Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Gospel is the Solution

I've been outlining a brief message I will deliver in a few weeks on a communion Sunday, along with three other men. We will each be doing brief summations of the essentials of the Gospel. First, God is holy and requires holiness. Second, we are not holy, we are depraved and unrighteous. Then my section, dealing with the solution to our problem. And last, what must our response be to our problem and the solution.

When I was given this preaching assignment, the first passage that came to mind was 2 Corinthians 5:21. What I like to call the Great Exchange passage. So here is the exegetical outline of this verse. How applicable to be reviewing these foundational Gospel truths on this week when we celebrate the sacrifice of Christ that is explained here.

What do we need?
  • The acquittal of our sin

  • The application of righteousness
The Solution is detailed in 2 Corinthians 5:21 - “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
  • “He made Him” – God’s redemptive plan in action. An amazing statement of the purpose and plan of God the Father.

  • “who knew no sin” – Christ’s perfect freedom from sin and perfect righteousness. Jesus as the perfect, sinless Lamb of God, the only suitable sacrifice for sin.

  • “to be sin on our behalf” – Christ made the substitute for the acquittal of our sin. Here is the first half of the exchange. All the sin of all people who will believe for all time, placed on Jesus Christ. Imputed to Him, transferred from us. Christ was literally made to be our sin. The punishment for our sin that would require an infinite death, Christ bore in our place.

  • “so that” – God’s statement of purpose, the reason/result of Christ’s atoning work.

  • “we might become the righteousness of God” – God’s perfect righteousness applied to us, The second half of the exchange. Christ's perfect righteousness expressed in His perfect, sinless life, credited to our account. What we lacked and could not obtain, Christ obtained for us.

  • “in Him” – the place and Person where this transaction takes place and is applied. Personally identifying ourselves with Jesus Christ in faith is how and where we enter into this eternal transaction. Our sin transferred to Him, His righteousness applied to us.
The Solution:
  • Exchanging our sin for God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ.

  • The Person and Work of Jesus Christ is the Solution!

Think on these things this week as we enter into the day that this transaction was put in place. Think and consider the weight and impact of these marvelous words. Be amazed at the sovereign grace of God in crafting this redemptive plan. Be humbled by the sheer injustice on the surface, but the perfect justice of God expressed and fulfilled in the Cross. Ask yourself, have I truly trusted in Jesus Christ and received the eternal redemption of this transaction on my behalf? And if so, give glory to God for His incredible mercy and grace.

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