Imputed Guilt

By "Imputed Guilt" I'm referring to the popular hypothesis among many Christians whereby God reckons people guilty of sins they didn't actually commit.

For example consider Adam. John Gill, a popular Calvinist theologian writes in his commentary on Romans 5:19 concerning the imputation of Adam's sin to others, "they are become guilty,  through the imputation of his sin to them; for it is by the disobedience of another they are made sinners, which must be by the imputation of that disobedience to them; he sinned,  and they sinned in him,  when they had as yet no actual existence; which could be no other way,  than by imputation,  as he was reckoned and accounted their head and representative,  and they reckoned and accounted in him,  and so have sinned in him. This is also evident, from the sentence of condemnation and death passing upon all men for it; and even upon those, who had not actually sinned"

What's wrong with imputation of sin, inherited guilt, guilt by association? Very simply, IT'S UNJUST. The problem is "God is Just" 2Th 1:6, and as such doesn't do such a thing. "fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their fathers; each is to die for his own sin." Deuteronomy 24:16

Secondly is the heretical idea that God pretended that Jesus was guilty of crimes he didn't actually commit, and pour  out his wrath on him. Again John Gill on 2Cor 5:21 "he was made sin itself by imputation; the sins of all his people were transferred unto him,  laid upon him,  and placed to his account; he sustained their persons,  and bore their sins; and having them upon him,  and being chargeable with,  and answerable for them,  he was treated by the justice of God as if he had been not only a sinner,  but a mass of sin;"

What's wrong with knowingly  condemning an innocent man? Weill duh! IT'S UNJUST. "You, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross." Acts 2:23 Was God one of these wicked men? Apparently these people interpret the Bible without taking into account God's character. It's like they worship a different God. The whole reason why Jesus had to die was to satisfy God's judicial nature. But apparently many Christians, like John Gill, don't believe that God has a judicial nature.

Christ died as an innocent victim of unjustified suffering at the hands of wicked men, the Father standing aside and not taking part in his death. Having suffered unjustly justice demands he be compensated, as is the case with all unjustified suffering. And that compensation paid for the sins of the worlds. This as opposed to God pretending Jesus was guilty of the sins of the world and unjustly pouring out wrath on him.

For more on this see The Theory of Atonement

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources