Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 4:24
“But also, for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead.”
‘What” shall be imputed to us who believe….and why is this astoundingly great, great news?
Paul is speaking in this portion of the verse about the judicial act of God in imputing the righteousness of Christ Himself and the judicial position of being declared righteous to any person that believes in the finished work of redemption that is of Jesus Christ – His death, burial, and resurrection. There are two Greek words that are translated ‘impute’ in the New Testament, logizommai and ellogao. The first one occurs 41 times and is in various places translated as: reasoned, numbered with, reckoned among, think, counted, accounted, laid to one’s charge, and imputed. This is the word used in Romans 4:24. The righteousness of Christ Himself has been laid to our spiritual account. His righteousness has been put in our account, numbered with Him, at one with His Righteousness, etc. This is only true of course for true believers in Christ’s finished work. No longer does God in His Holiness view a true believer as unrighteous before Him because He sees the Righteousness of Christ envelope them. The other Greek word ellogao only occurs twice in the New Testament. Ellogao is likewise translated as imputed as in Romans 5:13 “(For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.”) and in Philemon 18 “put that on mine account”. So why bring this up at all and what bearing does it have on our daily lives? Because imputation in Scripture is either ‘real’ or ‘judicial’ in character.
There are three major imputations mentioned in Scripture. First, there is the imputation of Adam’s sin to all mankind. This is ‘real’ imputation which involves ‘placing to one’s account of that for which they are personally responsible’, such as charging a man for a crime he has committed. This is the imputation that Scripture plainly teaches that Adam transmitted to every human being that would ever be born after Adam. Men since Adam’s day are born sinners. They do not become sinners by sinning, as did Adam: they sin because they have a nature of sin. Many ‘believers’ miss this distinction in my opinion because of religion. Most believe that an ‘act of sinning’ is what makes one a sinner. However, it is the sin nature that each person is born with that is the fuel to acts of sin. This nature of sin is referred as the Adamic nature, original sin, inborn sin, or the old man. This imputation is very real! There is no way to escape this condition at birth. “For as IN Adam all die, even so IN Christ all shall be made alive” (I Cor 15:22). The ONLY way to escape this sinful condition is by killing this sinful nature, so that it has no power to rule and reign over a person’s life. This is NOT done by your own physical death. It IS accomplished in only 1 way: by the Second means of imputation mentioned in the Scriptures. It is the imputation of man’s sin (your personally responsible nature of inherited sin) ONTO a substitution in your place. And that substitute on your behalf was a sinless Man, God in the flesh, Jesus Christ that bore the whole of mankind’s sin on the Cross. This sin nature of all mankind was killed alright – it was crucified with Christ on the Cross and your sin nature right along with Him. “I have been (past tense) crucified WITH Christ….” (Gal 2:20a). BUT this can only be true to a person that places their absolute full faith and belief in what Jesus did for you. Most people do not believe this to be true. And most people try to clean up their ugly sin nature by good behavior, falsely thinking this will help. It doesn’t. ONLY your sin nature crucified WITH Christ can kill the nature to sin. That is amazing, amazingly good news (this gospel of grace). Yet there is the Third imputation that takes place as well. And that is the imputation of Christ’s Righteousness; the full Judicial Righteousness of God’s righteousness imputed to the believer. Whomever is reading this, rejoice!!!! Read the first five Chapter of Romans over and over. Paul, by revelation as nowhere else in all of Scripture portrays the ‘how’s and why’s’ of mankind’s complete helplessness and hopelessness apart from Christ and then reveals the unmerited grace of God which can eternally save the most underserving sinner. This Righteousness is obtained by faith. It is accounted to you who believe that what Christ has done for you and in your place is true and real. Apart from this faith in what Christ has done for you, you will remain IN Adam. But thanks be to the grace of God, that all that believe by faith in Christ’s finished work on the Cross, are ‘IN Christ’ made alive! The Righteousness of Christ shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead…”
Jaca Kier, Board Member, True Devotion Ministries, Inc.