Thursday, June 12, 2008

...our sin imputed to Him; His righteousness imputed to us

declaring the good news of the gospel of grace
Jesus was punished on the cross for things He did not do; so that we would not be punished for things we have clearly done.

Our sin was imputed to Him, though He is perfect, spotless, undefiled, separate from sinners, holy, and without sin; but by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, His perfect righteousness is imputed to us though we are completely depraved, disobedient, children of wrath by nature, sons of disobedience, slaves of sin, sinful and sinners from the moment of our conception. All our righteousness is dirty, filthy rags; all His righteousness is the perfection of His holiness.

Jesus Christ lived a sinless life in perfect conformity to God's Law--He fulfilled it; He offered the perfect sacrifice, Himself, as the spotless Lamb of God to satisfy God's justice, holiness, and divine wrath; and He was the great High Priest who once for all went beyond the veil as the Captain of Salvation... our Federal Head in the covenant of grace.

Jesus Christ alone satisfied God, so that we through Christ could be justified by God. There is no other name, given among men, under heaven, whereby we must be saved.

(Psalm 32:1-5; Hebrews 2:9-18; Romans 3:21-26; Philippians 3:1-11; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21)


donsands said...


He is the only One worthy! He is worthy!

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

cyd said...

"God will provide for himself the lamb"
Gen. 22:8

"He was oppressed,and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter"

"and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, "Behold, the Lamb of God!"
Jn 1:36

"but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot"
1 Pt 1:19

"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
Rev 7:10

Halellujah! What a Savior!!!

SJ Camp said...





Shawn said...


The Spokesman said...



Steve, Charles Finney would have disagreed with you! He said that Christ couldn't legally be our Substitute and that God would be "unjust" to allow it. For Finney, Christ's death was not a "substitute. He said, "He can not plead as our Advocate that He has paid our debt, in such a sense that He can demand our discharge on the ground of justice. He has not paid our debt in such a sense that we do not still owe it. He has not atoned for our sins in such a sense that we might not still be justly punished for them. Indeed, such a thing is impossible and absurd. One being can not suffer for another in such a sense as to remove the guilt of that other."

It's hard to believe that such heretics who deny outright the clear teachings of Scripture and the heart of the gospel can go down in Church history as heroes!

wheat and chaff said...

Good reminder of what is really important. How great is our God for the work He has done to save a sinner like me!

Let others use their blogs as comic books, you stay focused on articles like this that feed our souls and point us to the glory of Christ.


StoneCreek said...

Great stuff man. As a fellow songwriter I so wish I could put articles like this one in a song. You have before. Any clues on how to begin?


SJ Camp said...

To all
Great and helpful comments. Thank you-very encouraging.

The Spokesman
Finney denied so much of the faith, that it is most difficult to even approach him as a true believer. Modern day evangelicalism is still reaping what he sowed from his "anxious bench easy believism."

It's hard to believe that such heretics who deny outright the clear teachings of Scripture and the heart of the gospel can go down in Church history as heroes!

Well said. Discernment on the gospel, especially today, is critical for the health of the church. Galatians 1:6-9 carries tremendous weight for us all to attend to.


SJ Camp said...

Thanks for your kind words. We can't control what others do at their blogs and shouldn't seek to; but we can control how we respond and bring attention to on our own sites.

The world is in such turmoil; people are hurting in so many ways today; evil seems on the rise and becoming more intensified with each passing day; our kids feel this and experience this in very tragic ways sometimes; etc. What else really matters except the hope of the gospel?

May we all keep on our eyes on the main thing these days and not get so consumed on our little self-consumed worlds. Amen?

Phil. 1:21

SJ Camp said...

Good question.

Two quick things:

1. Read the Psalms continually. It is the greatest example for any Christian songwriter on what should occupy our time in writing.

2. Isaac Watts hymnal has so many tremendous lyrics on a wide variety of themes. I would take time to read through several of his songs and see how he phrased and penned a well of powerful lyrics on the character and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. It will serve as a good model for you.

As you then try to write your own songs on these lofty theological and doctrinal themes, you will find yourself drawing from the truths of God's Word and from some of the great songwriters, like Watts, in redemptive history. IOW, your writing will begin to take on a new identity from time spent in the Word and reading through the writings of men like Watts.

That is what I have done for years and still do now. Watts is like a mentor to me; speaking from the grave in our contemporary world to keep my eyes on what is eternal in my writing. Do I do that well all the time? No way. But it is my goal and deepest desire to please Him and honor him with my songs and articles here.

Email me some lyrics when you carve out a few. I would be i interested in seeing what you come up with.

Psalm 119:54, 172

Carla said...

Steve said:

"May we all keep on our eyes on the main thing these days and not get so consumed on our little self-consumed worlds. Amen?"

First, amen. It's so easy to get caught up in 'local' (that which pertains only to us, personally) and to ignore what's going on in the world outside of our own world. I recall a conversation I had with a pastor in one of the hardest hit areas in LA after hurricane Katrina hit, and he said to me that after a time, folks just go back to their own day-to-day and forget about what's going on in other places. I suppose that's normal, but at the same time we're supposed to be a people that consider the needs of others, amen?

Especially during times of hard, personal trials it can be SO easy to dwell on our own cicrumstances, but those are the times it's best to really step back and look at what's happening all around us, and how we might be used to serve to bring God glory in these things.

A bit off topic, but still important I think.

SJ Camp said...

A good word. I was thinking about this when seeing the many people who have lost their homes in the tragic flooding that is happening up North right now.

We live in a fallen world; in this world we will have trials and tribulations; but we are to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world. (I am also thinking of the Steven Curtis Chapman and his family and their tragedy of just a few weeks ago. I hope many are still praying for them).

Again, the great hope of the gospel! He is our solid rock in an ever changing turbulent world.

2 Cor. 4:5

Rick said...

Re: Charles Finney.

He was not actually the originator of the "anxious seat" or most of the "new measures". The Methodists were, and others were using them. Finney was the poster child because he was most popular.

"Easy believism"- can in NO way be attributed to Charles Finney. If anything, he erred on the side of legalism. Nobody criticizes 'spurious faith' more than Finney.

As far as his view of the atonement, many are offended by the shocking statements that 'the spokesman' noted. HOWEVER, Finney made many shocking statements based on what he viewed as legal technicalities (he was a lawyer). If one reads him further, one can find that ultimately he does not differ on the substance of the atonement. He just words it differently (Can't go into it here).

This is Finney to a tee: you must read him in context and wait for his explanation of such 'shocking statements'. Taken by themselves, anyone could reasonably call him a heretic. But read him further and consider his full thoughts and you will find that he is no heretic, he just makes poor word choices and 'shocks' for the purpose of getting us to think.

In fact, the reformed movement would find much in his writings that they would agree with. Especially in regards to misguided church practices/emergent etc.

P.S. He is very often misrepresented, and by folks who really haven't read him. He is not perfect, and he does have his problems.

For more, see:

The Spokesman said...


Not only have I read Finney, I have also studied church history and his heresy goes back to Pelagius. Finney sympathizers seem to want to build "straw-men" and say that they haven't read Finney to discredit them. However, what is amazing is that anyone can read Finney and not come away understanding that the man was a heretic. It is perfectly clear from his writings, especially in their contexts, that Finney denied the doctrine of imputation and rejected penal substitutionary atonement.

Finney was A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.

Rick said...


With all due respect, I too have studied Finney, and even studied under the premier Finney scholar, Garth Rosell.

I'm not suggesting that you haven't read him in context, but I have seen him twisted, misrepresented, and pulled out of context more often than not. The link you gave, "A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing" is a classic textbook example.

Nor am I suggesting that we should all follow Finney, or even give him a chance (although I think he has some very useful and corrective things to say to the church).

Finney challenges us to think through some sacred cows. I do not say that he is right about everything, and personally I do not agree with how he frames the atonement. But as I said, he does not ultimately differ much in substance on the issue of substitution.

He is useful to us in that he sharpens our minds and challenges us to think. He also has some clear warnings to the church, which many cannot hear because he is condemned as a 'heretic'.

I may be wrong, but I think I have studied him well. If you would like, email me and I will send you what I think is a balanced treatise.

Rick said...

Don't take my word for it alone. Here is Finney in context from his sermon, "Substitution" (

6. We see in what sense the saints are saved by the righteousness of Christ. Much has always been said by Old School divines about imputation. I do not mean now just what they do by this term, but there is a sense in which the righteousness of Christ may be said to be imputed to us. I have already explained what this sense is. Jesus Christ was treated as if He were a sinner, that we for his sake might be treated as if we were righteous. He deserved no sufferings--we deserved them all. They were not endured for his sake, but for ours. He stood before God to be treated as sinful; we as a result, stand before God and are treated as righteous. As He represented the sins of a lost race, so we represent the righteousness of a spotless Savior.

7. Our own personal obedience has no part in the matter of our justification, not even any obedience rendered after conversion. After conversion we are pious and to some extent holy; but this is not taken into account as a ground of our justification.

(1.) Because when once condemned, no subsequent obedience can procure our acceptance on legal grounds. It is perfectly obvious that no obedience performed after sin and condemnation, can in any way atone for the previous sin.

(2.) Our obedience is not our own in such a sense that we can be justified by it according to law. It should be considered that our obedience after conversion is not under law--that is, not a system of mere law, but is under grace--it being all performed in consequence of Christ's gracious work within us, and not wrought out under purely legal influences. We are therefore not to suppose that we do not need Christ after once being converted and pardoned. No idea can be more false and ruinous than this. For the holiness of Christians after conversion is the result of Christ's Spirit working in them and is in this sense a gracious righteousness, and hence can never come into the account as if it were a legal righteousness, so as to justify men on merely legal grounds. We owe to the grace of Christ our entire salvation, and are to be rewarded, not for our own righteousness, but on the ground that we represent the righteousness of God.

8. We see how much we are indebted to Christ for our salvation. He has been set forth as a propitiation for sin, and in him an atonement was made. He stood in our stead where we must else have stood as condemned and quailing rebels; he suffered in his own person that awful manifestation of divine displeasure which would else have been made in our destruction in order to render it possible for God to be just to his government and good to all his subjects and yet pardon sinners. Christ has done all this for us, and now does it well become us to say--in the inmost soul--

"Had I ten thousand hearts to give,

Lord, they should all be Thine."

9. We can see how great the future glory of the saints must be. We have been looking at the great agony and grief endured by Jesus Christ. Look now in the other direction at the great glory resulting from our being made the righteousness of God in him. In the days of his flesh God made Him sin for us, laying on Him the iniquity of us all, and in those scenes of anguish making known his own utter abhorrence of sin. It now remains for God to make known to all the universe his own high sense of the value of Christ's righteousness. It remains for Him to show how perfectly pleased He is with the atonement--how delighted He is with the perfect holiness of Jesus Christ, and how fully He appreciates Christ's benevolence in sacrificing Himself for others' good. And all this is to be shown by his treatment of the saints. You will observe that the proximate end of Christ's being made sin for us, as taught in our text, is that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. In us, therefore, that is, in the redeemed from our race, must be revealed before the eyes of the universe the glorious righteousness of God as manifested in and through his Son. O what miracles of glory will be revealed there! Mark, that the saints are not merely to be brought into heaven and suffered to live there, but they are to be used there for displaying the righteousness of God and his infinite glory in the sufferings of his Son. When God saw it necessary to show forth his abhorrence of sin, then Jesus Christ stood out before the universe as if in the place of all the sin of our race, and in this position the Infinite Father withdrew the light of his face, and gave expression to his fearful wrath against sin. Then the suffering One groaned and agonized--the earth quaked--the sun forbore to shine, and nature herself by her throes of agony seemed to sympathize with the unwonted anguish of her Lord.

Thus closed the first chapter of this wondrous development. The scene of the next is laid in heaven. There must be revealed the righteousness of God. There must be unfolded his infinite goodness and love as embodied in this scheme of substitution and atonement. It now remains to show what results of unutterable glory to God in the highest accrue from this plan of redemption. And these can not be revealed in the myriad worlds of Jehovah's universe except by means of exalting redeemed sinners most gloriously before their eyes. We need not wonder therefore that it should be said--"It doth not yet appear what we shall be." "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." Most truly said, for it can only be in a low and groveling sense that we can be said to conceive of those glorious things prepared by God for his people. O, if some of our departed friends should appear to us in all their present glory, we might perhaps mistake them for God Himself, and be ready to fall down and worship them. You are aware that this very mistake has sometimes been made, nor is it very strange that it should be. The Bible represents the saints as then "shining forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father." It need not surprise us that they should appear in the palaces of heaven adorned with robes of glory such as no eye of man hath seen or heart conceived. For they are gloriously exalted not to represent their own righteousness, but the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus their Lord. The glory of God and the blessedness of the universe demand that Jesus should be honored and exalted for what He has done and suffered; but the relations of his people to Himself in this work are such that He can not be exalted and honored except in connection with their exaltation. If Christ is an heir of God, they are "joint heirs with Him." If He is to be rewarded with a glorious triumph, they must join in the triumphal procession--the rescued ones--the trophies of his victory--the purchase of His blood. Behold He says, "Here am I and the children whom God hath given me." O, "He is not ashamed to call them brethren." Hence the exalted honor to which they must be raised.

10. This inheritance is received by simple faith. Whoever simply believes and with the heart embraces, shall receive and enjoy it for ever.

11. It is proffered to all, and proffered now. Whoever will believe in Christ, let him come--come now, and receive the earnest of this inheritance in the present gift of the Spirit. The Spirit is given to believers now as the earnest and pledge of that glorious inheritance.

But you say--How can it be that simple faith is the only requisite to secure this inheritance? I am but too well aware that the simplicity of the way of salvation is a great stumbling-block to the world. The mass of men who hear the gospel are stumbled on this very rock, and turn aside and go about to work out some form of self-righteousness. It is too simple a thing in their esteem to have salvation for merely believing on Jesus Christ--not to say also that it is too humiliating. They do not so well like to come into such a possession without having it to say that they have paid well for it. Hence they pass over the simplicity of the gospel, and miss of heaven. Slow indeed are most men to see that it is by simple faith that we commit the soul to God, renounce self in all its forms, and cast ourselves upon the righteousness of God alone.