Understanding The Bible
Clarence E. Mason's "Soteriology"


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Dr. Clarence E. Mason, Jr.
Philadelphia College of Bible


  1. The words used in the original Scriptures
    1. The Old Testament
      1. Chashab - "to reckon against" (2 Sam. 19:18-19; Ps. 32:2)
      2. Sim - "to put or to set" (1 Sam. 22:15)
    2. The New Testament
      1. Ellegeo - "to bring into account" (Rom. 5:13; Phile. 18)
      2. Logizomai - "to account, reckon" (Lk. 22:24,37; Rom. 4:4,6,8, 10-11,22,24; Ro:n. 6:11; 2 Cor. 5:19;Jas. 2:23)
  2. Explanatory remarks
    Imputation is a bookkeeping tern: that which is to the credit or debit of an individual (Rev. 20:15; cp. 2J.:27).

    There are three great imputations in Scripture in which God makes reckoning:
    1. The sin of Adam is imputed to the race.
      Romans 5:12-14,18-19. The passage does not mean all have personally sinned, but in their natural head or first parent, Adam, they are reckoned as being present and sinning (in their representative, Adam). So all sinned when Adam sinned, and thereby brought the penalty of physical death upon themselves by so doing.

      This is real imputation.
      Real imputation is the reckoning to the individual of that which is antecedently his.

      Judicial imputation is the reckoning to the individual of that which is NOT antecedently his.

      Man is made sinful by one natural head of the race (Adam) and made righteous by the Head of the New Creation, Christ (Rom. 5:18-21; 11:32; Gal. 3:22).

      Christ's death is sufficient for all men and efficient for those who believe. Condemnation is literal and actual, while righteousness is conditional (upon faith) and available (as a gift).
    2. The sin of man was imputed to Christ.
      2 Cor. 5:21; Isa. 53:5-6;Jn. 1:29; 1 Pet. 2:24; 3:18
      In the Divine reckoning, Christ became sin for us. He not only took on Himself the punishment, but He took upon Himself the uncleanness of that sin on the cross (1 Jn. 2:2).
    3. The righteousness of God is imputed to those who believe.
      1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 3:21; 4:5; Phil. 3:9; Phile. 17-18
      God, having reckoned righteousness unto us, receives us as the Lord Jesus Christ, accepted in the Beloved One (Eph. 1:6).
  3. The Biblical illustration of imputation
    The book of Philemon
    1. The illustration of the; imputation of merit (v. 17)
    2. The illustration of the imputation of demerit (v. 18)
      Onetime was accepted by Philemon because of Paul acting as his surety.

      We are accepted because the Lord Jesus Christ became our Surety, settled our past, and provided for our future (Prov. 11:15; cp. 2 Cor. 8:9).
    3. A surety is one who stands good for another. One will do this for a friend, but not for a stranger (1 Pet. 3:18; Prov. 11:15).
    4. All we owed was exacted from Him when He suffered upon the tree for sins, not His own.
  4. Definitions
    1. Imputation is the act of God whereby He imputed the sin of Adam to his posterity.
    2. Imputation is the act of God whereby He imputed to Christ the sins of the world (at the cross). Because of the believer's faith in Christ, God will not impute sin against him.
    3. Imputation is the act of God whereby He accounts righteousness to the believer in Jesus Christ.

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