Sunday, June 1, 2008

Understanding Impute vs. Impart


Imputed righteousness and imparted righteousness. What do these words mean? And what's the difference?

Impute Definition: Impute means to say that someone has a certain attribute. I might say to you, "You are rich!" That would be imputing riches to you. My saying that (imputing riches to you) of course does not make you rich.

Impart Definition: On the other hand if I hand you $20-million, I have imparted to you riches. (And I would love to be able to do that for you!)

As humans, we care very much whether we are being imputed something, or imparted something! It makes all the difference in the world if I am merely imputing riches to you (saying that you are rich) vs. imparting riches to you.

However, when it comes to God—there is not so much difference between imputing and imparting. Titus 1:2 tells us that God "cannot lie". This is not because he "will not" lie, or knows He "should not" lie, but as it literally says, He "cannot" lie. This is because the actual words that God speaks are themselves "alive and powerful" (Hebrews 4:12). When God says something, His Word makes it happen.

If you were to say, "Tony Evert's house is made of gold," you would be speaking falsely. My house is made of wood and sheetrock and things like that. But if today, God were to say, "Tony Evert's home is made of gold", those words would transform my house into gold. "So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it [my Word] shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." Isaiah 55:11.

In the beginning there was no light. "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3. He did not get down off His throne and wire up some light. "He spake, and it was; He commanded, and it stood fast." Psalms 33:9.

Look at what God said to childless Abraham: "Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee." Genesis 17:5. God "calleth those things which be not as though they were." Romans 4:17. And when God does that—His Word goes forth out of His mouth: it does not return unto Him void, but that word accomplishes the thing He said. He speaks, and it is done; He commands, and it stands fast.

So when God imputes to you, He also imparts to you. He cannot lie! When He says you are righteous, that Word makes you righteous!