SoteriologyOur Salvation in Christ by Scott Bushey
Salvation: the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.
In Christ: We are in Christ-we learned about this last week
Our salvation in Christ; The state of being saved from sin by our relationship to Christ.
Saved from what? What are we saved from? Not many people think about this.
Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
2 Samuel 22:3
The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.
Imputation; What does this term mean to you?
I know you have heard it before in our circles. Is it important to know what this means?
It is important-it defines the extent of how lost men are without Christ standing in the gap for us. It illuminates the law of God and how the wages of sin are death. It illuminates the Glory God deserves and demands. It illuminates the extent Christ has gone for His people in coming for the lost sheep of Israel and dying in their place. John Piper says that understanding imputation is critical to understanding justification. If one does not understand imputation rightly, it would follow that we will blow it on the terms of justification.
We need to understand the similarity and the differences between Adam and Christ. We need to understand that in Adam, “All have sinned”. Not some, All!
We need to understand that In Christ, all of the elect are made whole again-not some, All of the elect!
The image God gave us in creation, the image that Adam tainted, has been restored through Christ. Completely, fully, finally.
In brief: Just as through one man sin and death entered the world and death spread to everybody because all sinned in Adam and his sin was imputed to them, so also through one man Jesus Christ, righteousness entered the world and life through righteousness, and life spread to all who are in Christ because his righteousness is imputed to them.” That is the glory of justification by grace through faith.
So what does Imputation mean ?
To be credited with something/to put into your account (repeat)
Sporting events! Football season is beginning. The FANatics are on the loose! Dolphin mania. I’m not a great football fan, I prefer basketball. Football fans are different than basketball fans-thats my opinion. They are crazy for their teams-in a different way. Tailgate parties and what not. Basketball doesn’t have tailgate parties. Usually, the die hard fan knows everything about their team-they eat and sleep their team. You can even see them when the running back is attempting to take the ball through the defense, that they are as well lurching forward in their chairs as if they are the one carrying the ball. They are vicariously playing the game, on the team. If their team wins, they feel as if they played and they won. The talk in the morning at the water cooler is all about football. In the playoffs, those fortunate to be on the winning team share in the victory benefits. The victory is imputed to the fan. The loss imputes shame. When your team loses, do you feel bad?
Secular definition of imputed:
Websters: Imputed: estimated to have a certain cash
value, although no money has been received or credited.
to attribute (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to a person or persons vicariously; ascribe as derived from another.
The Greek verb for imputation is LO_Gid_ZO_MAI.
It is used more than 40 times in the New Testament, ten times in Romans 4 alone, the imputation chapter. The word means “to count, to take something into account” in 1 Cor. 13:5 , 2 Cor. 5:19; Rom. 4:8 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 4:3,5,9,22; Gal. 3:16; James 2:23
There are 3 biblical LOGIDZOMAI’s/imputations:
1) The Fall ‘s imputation; When Adam fell in the garden, his sin was imputed to all creation. This doctrine is sometimes called ‘original sin’. This falls under the term ‘federal headship’. This is a theological term for one person representing another person or group. Adam was our Federal head at this time.
In contrast to that, Those that are not Calvinist in their understanding of Gods word hold to the idea that the sin of Adam was not imputed but inherited. We are not guilty for Adam’s sin and cannot be punished unless we actually sin.
The Westminster Shorter catechism clarifies for us:
Q. 17. Into what estate did the fall bring mankind?
A. The fall brought mankind into an estate of sin and misery [a].
Q. 18. Wherein consists the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consists in the guilt of Adam’s first sin [a], the want of original righteousness [b], and the corruption of his whole nature [c], which is commonly called original sin; together with all actual transgressions which proceed from it [d].
5:19-21; Jas. 1:14-15
Q. 19. What is the misery of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. All mankind by their fall lost communion with God [a], are under his wrath [b] and curse [c], and so made liable to all miseries in this life [d], to death [e] itself, and to the pains of **** for ever [f].
Q. 20. Did God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and misery? A. God having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to everlasting life [a,] did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer [b].
Before the fall, Adam was sinless, perfect, and good (Gen. 1:31). He had a ‘good’ nature. But, after the fall, he became a sinner
When Adam fell, he died; (eventually)physically and immediately spiritually. The result of his poor choice was death. That curse of death resonates throughout time.
The fall is the first imputation.
2) Our sin is imputed to Christ; 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 (logidzomai) sin for us, even though he knew no sin…”. This is the Biblical concept of substitution; Christ died for our sins, not his own. He is our substitute. Every believers sin was placed on Christ at the cross and was paid in full for our sin when He died. Jesus replied in His last breath, “it is finished”.
It is important to get a backdrop of this imputation. Matt 26 renders a great example:
Matt 26: 57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace, And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
Jesus being the lamb of God, goes before the high priest and the Sanhedrin and is treated as the scapegoat He is. The high priests in this age were the ones responsible to sacrifice the sin offerings; He didn’t even know what he was doing.
Our sins being imputed to Christ begs the question: When were our sins actually imputed to Christ? Did His passive obedience through out His life play a part? Was it at the cross? Did it start during the scourging and ridiculing? This is a deep theological question. My position is that it happened during the scourging up until He gave up His spirit.
3) Christ imputes His righteousness to the elect.
It is made effectual to the elect by faith alone-we are found then justified.
Romans 4:3. “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him (logidzomai) for righteousness.
Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19).
The Westminster larger catechism states:
Q. 70. What is justification?
A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace unto sinners, in which he pardoneth all their sins, accepteth and accounteth their persons righteous in his sight; not for anything wrought in them, or done by them, but only for the perfect obedience and full satisfaction of Christ, by God imputed to them, and received by faith alone.
The imputation of Christ is decreed: We are saved by God alone. It is supernatural. It is for the elect alone. Not everyone is elect. The covenant of redemption was the agreement between the Father and the Son; the Father giving a peculiar people to the Son. The Son agreeing to be a sacrifice for sin for His people alone. God validating this covenant by an oath he took against himself alone; Hebrews speak to the extent:
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,(Heb 6:14)
Thomas Brooks writes: “The covenant of REDEMPTION is that blessed compact between God the Father and Jesus Christ; concerning the conversion, sanctification, and salvation of the elect, through the death, satisfaction, and obedience of Jesus Christ; to the eternal honor, and unspeakable praise, of the glorious grace of God.”
” the covenant of redemption is that federal transaction or mutual stipulation that was between God and Christ from everlasting, for the accomplishment of the work of our redemption, by the mediation of Jesus Christ, to the eternal honor, and unspeakable praise, of the glorious grace of God. Or, if you please, take it in another form of words, thus—
It is a compact, bargain, and agreement between God the Father and God the Son, designed mediator, concerning the conversion, sanctification, and salvation of the elect, through the death, satisfaction, and obedience of Jesus Christ, which in due time was to be given to the Father. But for the making good the definition I have laid down, I must tell you that there are many choice scriptures which give clear intimation of such a federal transaction between God the Father and Jesus Christ, in order to the recovery, and everlasting happiness, and salvation of his elect. I shall instance the most considerable of them—”
The result of the C of R practically speaking is ultimately regeneration; One does not become elect by choosing God. This is a fallacy. I have heard it said, “if you choose God, you are proving your election”. No. It is the creator at the helm and the believer responding in like manner-much like Lazarus-Jesus called the dead man Lazarus and the dead man lived and came out of the tomb. he was 3 days dead-He stunk!
It all starts with God. If you chose, it was because God chose you first; if you repented, it is because God gave you eyes to see truth and understand your need for Christ and gave you the gift of repentance. If you received, it was because Christ received you first.
Christ’s imputation validates our salvation-it is secure. It is not a possibility. There is nothing left to chance. If you are a believer, it is final.
Do you believe that?
We do not have to struggle with the fact that sin remains-it is Christ who holds us-it is Christ who has defeated death on our behalf-We are not saved by our works-we will sin; we don’t lose our salvation every time we sin, if so, what did Christ accomplish? God made an eternal covenant with the Son. The Godhead made this covenant. The rest of the covenants in scripture are between God and man-this one is much different.
Perseverance of the saint:
What does this mean?
John 6:37-39, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
Phil. 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
1 Thess. 5:23-24, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.”
2 Tim. 4:18, “And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
1 Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
Romans 8:29, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Richard Baxter writes:
“In our first paradise in Eden there was a way to go out but no way to go in again. But as for the heavenly paradise, there is a way to go in, but not a way to go out.”
Our salvation in Christ is by faith alone. (Eph 2:8,9)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
We are saved by Christ and His work. There is nothing one can add to what Christ has accomplished. Sure, Christian works are good. However, they are an outpouring of that which Christ has done in our lives. It is the HS flowing out of our hearts to the lost world. It is light, warmth, truth.
Are you saved by faith alone? Do you have good works?