Well here it is Thursday again which brings us to a new word. This word is not used very often today as it frankly has fallen out of vogue to many since, if taught biblically, the harsh reality of sin is exposed. However, it is indispensible to the believer’s salvation. We have dealt with this on prior occasion but a simpler explanation is called for.
As is our custom let’s begin with a definition from Webster’s (1828)
IMPUTE – To charge or attribute to, to reckon to one what does not belong to him.
And is exampled for us by Paul in Phil 18 where he states that “If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” i.e. impute that to me.
And this gets to the heart of the matter, we like Onesimus have wronged God (Philemon) and need Christ (Paul) to have our sinful account settled. And not only to have our account cleared but implied in Paul’s offer is his oath to pay what is owed so that not only does Christ clear our account (2 Cor 5:21), He also imputes His righteousness to us having paid and settled the believer’s account in full.
The basis for having Christ’s righteousness imputed to the believer is based solely on faith.
“He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well” (Rom 4:11).
“No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness." But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,” (Rom 4:20-24).
A small word with vast implications.