Sound Doctrine Archive

Modern Reformed theologians such as RC Sproul, Wayne Grudem and others teach that in order for the believer to be justified, he must be imputed with both the righteous life of Christ (His active obedience) as well as the sacrificial death of Christ (His passive obedience). This teaching, sometimes called “double imputation” or the doctrine of Active Obedience (AO) is not supported by Scripture and more importantly, AO has become a major threat to the Gospel. It is time for a serious evaluation of AO in light of its purported Scriptural support and the wide-ranging effects that it has had on both Reformed thought and wider evangelical teaching. The Bible teaches that God’s plan to redeem mankind centers on Christ’s sacrificial work of atonement: the Cross. It is the imputation of this righteous act alone that places the believer in a justified (righteous, forgiven, reconciled) state before God. There is no indication of or need for the imputation of the active obedience of Christ.

The act of imputation is not really the issue of concern here since it is an idea that is treated in a simple way by the biblical writers. Scripture does not spend a great deal of time analyzing the act itself in great depth. The issue at stake has more to do with the what of imputation rather than the how. Read the remainder of this entry »

Jesus was a Calvinist

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Doctrine

As Christians, more than anything, we should want to be like our Savior and Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. His words should be our words, His thoughts our thoughts, His theology our theology and based on His words, thoughts and theology – Jesus was a Calvinist! Although the system itself and the man it was named after did not come into existence until almost 1,600 years after Jesus’ death, the truths taught both by John Calvin and the system bearing his name, are as old as the Bible itself. The Bible teaches Calvinism, which means that Calvinism is good biblical theology. It is the sound doctrine of Jesus and the Scriptures. We can clearly demonstrate this thought by considering what are commonly known as the “Five Points of Calvinism” and a few of the biblical texts that record Jesus’ teaching on each of those points.

There is a host of biblical data that could be used to make the point that Jesus was a Calvinist, but for purposes of brevity, we will confine our study to only the words of Christ as they appear in the Gospel of John: Read the remainder of this entry »

The believer and Friday the 13th

By Pastor Scott | Filed in Sound Doctrine

All kinds of superstitions surround the calendar event that occurs when the 13th day of a month falls on a Friday. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number “13″ and friggatriskaidekaphobia is specifically related to the fear of  Friday the 13th.

One of the blessings of knowing Christ is in realizing that this day is no different than any other. In other words, there is nothing especially bad about Friday the 13th. All such beliefs are false. However, in Proverbs 13 we do find warnings against living a life of continual refusal to listen and be obedient to ALL that God has commanded. This particular proverb – maybe more than any other proverb – reveals that living in that way will mean the forfeiture of the blessings and abundant life we all strive for. Continual disobedience means instead that our life will be filled with destruction (v. 13), poverty, disgrace (v. 18), disaster (v. 21) and suffering of want (v. 25). What makes all of this really terrible is that such “curses” are not a warning for just one day, but every day. Or, worse, an entire life of misfortune to those who remain disobedient. It is the warning of a life of curses rather than blessings.

Of course, this is NOT what we desire for any of you! Read the remainder of this entry »

Imputation: Mutation

By Josh | Filed in Sound Doctrine

This is the first article in a small series dealing with the doctrine of imputation, the term “the righteousness of Christ” and the doctrine of active obedience.

Recently we here at Sound Church realized that there exists a bit of confusion surrounding the term “double imputation.” For some, the term refers to imputation of both Christ’s passive obedience (death) and active obedience (perfect life). For others, the term does not hold this meaning. Instead, they understand it to mean that the sins of the believer were laid on Christ and that believer has now become the righteousness of Christ, thus, double imputation. However, the real issue is not the concept of double imputation. The main area of misunderstanding lies in the meaning of the term “the righteousness of Christ.”

Though, we do not consider John Piper to be the cause of the confusion, a close examination of his book, Counted Righteous in Christ can help us to see how this confusion has arisen. Mr. Piper wrote his book to support the doctrine of imputation of the righteousness of Christ – a doctrine for which there is strong biblical support. Mr. Piper’s book opposes Robert Gundry’s view (as contained in an article for Christianity Today) that Christ’s righteousness has not been imputed to the believer. Gundry is represented by quotations such as, “…the doctrine that Christ’s righteousness is imputed to believing sinners needs to be abandoned” and “…that doctrine of imputation is not even biblical.” In this case, we agree with Mr. Piper and affirm that the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to the sinner is necessary for justification.

However, it becomes clear throughout the book that Mr. Piper is writing less to support the doctrine of the imputation of the righteousness of Christ to the believer and more to support the doctrine associated with active obedience of Christ. We contend that this purpose is different than what we are led to believe in the title and tagline on the book cover: Counted Righteous in Christ, Should we abandon the imputation of Christ’s righteousness? Read the remainder of this entry »

In a video that was released a couple of weeks ago, we took a position against “double imputation.” However, this caused some confusion as there are some who define double imputation as the imputation of man’s sin to Christ’s account as well as the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to man. We affirm this idea as the biblical doctrine of imputation (or double imputation if you prefer) as being clearly taught in Scripture.

Read the remainder of this entry »

We cannot earn or work our way to royalty status.    Read the remainder of this entry »

The doctrine of the imputation of the Active Obedience of Christ is settled doctrine in Reformed circles . . . or is it?

Listen and watch as Pastor Scott discusses the heresy and danger of double imputation:
Read the remainder of this entry »