Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Operation: Imputation

im.pute  [im-pyoot]
1. to attribute or ascribe:  The children imputed magical powers to the old woman.
2. Theology. to attribute (righteousness, guilt, etc.) to a person or persons vicariously; ascribe as derived from another.

Last night, I attended one of a series of lectures on spiritual formation. The speaker, Dr. John Coe, taught about what happened, spiritually speaking, on the cross--imputation.   When Jesus died on the cross, all of the sins of humankind were imputed to Him, making us completely forgiven.  At the same time, Jesus' righteousness was imputed to us, making us completely acceptable to God.

Completely forgiven by God.  Completely accepted by God.  What joy!  

As we journey with God through this life, there will be times when we are called to take a good look at the state of our hearts.  It may be scary because of the darkness and sin that we still struggle with as fallen human beings.  Even so, we can journey there with our Loving God and allow Him to transform us in our deepest parts.  He sees it all anyway, but the reality of His forgiveness and acceptance of us makes Him a trustworthy God with whom we can face our deepest struggles with sin.

Dr. Coe commented that it can be so hard for us to really understand the depth and completeness of God's forgiveness and acceptance because it is rare to experience that kind of love in our human relationships.  He ended the lecture with a challenge to pray Psalm 139:23-24:

Search me , O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

I find myself more able to express such a prayer to God in light of His complete forgiveness and acceptance of me.


Sharon said...

Those verses from Psalm have been with me since college, given to me by a friend and they reside on a post-it in the front of my Bible.

thelefflers said...

Your entry today makes me think of the book we're studying in our Sunday School class: The Emotionally Healthy Church. It's fantastic! The book addresses the fact that as christians, we are taught that "negative" emotions (anger, pain, etc.) are sin and consequently we do not learn to deal with them correctly.

The book invites the reader to take a long, difficult (difficult, to say the least) look at the 90% of the iceberg that is below the surface. Painful as it may be, it teaches that with Christ's grace, we can fully accept who we are in Christ...past experiences, current circumstances, sin and all. It's beautiful. Painful, but beautiful in the end result.

Starshine said...


My hubs just finished reading The Emotionally Healthy Church and he loved it!