Question on Imputation

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Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. Adam’s guilt is imputed to us. Are the two merely correlations of each other? Does the imputation of Adam’s guilt necessarily mean the only way to get Christ’s righteousness is through imputation? Do the means of the condemnation of the entirety of humanity actually contain the method of our salvation?

I don’t see any other way we could get Christ’s righteousness. And I know many would deny the imputation of Adam’s guilt why affirming the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.


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arapahoepark

Puritan Board Graduate
Christ’s righteousness is imputed to us. Adam’s guilt is imputed to us. Are the two merely correlations of each other? Does the imputation of Adam’s guilt necessarily mean the only way to get Christ’s righteousness is through imputation? Do the means of the condemnation of the entirety of humanity actually contain the method of our salvation?

I don’t see any other way we could get Christ’s righteousness. And I know many would deny the imputation of Adam’s guilt why affirming the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.


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You certainly are touching on the whole goal of Federal theology that the entire Bible attests to and foreshadows.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
The imputation of Adam's guilt does not appear to be intuitive, not at least to the sinful mind. However, Paul writes (Rom.5) that it simply is the case, with the proof being that "all die." So long as man's death is also what the Bible says: namely, a penalty and "wage" of sin; and not a purely natural and universal termination of a finite existence, some account must be given for why even children and infants die, who have scarcely any personal sins to account for.

There is additional matter to take into consideration, specifically the personal sins; and the world would like some sort of "sliding scale" of judgment on those. They may reason: Surely God won't send the lot of us off to damnation (or else He's just unbearable, right?); so there has to be some way my standing in the pecking order can be measured against others, and I'm hoping, trying to get toward the higher-end.

What does such reasoning care for Christ's righteousness? At best, it's a relative thing, a "token" given to a portion of the needy population that doesn't replace effort, but offers a clear advantage to those who have it. In other theories, his righteousness is sometime exemplary, or it is the sine qua non work required unto God who first considered salvation not possible, now considering salvation a possibility.

Paul in Rom.5 goes on to argue that the imputation of Christ's righteousness is the needed answer to man's true dilemma. He lacks a perfect record; God does not lower his standard; how else can we be the righteousness of God, if not in Christ, 2Cor.5:21? The logic of justification and redemption fully realized in biblical terms is a puzzle not fully unlocked or appreciated until one grasps headship.

More that just the counting or crediting of Christ's righteousness to his people, it is his federal function that first wins for them what Adam had lost for them, indeed winning more for them than they had in the first man. The Last Adam became a life-giving Spirit, 1Cor.15:45.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Does the imputation of Adam’s guilt necessarily mean the only way to get Christ’s righteousness is through imputation?

'Only' is a tricky word when dealing with God, however, God reveals no other way.

WLC Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created...

Original sin not only imputes Adam's guilt to us, but also withdraws all of our original righteousness. If we lack righteousness, and are unable to merit any, how could we possibly be made righteous if not for imputation? If there is another way, God chooses not to reveal it.

Who denies original sin?
 

Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
'Only' is a tricky word when dealing with God, however, God reveals no other way.

WLC Q. 25. Wherein consisteth the sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell?
A. The sinfulness of that estate whereinto man fell, consisteth in the guilt of Adam’s first sin, the want of that righteousness wherein he was created...

Original sin not only imputes Adam's guilt to us, but also withdraws all of our original righteousness. If we lack righteousness, and are unable to merit any, how could we possibly be made righteous if not for imputation? If there is another way, God chooses not to reveal it.

Who denies original sin?

I believe the Orthodox deny original guilt.


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Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
I still don’t think I’ve had my question answered. Because we get Christ’s righteousness through imputation, was it necessary to receive original guilt through imputation?

Note: I affirm both and deny neither.


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83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
Because we get Christ’s righteousness through imputation, was it necessary to receive original guilt through imputation?

I'm not sure if I completely understand what is being asked... Is this an accurate representation of your proposal?

1) We receive both Christ's righteousness and Adam's guilt.
2) The method by which we receive Christ's righteousness is through imputation.
3) Therefore, the method by which we receive Adam's guilt must also be through imputation.

In other words, if we make a statement "the method by which we receive Adam's guilt is through imputation," you are asking if (2) above is the grounds of that statement's truth?
 

Timmay

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm not sure if I completely understand what is being asked... Is this an accurate representation of your proposal?

1) We receive both Christ's righteousness and Adam's guilt.
2) The method by which we receive Christ's righteousness is through imputation.
3) Therefore, the method by which we receive Adam's guilt must also be through imputation.

In other words, if we make a statement "the method by which we receive Adam's guilt is through imputation," you are asking if (2) above is the grounds of that statement's truth?

Yes that’s what I’m asking.

I could also reverse it and ask is statement 3 the grounds of statement 2?


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JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
Do the means of the condemnation of the entirety of humanity actually contain the method of our salvation?

I don’t see any other way we could get Christ’s righteousness. And I know many would deny the imputation of Adam’s guilt why affirming the imputation of Christ’s righteousness.

Yes, you are right about this. Romans 5:12-19 is the clearest Scriptural warrant; and here Scripture clearly sets forth that the way our justification works in Christ is exactly the same as our condemnation works in Adam. The implications are huge. Romans 5 sets forth the doctrine that we were condemned in Adam in and through and because of his sin--totally apart from us and any sin we had (as of yet) committed. And in the same way, we are justified in Christ in and through and because of Him, completely apart from any righteousness of ours. As Hodge says: “That doctrine on which the hope of God's people, either implicitly or explicitly, has ever been founded is that the righteousness of Christ as something out of themselves, something distinguished from any act or subjective state of theirs, is the ground of their justification. They know that there is nothing in them on which they dare for a moment rely, as the reason why God should accept and pardon them. It is therefore the essential part of the analogy between Christ and Adam, the very truth which the apostle designs to set forth, that the sin of Adam, as distinguished from any act of ours, and from inherent corruption as derived from him, is the ground of our condemnation. If this be denied, then the other great truth must be denied, and our own subjective righteousness be made the ground of our justification; which is to subvert the gospel. . .The scope of the passage. . .is to illustrate the doctrine of justification on the ground of the righteousness of Christ, by a reference to the condemnation of men for the sin of Adam. The analogy is destroyed, the very point of the comparison fails, if anything in us be assumed as the ground of the infliction of the penal evils of which the apostle is here speaking.” (Romans). And again, in his commentary on Romans: “That we have corrupt natures, and are personally sinners, and therefore liable to other and further inflictions, is indeed true, but nothing to the point. In like manner it is true that we are sanctified by our union with Christ, and thus fitted for heaven; but these ideas are out of place when speaking of justification. It is to illustrate that doctrine, or the idea of imputed righteousness, that this whole passage is devoted; and, therefore, the idea of imputed sin must be contained in the other part of the comparison, unless the whole be a failure.” (Hodge, Romans).

You could draw out the parallels in detail: 1a) If inherent corruption IS the basis of our condemnation in Adam, then inherent righteousness is the basis of our justification in Christ. 1b) But, if inherent corruption is NOT the basis of our condemnation in Adam, then inherent righteousness is NOT the basis of our justification in Christ. 2a) If imputed sin IS the basis of our condemnation in Adam, then imputed righteousness is the basis of our justification in Christ. 2b) But, if imputed sin is NOT the basis of our condemnation in Adam, then imputed righteousness is NOT the basis of our justification in Christ. 3a) But if inherent corruption IS rather the proof/result/outworking/fruit (rather than the basis/grounds) of our condemnation in Adam, then inherent righteousness is the proof/result/outworking/fruit (rather than the basis/grounds) of our justification in Christ. 3b) But if inherent corruption is NOT the proof/result/outworking/fruit (but rather the basis/grounds) of our condemnation in Adam, then inherent righteousness is NOT the proof/result/outworking/fruit (but rather the basis/grounds) of our justification in Christ.
 

83r17h

Puritan Board Freshman
I'd be curious the thoughts of those more knowledgeable here on that question. Immediately, I would hesitate to say that either is a ground of the other, but that they are both common results of the concept of federal headship. Imputation seems to be a mechanism of that, which is applied in the two cases of Adam and Christ. The prior concept which is the ground of both is the covenant.

I'll quote Rev. Buchanan:

Paul in Rom.5 goes on to argue that the imputation of Christ's righteousness is the needed answer to man's true dilemma. He lacks a perfect record; God does not lower his standard; how else can we be the righteousness of God, if not in Christ, 2Cor.5:21? The logic of justification and redemption fully realized in biblical terms is a puzzle not fully unlocked or appreciated until one grasps headship.

More that just the counting or crediting of Christ's righteousness to his people, it is his federal function that first wins for them what Adam had lost for them, indeed winning more for them than they had in the first man. The Last Adam became a life-giving Spirit, 1Cor.15:45.

The covenant mechanism (imputation / headship) which is the ground for the problem (original guilt), is also the means for the solution (justification).

I understand the question now though, and am eager to hear what others have to say!
 
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