Sovereign Grace Baptist Church

Free Grace Media

Of Princeton, New Jersey


AuthorClay Curtis
TitleFact Imputed
Bible Text1 Samuel 22:15
Article Type Article
PDF Format pdf
Word Format doc



1 Samuel 22: 15: Did I then begin to enquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.


In 1 Samuel 22, King Saul thought it fact that Ahimelech committed treason by enquiring of God for David. He thought Ahimelech did so while knowing David was enemy to the king. Thinking this fact, Saul imputed treason to Ahimelech. But Ahimelech said it was fact that he did not commit treason because he did not enquire of the Lord while knowing David was the king’s enemy.  So Ahimelech asked Saul not to impute sin to him because it was not fact.


     Both these men knew that to impute is to impute fact. Saul imputed treason because he thought it fact. Ahimelech said do not impute treason to me because it is not fact. Thankfully, we are not made sin or righteousness by someone imputing it to us. Imputation is an accounting term. When an accountant totals the amount you have in your savings, he accounts or imputes that exact figure to your savings.  But he does not put that amount in your savings by accounting. He accounts that amount because it is fact.


    According to every use of the word in scripture, God only imputes what a man has in fact been made by a prior act. When God imputed sin to us it was not to make us sin or to treat us as if we had sinned. The prior act that made us sin was Adam’s disobedience.


    Yet, Christ knew no sin and would not sin. God will not impute sin where there is no law, that is, where one has not been made sin under the law. (Rom 5: 13) So God did not make Christ sin by imputation. The prior act that made Christ sin was: He hath made him sin for us, who knew no sin.


     Likewise, (and this is the joy for every believer) when God will not impute sin to the believer it is because it is fact. The prior act that removed our sin is that Christ was made sin for us and bore them away so that God says there is no record that we ever committed any crime.  When God imputes righteousness to the believer it is not to treat us as if we are righteous or even to make us righteous. The prior act is that Christ has made us the righteousness of God in him by his obedience. 


   At some point faithful, well-meaning men began defining imputation in a way contrary to scripture.  Rather than seeing Paul’s word concerning Onesimus as Paul agreeing to be surety for him, the same as Judah did for Benjamin (picturing Christ agreeing to be Surety for us) men began using that one scripture to say imputation is God making us sin or righteousness by accounting us so. But everywhere else in scripture the actual imputation of sin or righteousness is due to what a man has been made by a prior act. Believer, when we behold the word of God declare the truth, the only thing to do is “let God be true and every man a liar”, even if every faithful, well-meaning believer in history says otherwise.