Tag Archives: Exchanged Life

“Everything . . . Springs From This Bloody Cross”

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Cor. 5:21

The Great Exchange is that wonderful one-sided trade of our sins, inadequacies, and numerous failings for Christ’s forgiveness, sufficiency, and triumphal victory. The greatest of all exchanges happened on Calvary’s Hill, Jesus Christ who was truly innocent and without sin, took upon himself all our petty selfishness, deep rebellion, and soul-rending brokenness and then substituted his perfect righteousness, unfailing forgiveness, and spirit-renewing healing. The exchanged life is not a one time event, but a life lived on a daily basis by faith. Each day, the Gospel reminds us that we are forgiven in Christ because of his most gracious grace (2 Cor. 5: 21; Gal. 2:20).

Everything that we know and appreciate and praise God for in all Christian experience both in this life and in the life to come springs from this bloody cross.

Do we have the gift of the Spirit? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we enjoy the fellowship of saints? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he give us comfort in life and death? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Does he watch over us faithfully, providentially, graciously, and covenantally? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we have hope of a heaven to come? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we anticipate resurrection bodies on the last day? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Is there a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness? Secured by Christ on the cross.

Do we now enjoy new identities, so that we are no longer to see ourselves as nothing but failures, moral pariahs, disappointments to our parents—but deeply loved, blood-bought, human beings, redeemed by Christ, declared just by God himself, owing to the fact that God himself presented his Son Jesus as the propitiation for our sins? All this is secured by Christ on the cross and granted to those who have faith in him.”

D. A. Carson, Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), 70-71.

 

Love Lustres at Calvary

Love Shines in All Its Splendor at Calvary

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

2 Cor. 5:21 ESV

As Good Friday approaches, we rejoice in the greatest event in the history of humankind. Here at Golgotha, God the Father, proved his love for us. Here, God the Son, took our place and received our just condemnation. Here, God the Holy Spirit, drew us to saving faith and deep repentance. Here, God’s grace is magnified as greater than our sin. Here, the mercy of God and the holiness of God met and kissed one another fulfilling the conditions of God’s justice and grace. Here at Calvary, the Holy Trinity’s love is displayed to the world.

The Puritan prayer, “Love Lustres at Calvary,” describes this great exchange: we receive Christ’s holiness and forgiveness while Christ takes upon himself our guilt and just judgment. As an act of love, God gladly made this unfair, one sided trade of our selfishness and pride for Christ’s righteousness and holiness. Therefore, we can live a life of intimacy with the Father because Christ has made all things right. This great exchange means that we can live on a daily basis an exchanged life of victory.

At Calvary, the greatest of all exchanges occurred. Jesus Christ, the one who is fully man and fully God, truly innocent and without sin, took upon himself all our selfishness, rebellion, and hate and substituted his righteousness, forgiveness, and love. Christ bore the just judgment of God for our miserable sins, guilt, and shame. Some theologians call this act, double imputation. I call it glory.

We can daily live the exchanged life because Christ by his gracious grace made the exchange of our sins for his righteousness on the Cross. The exchanged life is not a one-time act, but a lifestyle lived as we abide in Christ, trusting the Holy Spirit to live Christ’s life in and through us.

Love Lustres at Calvary

My Father,

Enlarge my heart, warm my affections,

open my lips,

supply words that proclaim ‘Love lustres at Calvary.’

There grace removes my burdens and heaps them on thy Son,

made a transgressor, a curse, and sin for me;

There the sword of thy justice smote the man,

thy fellow;

There thy infinite attributes were magnified,

and infinite atonement was made;

There infinite punishment was due,

and infinite punishment was endured.

Christ was all anguish that I might be all joy,

cast off that I might be brought in,

trodden down as an enemy that I might be welcomed as a friend,

surrendered to hell’s worst that I might attain heaven’s best,

stripped that I might be clothed,

wounded that I might be healed,

athirst that I might drink,

tormented that I might be comforted,

made a shame that I might inherit glory,

entered darkness that I might have eternal light.

My Saviour wept that all tears might be wiped from my eyes,

groaned that I might have endless song,

endured all pain that I might have unfading health,

bore a thorny crown that I might have a glory-diadem,

bowed his head that I might uplift mine,

experienced reproach that I might receive welcome,

closed his eyes in death that I might gaze on unclouded brightness,

expired that I might for ever live.

O Father, who spared not thine only Son that thou mightest spare me,

All this transfer thy love designed and accomplished;

Help me to adore thee by lips and life.

O that my every breath might be ecstatic praise,

my every step buoyant with delight, as I see my enemies crushed,

Satan baffled, defeated, destroyed,

sin buried in the ocean of reconciling blood,

hell’s gates closed, heaven’s portal open.

Go forth, O conquering God, and show me the cross, mighty to subdue, comfort and save.

Arthur Bennett, ed., Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers (Carlisle, Penn.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 76.

 

Simple Faith

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Heb. 11:6 NLT). 

Faith is a response of the heart which receives what God has already done for us in Christ. Faith is relying on God’s character, standing on God’s promises, believing God’s Cross, and obeying God’s Spirit with a certainty that surpasses physical sight and human reasoning. Faith ignores bad circumstances, negative feelings, or discouraging thoughts to stand on God’s word and walk in his ways (Isa. 55:8-9). In short, faith simply believes what God says is true.

Just as salvation is by faith, so also is the exchanged life. Just as we accept the Lord Jesus by faith as Savior, so by simple faith we receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit. Just as we took the Lord as our sin-bearer, we take the Holy Spirit as our burden-bearer. Just as we take the Savior as our penalty for sins that are past, we take the Holy Spirit for power over indwelling sins that are present.

The Savior is our atonement, the Holy Spirit is our advocate. In salvation we receive newness of life, by the Holy Spirit we find life more abundant. In each case the appropriation is by faith, and by faith alone, wholly apart from any feeling on our part.

V. Raymond Edman, They Found the Secret: Twenty Lives That Reveal a Touch of Eternity (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1984), 152.

Change or an Exchange?

What is the Exchanged Life?

For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Col. 3:3

The Exchanged Life is practical day-by-day trusting in an all-sufficient Christ who lives within us by an all-powerful and sufficient Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit enables us to live the life of Christ in a world gone mad. Christ’s life is our life when we receive his life by faith. As Christ lives his life in and through us, our life becomes an abundant life. As a result, our  Christian lives becomes lives of spontaneous joy. Joy is that deep, supernatural fulfillment that comes in knowing that we are experiencing and expressing the one who is true satisfaction, Jesus Christ. Joy is knowing that we are unconditionally loved, graciously forgiven, and eternally kept. Joy is released in our lives when we cultivate Christ’s conscious, constant presence. The Exchanged Life is the direct daily application of the Great Exchange—a continual substitution of our weaknesses, shortcomings, and failures for Christ’s strength, adequacy, and victory. The Exchanged Life is Christ changing us from within:

You can never have a changed life until you experience the exchanged life. Christians are continually trying to change their lives; but God calls us to experience the exchanged life.

Bob George, Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989), 108.

The exchanged life is passive in that Christ works in us, but it is active for Christ empowers us to make righteous right choices. We must choose to walk in the Spirit, put on the new man, and trust our heavenly Father’s guidance and direction. As we maintain the confident expectation that God will be faithful to his promises, then we can anticipate and expect his gracious exchange of our weaknesses for his strength.

Brothers and sisters, victory has to do with an exchanged life, not a changed life. Victory does not mean that one is changed, but rather that one is exchanged. We are very familiar with Galatians 2:20, which says, “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith in the Son of God.”

The overcoming life is not a change but an exchange. If it were up to you, you could not make it. But if it is up to Christ, He can make it. The question is whether it is you or Christ who overcomes. If Christ overcomes, it would not matter even if you were ten times worse than you are now . . . .

Thank and praise the Lord. We have not been able to change ourselves for all these years. Now God is making an exchange. This is the meaning of holiness. This is the meaning of perfection. This is the meaning of victory. This is the life of the Son of God! Hallelujah! From now on Christ’s meekness becomes my meekness. His holiness becomes my holiness. From now on His prayer life becomes my prayer life. His fellowship with God becomes my fellowship with God. From now on there is no sin too great for me to overcome. There is no temptation too great for me to withstand. Victory is Christ; it is no longer I! Is there any sin too great for Christ to overcome? Is there any temptation too great for Christ to surmount? Thank and praise the Lord! I am not afraid anymore! From now on, it is no longer I but Christ.

Watchman Nee, The Life That Wins (New York: Christian Fellowship Publishers, 1986), 35.

The Exchanged Life

The Exchanged Life

The Exchanged Life is the one-sided trade of my sins, inadequacies, and numerous failings for Christ’s forgiveness, life-sufficiency, and overcoming victory. Ultimately, the greatest of all exchanges is Jesus Christ, the one who is fully man and fully God, truly innocent and without sin, taking upon himself at Golgotha all my selfishness, rebellion, sin and hatred and substituting his righteousness, forgiveness, restoration and love. I can live the Exchanged Life because Christ by his gracious grace made the Great Exchange of my sin for his righteousness on the Cross.

At the foundation of the Christian life lies vicarious atonement, which in essence is a transfer of guilt from the sinner to the Saviour. I well know how vigorously this idea is attacked by non-Christians, but I also know that the wise of this world in their pride often miss the treasures which the simple-hearted find on their knees; and I also remember the words of the apostle: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor 5:21, NLT).

This is too plain to miss for anyone who is not willfully blind: Christ by His death on the cross made it possible for the sinner to exchange his sin for Christ’s righteousness. It’s that simple. No one is compelled to accept it, but at least that is what it means.

A. W. Tozer, That Incredible Christian (Harrisburg, Penn: Christian Publications, 1964), 32.

The Exchanged Life is practical day-by-day trusting in an all-sufficient Christ who lives within me by an all-powerful Holy Spirit. This same Holy Spirit enables me to live the life of Christ in a world gone mad. Christ’s life is my life when I receive his life by faith. As Christ lives his life in and through my life, my life becomes an abundant life. As a result, my Christian life becomes a life of spontaneous joy. Joy is that deep, supernatural fulfillment that comes in knowing that I am experiencing and expressing the one who is true satisfaction, Jesus Christ. Joy is knowing that I am unconditionally loved, graciously forgiven, and eternally kept. Joy is released in my life when I cultivate Christ’s conscious, constant presence. The Exchanged Life is the direct daily application of the Great Exchange—a continual substitution of my weaknesses, shortcomings, and failures for Christ’s strength, adequacy, and victory. The Exchanged Life is Christ changing me:

You can never have a changed life until you experience the exchanged life. Christians are continually trying to change their lives; but God calls us to experience the exchanged life.

Bob George, Classic Christianity: Life’s Too Short to Miss the Real Thing (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1989), 108.

The exchanged life is passive in that Christ works in me, but it is active for Christ empowers me to make righteous right choices. I must choose to walk in the Spirit, put on the new man, and trust my heavenly Father’s guidance and direction. As I maintain the confidant expectation that God will be faithful to his promises, then I can anticipate and expect his gracious exchange of my weaknesses for his strength.

But those who wait (or hope) on the Lord shall renew (Hebrew: exchange) their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. (Isa. 40:31, NKJV).

The Great Exchange of the innocent, sinless Christ who takes my judgment upon himself is the greatest act of love and grace in the history of humankind. Below is a list of the wonderful benefits of God’s most gracious act—the death of Christ upon the Cross.

The Benefits of the Cross

He was born to die, so I could be born to new life.

He suffered temptation, so I can experience victory.

He was betrayed, so I might know his faithfulness.

He was arrested and bound, so I could be rescued from bondage.

He stood trial alone, so I might have an advocate.

He was wounded, so I could be healed.

He endured mockery, so I could know dignity and joy.

He was condemned, so the truth could set me free.

He was crowned with thorns, so I might crown him with praise.

He was nailed to the Cross, so I might escape judgment.

He was stretched out between thieves, so I could know the reach of his love.

He suffered thirst, so I can drink living water.

He said, “It is finished,” so I could walk by faith.

He was God’s Lamb, Slain, so I could claim His sacrifice as my own.

He was forsaken by the Father, so I would never be rejected.

He chose the shame of weakness, so I can know the hope of glory.

He shed his blood, so I can be white as snow.

Michael Card, A Violent Grace (Sisters, Ore: Multnomah Publishers, 2000).

When I believe and receive the benefits of the Cross, my act of faith is most pleasing to God. For I take the Lord at his word, I recognize that the Cross is the great expression of his unconditional love. I will bring joy to God’s heart if I allow him to live his life in and through me. Christ in me, Christ through me, Christ upon me and Christ ever before me that is the Exchanged Life. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9, NIV).

It is a marvelous thing to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but a more marvelous thing to know that He is the Son of God in me.

Oswald Chambers, The Complete Works of Oswald Chambers (Grand Rapids, Mich: Discovery House Publishers), 482.

Let us pray:

Grant, O Lord, that in your wounds I may find my safety, in your stripes my cure, in your pain my peace, in your cross my victory, in your resurrection my triumph, and a crown of righteousness in the glories of your eternal kingdom.

Jeremy Taylor quoted in The Westminster Collection of Christian Prayers