Updated: Feb 14, 2021
To impute something is to charge or attribute it to someone. Before Jesus went to the cross, sin was charged to all of humanity.
No Imputation of Sin
To impute something is to charge or attribute it to someone. Before Jesus went to the cross, sin was charged to all of humanity. Although human high priests tried to atone for sin through animal sacrifices, those sacrifices were imperfect and temporary. Jesus’ death on the cross changed all that. Because of His love for us, He chose to sacrifice Himself to lift the judgment sin imposed on mankind and put it on Himself. Because of what He did, believers are now cleansed, perfected, and holy. Now that we are in Christ, there is no penalty against us for sin.
A. Jesus came to put a stop to the continual need to offer sacrifices for sin.
Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (Hebrews 2:14, 15).
It was necessary for Jesus to have a flesh and blood body; without it, He would not have had anything to offer as a sacrifice for sin.
One offering took care of all sin for all time (Hebrews 10:5, 12).
The bondage which we were previously subject to included guilt, shame, poverty, sickness, disease, and anything else that afflicted us.
Our perfecting and cleansing from sin has already taken place in the past. It is up to us whether we believe it is finished, or believe that we must be cleansed again every time we sin.
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all…For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified (Hebrews 10:10, 14).
For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy (Hebrews 10:14, AMPC).
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:25-28).
Unlike the high priests in the Old Testament who had to make sacrifices often, Jesus only needed to make one sacrificee.
B. Christ’s perfect sacrifice overcame sin and freed us from the fear of death.
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die (John 12:31-33).
The original meaning of this is that Jesus would draw all of man’s judgment onto Himself. Not only did He deal with sin, but also the judgment that goes with it.
When we know what Jesus did for us, we will be free from bondage. This requires that we believe what we hear about it.
This Scripture was written for the Jewish people who lived under the Law of Moses. Violations of the law could mean death. For them, the fear of death was always present.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins (Hebrews 10:26).
Many people misinterpret this and think that if they sin, because there is no more sacrifice for it; they will always be judged for that sin. This is what religion tells us, and this way of thinking puts us in bondage.
“The truth” is the knowledge that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all our sins. To sin willfully is to reject Him after this is revealed to us, and go back to the old system of making our own sacrifices for sin. Willful sin is choosing not to believe what He did.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:20).
The law gives us the awareness and consciousness of sin. Knowing that we have sinned under the law brings the fear of death.
A transgression is a violation of the law but, before the law, the people were not conscious of their sins. There was sin in the Old Testament before the law was established, but it was not considered a transgression.
C. The Law of Moses could never make anyone righteous. Righteousness comes by faith.
What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made. And it [the Law] was arranged and ordained and appointed through the instrumentality of angels [and was given] by the hand (in the person) of a go-between [Moses, an intermediary person between God and man]. Now a go-between (intermediary) has to do with and implies more than one party [there can be no mediator with just one person]. Yet God is [only] one Person [and He was the sole party in giving that promise to Abraham. But the Law was a contract between two, God and Israel; its validity was dependent on both]. Is the Law then contrary and opposed to the promises of God? Of course not! For if a Law had been given which could confer [spiritual] life, then righteousness and right standing with God would certainly have come by Law (Galatians 3:19-21, AMPC).
God did not give the Ten Commandments to make people holy, but to make them realize the seriousness of sin.
The law was never intended to be in effect forever; it had an expiration date. It was only intended to be operational untill Jesus came.
But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]. Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith. But now that the faith has come, we are no longer under a trainer (the guardian of our childhood). For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God through faith. For as many [of you] were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with) Christ. There is [now no distinction] neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:22-28, AMPC).
Religion has put us all in bondage; the original contract was between God and the Jews. There was no need for Gentiles to try to live under the law.
The law makes sin a transgression.
For the promise, that he should be heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect (Romans 4:13, 14).
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come (Romans 5:13, 14).
D. The law has ended and we are now under grace. Grace has defeated sin.
Sin traps us in a vicious cycle from which we cannot escape on our own.
When we sin, our conscience bothers us. We try to clean ourselves up and stop sinning, but when we fail, we feel even worse. This starts a cycle of more sinning, and we are caught up in our own works.
The blood of Christ purges our conscience from dead works so that we can serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14).
It is significant to note that the period from Adam to Moses was when mankind had the longest life span.
Sin-consciousness is responsible for stress, which is the number one killer on the earth. Stress is related to pressure, condemnation, and worry, which lead to internal pains.
Sin-consciousness began the day the law was given. When the people became aware of their sin, three thousand of them died (Exodus 32:28).
Conversely, in the New Testament when the people were baptized by the Holy Spirit and they received grace, three thousand were born again (Acts 2:41).
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin (Romans 4:8).
Calling our sin a transgression is a tip-off that we still believe we are under the Law of Moses. The issue then boils down to one of belief or unbelief.
We are in Christ and He has already dealt with sin. Seeing it as a transgression maintains sin-consciousness.
We must have enough confidence in Christ to be at peace. When our hearts condemn us (1 John 3:20), it is because we do not have confidence toward God.
According to the covenant of grace, the person who sins will not have it charged against them. Despite his sin, he is blessed (empowered to prosper and have success). This differs from what religion tells us, which is that the person who sins cannot be blessed because of their sin.
Our enemies will never triumph over us, because grace is greater than sin. We may endure persecution temporarily, but that is to be expected.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12).
We must believe that we are already seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6), and that when we are absent from the body we are present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
We have been forgiven and redeemed, regardless of whatever sins we have committed. Jesus forgave the woman at the well, called her into His ministry, and sent her out with a mission (John 4:4-29).
Hebrews 2:14, 15
Hebrews 10:5, 10, 12, 14, 26
Hebrews 10:14, AMPC
Hebrews 9:14, 25-28
Galatians 3:19-28 AMPC
Romans 4:8, 13, 14
Romans 5:13, 14
1 John 3:20
2 Timothy 3:12
2 Corinthians 5:8
by Creflo Dollar 19 Jul 2017