The Great Exchange

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THE GREAT EXCHANGE
By: Bob George

Christians are continually trying to change their lives; but God calls us to experience the exchanged life. Christianity is not a self-improvement program. It isn't a reformation project. It is resurrection! It is new life! And it is expressed in terms of a total exchange of identity. Jesus Christ identified Himself with us in our death in order that we might be identified with Him in His resurrection. We give Christ all that we were spiritually dead, guilty sinners and Christ gives us all that He is resurrected life, forgiveness, righteousness, acceptance.

We have total acceptance because we have experienced a total exchange: "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Examine some of the results of our being given a standing of total acceptance before God (our justification).

We have been made at peace with God. (Romans 5:1)
We are safe from God's wrath. (Romans 5:9)
We have been freed from all condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
We have been made perfect forever. (Hebrews 10:14)
We have been made complete. (Colossians 2:9,10)

We Christians have been made complete in Christ. We are forgiven, redeemed, made spiritually alive, and we stand in the righteousness of Christ, totally accepted. Are we perfectly mature? No. That won't happen until the day of resurrection...

Because we have experienced God's great exchange, we can consider the past dead and gone, and concentrate on walking in the new life we have received.

There are many people who find this message offensive and get angry. There's another group which says, "Yes, yes, I know what you're saying is true. But...you have to go on to practical truth." Listen! There is nothing more practical than the message of God's love and grace, and the believer's identity in Christ! People are always looking for God's power, and this is it!

Whatever you or I may be struggling with, the answer is the same. It is only through a total exchange that we will begin to see the changes we desire.
 
Because we have experienced God's great exchange, we can consider the past dead and gone, and concentrate on walking in the new life we have received.

There are many people who find this message offensive and get angry. There's another group which says, "Yes, yes, I know what you're saying is true. But...you have to go on to practical truth." Listen! There is nothing more practical than the message of God's love and grace, and the believer's identity in Christ! People are always looking for God's power, and this is it!

Whatever you or I may be struggling with, the answer is the same. It is only through a total exchange that we will begin to see the changes we desire.
First of all, good read and all true, but I would like to add a few things.

Because we have experienced God's great exchange, we can consider the past dead and gone, and concentrate on walking in the new life we have received.
Most simply can't just make that jump. For many it takes dealing with a lot of painful issues first and the HS guiding them, building that trust, building them up, before they can see that and believe it. A person who has been demeaned all their life and/or abused has a very low self-worth, and that's just around other people. To believe they have value to God is something only He can show them......and he will, but it takes time. It's a pilgrimage not a leap. Again, for most.

There are many people who find this message offensive and get angry. There's another group which says, "Yes, yes, I know what you're saying is true. But...you have to go on to practical truth." Listen! There is nothing more practical than the message of God's love and grace, and the believer's identity in Christ! People are always looking for God's power, and this is it!
There IS a practical truth to this life also. I can believe everything you say completely, and continue in my carnal ways. That's my biggest problem with espousing this WITHOUT also placing equal emphasis on practical truth (application of obedience). IMHO we SHOULD espouse the truths you state, but also espouse that it goes hand in hand with application of God's practical truth, also found in scripture. I don't see it as an either or but both equally believed and lived. I KNOW that if I don't practice application of God's precepts in my life I will self-destruct. I also KNOW that I don't have to practice them perfectly as I am already perfect in his eyes through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. BUT here's the great truth: If I KNOW that God's will for me is better than anything I could ever imagine (and I do), then I WANT to live in the center of His will to my utmost ability every day because I WANT that joy and peace that is only found there. If we're living there then both your and my points are needlessly redundant. If we're not then I'm not sure either point helps.

It's like arguing faith vs works. If one truly has accepted Christ as Lord AND Saviour, the debate is moot as the person will possess both. In my mind a lot of these topics are akin to being given the very best cake ever made and instead of sharing it we spend our time debating the importance of the ingredients. I am NOT directing this at you or this subject, so please don't take it that way. I always find your post uplifting and fortifying. I'm specifically talking about the subjects that only seem to serve to deconstruct doctrine instead of apply it or help others apply it.

Whatever you or I may be struggling with, the answer is the same. It is only through a total exchange that we will begin to see the changes we desire.
The exchange is a spiritual one at heart ......I think. But it begins with a change in desire, followed by a change in beliefs that includes letting go of misguided spiritual and practical truths, seeking out correct truths embodied by Christ himself, and application of those truths to one's spiritual and practical life. In my experience, given the desire and the continued will, God and the Holy Spirit will do the rest, but again I think for most people it's a pilgrimage. God uses our past pains as a soil to grow us over time as we are able to handle it. Most of us don't sprout and produce fruit on the same day.

Anyway, thanks for stoking my spiritual thinking.
 
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I want to clarify something. Being dead to sin is not something to strive to attain, as many claim, but a reality for every believer.

In Romans 6 it says reckon yourself dead to sin and alive to God. The word reckon is a nautical term, as if the captain has already laid in the course and has his hand on the wheel, and not a thing can deter the outcome of the journey.
We Reckon ourselves dead to sin, not because it always is our behavioral go to, but because we have died and our life is hidden ... in the Captain (of our souls), we agree it is so, also because the Captain's course runs through our veins AND we see daily that sin isn't a good fit any longer.

The death Christ died ... He died to sin once for all. We are growing up to believe Him, or reckon that it is so.

Don't miss out on the encouragement even when the accuser takes shots at your track record. You are not what you do, but who He has created you to be in the new covenant.

As we agree with His assessment the fruit will come, something else that is not of us or our trying, but of the Spirit ... as we trust and depend on Him.

Life is hard enough. Let's not make our walk with Abba like a bad day. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

Peace, not as the world gives, is our portion. We miss this in our self calculated striving.

- Walter
 
I want to clarify something. Being dead to sin is not something to strive to attain, as many claim, but a reality for every believer.
I agree completely. That said, I see a distinction and you correct me if you think I'm wrong. Being "dead to sin" to me, means being dead to the spiritual consequences of sin in the eyes of God, not the physical and temporal consequences here on earth. In my eyes the later only comes completely after I leave the temporal. I view it somewhat akin to the law of gravity; As long as I'm physically alive I'm bound by it's sphere of influence, but in the hereafter, as a saved soul, I won't be. Additionally, regarding the influence of sin, there are things I can do here on earth as a saved person to lessen sin's influence on my life: namely obedience to scripture and building my personal relationship with Christ. The stronger those become, the less influence sin has over me temporally.
 
Thread starter #5
Yes, definitely we get the earthly effects of the consequences of our actions but scripture teaches us that sin is no longer our master, just an influencer. We listen to it when old error thought patterns try to retake the landscape of our thinking. The cool thing about this is that by the spirit of God we can catch sin and temptation at its game, and as we grow in grace then Christ renews those old beliefs and the rewrite begins to shift from self sufficiency to trusting Christ, and living out of His life within.
Be cautious about measuring how well your obedience to the book is going, since this will stir up sin (the strength of sin is the law), rather, leave the measuring stick behind and make growth in grace/the love of Jesus be your delight. Good fruit comes from enjoying the union, and in every moment seeing Christ as our exceedingly great reward.

When I didn't know His grace I found myself capable of all manner of bad thoughts which led to bad decisions and beliefs, and rotten fruit was the result. Going deeper, I had a lousy belief of Fathers love and a deeper loathe of who I was, not understanding the transformation of grace and my holy identity. The church applauded this self humility, their belief was that this would curb the sin issue. How foolish, how stupid both they and I, in ignorance was! It has taken many years and many tears to enter into the profound revelation of His mercy and love, never stopped by my own masks, but taking them off and being real with my weaknesses, knowing in Christ we are never abandoned, only moving into the joy of a forever shared life.

Christ in you, in me, in the body of Christ, that is our present and future hope.

And hope does not disappoint, because the love of Christ is the leader.

Peace my brother.
 
Yes, definitely we get the earthly effects of the consequences of our actions but scripture teaches us that sin is no longer our master, just an influencer. We listen to it when old error thought patterns try to retake the landscape of our thinking.

I believe you but TBH I'm still in the middle of that battle.
 
Thread starter #7
I believe you but TBH I'm still in the middle of that battle.
We all are, daily, in our minds and old beliefs, the last battlefield.

But the flesh wars against the Spirit, and the Spirit wars against the flesh, so it isn't even our fight!

It's our heart and spirit that are good with Father. Me, I often forget the One who cleaned house and moved in wants me aware of what took place!

Ephesians 2:15-16
15 by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,
16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
 
Thread starter #8
Another to chew on. I really wish someone would have taught this in my early days of guilt-ridden religiosity ...
====================

Larry Eiss
Freedom in Christ Movement


For far too many years my behavior was motivated by fear and guilt.
It turns out that wasn't coming from God. He doesn't use fear or guilt to motivate us. He uses love.

Romans 2:4 says that it is His kindness that leads us to repentance.

John 4:8 & 16 make it clear that God is love. He's in the loving business.

Motivating us using fear and guilt would be inconsistent with who God is.

I had missed that. It seemed to me that the Christian life was really just a sophisticated behavior modification program.

As it turns out, life in Christ is all about relationship with Jesus.

What Jesus did at the cross gives us freedom from sin, freedom from fear, and freedom from guilt.

Jesus promises rest for your soul, not striving to meet some performance target. (see Matthew 11:29)

That's the way of grace. Easy yokes, light burdens, and love poured over everything.

Grace and peace to you.
--Larry Eiss
 
Thread starter #9
Great verse, message translation ...

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