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Many, including myself, have erroneously said ÒAll men were made sinners by imputation, Christ was made sin by imputation, and all who believe are made righteous by imputation.Ó The Scriptures most certainly and clearly teach that AdamÕs sin was imputed to all the human race in the fall of our father Adam (Romans 5:12, 19). The Book of God does teach that the sins of GodÕs elect were imputed to the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). And the Word of God states very plainly that righteousness is imputed to all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:6-12).
But it is not correct to say that anyone is made sin or a sinner, righteous or righteousness by imputation. Sin cannot be justly imputed to anyone who has no sin; and righteousness cannot be justly imputed to anyone who is not righteous. Sin cannot be imputed where sin does not exist; and righteousness cannot be imputed where righteousness does not exist. The law cannot bend or be bent. Justice does not and cannot alter facts.
Here are three facts revealed in Holy ScriptureÉ
1. All men sinned in Adam. When Adam sinned, we sinned in him. Therefore, AdamÕs sin was justly imputed to all, and all died in and with Adam (Romans 5:12).
2. When the Lord Jesus Christ was wondrously, mysteriously, inexplicably made sin when he bore our sin in his own body on the tree, all the sins of GodÕs elect were justly imputed to him, because he was made sin; and, being made sin for us, he was justly punished for sin (Galatians 3:13).
3. All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, being made the righteousness of God in him, have ChristÕs righteousness justly imputed to them, and are justly rewarded with the fruit of righteousness, eternal life, because they are righteous, and, being righteous, are made by God to be worthy of HeavenÕs eternal bliss (2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 1:12).
Real Sin — Real Righteousness
When our Lord Jesus was made sin, God did not just pretend that he was sin, look upon him as though he were sin, and treat him as if he were sin. What a horrid thought! God himself forbids such a thing (Proverbs 17:15). The Lord God slaughtered his dear Son as our Substitute in the fury of his justice, because he made him sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21).
All who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ have righteousness imputed to them and are justly rewarded for righteousness because God has made them righteous. When Christ obeyed the law and will of God for us, we obeyed in him. When he died for sin, we died in him. Being one with him, we are the righteousness of God in him (Jeremiah 23:6; 33:16).
Wonderful Savior! Wonderful grace! How utterly devoted God my Savior is to me! How utterly devoted I ought to be to him!