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Posts Tagged ‘Imputation’

You need to hear the words of a Father to His Son:

16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”

As I think of Grace I think of the words above. Performance based Christianity is on the rise again in many Christian circles. We see that in the rise of books on Justification by Piper and the Atonement by Packer and Dever and Penal Substitution as a response to this mindset and attack. So what I want to write is what the Holy Spirit was ministering to my heart this glorious and unbelievably hot (107) Sunday.

We see three things in Incarnation and subsequent work of Christ.

1. The Trinitarian Love for people (in making a covenant Ephesians 1)

2. The Holiness of God (in the crushing of His Son)

3. The Fathers acceptance of the Son’s sacrifice and of all who believe on His Son. (the resurrection of the Son and the justification of sinners)

Now what do I mean by radical? I hope what proceeds warms your heart in dark hours, humbles you in self-righteous hours and cause you worship God in as much effort your heart can muster.

Now because of the radical nature of imputation all that the Father says of the Son He now says of us! That means He is well pleased in us, He loves us as His Sons, we can entrust all we Have to Him because He is just, faithful and good! So how does that work?

Because we live in an works oriented society guided by the spirit of Capitalism the church is greatly affected by us. You see we are told from a very early age: perform, perform, perform! Many times our parents will say they love us unconditionally, but drop out of school and don’t fulfill their plans for your life and I promise you that could be quite different. Marry the wrong person or choose the wrong job, or the wrong friends and we see that “un” drop right off the word unconditional. We see it in our marriages, with our friends, with our children, and even in our gatherings (local churches).

Unconditional become conditional whenever we cross a certain threshold! However because of the doctrine of imputation we really have no worries of this with the Father. Why? Because the Father is well pleased in the Son and we are “seated with Him in the heavenly realms”! “Now that sounds good and all” you might say; however, this should effect the way you live out your Christian life forever, that is if you really believe this stuff.

Now many will also say “Lionel, I know all of this stuff so this ain’t really new”! My response is an alarming “really”? Why I am not convinced that most Christians really don’t believe Grace nor the Imputation? Because all I need to do is read a few blogs and I see the exact same “performance mentality” clothed in theological garb! Lets see what I mean.

As I read I see: we don’t pray enough or hard enough, we don’t worship enough or good enough, we don’t study our bibles enough, we don’t know enough scripture, we don’t trust enough, we don’t live good enough lives, we are not moral enough, we don’t give enough, we don’t serve enough, we don’t fellowship enough, we don’t love enough, we don’t abstain enough, we don’t act spiritual enough, we don’t have enough theology, we don’t dress right, we don’t listen to the right music, we don’t wear the right clothes, we don’t love our wives enough, we don’t submit to leaders enough, we don’t submit to our husbands enough, we don’t share our faith enough and we don’t _________ you fill in the blank.

You see I read this kind of stuff daily all the while the Son sits at the right hand of the Father, fully received, fully pleasing to the Father, and with full authority on heaven and on earth! The most glorious thing about the Christian Faith is that we are in Him thus all that He is and has we have! It isn’t ours for the taken “God doesn’t take care of those who take care of themselves”! You see this ain’t quid pro quo! This is monergism at its best. You see God and Christ do all of the giving and taking and we do all of the receiving! We don’t earn and we don’t have to maintain.

Grace is really Grace in the Christian faith. The Father bestows all favor, gifts, joy, acceptance and pleasure, that He has bestowed on the Son, to us! You see the imputation of Christ and the Grace of God is robust! I don’t believe we can ever grasp how radical this is and just how infinitely favored we are to the Father. And I know we are barely grasping it at all due to the performance mentality in Christian circles.

“If you just do _______” then you will be accepted. This is why Paul is so hard on the Galatians brothers and sisters! He ask “Having begun in the Spirit are you now being perfected in the flesh”? The answer is no! The wonderful song that says “Christ did it all, all, all” Should be our theme song!

Brothers this ought not be! We are to admonish, encourage and build one another up. However like the Pharisees in Jesus day, some who had great motives, we continue to weigh one another down with external lists, no not to earn Christ’s righteousness, we are to smart for that, but to earn the Fathers favor, to be part of our club or our circles. We must accept and embrace Grace for what it is Grace. God’s undeserved, unmerited favor but only in light of the imputation! Please brothers, please, we can’t work hard enough, pray hard enough, study and memorize hard enough, nor live morally enough to find favor in the sight of God. It is only by faith in His Son can we hear “well done my good and faithful servant”. Lets preach and teach all of the glorious gifts and favor we have in Christ because of the favor and gifts the Son was given due to His work on Calvary. Lest we easily start to put weights on the necks of our brethren. Some of these weights you may think makes them stronger but in turn it will only pull them away from the work of Christ and turn them to themselves. God bless and I pray you find this small exhortation as heart warming as it was to me.

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