March 6, 2014

The Great Exchange

“Once you were…But now….”

Col. 1:21-22 (NIV)

The miracle of the Christian life is how God changes us. He does it through a glorious exchange. The Bible describes this change in a phrase that jumped off the page to me in Colossians. It says, Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” Colossians 1:21-22 (NIV) What caught my attention was the striking contrast, “Once you were …But now….” What a description of the life change that only God can bring into our lives! Once I was alienated from God. Once I was an enemy of His through my own evil behavior. But now I am reconciled, no longer considered an enemy but a friend! But now I am holy in His sight. But now I am without even a blemish on my record and free from accusation! What a miracle of grace! How did God do it?  The passage answers, “…by Christ’s physical body through death.”  He gave His life for me that He may give His life to me! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.” What is that new life? None other than the indwelling life of Christ! Through His death for me, He reconciled me to God. Now, risen from the dead, He comes by the Holy Spirit to reproduce His life in me! As I share that relationship with His indwelling presence, the miracle of life change begins to happen! What an exchange! My sin for His grace! One man in the Bible who experienced that radical exchange described it like this:

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20 (NLT)

How would you describe your life change?