Jerry Bridges – The Great Exchange

26 Apr

2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

1) Jesus was sinless perfection.

He who knew no sin. Christ was born without sin and was kept from sin his entire life. This is attested too throughout the Bible by Peter, Paul, Hebrews etc. Even from his own lips in John 8, “Which of you convicts me of any sin?”

More than this Jesus not only did, thought and said the right things but alway had the right & purest motive. This motive was always to please and do the will of the Father.

Jesus, in his humanity, was just as holy as God on his throne. Holy, Holy, Holy. There is no downgrading of Christ’s holiness in the incarnation.

2) God made him to be sin.

This is not that God made him a sinner, but that he took our sin, bore it in his own body on the tree. The Lord had laid on him the iniquity of us all. The sins we are conscious of or not, far in the past or even today…God took them all and laid them on Christ on the Cross.

Now our ‘ledger sheets’ are completely filled with bad deeds, sins. God took it all and laid it all on Christ, that is transferred our misdeeds to his ledger sheet.

At this stage we have an empty ledger sheet.

3) So that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

The righteousness that God gives to us (Philippians 3 – my righteousness not through the law, bit from Christ through faith). We are made righteous in the same way Christ was made sin. Bare in mind the holy, righteousness of the Lord on the throne…that’s what we are given.

In terms of the ledger sheet, our empty ledger sheet is filled with good, right deeds etc.

Hence ‘The Great Exchange’ – what we have being swapped with what Jesus has.

4) The result is justification.

Even though we are still practicing sinners, this is why we pursue holiness. Just as Christ was no less holy on that cross (bearing in mind the difference between his office and his person) in the same way we are still sinners.

Justification – just as if I had never sinned AND just as if I’d always obeyed.

Read Galatians 2:15-21

Paul’s repetition of Justified is significant..but he also repeats the thought of what he’s saying, not just the word. His theme/subject is justification, undoubtedly, not sanctification.

Focus on verse 20 – the life I now live in the flesh I live… Q: Why does Paul use ‘now’ when he’s talking about the past event of justification? (therefore having been justified – Romans) We have a past event being spoken about in the present tense?

Justification is both a past event AND A PRESENT REALITY!!! (Even though most of the time we don’t live in that reality.) We think our justification goes up and down as we have good and bad days, not like the straight line it is in reality.

John Owen said that every day we must face and acknowledge our sin, like the tax collector who honestly presented himself at the temple. (Note – Knowing that our sins are forgiven should allow us to be honest about our sin)

What should we do then? Take that sin to Jesus at the Cross and leave it there, then you take from him his righteousness to go before the father. We must do this everyday! Aka preaching the Gospel to yourself everyday. Thats why 2Cor5:21 is so important to ourselves everyday. The Gospel will stay fresh if we apply it everyday rather than becoming stale.


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