Calvary Road Baptist Church

“THE GREAT EXCHANGE”

Romans 5.10-11 

The magnitude of what the Lord Jesus Christ accomplished with His death, burial, and resurrection has rarely been proclaimed in all its fullness if indeed it can be proclaimed in all its fullness. However, if we look at Ephesians 3.8-10, we can learn some very interesting things. Take note of Ephesians 3.8: 

“Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.” 

Here we see that Paul, as an apostle of Jesus Christ, was commissioned to preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ,” referring to Christ’s riches as being untraceable,[1] incomprehensible.[2] We next take note of verse 10: 

“To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God.” 

This verse reveals that Churches like ours are charged with putting on display “the manifold wisdom of God.”

May I remind you of something you have been told again and again? The Church is us. Born again, Scripturally baptized, members of Calvary Road Baptist Church. We are the Church. So, by joining our hearts and our hands in one united effort, we have the great privilege of showcasing the riches of Christ to a world in desperate need of what only He can provide.

Most of you here born before the turn of the century remember seeing the “Frosted Flakes” commercials that used to air on television. The scene opens with an adult sitting in the shade, ashamed to admit that he eats a supposed kid’s breakfast cereal. Then, at the close of the commercial, Tony the Tiger tells us that “Frosted Flakes” are great. Those of you who are as old as I am will remember the old “Frosted Flakes” commercials. In the old days, Tony the Tiger would climax the commercial’s pitch to the viewers by saying, “They’re grrrreat!

Well, guess what? The writer of the letter to the Hebrews summarized the riches of Christ in a similar fashion. In Hebrews 2.3 he refers to our “great salvation.” Calvary Road Baptist Church, as the body of Christ, truly has been given a “great salvation” to deliver to others, and I want to explore some of the wonders of this Savior and His salvation that we proclaim.

Turn in your Bible to Romans 5.10-11, which is my text for this message. When you arrive there, I invite you to stand for the reading of God’s holy Word: 

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 

Let us take careful note of three words in these two verses. In verse 10 we find the word “reconciled” used twice. In verse 11 we find the word “atonement” used one time. You may remember that I dealt with these words a little while back, but not as thoroughly as I will today. The words “reconciled” that are found in verse 10 are verb forms of the noun that is found in verse 11 translated by the word “atonement.” The Greek word refers to the exchange of enmity for friendship. The verb form of the word, in verse 10, refers to the act of exchanging enmity for friendship.[3] Why did the translators use the word “atonement” to translate this Greek word in Romans 5.11? One can only guess. As I mentioned previously, it has been suggested that the translators did not mean, by this translation of the word, the idea of “atonement” that is found in the Old Testament, which refers to a covering, such as covering over sins with blood. Not at all. What the King James translators meant, in Romans 5.11, was “at-one-ment,” which is exactly what reconciliation is.

What, then, do we have in Romans 5.10-11 from our word study? We have the marvelous truth that there was a great exchange that took place through the Lord Jesus Christ’s redemptive work. The sacrifice that He made on the cross was substitutionary. He became our substitute on Mount Calvary. First Peter 3.18 conveys this idea of substitution with these words: 

“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.” 

To illustrate the concept: You remember during your school days when one of your teachers would miss a school day for one reason or another. On those occasions a substitute teacher took the place of the regular teacher. Everything the regular teacher had planned to do that day became the responsibility of the substitute. Perhaps the substitute did not do everything the regular teacher had planned to do, but that was the whole idea of having a substitute in the first place. At any rate, you get the idea.

On the cross, on Mount Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ became your substitute. He. took. your. place. Everything that should have happened to you for the punishment of your sins happened to Him - and for what purpose? That an exchange might take place. You see, it should have been you and me who suffered and bled and died for sins. Instead, it was He.

Most of you here today are fairly well acquainted with the fact that Jesus Christ took your place and bore your sin penalty on the cross. However, what was exchanged at that time? What came back to me through faith in Christ as a direct result of Christ’s wondrous act? We can summarize what came back to those of us who trust Jesus Christ as a result of His sacrifice and the shedding of His blood on the cross in two very simple sentences: First, God took all of the bad that was due us because of our sin and put it on His Son, Jesus Christ.[4] Then, God took all of the good that was due Jesus Christ because of His sinless life and obedience and gave it to us.[5] That was The Great Exchange, and it is born out very clearly in the Word of God.

Have you been reconciled to God through the death of His Son? Has there been a glorious exchange in your life? Are you now a new creature in Christ since your conversion? Consider these questions in the time we have left. The idea of exchange is as old as man himself. In every area of life we find men and women, and boys and girls, involved in this idea of exchange. Think of the innumerable approaches to exchange I could cite you examples of, but we will settle at this time for just a few.

What did kids used to do with baseball cards or comic books? They traded them, right? I used to have Superman comic books, so old Superman did not fly, but leaped tall buildings with a single bound. However, what are you doing when you trade such things? Are you not involved in what we call exchange? Sure you are. There is nothing wrong with such exchanges. No one is hurt by this type of exchange, but neither is anyone helped, particularly.

On the other hand, what about when a man decides to exchange his wife for another woman? She has given up her youth to bear his children. She has frequently given up her figure to carry his offspring for nine months at a time. As his children are being raised, she is the one who experiences great restrictions upon her life and her activities, while she gives to her children that which only she can give them, mothering. Then, when he enters his male menopause years, when he decides it is time to assert his masculinity and to reestablish his claim to virility, when he decides to exchange the wife of his youth for some silly tramp who fools herself into thinking he will not do the same thing to her when she gets older, is anyone hurt? Is anyone’s life ruined? Is anyone harmed? Absolutely. You would have to be an idiot not to see the potential for harm when such lunacy takes place. Of course, the same is true when the woman exchanges.

So, there are different kinds of exchanges that occur. Some exchanges are quite innocuous and harmless. People’s lives are relatively unaffected by some exchanges, such as when baseball cards are exchanged, or when a birthday present is taken back to the store and exchanged. Other exchanges result in great tragedy and cause terrible damage to people’s lives, such as when a man decides to exchange his wife for another woman, or when a wife decides to exchange her husband for a new man. By the way, God has a name for that type of exchange. It is called adultery.

There are also beneficial exchanges. Keeping in mind that saved people are the beneficiaries of the exchange that we call justification, examine three exchanges with me that are vitally linked to what I have chosen to call The Great Exchange

#1: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST EXCHANGED OUR DEATH FOR HIS LIFE 

Turn to a very familiar passage of Scripture, Romans 6.23: 

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

Do you see the exchange that takes place that is declared in this verse? The Lord Jesus Christ took our death and gave us His life. It was neither the Roman soldiers nor the Jews who killed the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave His life a ransom for your sins and mine. So, it was your sins, and it was my sins that nailed Jesus Christ to the cross. You see, the only answer for sin is death. Either the death of the guilty as just punishment for sins or the death of an innocent substitute as an act of grace. Death is the wages of sin, and Jesus Christ was willing to accept your death, and in exchange, give to you His life, eternal life.

Most people think of eternal life as something they will someday receive when they get to heaven. However, the Bible teaches that the truly saved person has eternal life right now. Remember, Romans 5.11 says, 

“by whom we have now received.” 

And what about First John 5.11-12? 

11 And this is the record, that God hath given unto us eternal life, and this life is in his son.

12 He that hath the son of God hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not life. 

Let’s get something straight. Eternal life is not something you are going to get someday if you are truly saved. Eternal life is something the saved person already has. Vine’s Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words defines this life as “life in the absolute sense, life as God has it.”[6] This kind of life is on the inside of you when you are saved and the precious Holy Spirit of God indwells you.[7]

Let me drive this home to you by recounting an occasion when I was discussing with some teens in our Christian school the concept of absolute zero. Have you ever heard of absolute zero? It is a hypothetical temperature. No one has ever observed or measured anything that cold, characterized by the complete absence of heat. It has been calculated to be in the vicinity of 459.67 degrees below zero, Fahrenheit. Just imagine something that is so devoid of heat that it is 490 degrees colder than the freezing point of water. Do you realize that just as absolute zero is the temperature at which there is absolutely no heat, the Lord Jesus has given to those who have trusted Him absolute life? That is, it is life with absolutely no sin in it; nothing impure whatsoever. It is the very life of God, Himself, which Jesus Christ provides for those who trust Him. No wonder Scripture refers to believers being “followers of God as dear children” and as “partakers of the divine nature.”[8]

What a great salvation we have who know Christ. What a great exchange, life instead of death. 

#2: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST EXCHANGED OUR SIN FOR HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS 

Turn to Second Corinthians 5.21: 

“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 

Have you ever wondered why the Lord Jesus Christ sweated great drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion? It was not because He was afraid to die. Were that the case He would have violated His Own command to 

“Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do,” 

Luke 12.4. No, the Lord Jesus Christ was not afraid to die.

He knew that He was about to take upon Himself the sins of the whole world, Isaiah 53.6. Think about that for a moment. One who was absolutely pure, absolutely holy, Who had known unbroken fellowship with the Father from eternity past, Who abhorred the very thought of sin, would become sin for you and me. So repulsive and so gruesome was the thought of becoming sin that the Lord Jesus Christ sweated blood over it.

Here is what happened when the Lord Jesus Christ became sin for me: From noon until 3:00 in the afternoon there was darkness over the earth.[9] I speculate that during this period the Father and the Son were saying good-bye to each other. Why? Because just after the period of darkness ended the Lord Jesus cried out from the cross, 

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” 

“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?”[10] 

That was the only time the Son ever addressed the Father in that way. His cry was the cry of a lost man, forsaken by God, deserted and without hope, so complete was His substitution for me.

That is what sin does. It leaves a soul deserted and without hope. Sin separates a man from God, and it destroys everything God created to be good. On the cross the Lord Jesus took your sin, He took the bad, but then exchanged it for something good, 

“that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him,” 

Second Corinthians 5.21. However, we should ask when do we have this righteousness? Remember Romans 5.10, 

“reconciled to God by the death of his son; much more, being reconciled . . . .” 

Since the person who trusts Jesus Christ is reconciled, the exchange has already taken place. That means the saved person is righteous in the sight of God.

What does it mean to be righteous in God’s sight? Righteousness is a standing before God that is superior to being innocent, which is the state of existence as though sin had never been committed. Hebrews 8.12 and 10.17 both declare, 

“and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.” 

Under the old covenant, it was impossible for people to be free from the consciousness of sin because of the necessity of offerings being made over and over and over again. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, a new sacrifice for the nation had to be offered by the high priest. However, that offering only covered sins for one year. Concerning what Jesus Christ accomplished for us through His blood, Hebrews 9.14 says, 

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” 

So, how is the righteousness which is by faith superior to the innocence of sinlessness? In this way. Sinlessness is innocence, but it is not righteousness. However, when the sinner trusts Christ, he is not given the status of an innocent person, but receives the righteousness of Christ, with righteousness always being a superior spiritual status to innocence.

The person who is righteous before God is also a person with a conscience that is free to be clear. God does not want His children constantly thinking about our sins. He wants you to be conscious of your righteousness, your right standing before Him, instead. Because of Christ, you can come into God’s presence with confidence, Ephesians 3.12: 

“In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.” 

If, however, you dwell on sin all the time instead of rejoicing in your righteousness in Christ, you will not approach God with confidence, and you will be prone to sinning and failing. You will also be miserable. Not that you will never sin, Christian. Christians most certainly do commit sins. However, saved people have been forgiven, God remembers our sins no more, and the blood of Christ does continually cleanse us from sin, First John 1.7: 

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 

Now look at First John 1.9: 

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

This verse also shows that the saved person has righteousness. Three words make this abundantly clear: First, let me point out that the word “confess” in this verse refers not to reciting your sins one at a time in the hopes they will be forgiven. Not at all. “Confess” is a verb that means “to agree with.”[11] When a person is saved, his conversion coincides with his agreement with God’s appraisal of his sins. There is no idea in this word of the notion of stepping into a confessional and asking God’s forgiveness. That is not Bible Christianity. Second word: “Forgive.” I say once more, according to Hebrews 8.12 and 10.17; God has indicated that the sins of a saved person are already forgiven and forgotten. God’s forgiveness and forgetfulness of your sin are from the time you trust Christ as your Savior. Third word: “Cleanse.” When are sins cleansed? Does not the cleansing of sin that is referred to here begin the moment you trust Christ as your Savior? Sure it does, according to First John 1.7: 

“the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” 

These three words properly understood, from what point in a person’s life is the unrighteousness gone? From the moment the sinner trusts the Lord Jesus to save him. And if the unrighteousness is gone, what must be in its place? Right! Righteousness.

What a great exchange! Jesus Christ took our sins and in exchange gave to us His righteousness. Sure, Christians commit sins after they are converted. However, the blood of Christ continues to cleanse away sin, and His imputed righteousness remains, with our righteousness being superior to the innocence Adam possessed before he sinned. 

#3: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST EXCHANGED OUR POVERTY FOR HIS PROSPERITY 

Much of Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry was devoted to meeting some people’s physical needs. He healed the sick but not all the sick, gave to the poor but not all the poor, and fed hungry people but not all hungry people. Could the riches of Christ, this great salvation, this wonderful great exchange accomplished through reconciliation, possibly include our financial lives as well as the glorious spiritual truths we have already discussed?

Look in your Bible at Second Corinthians 8.9: 

“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 

Certainly, we were spiritually poor and became rich spiritually in Christ, but the context in which this verse is found has to do with the process of giving and receiving money, and the Christian’s financial well-being. With that in mind, do you see the exchange in this verse? Jesus Christ became poor with our poverty and gave to us His riches or His financial well-being. Again, Jesus Christ took all the bad due to our sinful lives and gave to us all of the good due to His sinless obedience.

In Deuteronomy 28.15-68, Moses described in that lengthy passage all the curses that would fall upon the people of God if they refused to obey the Law of Moses. If you read the entire passage, you will see that poverty is a significant part of those curses. Interestingly, in Deuteronomy 28.48 we have listed for us by Moses the four characteristics of absolute poverty. He lists hunger, thirst, nakedness, and want of all things. Those four deprivations characterize the fullness of poverty according to Moses.

Another passage that goes along with Second Corinthians 8.9 is Galatians 3.13-14: 

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. 

Again, we see the exchange. The Lord Jesus Christ took the curse that I might have the blessing. Here in Galatians, Paul informs his readers that the Lord Jesus redeemed “us,” which I take to be a reference to Jewish people, from the curse of the Law. Of course, Gentiles were never subject to the Law and its corresponding curse. That said, a part of the curse was poverty, was it not? Folks, the material part of our lives is also in some way wrapped up in Christ’s redemptive work. Whatever Paul said and meant about the Law in verse 13, he certainly included Gentiles in the blessings come through Christ in verse 14.

This brings me to a question. When did Jesus Christ become poor with our poverty? Some had suggested that it happened when He came to this earth, at the time of the incarnation. However, remember that poverty, as stated by Moses, seems to be hunger, thirst, nakedness, and want of all things. Stop and think for a moment. When Jesus Christ was born, He was certainly born to humble beginnings. However, remember that His stepfather was a skilled craftsman, a carpenter. As well, did not the wise men from the East who came along later provide the family with quite a tidy bit of working capital, in the form of gold, frankincense, and myrrh? Folks, this was not a bad start.

What about the Lord’s own statement that the Son of Man “hath not where to lay his head”? First of all, that was not the case before the start of His earthly ministry, when He was still living with the family in Nazareth. Second, it was the nature of His ministry that demanded that He constantly travel, making a home both unnecessary and inconvenient in the conduct of His itinerant ministry. Was the Lord Jesus all that poor during His three-and-one-half year ministry? A poor man could not feed 4000 on one occasion and 5000 on another from just a few loaves and fishes. A poor man could not pay taxes by plucking a coin from a fish’s mouth. And a poor man would not need a treasurer to carry the bag in which was contained the money needed to support Himself and the apostles who traveled with Him.[12]

The reality is that the Lord Jesus was not poor according to Moses’ definition of poor. His willingness to allow folks to give to His ministry was more in keeping with His desire to give them the blessing of giving than from any necessity on His part. After all, He owned the cattle on a thousand hills and the wealth in every mine. There was, however, a time when the Lord Jesus Christ did become poor, and that was on the cross. It was there, you will recall, that He hungered and thirsted. It was there that He hung naked between heaven and earth (that is why the women stood afar off). It was there that He suffered the want of all things, for He was left with nothing. The soldiers even gambled with His last earthly possessions they had stripped from Him.[13] On the cross, our poverty was placed upon the Lord Jesus, and another exchange was made, 

“that ye through His poverty might be rich.”[14] 

The Lord Jesus Christ exchanged your poverty for His ability to bless you financially. Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ does want the life of the Christian to be blessed financially, Third John 2: 

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 

Note, however, that spiritual health and physical health take precedence in God’s economy over material prosperity.

Thus, keeping in mind that God’s overall plan to advance the Gospel during our age takes precedence, and recognizing that God may withhold material blessings to advance His cause and to cultivate us spiritually and physically, His desire is not only to prosper us in the next life but in this life as well. Why? Recognizing that the prosperity theology people have gone off the deep end and idolize money and material things, which something to be avoided at all costs, what might God accomplish by materially blessing His children? And make no mistake about it. He has wonderfully blessed His children in a material sense.

There may be some reasons why God blesses His own materially, though one thing is so that you will become a liberal giver so that you might generously give to the cause of Christ and the advance of the Gospel. Again, this is not prosperity theology, since we eagerly acknowledge God’s absolute right as our sovereign to afflict us from time to time with various severe material and financial shortages. We also want to recognize that God also chooses to bless His people with material prosperity or material scarcity when it suits Him.

I mentioned at the outset; the Church is us. As we at Calvary Road Baptist Church join hands and hearts in this body of Christ, we become a tremendous channel of God’s blessings into the lives of others. We can help others know the riches of Christ, to hear of the great salvation, and to experience The Great Exchange.

I urge every one of you who are a part of this Church to prayerfully contemplate your participation in our upcoming PayCheck Sunday special offering beginning two weeks from today. Our PayCheck Sunday prayer banquet is next Sunday afternoon. I hope you will sign up to attend that prayer banquet after Church this morning or after Church this evening.

If you are here and you have not experienced what I have preached about, The Great Exchange, consider speaking with me about your spiritual welfare. You need to trust Christ to exchange your death for His life, to exchange your sin for His righteousness, and to exchange your poverty for His riches, most particularly your spiritual poverty for His spiritual riches.

__________

[1] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 529.

[2] Bauer, Danker, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature, (Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 2000), page 77.

[3] Rienecker, page 360.

[4] Isaiah 53.6

[5] 2 Corinthians 5.21

[6] Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, (Westwood, New Jersey: Barbour and Company, Inc., 1952), page 336.

[7] Romans 8.9

[8] Ephesians 5.1; 2 Peter 1.4

[9] Matthew 27.45

[10] Matthew 27.46

[11] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament, (Grand Rapids, MI: Regency Reference Library, 1980), page 786.

[12] John 12.6; 13.29

[13] Matthew 27.35; Mark 15.24; Luke 23.34; John 19.24

[14] 2 Corinthians 8.9

Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org