Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing (epiphany) of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Titus 2:13
MERIT OF CHRIST – IMPUTATION VERSUS APPLICATION
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: Please explain the difference between the imputation and the application of the merit of Christ.
Answer: When Jesus died on the cross, He deposited His perfect human merit, His human right to life, with the Father (Luke 23: 46), that in harmony with God’s will He might use it to purchase from God’s justice every member of Adam’s race.
When Jesus arose from the dead and ascended into heaven He did not purchase Adam’s race. He first needed to develop the Gospel Age Household of Faith – the Little Flock, the Great Company, the Youthful Worthies, the Consecrated Epiphany Campers and the rest of the quasi-elect. During the Gospel Age Jesus’ ransom merit has remained in the hands of God’s justice, however, Jesus has used His ransom merit to make a reckoned, not an actual, purchase of the two spirit begotten classes – the Little Flock and the Great Company.
This brings us to the imputational use of Jesus’ ransom merit. It is the loan to the believer of the credit of the merit deposited with God. Thus it was not an outright gift, but a loan, which covered the imperfection of the humanity of the spirit begotten ones, and reckoned them as perfect. Because they were loaned the credit of Christ’s deposited merit, none of it was actually given up by Christ, though because of those loans of credit there were embargoes placed on that deposited merit which prevented Christ from drawing out anything from that deposit, or using any of it for another purpose. These embargoes were lifted when the Little Flock and Great Company classes finished their course in death.
The Youthful Worthies, Consecrated Epiphany Campers and the rest of the quasi-elect classes are treated differently, for their justification is not vitalized, as was the case with the spirit begotten classes. However, because of their faith God tentatively treats them as though Christ’s ransom merit had been imputed on their behalf, even though there has not been an actual imputation made for them.
Shortly before the Millennial Mediatorial Reign of Christ, with no embargoes on Christ’s ransom merit, Jesus can and will take it out of deposit, and by it purchase the human race from God’s justice and give it to the race on condition of obedience. This transaction we call the application, as distinct from the Gospel Age’s loans of credit against the deposited merit. The first to benefit by the application of Christ’s ransom merit will be the Ancient and Youthful Worthies, who will be raised from the dead, perfect in all their faculties. They will gradually become perfect in character by obedience. Shortly thereafter, the application will reach those of the restitution class who did not enter the death state, and will gradually lift them up physically, mentally, artistically, morally and religiously, as they obey the Kingdom arrangements. After the living will have advanced sufficiently in restitution, and will have made preparations to receive the dead, one company after another will come back from the tomb; and as they obey, they will gradually receive the applied ransom merit. By the end of the Millennial Age all of the applied ransom merit will have been actually given to the obedient, resulting in their complete perfection (Revelation 21: 4, 5; 22: 1-3). Only the willfully disobedient will fail to get all of the applied merit, and will thus die the Second Death after 100 years of missed opportunity (Isaiah 65: 20).
In summary, the distinction between the imputation and the application is the following: As to the act of purchase, the one is a loan of credit that Jesus made for the Gospel Age beneficiaries of the ransom, which loan the Father accepted as a reckoned purchase; the other is an outright actual purchase, which the Father will accept as an actual purchase for the world. As to the bestowal of the ransom merit, the one is reckoned as given to the ransom’s Gospel Age beneficiaries, while it is not actually given them; the other is an actual bestowal of the ransom’s merit to the obedient of the world.