Question 9: Was Christ reckoned a sinner, or just a sin offering?

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Question 9:

Was Christ reckoned a sinner, or just a sin offering?

Question number nine I'm Michael Pearl coming to you from THE DOOR. These questions come in from our listeners.


 "Nowhere in the scriptures does the Bible say that God reckoned Christ to be a sinner. He was made as sin offering. God would be unrighteous to reckon him a sinner when he was not a sinner.” Mr. C.

Now I've heard that quite a few times throughout my lifetime. This is particularly the source of irritant to quite a few people.


So again, the Bible is our answer, isn't it?

So I take the term sin offering, "Christ was made a sin offering," he said. So I looked up the word sin offering, and it's found in the Bible 119 times.

  • Sin Offering – 119 times in the Bible
  • 0 times in the NT

It's never found in the New Testament. And Christ is never said to be a sin offering anywhere in the Bible. Now, understand that the typology of the Old Testament sin offering Christ fulfills all of those offerings. But those offerings were not all sin offerings, the blood sacrifice offerings, but one particular one was.

What does it say in the Greek Bible?

Now maybe my audience doesn't understand the term impute, reckon, count, the counted. They all come from, those English words come from the one Greek word logizomai where it says that God imputed righteousness to Abraham. Abraham was declared reckoned to be something he wasn't. He was counted to be something. He was not. He was counted to be righteous.

And so the question is, When Christ was reckoned to be a sinner, was he reckoned to be sin so he became in practice sin, or became in judicial relationship sin, or became as far as the court is concerned, accounted as a sinner? Did he actually become guilty as a sinner?

Now, I've never known anyone to say that Christ actually ceased to be righteous and became in himself a sinner. I've certainly never said that. Now may that in gospel preaching we are not articulate about it when we say God made Jesus to be sin for us, but what we're doing is quoting the scripture.

The Bible says 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For he God made him"  referring to Jesus "to be sin for us." It didn't say sin offering. It said he made him to be sin for us. So I'm answering you with scripture. Is it proper to say that God made Jesus to be sin for us? It is because that's exactly what the scriptures say.

Modernist Bibles

Now, I recognize that this doctrine has fallen out of favor with some of our modernist. And so they have created bibles that do, are not based on the Greek text, but are based on popular belief. And so they remove this from many of your commercial versions, and it says sin offering instead of God made him to be sin.

But if you take the Greek word for sin and the Greek word for offering, you won't find that combination anywhere, and you certainly won't find it there in that passage. They're inserting words that did not exist in the original, nor in any of your European translations, Latin, Greek, German, Spanish, any of your historical translations, Syriac, Coptic. It's a modern invention made to perpetuate a modern concept of doctrine.

He was reckoned among the transgressors

Going on, Luke 22:37 "For I say unto you,"  Jesus speaking, "that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me,"  Here's what Jesus said, "And he was reckoned among the transgressors for things concerning me have an end."  So Jesus is quoting from Isaiah 53:12 where it says “he was reckoned among the transgressors.”

 Isaiah 53:12 says, "Therefore I will divide him a portion with a great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong because he has poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with a transgressors; and he bear the sin of many.”  So according to this passage, when Jesus died, he was bearing, carrying the sins of many, and he was numbered, counted, reckoned, imputed to be among transgressors. In other words, God momentarily, temporarily saw Jesus as the sum total of all sin and sinfulness. God counted him to be something he wasn't. God counted him to be a sinner. He was not a sinner, but God counted him to be so that in his resurrection, God could count us to be righteous.

You see, in God's sight, I'm perfectly righteous, not in my wife's or my kids, the people that know me, but in God's sight, I'm counted to be perfectly righteous. I am imputed to be perfectly righteous.

Now that counting, that imputing is not the reality of my character. It's not something worked out in my experience.It's something that is done in bookkeeping. Go back to my Romans series in chapter five of Romans, and you'll see this. It's something God does in the bookkeeping department to call me something that I'm not. Well also in the bookkeeping department, God called Jesus sin, not just a sin offering, but sin itself. So that when he died, he said he died under sin, 'cause the sin was on him. He died under sin, said he'll die no more. That's it. So reading on, well, that's enough. I've read enough. That's good enough. That answers the question quite well. So I'm Michael Pearl. We're here at THE DOOR. That was question number nine.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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