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The Great Exchange

The Great Exchange

In my last post, I talked about the fact that we’re saved from God’s wrath by the blood of Christ. That’s an incredible blessing, but God’s work doesn’t stop there.

I want to review the passage of Scripture that I ended with last time.

For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Romans 5:10-11

It’s unfortunate that some people make it sound like it’s harder to stay saved than to get saved. It’s as if they think that we’re saved by faith in Christ, but we stay saved by our good works, trying our best to be perfect.

This passage of Scripture uses a word three times to convey an important point to us. That’s the word, reconciled. Paul repeats this word three times, so it must be important. Let me explain to you just what it means.

This word literally means to change mutually. It comes from a Greek root word that means to exchange. It’s actually used in the Gospels to describe the “money-changers”, who Jesus turned the tables on.

That tells me that in Christ we’ve received an exchange. Understanding this, I need to take that knowledge over into the spiritual. Let me describe it to you.

I’ve had the privilege of going to another country on missions trips. I brought with me United States dollars which had value to me. I’m used to them, I know how they work.

The problem is that these US dollars don’t work in the new country that I find myself in. I have to exchange what I have for the money of this place.

That’s what God does for us in the spirit. I’m used to being in the world. But what works in the world, doesn’t work in God’s kingdom. I have to exchange what I have for what God has.

I was out of favor with God, now I have His favor through Christ and His death. In the world, I get ahead by accumulating money, power, influence, and connections. In God’s kingdom, it’s all about faith working through love. I was used to the old currency, now I have to learn the new way of doing things.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…

2 Corinthians 5:17-18

What a great verse! The word, ministry, actually means service. Now that we’ve received His life, Christ has given us the service of this exchange. It’s now our job to show others how they can exchange their meaningless striving for the favor of God.

That’s what life in Christ is all about. We’ve exchanged death for life, random chance for God’s will, and an unknown future for a destiny with Christ.

I can’t imagine a better way to live.

Question: What are some things that you’ve experienced in this great exchange?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Missions, Spiritual Walk

 

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It’s All About Control

Lion2I’m taking a few posts to talk about why God has chosen the gift of tongues as a way to worship Him.

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
1 Corinthians 14:14

Paul shows us three things in this short verse. First, my body is speaking in an unknown language. At the same time, my mind is unfruitful. But the most important aspect is the fact that my spirit is praying to God.

Notice that when I pray in the spirit, my spirit and body are active, but my mind is not a part of what’s transpiring. That’s because the gift of tongues is a physical reaction to a spiritual event. My flesh doesn’t know how to handle what’s happening with me in the spirit.

According to this verse, what comes out of my mouth may or may not have anything to do with what’s happening in the spirit. That includes the length of the “conversation”, any repetition, the language, or even the physical words spoken.

For instance; as my spirit is praying to God, a Native American may hear “Praise God, praise God, praise God” coming out of my mouth.

Prayer in the spirit – tongues – is for a spiritual exchange. It’s all about communication with the Holy Spirit of God. I can say “praise God” well enough in English. So it’s not about what’s coming out of my mouth.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
1 Corinthians 13:8

That’s why the gift of tongues is only a temporary gifting. It will be unneeded in our resurrected body. We need this supernatural gift right now.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:7-8

Our tongue can be a big problem. According to James, animals can be tamed; but you can’t tame the tongue.

What’s the difference between something tame and something wild? Tame is about character. A tame dog scratches at the door when he needs to relieve himself. He’ll wait for you to feed him.

With a wild animal it’s all instinct. They’ll do what they want whenever or wherever they are.

I’d like my tongue to be self-controlled. But it’s not going to happen all by itself.

Is a lion in a zoo tame? No; it’s simply being controlled. The fact is, you can’t tame the tongue, but it can be controlled…if you’ll let God have control of your tongue. Then the rest of your life is easy to turn over.

Have you ever noticed how easily we’ll give over control of most things to others? We’ll let hair stylists, beauticians, surgeons, and trainers take over those areas of our lives. But not the tongue.

I believe that’s why this gift is so controversial. I’ve heard people say, “Even if you convince me it’s of God, I’m still not going to seek this gift.”

That’s because tongues is about giving control to God. Prayer in the spirit is about learning to hear and yield to God. When it comes to control; that’s the one thing we don’t want to relinquish in our lives.

As believers we should be daily giving over more and more control to the Holy Spirit.

Question: How has prayer in the spirit positively changed your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2016

 
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Posted by on February 24, 2016 in Prayer in the Spirit, Spiritual Walk, Worship

 

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