Where is “Double Imputation”?

Double Imputation is the theological idea that our sins are “imputed” to Christ and his righteousness is imputed to us.  “Imputed” would then mean something like “considered to be” or “given to”.

Does the Lord count our sin as paid by Christ? (Our sin imputed to him)

Does the Lord count Christ’s goodness towards us? (His righteousness imputed to us.)

By what text?

How about 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV)

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

and Romans 5:18-19 (NIV)

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

I had occasion to teach about Justification twice last week, which for a bible, theology and history geek passes for cool.


2 thoughts on “Where is “Double Imputation”?

  1. Were we also imputed with Adam’s sin, as in cloaked in it, counted as utterly sinful without actually being sinful? This is the necessary result of reading imputation into the Adam-Christ parallel of Romans 5: we either are counted as Adam or counted as Christ, and God never really sees us. We are either clothed in Adam’s sin, and condemned because God sees Adam’s sin wrapped around us (and NOT condemned because of our own personal sin), or we are clothed in Christ’s righteousness and justified because we are counted righteous.

    I will let you contemplate the implications of that doctrine. Double imputation is not clearly taught in the New Testament; you pulled the only two places it’s typically argued with. And it was not believed for the first 1500 years of Christianity.

    • I’m all ears. As for 1500 years, one reason the church fell into Mariology was to explain the transmission of sin by natural transmission. I think also the scriptures in general are less individualistic than we are – so solidarity with a communiy and it’s head (Adam or Christ) is in view. A full blown double imputation theology is no doubt lacking, but that can be said for many theological positions, such as the Trinity.
      By the way, thanks for reading and commenting.

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