The Great Exchange. How the cross gives us the promise of exchanging our sins for righteousness, and our life in the flesh for the abundant life of the Spirit. Religion pushes the work of Christ aside, but by faith we receive His completed work as a gift of God’s grace.
Religion paints a picture of God that is toxic and demanding. In human relationships, if someone constantly demands more than we can give, we understand this is toxic and unhealthy. Somehow we have learned to accept the image of a demanding God as normal. The truth is that God is love, and the Bible states that love does not demand, seek its own, or keep records of the wrongs of others. God removed sin by taking our sins upon Himself, so we can be free to live in peace with God without fear. The word ‘gospel’ means ‘good news’. If our view of the Christian life is not good news, then we have lost sight of the true message of faith in Christ.
Many Christians get discouraged as they try to become holy, sanctified, perfected, and overcomers in this life. They don’t realize that God has given His perfection as a gift, and our call is to learn how to walk in what He has already done for us. Our transformation into His perfection is found in the promise that as we focus on Christ, we are transformed into His likeness by the power of the Spirit within us. As we learn how to trust in the gifts of His love, the fruit of righteousness will begin to emerge in our daily lives.
We look at the weaknesses we struggle with and think that God is angry or disappointed in us because we can’t straighten our lives out. God wants you as you are, and only asks one thing of you – faith – trusting in Him, knowing His grace is sufficient for you. The things we think are hindering us is not what rules us. It is us trying to step into God’s role that hinders us. It’s His job to transform, and instead of condemning our failures, God uses our failures to teach us how to get out of the way so He can work in us, and then through us.