(3) between believers and Christ such as this gives, in each case, community of life and enables us to say that God imputes to no man what does not properly belong to him.
Dr. E. G. Robinson used to say ?imputed righteousness and imputed sin are as absurd as any notion that ever took possession of human nature.? He had in mind however, only that constructive guilt and merit which was advocated by Princeton theologians. He did not mean to deny the imputation to men of that which is their own. He recognized the fact that all men are sinners by inheritance as well as by voluntary act and he found this taught in Scripture, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament
<160106> Nehemiah 1:6 ? ?I confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee. Yea, I and my father?s house have sinned?; <240325>Jeremiah 3:25 ? ?Let us lie down in our shame, and let our confusion cover us; for we have sinned against Jehovah our God, we and our fathers?; 14:20 ? ?We acknowledge, O Jehovah, our wickedness and the iniquity of our fathers; for we have sinned against thee.? The word ?imputed ?is itself found in the New Testament; e. g ., <550416>2 Timothy 4:16 ? ?At my first defense no one took my part: may it not be laid to their account,? or ?imputed to them? mh< aujtoi~v logisqei>h . <450513>Romans 5:13 ? ?sin is not imputed when there is no law? ? oujk ejlloga~tai .
Not only the saints of Scripture times, but modern saints also, have imputed to themselves the sins of others, of their people, of their times, of the whole world. Jonathan Edwards, Resolutions, quoted by Allen, 28 ? ?I will take it for granted that no one is so evil as myself. I will identify myself with all men and act as if their evil were my own, as if I had committed the same sins and had the same infirmities so that the knowledge of their failings will promote in me nothing but a sense of shame.? Frederick Denison Maurice: ?I wish to confess the sins of the time as my own.? Moberly, Atonement and Personality, 87 ? ?The phrase ?solidarity of humanity? is growing every day in depth and significance. Whatever we do, we do not for ourselves alone. It is not as an individual alone that I can be measured or judged.? Royce, World and Individual, 2:404 ? ?The problem of evil indeed, demands the presence of free will in the world. On the other hand, it is equally true that no moral world whatever can be made consistent with the realistic thesis according to which free will agents are, in fortune and in penalty, independent of the deeds of other moral agents. It follows that, in our moral world, the righteous can suffer without individually deserving their suffering, just because their lives have no independent being but are linked with all life ? God himself also sharing in their suffering.?
<- Previous Table of Contents Next ->
Was this article helpful?