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The Gospel (Lesson 8)
A Promise of Imputation | 2 Corinthians 5:21
"God made him who never sinned to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
–2 Corinthians 5:21
The gospel is a promise of imputation.
Not amputation. But imputation.
Imputation is a transfer.
For example, imagine I made $100 and wanted to give it to one of my children. One way I could do that would be to make a deposit of that money into their bank account.
I earned the money, but now, they get credit for it. The money now is theirs. The bank records prove it.
This principle of imputation is at the heart of the gospel.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, Paul says,
“God made him who never sinned to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
During his earthly life, Jesus didn't just earn $100. He accumulated a massive record of perfect obedience to the law of God. We call this obedience righteousness. He did everything "right."
What the cross teaches us is that when Jesus suffered on the cross, our record of sin was imputed, or transferred to Jesus. Because of that transfer, we're able to receive the gift of Jesus' perfect record of obedience, which is transferred to us.
In other words, his record of perfect righteousness is credited, deposited, or imputed to our account.
It's like we failed an exam and Jesus takes the F. He gets a perfect score… but he gives us his A+.
Repentance is confessing our failure (or our moral bankruptcy, to keep the banking analogy going). Faith is receiving his A+ (or having our account filled with immeasurable riches of perfect righteousness).
Our account is full, and our record is perfect.
Not because of what we did but because of what Jesus did for us.
Because the gospel is a promise of imputation.
How does exchanging grades help you understand what imputation means?
How does imputation change our standing before God?
How does the imputation (transfer) of Jesus’ righteousness change the way we think about our own righteousness?
Why is it important to continually remember the completeness of Jesus’ transfer of his righteousness to us?
How does the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to us affect our relationship with others?
A Suggested Prayer
Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for the imputation of Jesus' righteousness that we receive by simply trusting what he did, he did for us. Help us to understand that it is a gift that we cannot earn on our own, and give us strength by your Spirit to have ongoing confidence in our true identity in Christ.
We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen.