak of our sins being laid on Christ:

He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows . . . smitten by God and afflicted, but He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities (Isa. 53:4-5);

The Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa. 53:6);

For the transgression of My people He was stricken (Isa. 53:8);

It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief (Isa. 53:10);

He was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many (Isa. 53:12);

He died for all (II Cor. 5:14);

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us (II Cor. 5:21);

Christ . . . having become a curse for us (Gal. 3:13);

Christ . . . Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree (I Pet. 2:24).

Clearly the Scriptures speak of the righteousness of Christ being given to the believer:

the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works (Rom. 4:6);

it [righteousness] shall be imputed to us who believe (Rom. 4:24);

the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:17);

through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all me, resulting in justification of life (Rom. 5:18);

by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous (Rom. 5:19);

so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 5:21);

but of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (I Cor. 1:30);

that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Cor. 5:21);

found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith (Phil. 3:9).

What the individual lost in Adam is renewed or regained in Christ because the consequences of Adam are given to Christ, and the blessings of Christ are given to the believer. This has been called “the sweet exchange” (The Epistle to Diognetus).

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels (Isa. 61:10).

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