An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 112 of 297
meaning.  This is not all, however, for these references divide themselves
into two sets, viz., those which speak of imputing something that exists as a
fact, and those which speak of imputing for, imputing one thing for another.
The two expressions are logizomai and logizomai ... eis.  We must look at
this list again, therefore, to learn the difference intended.
'Imputation' in its prime meaning is found in Romans 4:6,8,10,11,23 and
24.  In these passages one thing is not imputed for another; wages,
righteousness and sin are actualities.
Imputed for is found in 4:3,5,9 and 22, and in these passages 'faith'
is imputed for righteousness.  Romans 2:26 supplies us with a use of the
expression that must be included: 'Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the
righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for
circumcision'.  While we must give full value to faith, we must not go to the
extreme of making it, in effect, another work; if we do, we make void the
gospel.  We are justified gratuitously, 'not of works'.  Faith is not a work.
True, it leads to works, but that is another matter.
An illustration*
Some of our readers may remember the days when the standard coin of the
realm was the golden sovereign. It would not have been a serious matter if
one had accidentally dropped a sovereign into the fire, for the resulting
piece of gold would still have been worth 20 shillings.  We should not have
used logizomai eis when speaking of this coin.  We should not have said,
'This golden sovereign is reckoned for 20 shillings worth', for it actually
was worth 20 shillings, whatever happened to it.  It is quite different with
the present paper money.  Today we have a oe1 Note.  It would be very unwise,
however, to conclude that the oe1 note was actually of the same value as the
gold or even of twenty shillings.  Some have found this to be true to their
cost.  We have heard of one poor woman who accidentally screwed up a oe1 note
with waste paper and threw it into the fire: sadly enough its intrinsic worth
was soon discovered to be only that of waste paper.  It produced no useful
heat, it left no valuable ash; it was only 'reckoned for' one pound.  We must
not, on the other hand, think that the value of the oe1 note is fictional.
Behind that valueless piece of paper lie all the resources and power of the
Bank of England.  The English pound note is a 'promise'.  The actual wording
reads, 'Bank of England, I Promise to pay the Bearer on Demand the sum of One
Pound, London For the Govrs. and Compa. of the Bank of England ... Chief
Cashier'.  So with faith.  Faith itself is not righteousness, but faith is
reckoned for righteousness.  The real righteousness is found in the Lord.
The true merit is found in the 'faith of Christ', and because of His faith,
my faith may be reckoned for righteousness.  If His faith and righteousness
did not exist, my faith would have no value, just as the paper money has no
value when a country or government collapses.
We retain this illustration, even though it is so out of date.
We remember in August 1914 meeting a man on the Continent, who, though
possessed of oe5 notes, was nevertheless penniless, simply because the
outbreak of war had rendered all paper money valueless for the time being.
Had the same man possessed golden sovereigns, he would have found no
difficulty in getting them accepted anywhere.  We would not, however, by this
somewhat clumsy illustration give a wrong impression.  There is no room for
the slightest doubt as to the reality of that righteousness that gives to
faith its value.  It is ours in Christ.  He is the Lord our righteousness.