Class Notes: 1/14/2024

The book of Romans part 193 Rom 4:1-25; An abbreviated Doctrine of Imputation

We have completed our verse-by-verse study of Romans chapter 4 and are now looking at the doctrine of the Abrahamic covenant that Paul referred to in our study.

Last time we noted that circumcision is the confirmation ritual that acknowledges that this is an unconditional covenant between God and the Jews, Gen 17:9-14; Rom 4:13-18. In Israel circumcision is a reminder that God keeps His word.

Circumcision means that any Jew, who believes in Jesus Christ, will be the recipient of this covenant forever. Circumcision illustrates the faith-rest life and Abraham's dependence on God's omnipotence and faithfulness for the fulfillment of God's promises to him.

The covenant was amplified after Abraham Passed the momentum testing of placing his son Isaac on the alter, Gen 22:17-24.

The Abrahamic covenant became the basis of Joseph having a greater witness in dying than he had in living. Joseph's coffin was a doctrinal reminder to the Jews that God would deliver them from Egypt. It was never placed in the ground, but was carried with the Jews out of Egypt into the Promised Land, Heb 11:22.

God has promised a city forever suspended over the Land of Israel, Rev 21:2, 10. This satellite city, the New Jerusalem, extends from the Nile to the Euphrates, and from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.

This city that is part of Abraham's eternal escrow blessings as a mature believer is so beautiful that as it comes into view it is described as a bride coming down the aisle in her wedding dress.

The New Jerusalem is described as being in the shape of a cube that has a volume between 1400 and 1500 cubic miles that is in a geostationary orbit over terrestrial Jerusalem forever as part of the new heavens and new earth. Rev 21:10-27; NET

It does not appear that the new earth will be rotating because all of the light comes from God and Jesus and it is always illuminated so there is no need for the sun or the moon.

This brings us to an abbreviated study of the doctrine of imputation that Paul also referenced in our study of Romans chapter 4.

The English noun impute is derived from the Latin verb imputari that means to reckon, to attribute, to ascribe, to charge or to credit to one's account. In God's Word the concept of imputation is used to describe God's action of either condemning or blessing the human race.

This means that imputation is the function of God's justice directed toward mankind and it is related to God's plan and purpose for mankind because imputation functions as the process for the condemnation or blessing of mankind from His integrity.

Imputation can be defined as the action of God's justice where condemnation or blessing is assigned, credited, ascribed, attributed, or superimposed on another being so it means to convey something that is above and beyond what exists already.

When imputation occurs God's plan advances and every imputation is an advance on a previous imputation. The three factors in imputation are the source that in this case is God, the recipient of the imputation that in this case is a human being and what is being imputed.

In God's Word imputations are in a legal sense for condemnation and acceptance and in a gracious sense for blessing. The imputations can be real or judicial.

Real imputations occur when God's justice conveys or imputes under the principle of antecedence and affinity. In this case what is being imputed has an inherent affinity for the target of the imputation.

There are two factors involved: what is imputed from God's justice and the target for the imputation. In a real imputation, what is being imputed is in harmony, agreement, affinity or accord with the target of the imputation.

Judicial imputations occur when God's justice imputes what is not antecedent that means that there is no inherent affinity or accord between what is being imputed and the recipient or target.

In that case only the factor of what is being imputed exists and in this case great emphasis is placed on the Source of the judicial imputations.

Examples of judicial imputation are the cases where God's justice imputes our sins to Jesus Christ on the cross or His righteousness to us at the point of our believing in Jesus.

God's plan for mankind involves two judicial and five real imputations. The judicial imputations include mankind's personal sins to Christ on the cross and His perfect righteousness to the believer for salvation.

The real imputations include human life to the soul, Adam's original sin to the old sin nature, eternal life to the human spirit, blessings in time to God's perfect righteousness that is possessed by believers, and blessings in eternity to the resurrection body.

Judicial imputations explain how God saves sinning mankind without compromising His perfect integrity.

God's plan begins at human birth, not at the new birth, and results in God's glory in eternity future by every person who ever lives by their receiving either eternal blessings with God in heaven or eternal condemnation from being consigned to the lake of fire forever.

In Romans 4 Paul refers to the second judicial imputation that is the imputation of God's perfect righteousness to the believer in Jesus Christ at salvation.

This process is explained in 2Cor 5:21; "He made Him who knew no sin (to be) sin as a substitute for us so that we might become the righteousness of God through Him."

All the time that God the Father was making Christ to be sin on our behalf Christ did not sin. The action of the aorist participle is coterminous with the action of the aorist active indicative of the main verb.

At salvation our personal sins are exchanged for the God's perfect righteousness that is imputed to us and is the predicate for our position in Christ that is the basis for our motivation and momentum for our advance to spiritual maturity.

In the judicial imputations, there is no antecedence, target, or home. Therefore, a judicial imputation only has the factor of what is being imputed.

Judicial imputation number two is one of blessing. Perfect righteousness is imputed to believers at salvation as described with Abram in Gen 15:6.

This judicial imputation of God's perfect righteousness establishes a grace pipeline that is encapsulated by God's integrity through the function of His perfect righteousness and justice.

On the giving end of the pipeline is God's justice that is function of His integrity. On the receiving end is God's perfect righteousness the principle of God's integrity that has been imputed to the believer at the point in time when the believer believed in Jesus Christ.

This imputation makes it possible for the believer to be the direct recipient of God's attributes such as God's love. Grace is the policy of the justice of God in imputing blessing to the perfect righteousness of God that is resident in the believer.

Perfect righteousness demands perfect righteousness; perfect justice demands perfect justice. For perfect God to remain perfect He must demand absolute perfection in man.

What God's perfect righteousness demands, God's perfect justice executes. The resident perfect righteousness of God, imputed to the believer at salvation, demands logistical grace support and added special blessing at spiritual maturity.

The grace pipeline is always insulated against human works, talent, or ability. Eph 2:8-9; Rom 3:20-24; Rom 4:3-5, 22; Matt 6:33; Rom 9:30, "That the Gentiles who did not strive for divine righteousness have attained divine righteousness, that is the righteousness from the source of faith in Jesus Christ."

This perfect righteousness is the basis of the first a fortiori. If God's justice accomplishes the greater at salvation, (the imputation of His perfect righteousness), it follows, a fortiori (with stronger reason), that He will not withhold the lesser (the imputation of escrow blessings).

In an a fortiori the greater refers to degree of effort. The object is the special blessings that glorify Christ. If God can impute His perfect righteousness to us at salvation, that requires greater effort than blessing us, then He can certainly bless us at the point of maturity, because that requires far less effort.

Therefore, the imputation of God's perfect righteousness establishes the potential for great blessing in time, both logistical and escrow. But it is only potential until it is linked with momentum from the PMA of Bible doctrine under the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.

The imputation of God's perfect righteousness at salvation becomes both motivation and momentum in the Christian's spiritual life. It provides motivation to persist under the teaching of the pastor for the perception of doctrine, and momentum for continuing under the teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit in order to understand and apply the doctrine.

The result is maximum doctrine resident in the soul that produces maturity adjustment to God's justice and the greater grace that comes from adding escrow blessing that glorifies God to logistical grace blessing.

We will encounter other categories of imputation that we will address as we move through our study. This brings us back to our verse-by-verse study of Romans at chapter 5.

In this chapter in verses 1-5 we will study the four results of justification and then under the term "much more" in verses 6-9 we will see the much more of justification followed by the much more of reconciliation in verses 10-12 and then a parenthetical of much mores in verse 13-17 and finish with the much more of grace in verses 18-21.

Rom 5:1; "Therefore having been justified by faith" the postpositive conjunctive particle "oun" (therefore) that refers to a conclusion that was established in Romans chapters three and four.

Plus the aorist passive participle of "dikaioo" (having been justified) that means to make righteous or to justify or to vindicate. The aorist tense is a constantive aorist that refers to the momentary action of salvation adjustment to God's justice that results in God's righteousness being imputed that is the predicate for justification and all other direct blessing from God.

All of this occurs in a moment of time. The passive voice tells us that the believer at the moment of faith in Christ receives the action of the verb, the imputation of God's righteousness that is recognized and acknowledged by God's justice.

Next is a preposition, "ek" (from or on the basis of) plus the ablative of means singular from "pistis" (faith)". The ablative is very important here. The word "ek" usually means "from" because it always takes the ablative case but there is also an instrumental ablative that is called the ablative of means.

The ablative of means is always used when the origin or the source is stated or implied. Here the origin or source of salvation is "pistis" (faith) in the singular.

For salvation a person only has to believe once, for a moment of time in Jesus Christ.

In this prepositional phrase there is no definite article. This emphasizes the fact that only faith can save; hence this is the unique use of the noun. It emphasizes that there is no merit in faith; the merit in faith is exclusively in the object of faith.

The phrase "therefore having been justified by faith" is directly related Rom 4:25; where Jesus' finished work on the cross that is the predicate for salvation was discussed.

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