Summary: The importance of understanding the word “impute” can not be underestimated if we are to comprehend fully the doctrine of salvation.


Psalm 32:1-2


1. Words are vitally important. Often as one reads the Scriptures, a word comes to light that needs further clarification.

2. Two main reasons for this clarification exist.

3. First, a word’s meaning may have changed over the years.

4. I Peter 1:15 “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.”

5. The word “conversation” has changed. It used to mean “your lifestyle, conduct, behavior, or manner of living.” Today it simply means to have a talk with someone.

6. The word “dog” has changed meanings. When I was a boy if you called someone a dog that meant that they were ugly. Now, if you call someone dog, it means that they are your good friend.

7. The word “gay” has changed meanings significantly. It used to mean nothing more than being happy. Today it means being a homosexual or a lesbian.

8. ILL: Security password My parents have a security system at their home. The password is my mother’s middle name – Gay! Every time I came home from college they would leave the system armed. Since you only have thirty seconds to enter the code, and since I could never remember the code, the alarm would go off. Within seconds the alarm-company would call demanding the password and I would be forced to reply – Gay! I don’t think the person at the call center thought, “Wow, he is a really happy guy!”

9. Second, a word may be archaic.

10. This is the case with the word “impute” in verse two. It is a bookkeeping or banking term that occurs fourteen times in the Bible and literally means “to reckon something positive or negative to one’s account.” Except for theological discussions, no one uses this word any longer today.

11. The word “impute” is synonymous with the words ascribe, attribute, account, credit, and reckon.

12. The Bible teaches three great imputations, and each of them pertains to the doctrine of salvation. As a result, the importance of understanding the word “impute” can not be underestimated if we are to comprehend fully the doctrine of salvation.




1. Romans 5:12

2. Much of the Bible deals with specific sins, i.e. – lying, stealing, covetousness, etc…. However, this verse deals not with specific sins but rather with the principle of sin which has corrupted the entire human race. We call this original sin or the depravity of man.

3. Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

4. ILL: How far did man fall? Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse tells the story of how he was teaching a Bible class on the book of Genesis, and what happened when he came to the third chapter and the account of the fall of man. He stated to the class that one of the greatest and most heated of all theological arguments is over how far man fell in the sin of Adam. To his surprise, the crowd broke into riotous laughter.

5. The very fact that men would argue over how far man has fallen proves that they have fallen completely and are absolutely entrenched in trespasses and sin.

6. Spurgeon wrote, “I am bound to the doctrine of the depravity of the human heart, because I find myself depraved in heart, and have daily proofs that there dwelleth in my flesh no good thing.”

7. When Adam sinned, the entire human race was plunged into sin, and after the fall he and his descendants could only beget sinners. As a result, all men must suffer the ultimate consequence of sin – death.

8. First, the fall caused physical death – Rom. 5:12

9. God promised that man would die if he were to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10. Genesis 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

11. The earth is pock-marked with graves, and the most incontestable testimony of history is that all men everywhere, regardless of race, religion, creed, social status, or wealth will one-day die.

12. I Corinthians 15:22 “For in Adam all die…”

13. Second, the fall caused spiritual death – Is. 59:2

14. Man is a triune being made up of body, soul, and spirit.

15. I Thessalonians 5:23 “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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