What Does a Gospel Without Double Imputation Look Like
1. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where God forgives us because we tell Him we're sorry. God is bound by His character and nature - He cannot violate His demand for justice. All of mankind must suffer the just wrath of God for eternity in hell unless . . . a substitute stands in our stead!
2. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where Jesus died to give us a second chance. A man who is unregenerated by the Holy Spirit is a man dead in sin (Ephesians 2:1-3). A second chance is no use to a corpse. He needs the Divine intervention of resurrection power!
3. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel with a god who loves us but requires no justice. If God were unjust He would not be loving.
4. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where Jesus is an example but not a substitute. Passages such as Phillipians 2 certainly teach us that Jesus set an example how we should live. But it is His role as a penal substitute that only makes that possible. Jesus came to do something we are incapable of doing - fulfill the law without sinning. Jesus came to suffer what we cannot endure - take the punishment of God's wrath in the place of sinners. It is only possible to follow Him as your example after you have trusted Him (in repentant faith) as your penal substitute. Modern catch phrases like "live the gospel" and "you are the gospel" are ludicrous in the light of the fact that we should be proclaiming the One Who is completely unlike we are as fallen men.
5. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where conversion requires a decision but not a transforming work of the Holy Spirit. Does your salvation hinge on the prayer you pray or on the finished work of the One you are praying to?
6. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where people are victims but not guilty criminals. Therapy and self-esteem are hindrances to true repentance. It is only when we see ourselves in the true light of our wretched depravity that we can see the kindness of God demonstrated in sending Jesus to die for sinners. Sinners who need forgiveness more than social justice. Sinners who need imputed righteousness more than hedonistic happiness.
7. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel where repentance is an option but not a command. "The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead." (Acts 17:30-31)
8. A gospel without double imputation is a gospel that says plenty about "global warming" but is silent about "global burning". A gospel without double imputation is a gospel that frightens lost men with the ecological plight of this world but neglects to warn of their eternal plight in the world to come.
100 years ago someone spoke prophetically about today when he said:
I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.
Can you guess who said that? I will answer that question on Monday with the final installemtn in this series - What Does A Gospel With Double Imputation Look Like?
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Weekend A La Carte (August 29)
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