The Atonement – What Does Imputation Mean?

The Atonement – What Does Imputation Mean? June 18, 2007

I am going to use the next few posts to answer some specific questions about the cross. Believe it or not, it will not be very long before I finish this series, so if you have a question, do ask it and if it is not already one I plan to address, I will endeavor to answer it.

Today’s question relates to the meaning of “imputation.” I can’t think of a better way to answer this than to allow Wayne Grudem to do so:

“God imputed our sins to Christ; that is, he thought of them as belonging to Christ and, since God is the ultimate judge and definer of what really is in the universe, when God thought of our sins as belonging to Christ, then, in fact, they actually did belong to Christ. This does not mean that God thought that Christ had himself committed the sins, or that Christ himself actually had a sinful nature, but rather that the guilt for our sins (that is, the liability to punishment) was thought of by God as belonging to Christ rather than to us.”

— Wayne Grudem

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