|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Be thankful”
Our Bible verse for today: “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Be thankful for the great substitution”
Yesterday we paused to thank God for our salvation. Today we will consider how it is that salvation is even possible. 2 Corinthians 5:21 provides that explanation for us. Sometime in the late 1990s I was at a Pastor’s conference in Los Angeles and I heard Pastor John MacArthur teach a lesson on this passage. To this day I still believe it to be one of the best and clearest explanations of how salvation is possible that I have ever come across. I’ll paraphrase it here for our purposes this morning.
2 Corinthians 5:21 teaches the doctrine of substitution. The innocent dies for the guilty. Jesus had no sin of His own, that’s what Paul meant when he wrote that Jesus “did not know sin”. But God took every sin that would ever be committed by any person who would ever profess faith in Christ, and He put them all on Jesus. That’s what it means when Paul writes that God made Jesus to “be sin for us”. The sins had to be punished, and they were. God punished Jesus for them. On this side of the great substitution, Jesus gets all of our sins.
Then, on the other side of this exchange, we get all of Jesus’ righteousness. That’s what Paul meant when he wrote that “in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” On the one side of the exchange, Jesus gets all of our sins. On the other side, we get all of His righteousness. That’s why Jesus had to live on earth for thirty-three years before He was crucified. He had to live the perfect and sinless life that you and I are not capable of living. Then, on the cross, God treated Jesus as if He had lived your sinful life (and mine), so that in eternity He can treat us as if we have lived Jesus’ perfect life. The innocent dies for the guilty – and the guilty go free.
That’s the doctrine of substitution. On the one side Jesus gets all of our sins. On the other side we get all of His righteousness. Now there’s something to be thankful for! I encourage you to spend some time this morning thanking Jesus for taking all of your sins and for giving you all of His righteousness.
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