1. God?s holiness is purity of nature.
2. God?s law demands purity of nature.
3. Sin is impure nature.
4. All men have this impure nature.
5. Adam originated this impure nature. In the present section we expect to add,
6. Adam and we are one and, in the succeeding section, to complete the doctrine with
7. The guilt and penalty of Adam?s sin are ours.
(b) As we regard this twofold problem from the point of view of the abnormal human condition, or of the divine treatment of it, we may call it the problem of original sin, or the problem of imputation. Neither of these terms is objectionable when its meaning is defined. By imputation of sin we mean, not the arbitrary and mechanical charging to a man of that for which he is not naturally responsible. It is the reckoning to a man of a guilt, which is properly his own, whether by virtue of his individual acts, or by virtue of his connection with the race. By original sin we mean that participation in the common sin of the race with which God charges us, in virtue of our descent from Adam, its first father and head.
We should not permit our use of the term ?imputation? to be hindered or prejudiced by the fact that certain schools of theology, notably the Federal school, have attached to it an arbitrary, external, and mechanical meaning. Holding that God imputes sin to men, not because they are sinners, but upon the ground of a legal fiction whereby Adam, without their consent, was made their representative. We shall see, on the contrary, that
(1) in the case of Adam?s sin imputed to us.
(2) Our sins imputed to Christ, and
(3) Christ?s righteousness imputed to the believer.
There is always a realistic basis for the imputation, namely, a real union,
(1) between Adam and his descendants,
(2) between Christ and the race, and
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