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    Christian Theology - Thread: Imputed or reckoned?

    1. #1
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      Imputed or reckoned?

      Imputed righteousness is a bit of a mystery until a clear understanding of imputation is obtained.
      Albert Barnes, a Presbyterian commentator, writes:
      Romans 4:3

      For what saith the Scripture? - The inspired account of Abraham’s justification. This account was final, and was to settle the question. This account is found in Gen 15:6.

      Abraham believed God - In the Hebrew, “Abraham believed Yahweh.” The sense is substantially the same, as the argument turns on the act of believing. The faith which Abraham exercised was, that his posterity should be like the stars of heaven in number. This promise was made to him when he had no child, and of course when he had no prospect of such a posterity. See the strength and nature of this faith further illustrated in Rom 4:16-21. The reason why it was counted to him for righteousness was, that it was such a strong, direct, and unwavering act of confidence in the promise of God.

      And it - The word “it” here evidently refers to the act of believing It does not refer to the righteousness of another - of God, or of the Messiah; but the discussion is solely of the strong act of Abraham’s faith. which in some sense was counted to him for righteousness. In what sense this was, is explained directly after. All that is material to remark here is, that the act of Abraham, the strong confidence of his mind in the promises of God, his unwavering assurance that what God had promised he would perform, was reckoned for righteousness. The same thing is more fully expressed in Rom 4:18-22. When therefore it is said that the righteousness of Christ is accounted or imputed to us; when it is said that his merits are transferred and reckoned as ours; whatever may be the truth of the doctrine, it cannot be defended by “this” passage of Scripture.

      Faith is uniformly an act of the mind. It is not a created essence which is placed within the mind. It is not a substance created independently of the soul, and placed within it by almighty power. It is not a principle, for the expression a principle of faith, is as unmeaningful as a principle of joy, or a principle of sorrow, or a principle of remorse. God promises; the man believes; and this is the whole of it.

      (A principle is the “element or original cause,” out of which certain consequences arise, and to which they may be traced. And if faith be the root of all acceptable obedience, then certainly, in this sense, it is a principle. But whatever faith be, it is not here asserted that it is imputed for, or instead of, righteousness. See the note above.)

      While the word “faith” is sometimes used to denote religious doctrine, or the system that is to be believed (Act 6:7; Act 15:9; Rom 1:5; Rom 10:8; Rom 16:26; Eph 3:17; Eph 4:5; 1Ti 2:7, etc.); yet, when it is used to denote that which is required of people, it always denotes an acting of the mind exercised in relation to some object, or some promise, or threatening, or declaration of some other being; see the note at Mar 16:16.

      Was counted - ἐλογίσθη elogigisthē. The same word in Rom 4:22, is is rendered “it was imputed.” The word occurs frequently in the Scriptures. In the Old Testament, the verb חשׁב chaashab, which is translated by the word λογίζομαι logizomai, means literally, “to think, to intend,” or “purpose; to imagine, invent,” or “devise; to reckon,” or “account; to esteem; to impute,” that is, to impute to a man what belongs to himself, or what “ought” to be imputed to him. It occurs only in the following places: Psa 32:2; Psa 35:4; Isa 10:7; Job 19:11; Job 33:10; Gen 16:6; Gen 38:15; 1Sa 1:13; Psa 52:4; Jer 18:18; Zec 7:10; Job 6:26; Job 19:16; Isa 13:17; 1Ki 10:21; Num 18:27, Num 18:30; Psa 88:4; Isa 40:17; Lam 4:2; Isa 40:15; Gen 31:16. I have examined all the passages, and as the result of my examination have come to the conclusion, that there is not one in which the word is used in the sense of reckoning or imputing to a man what does not strictly belong to him; or of charging on him what ought not to be charged on him as a matter of personal right. The word is never used to denote imputing in the sense of transferring, or of charging that on one which does not properly belong to him. The same is the case in the New Testament. The word occurs about forty times (see “Schmidius’ Concord),” and, in a similar signification. No doctrine of transferring, or of setting over to a man what does not properly belong to him, be it sin or holiness, can be derived, therefore, from this word. Whatever is meant by it here, it evidently is declared that the act of believing is what is intended, both by Moses and by Paul.

      For righteousness - In order to justification; or to regard and treat him in connection with this as a righteous man; as one who was admitted to the favor and friendship of God. In reference to this we may remark,
      • (1) That it is evidently not intended that the act of believing, on the part of Abraham, was the meritorious ground of acceptance; for then it would have been a work. Faith was as much his own act, as any act of obedience to the Law.
      • (2) The design of the apostle was to show that by the Law, or by works, man could not be justified; Rom 3:28; Rom 4:2.
      • (3) Faith was not what the Law required. It demanded complete and perfect obedience; and if a man was justified by faith, it was in some other way than by the Law.
      • (4) As the Law did not demand this; and as faith was something different from the demand of the Law; so if a man were justified by that, it was on a principle altogether different from justification by works. It was not by personal merit. It was not by complying with the Law. It was in a mode entirely different.
      • (5) In being justified by faith, it is meant, therefore, that we are treated as righteous; that we are forgiven; that we are admitted to the favor of God, and treated as his friends.
      • (6) In this act, faith, is a mere instrument, an antecedent, a “sine qua non,” what God has been pleased to appoint as a condition on which men may be treated as righteous. It expresses a state of mind which is demonstrative of love to God; of affection for his cause and character; of reconciliation and friendship; and is therefore that state to which he has been graciously pleased to promise pardon and acceptance.
      • (7) Since this is not a matter of law; since the Law could not be said to demand it; as it is on a different principle; and as the acceptance of faith, or of a believer, cannot be a matter of merit or claim, so justification is of grace, or mere favor. It is in no sense a matter of merit on our part, and thus stands distinguished entirely from justification by works, or by conformity to the Law. From beginning to end, it is, so far as we are concerned, a matter of grace. The merit by which all this is obtained, is the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, through whom this plan is proposed, and by whose atonement alone God can consistently pardon and treat as righteous those who are in themselves ungodly; see Rom 4:5. In this place we have also evidence that faith is always substantially of the same character. In the case of Abraham it was confidence in God and his promises. All faith has the same nature, whether it be confidence in the Messiah, or in any of the divine promises or truths. As this confidence evinces the same state of mind, so it was as consistent to justify Abraham by it, as it is to justify him who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ under the gospel; see Heb. 11.


      Romans 4:1-12 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, hath found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not toward God. 3 For what saith the scripture? And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. 5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. 6 Even as David also pronounceth blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckoneth righteousness apart from works, 7 saying,
      Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,
      And whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not reckon sin.
      9 Is this blessing then pronounced upon the circumcision, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say, To Abraham his faith was reckoned for righteousness. 10 How then was it reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision: 11 and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while he was in uncircumcision: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be in uncircumcision, that righteousness might be reckoned unto them; 12 and the father of circumcision to them who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham which he had in uncircumcision.
      Last edited by MoreCoffee; 11-02-2018 at 02:38 PM.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

    2. #2
      MennoSota is offline Expert Member
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      Do you reckon it's imputed, MC?

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      Quote Originally Posted by MennoSota View Post
      Do you reckon it's imputed, MC?
      Reckon not!

      To believe God is to be accounted BY God unto Righteousness...

      Of course, if you believe God and then do not DO God's Commandments...

      You thereby condemn yourself...

      Better not to believe God and not do them...

      Best to believe and do...

      ymmv


      Arsenios

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
      Reckon not!

      To believe God is to be accounted BY God unto Righteousness...

      Of course, if you believe God and then do not DO God's Commandments...

      You thereby condemn yourself...

      Better not to believe God and not do them...

      Best to believe and do...

      ymmv


      Arsenios
      Reckon & accounted are the same thing.
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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      Who is reckoned to have the mind of Christ?

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      Quote Originally Posted by pinacled View Post
      Who is reckoned to have the mind of Christ?
      no one
      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Reckon & accounted are the same thing.
      Reckon so...

      A.

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      Quote Originally Posted by pinacled View Post
      Who is reckoned to have the mind of Christ?
      1Cor 2:16
      For who hath known the mind (nous) of the Lord,
      that he may instruct him?
      But we have the mind
      (nous) of Christ.

      The nous of Christ here is no ordinary term...

      Thoughts have little to do with it...

      But it has everything to do with thoughts...

      And with moving beyond them...


      Arsenios

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      Quote Originally Posted by Arsenios View Post
      1Cor 2:16
      For who hath known the mind (nous) of the Lord,
      that he may instruct him?
      But we have the mind
      (nous) of Christ.

      The nous of Christ here is no ordinary term...

      Thoughts have little to do with it...

      But it has everything to do with thoughts...

      And with moving beyond them...


      Arsenios
      Yes, indeed. Christians have the mind of Christ. It's not "reckoned" to them.

      Pope Gregory I was well known for his alms to the poor, and he gave quite generously of the riches donated to the Church by the wealthy people of Rome. Everything from money to land was given to the poor in some fashion. He made clear to his subordinates that their duty was to relieve the distress faced by the poor.

      He ordered his clergy to go out into the streets to find and care for the poor in person.

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      Quote Originally Posted by MoreCoffee View Post
      Reckon & accounted are the same thing.
      So that imputed Righteousness means righteousness that is reckoned or accounted toward...

      You see, the Imputationists thin that this is what God does to make man Righteous - eg God simply REGARDS a man in all his ongoing sins as if he were righteous, which righteousness will be actually fulfilled in the life of the age to come...

      Now in earthly terms, the OT Saints were VERY righteous men, far far moreso that the mamby-pamby Christians (like me) who walk around CLAIMING to be Justified (eg made righteous) by God... So what can we say? Christ said that the LEAST within the Kingdom of Heaven is GREATER THAN the greatest of the Old Testament Saints... So what is He saying? He did NOT say that the least will in the future be greater, but that he is here and now greater...

      And the Old Testament Saints had as great the powers of God as the New Testament ones - They raised the dead, healed the sick, closed and opened the heavens, and on and on... So what do we have that they don't? Paul in Hebrews said that "Without us they would not be perfected", because we have something better... And what that better IS, is Baptism IN to Christ, wherein we become a member of His Body, and take our portion in the New Creation which the God-man Christ IS, through the Virgin Mary's motherhood... For it is this relationship to God that is quintessentially union with God in the Risen Lord Jesus that we have that the OT Saints could not have, but which in their holiness they could see coming in Spirit... Their union with God was by saturation in the Holy Spirit, so much so that Moses' face shone so brightly that the people of Israel could not look upon it... There was no part of these Saints that was not saturated with the Holy Spirit... Yet we now in Christ have more that this, even without having this saturation... Indeed, it is this saturation in the Holy Spirit that is the mark of our Saints, and it is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit that is the objective of the discipling of the Church unto Her Faithful, the Ekklesia...

      Yet we have more, because we are Baptized INTO Christ, and in this, we are reborn, and this new Creation that we become has as its newness Jesus Christ within us not merely as a saturation of holiness, although this CAN occur, but more essentially, it is that we are a new creation through being Baptized INTO Christ, and our task as this new Creation is to acquire the Holy Spirit now that we CAN, because we have regained the Garden in this rebirth, yet still face great challenges to our moving beyond the Garden and into Christ IN the Holy Spirit... We have a strength we did not have prior to Baptism into Christ... We have Christ IN us IN the holy Spirit... And our task is to GROW from a new-born to one who is Mature in Christ... And this is done by keeping the purity of heart we received and perceived in our Baptism, against all worldly demonic opposition, running the race in great patience and long-suffering, overcoming evil powers and principalities... First in ourselves, and then in those we care for...

      And believing God is a good thing - Essential for the actual initiation of the actions such a believing generates...
      But it is not the whole of righteousness, nor the whole of Salvation... It is but a human virtue, and Salvation is the Gift of God of Himself to man in a relationship that is referred to as the Marriage of the Lamb... Consummated in the Glorification of Man by God on earth, and fulfilled in the Age to Come...

      Arsenios

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