Wednesday, June 06, 2007

10 Exchanged Life truths that will change your life

First, some highlighted truth from scripture:

I died.

It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.

Through the law I died to the law that I might live to God.

I have been crucified with Christ.

The life I live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

You are complete in Him.

You... were raised with Him through faith in the working of God.

He has made us alive together with Him.
All the above are taken from Galatians 2:19-20, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 7:9 and Colossians 2:10-13

These are just a few of the key verses that lead to the understanding of what is commonly known as the "Exchanged Life."

All this tells me several things (I'm writing all these in the first person, so anyone can read these in the sense of applying the truth personally, because it's true!):

1) I don't "try" to make my life acceptable to God. I now have His life. He is very pleased with me because it's no longer "I" who am trying to make my life acceptable, but His life in me is what makes my life acceptable to Him.

2) I have died to the Law. My life isn't about trying to keep the law, live by the law, follow the law, keep the commandments, live under the law, submit to the law, receive moral guidance from the law or have any kind of relationship with the law whatsoever. Dying to the law was the only way that I could "live to God."

3) I was crucified with Christ. When Christ died, I died. This is obviously not a "physical" reality, because I wasn't physically on the cross with Christ. But spiritually speaking, was I there when they crucified my Lord? Yep indeedy!

4) I was raised with Him. When Christ arose, I arose with Him. I have been made alive together with Him.

5) It is no longer I who live. I (the person I was in Adam) died and I took on new life - the life of Christ. I exchanged "my" life for the life of Christ!

6) "My" sin is not my sin. It is "in" me, but it is not me. Jesus became sin for me that I might become the righteousness of God in Him. My sin was exchanged for God's very own righteousness! When I do the evil things that I hate and when I don't do the good that I want to do, "it is no longer I, but sin that dwells in me." Sin dwells in my body, but it's no longer "my" sin. It dwells in my body, and my body is corruptible and will return to dust, and one day I'll "put on incorruptible." (1 Cor 15:52-53).

7) God is not angry with me. God is not disgusted with me. God is not disappointed in me. In order to be disappointed, one must first have had expectations. God never expected anything from me! That's why He crucified me with Christ and gave me Christ's life, so the life I live is no longer mine. To say that God is angry with me is to say that Christ's sacrifice wasn't sufficient. If God were still angry with my sins, then Christ would have to come back over and over again and lay down His life time and time again for my sins. But God dealt with my sins quite sufficiently. The "handwriting of requirements that was against me" was "taken out of the way" and "nailed to the cross." (Col2:14). If God were disgusted with me, then He'd have to be disgusted with Jesus, because the life I live is His life in me.

8) Changing my behavior didn't cause any of this to happen, and changing my behavior can't sustain any of it! If I want victory over the flesh, it's not going to be by changing my behavior. Victory over the flesh is the same as living in Christ, which is the same as coming to Christ - it's all by faith, apart from works.

9) Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. He loves me.

10) I am complete in Him. This is where the new life begins. We are complete in Him, and the life we live in the body is lived by faith in Christ, and is lived out of this state of already being complete in Him.

Focus on any and all of these truths often! Meditate upon these things that the Bible says are true about us. Don't live in self-disappointment, or thinking that God is disappointed or is holding anything you've done or will ever do against you. Live in the reality of the new life you have in Christ! When you mess up, remember it was sin "in you," and not the "you" that you really are. Don't walk in guilt, but rather with a constant realization and re-realization that your life is not "sin," but your life is Christ!


  1. I love this so much - but I've been thinking through the implications of some of these and have some questions. If I really want my behavior to change, but am stuck in some perpetual loop, how does the truth that my behavior is irrelevant help me? Since the New Testament is pages and pages of writings about the Christian's behavior, lots of instruction, I have to think that behavior is not irrelevant. Knowing that I am fully, just absolutely fully accepted already, that any wrong-doing or wrong-being past, present, and future, has already been atoned for by my Jesus, and not feeling in the dog-house about it one bit, but just sincerely wanting it to change - how do these truths help?

  2. Hi Kay,

    Those are good questions. What you are asking, in essence, is "what does all this mean to me in a practical sense?"

    I'll first start by saying that there are indeed pages and pages of NT behavior passages, but there are even more pages and pages of "identity" pages and "exchanged life" pages (going along with the theme of this post). The biblical truths contained in this post, that are spread all throughout the New Testament, are foundational truths for life and living as Christians.

    They are the essence of what life in Christ is about. Many people seem to think that behavior is the essence of what life in Christ is about, but really behavior is simply the fruit (or 'outflow') of life in Christ. And so many people go straight to the "behavior" verses and focus on those, without knowing (or at least hardly knowing) the foundational truths of grace and our identity in Christ.

    These foundational truths are very necessary, so that we don't go trying to live this life on our own! What the verses in the post show us is that since we died, and have been raised together with Christ, our life is no longer "ours." Our life is now "Christ in us." He is in us and we are in Him. It's a union. And so I don't go about trying to change my behavior for Him. Rather, as I reckon the truth of my new life in Him and His life in me, I find that victory over the flesh isn't about "me" trying to overcome flesh, but rather is His life in me that does it. This is all lived out by faith, not by my own fleshly attempts to do it.

    And so all of this makes a huge difference! I died and it is no longer I who lives but Christ lives in me.

  3. From my own experience, I have found it is important to address behaviours in a practical way. This is very important especially when seeking to deal with destructive sinful patterns in a persons life. For example, if I was mentoring a christian struggling with watching pornography, I would encourage him or her to take steps to remove access to sexual explicit materials, along with encouraging the individual to cry out to God for deliverance from this sin and meditate on relevant scriptures. In other words, belief and action go hand in hand.

  4. Hi Matthew,

    Perhaps you will find that my little series entitled Practically Speaking speaks to what you're saying.