THE EXCHANGED LIFE..Not a behavioral change

THE EXCHANGED LIFE..Not a behavioral change..by..Steve McVey..A dead man needs only one thing–RESURRECTION…God Didn’t Change

THE EXCHANGED LIFE..Not a behavioral change..by..Steve McVey..A dead man needs only one thing–RESURRECTION…God Didn’t Change Your Life ..The claim that God changed your life at salvation leaves the false impression that there was something about you that simply needed an overhaul. It suggests that He cleaned up our lives, fixed what was wrong, and straightened everything out for us. We flatter ourselves if we think that’s the case. Mankind wasn’t merely a group of sin-sick people who needed religious medicine before Christ came. As we have already seen, we were dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1). There’s nothing you can do for a dead man. He’s dead. You can bathe him, dress him up, and prop him up, but when all has been done, he’s still dead. A dead man needs just one thing – resurrection. The idea that God changed your life typically is interpreted to mean that it’s a behavioral change that happens at salvation. We used to be sinful acting unbelievers but now we’re walking the straight-and-narrow. The old timers used to call that experience “getting religion” and they were right. Religion is about changing our behavior but grace is altogether different. While faith in Christ most certainly changes a person’s behavior, the gospel is much more than that. Isaiah 40:31 says, “Yet those who wait for the Lord shall gain new strength.” The Hebrew word “gain” can be translated “renew” or “substitute.” When missionary Hudson Taylor was reading that verse and studied that single word, it transformed his life. In the days ahead he coined the phrase, “the exchanged life,” because he saw the reality that our lives aren’t merely changed at salvation, they are exchanged. What I normally call the grace walk, he called the exchanged life. They both mean the same thing. When we hear and believe the gospel, our Father takes the person we were, puts that person to death, and gives us a brand new life in its place. It is His Life we receive! The person you were before you were a Christian died and was exchanged for a new life in Christ. At the cross Jesus Christ absorbed into Himself everything bad about us, including our old identities in Adam. When we trusted in Him, we receive everything good about Him, including Christ Himself.In Romans 6:6, Paul said, “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, so that the body of sin would be destroyed.” There it is: the old man died. Romans 6:3 says, “Do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus, were baptized into his death” (emphasis added). We died with Him. The New Testament says this over and over again.For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4Do you see the importance of making this distinction between your life being changed at salvation versus it being exchanged? The former would suggest that now you are simply an “improved you,” which isn’t at all the case. You are a new you! Every residue of the old sinful spiritual DNA you inherited from Adam was crucified. It is dead and buried! You have been raised to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4) because Christ is your very Life-Source now.This understanding of salvation puts the finished work of the cross in its proper perspective. Jesus didn’t come to straighten up the mess Adam made. He came to undo the damage done in the garden by totally reversing its effect in our lives. In Adam we became sinners, but the finished work of Christ does much more than change us by cleaning us of our sin. His work took our old Adamic life and put it away forever. Hebrews 9:26 says that He came to “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.”Your sins aren’t just forgiven now. They’re gone! In the wonderful imagery of the Psalms, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). The apostle Paul explained how God did this: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).Look carefully at what this verse says. Our Father took our sins and gave them to the sinless Christ — the basis of our forgiveness, taking our sins away and separating them from us as far as the east is from the west. But that’s not all! He also took the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and gave it to us! That’s the basis of our justification, our verdict of “not guilty” before the Supreme Judge of all. There again you see that God’s work in Christ is not just a “change” but a total exchange. Debunking the lie that God changed you and embracing the full truth about the matter will liberate you to rise up to

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