“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV).
Christianity is all about divine exchange. This divine exchange took place at the Cross of Jesus when God “made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NKJV).
On the cross the Lord Jesus took and bore all our sins, our curses, our sicknesses, our sorrows, and pains, and in exchange gave us His righteousness, His blessings, His health, His joy and peace.
What a divine exchange!
A call to be a Christian is basically a call to receive the righteousness of Christ in exchange for your sinfulness. It is a call to receive the inexhaustible riches of Christ in exchange for your abject poverty.
It is also a call to receive the power of Christ in exchange for your weakness, and to receive the wisdom of Christ in exchange for your foolishness, and to receive the joy of Christ in exchange for your sorrow.
In a word, Christianity is simply a life of divine exchange!
While God has perfectly accomplished the process of divine exchange on the cross when He made Christ to be sin for all men, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ, however, the personal experience of this divine exchange only starts in your life at the New Birth, when you put your faith in God’s substitute for you on the cross, Christ Jesus, and confess Him as your personal Lord and Saviour.
Although your personal experience of the process of divine exchange starts when you become born-again through faith in the person and the finished work of Jesus on the cross, yet it will continue throughout your lifetime until when you see the Lord Jesus as He is, when He returns to receive you to Himself.
The Scripture assures, “When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” (Col. 3:4 NKJV).
The believer’s experience of the process of divine exchange will culminate in Christlikeness – total conformity or resemblance to Christ – in spirit, soul and body.
At the instant of spiritual regeneration or the new birth, the believer has received a new spirit which is perfectly like that of Christ in a divine exchange for his old spirit which was dead in sins (Eph. 2:1, 2 Cor. 5:17, Gal. 4:6, Rom. 8:9).
However, the believer is yet to receive a new soul (will, mind and emotions) and body that are perfectly like that of Christ.
The Scripture teaches that the born-again believers are still “eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Rom. 8:23 NKJV).
And they are also still waiting to receive “the end of your faith–the salvation of your souls.” (1 Pet.1:9 NKJV).
But, at the instant the Lord Jesus descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, the experience of the process of divine exchange will immediately be completed in the believers.
The Scripture assures us of our glorification in 1 John 3:
1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (NKJV).
When the Lord Jesus returns to the earth to receive you to Himself, your soul will be immediately transformed to be fully Christlike. At that moment, the process of your mind renewal will be fully completed.
The Scripture assures, “For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.” (1 Cor. 13:9-10 RSV).
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.” (1 Cor. 13:12 RSV).
Similarly, at the instant of the physical return of the Lord Jesus to the earth, the believers will give up their vile, weak, earthly or mortal body in exchange for the glorious, heavenly, immortal or incorruptible body like that of Jesus Christ.
The Scripture attests to this truth in 1 Corinthians 15:
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (NKJV).
Also in Philippians 3:
20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. (NKJV).
Beloved, while waiting for the climax of the process of the divine exchange (full conformity to Jesus in your soul and body) at the physical return of the Lord Jesus, you must however see to it that you are progressively experiencing divine exchange in your soul or mind.
How do you do this?
By renewing your mind according to the truths of God’s Word!
God expects you to consciously and constantly be putting off the mindsets of “the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” and in exchange be putting on the mindsets of “the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22, 24 NKJV).
You do this as you constantly hear, read, study, imbibe, and meditate on, believe, confess and act upon the gospel truths or revelation knowledge of God’s Word (Rom. 12:2).
The Scripture admonishes us in James 1:
21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;
24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. (NKJV).
Friend, while you are eagerly waiting for the Lord Jesus to transform your lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, you are expected to daily or constantly receive God’s strength in exchange for the inherent weakness of your mortal body (Phil. 3:21).
The Scripture assures, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Rom. 8:11 NKJV).
Moreover, while you are still waiting for the Lord to transform your corruptible body of sin, the Scripture admonishes you not to be a debtor to your flesh, to live according to the desires, passions, or lusts of the body.
The Scripture warns, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors–not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom. 8:12-13 NKJV).
You, like Paul, must constantly discipline your body and bring it into subjection through the help of the Holy Spirit.
Paul testifies, “Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (1 Cor. 9:26-27 NKJV).
Beloved, if you choose to walk in the Spirit – to be guided, governed and controlled by the Holy Spirit – you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to become all that I am so that in exchange I may become all that He is. Dear Holy Spirit, help and teach me daily how to appropriate and experience daily this glorious divine exchange in life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.