The Great Divine Exchange
(Part 2)

Rock of Offence Special Commentary






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This is Part 2 of a two-part Bible study.
Click on the link below to return to
the previous section.

Part 1

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A Brief Word Concerning the Error of
Holding a Believer's Salvation
Hostage to Their Behavior


Obtaining salvation through the unmerited and undeserved favor of God (called “Grace” in the Bible) DOES NOT RELEASE US from the task of avoiding sin, doing good works, adopting Christ-like behavior and holy living. GOD INSTRUCTS ALL CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS TO SEEK AFTER THESE THINGS FOR REASONS OTHER THAN OBTAINING HIS GIFT OF ETERNAL LIFE. He tells us that seeking these character attributes is the right thing to do as Christ's earthly representatives. HOWEVER, as God sternly warns (Read Ephesians 2:8-9, Galatians 2:19-21, Galatians 3:10-12 and Galatians 5:4), our attempt to acquire these attributes (which involves work and effort) is never to be used as requirements to obtain (and keep) what Scripture calls, God’s unmerited and undeserved gift of eternal life.

Contrary to popular belief and religious tradition, under the New Covenant that began AFTER THE CROSS, God condemns any effort to hold a believer’s salvation hostage until a certain level of Christian character is achieved. Yet, we are still expected to desire and apply “Christ-like character” to our life (Romans 6:1-4 and Titus 2:13-14). EVERYONE WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT MEASURE OF SUCCESS IN THIS EFFORT, WHICH IS WHY GOD DOES NOT ESTABLISH THE OBTAINING OF ETERNAL LIFE UPON THESE PURSUITS. If we fail to “rightly divide” God’s Word (as Paul commanded in 2 Timothy 2:15), His unmerited gift of eternal life becomes nonsensical and God is made to look dishonest (by giving us a free gift and then making us work for it). When the critics claim that the Grace Gospel “improperly removes the effort from Christian life”, they are misleading their audience with deceptive terms and labels. Some fundamentalist preachers try to discredit God's Grace by calling it “easy-believism" or "greasy grace", while others use the newer label of “hyper-grace”. When we hear these terms used in a sermon or Bible teaching, it could be a warning that you're about to hear a counterfeit works-based gospel message.

Note: A complete list of doctrinal clarifications
for our ministry is available HERE





Four Major Divine Exchanges
Made Possible By the Cross
of Jesus Christ



THE FIRST EXCHANGE: Jesus became sin that we might freely (apart from merit or works) become the righteousness of God “In Christ”.


"For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21)


"But the FREE GIFT is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s (Adam) offense many died, much more the grace of God and THE GIFT BY THE GRACE OF THE ONE MAN, JESUS CHRIST, ABOUNDED TO MANY. And THE GIFT is not like that which came through the one who sinned (Adam). For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but THE FREE GIFT which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense (Adam) death reigned through the one, much more THOSE WHO RECEIVE ABUNDANCE OF GRACE AND OF THE GIFT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense (Adam) judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act THE FREE GIFT CAME TO ALL MEN, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, SO ALSO BY ONE MAN’S OBEDIENCE MANY WILL BE MADE RIGHTeOUS." (Romans 5:15-19)


“Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. BUT TO HIM WHO DOES NOT WORK BUT BELIEVES ON HIM WHO JUSTIFIES THE UNGODLY, HIS FAITH IS ACCOUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man TO WHOM GOD IMPUTES RIGHTEOUSNESS APART FROM WORKS: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD SHALL NOT IMPUTE SIN." (Romans 4:4-8 - Note: The spiritual state where "the Lord shall not impute sin" is the blessing of the New Covenant that went into operation after the cross.)


THE SECOND EXCHANGE: Jesus bore our sin and, in exchange, freely imputes (reckons) His sinlessness to us. The New Testament defines this imputed sinless condition as “justification - or being justified".


"...BEING JUSTIFIED FREELY BY HIS GRACE through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:24-26)


THE THIRD EXCHANGE: Jesus bore God's entire judgment and punishment involving our “eternal death” and, in exchange, freely gives us His blessing of eternal life as a gift.


"For the wages of sin is death, but THE GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD." (Romans 6:23)


"But God, who is rich in mercy, BECAUSE OF HIS GREAT LOVE WITH WHICH HE LOVED US, EVEN WHEN WE WERE DEAD IN TRESPASSES, MADE US ALIVE TOGETHER WITH CHRIST (BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, THAT IN THE AGES TO COME HE MIGHT SHOW THE EXCEEDING RICHES OF HIS GRACE IN HIS KINDNESS TOWARD US IN CHRIST JESUS. FOR BY GRACE YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9)


"FOR GOD'S GIFTS AND HIS CALL ARE IRREVOCABLE. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" (Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible)


THE FOURTH EXCHANGE: All of us have sinned (broken God's Law). This results in having the "curse of the broken Law" on our lives. However, Jesus bore this punishment - in our place by "becoming a curse for us" on the cross, which now freely gives us His righteous access to salvation (also called "the promise of the Spirit") and all the many blessings of Abraham.


"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.” YET THE LAW IS NOT OF FAITH, but “the man who does them shall live by them. CHRIST HAS REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, HAVING BECOME A CURSE FOR US (for it is written, "cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree"), THAT THE BLESSINGS OF ABRAHAM MIGHT COME UPON THE GENTILES IN CHRIST JESUS, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 13:10-14)



Christ's Divine Exchange Exempts the
Church from God's Future Judgment
Concerning the World's Sin



If Jesus truly bore all of God's Judgment on the cross for our sin as recorded in Galatians 13:10-14 (and He did), then the Church (including all its believing members from the least faithful to the most faithful) is set free (exempt) from any future judgment against sin.


This is one of the most extraordinary, yet maligned benefits of the Divine exchange, which freely imputes Christ's sinless and righteous attributes to the Church and, as a result, establishes an exemption from God's future judgments concerning our sin. If God reckons or considers the true believers (those who are called "the Church") to be freely justified (or without sin), then any judgment for sin becomes not only unnecessary, but also unjust.

The Bible often uses other words to describe God's judgment against sin, such as "wrath and condemnation". Paul reinforces this truth about the believer's exemption by making the following statements in Romans 8:1-2 and 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 ;


"There is therefore now no condemnation to
those who are in Christ Jesus ..."


"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but
to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who died for us ..."

Note: If the believer is "not appointed" to
to something, it means they are
"excused and exempt".



When God freely imputes justification to an individual, from that moment on, He views them as having never committed sin - even when they do sin during their remaining time on earth. CHRIST’S FREE JUSTIFICATION OVER-RIDES ALL PERSONAL SIN ISSUES IN THE BELIEVER’S LIFE. Similar to our "sealing with the Holy Spirit"; justification doesn't last only until the next time we sin. We are not justified, then un-justified when we sin - and then justified again when we confess the sin and repent. Contrary to popular church teaching, our Heavenly Father does not operate in this way after the cross. Yet, confessing and repenting of sin is important for other reasons. The free justification provided by Christ's blood is an eternal benefit of the New Covenant. It was not available to those living before the cross. It is why salvation is also called GOD'S GIFT OF ETERNAL OR EVERLASTING LIFE (EPHESIANS 2:8-8 and ROMANS 6:23).


It’s called "eternal" because God does
not turn it “on and off” depending on
our behavior as many churches teach.


"FOR GOD'S GIFTS AND HIS CALL ARE IRREVOCABLE. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" (Romans 11:29 Amplified Bible)



The Substitutionary death of Jesus Christ allows the Church AND ALL ITS TRUE BELIEVING MEMBERS to be exempt from any future judgment against sin. As a result, their salvation remains in force until Jesus returns to redeem His purchased possession and remove them from the earth. This eternally secure benefit carries GOD’S OFFICIAL GUARANTEE, through the “sealing of the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 1:13-14 - Also read about “God’s Guarantee” in 2 Corinthians 1:22 and 2 Corinthians 5:5). The "Divine Exchange", provided only through Christ’s New Covenant - is why the departure of the Church from the earth (also known as the rapture) must occur before the future judgments of the Tribulation period take place. If God subjected the Church to even a portion of this global 7 year judgment, He would be effectively judging the Church (and all its individual members) for sin that was legally and eternally taken away by Jesus Christ as "The Lamb of God" at the cross (John 1:29). Contrary to popular religious teaching, the Bible warns that this "repeat judgment" is an unjust act in Heaven's courtroom. Anyone claiming that believers deficient good works and obedience must be judged again for sin - are essentially saying (whether they publically admit it or not) that Christ’s blood was insufficient and didn't provide a complete salvation. As a result of this error, the devastating judgments of the Tribulation are now considered necessary to complete the work of purifying all “less than fully obedient Christian believers" - which includes nearly everyone. This "Tribulation cleansing" is the work that they believe Jesus didn't complete.

Yet, the New Covenant declares;

...THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
GOD'S SON CLEANSES US FROM
ALL SIN." (1 John 1:7)



Many church leaders and their followers (but, thankfully not all) are convinced that the Church must go through this additional future judgment during the Tribulation. Yet, their belief is based on an erroneous historical theology that refuses to “rightly (or correctly) divide God’s Word” as the Apostle Paul commanded (2 Timothy 2:15). Unfortunately, this popular way of believing the Bible represents a denial of what Jesus accomplished at the cross and often exists as a toxic part of a person's spiritual foundation without their knowledge.

Additional information is available HERE

The only way anyone claiming to be a Christian will be left behind to experience the judgment of the Tribulation is if they happen to be “a Christian in name only”. These are people who possess a false or counterfeit faith in Christ. The Apostle Paul calls them "false brethren" (Galatians 2:4-5). Since they did not obtain salvation through the Grace principles (the Divine exchange) of the New Covenant established at the cross - but instead strive to make themselves righteous through personal merit and religious performance (the Old Testament way) - the group is placed under a spiritual curse. As a result, the Bible strongly suggests that this curse can disqualify them from being “caught up to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Scripture identifies them as; “the people of the law of sin and death” (taken from Romans 8:1-4). It's a rather large and dominant group of Bible believers who put their faith for salvation in their good behavior, Christian service and obedience to Old Testament Law - instead of the finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross. Here's how Paul stated the warning …


"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.” BUT THAT NO ONE IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW IN THE SIGHT OF GOD IS EVIDENT, for “the just shall live by faith.” YET THE LAW IS NOT OF FAITH..." (Galatians 3:10-12)


"You have become estranged (separated/cufoff) from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; YOU HAVE FALLEN FROM GRACE." (Galatians 5:4)

"Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight.". (Romans 3:20)





GOD'S SPECIAL CONDITIONS TO BE EXEMPT
FROM THE COMING JUDGEMENTS OF
THE TRIBULATION

According to Scripture, anyone who claims to be a Christian, but is not justified (or saved) according to the New Covenant type of "faith in Christ" (the Divine exchange) - is in danger of not being included in the rapture of the Church, regardless of their godly intentions, good works or spiritual service. The reason is simple; they are not truly "justified" according to God's definition and design. Many zealous religious people, who claim to believe and practice the Bible, unknowingly fall into this category. Being "justified freely by His Grace", as taught in Romans 3:24-26 - is a primary requirement for being included in the rapture, which is the Church's "escape (or exemption) from judgment". The following paragraphs explain why.


Only perfectly sinless people (Jesus referred to them as
"those who should pray to be accounted worthy to escape"
in Luke 21:25-36) are allowed to participate in
the rapture. In this situation, worthiness suggests
holiness - or sinlessness. Yet, the Bible warns that
no one can achieve this "worthy" status - after the cross
through good behavior, righteous living and religious
service performed through human strength and willful
determination. This means no one, regardless of how
righteous and holy they try to live and behave, can meet
the conditions to be in the rapture of the Church UNLESS
they can obtain this worthy status another way. This
"other way" is only available through the divine exchange
of the cross, where Christ's attribute of sinlessness is
imputed to their life through "a faith apart from works".
The Bible calls it Grace. This special unmerited and
undeserved transfer of righteousness is what the New
Testament calls;

"FREE JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH".
(Romans 3:24-26)

Only those who are "justified" according to this New
Covenant principle of imputation (or imputed righteousness)
will qualify to be included in the rapture of the Church,
since God will now reckon them to possess the same
sinlessness and perfect righteousness that His Son
possesses. Contrary to popular traditional teaching, God
does not choose the rapture participants according to
their own worthiness and ability to live righteous and
sinless lives. They are chosen according to whether or
not they possess the imputed worthiness and perfect
righteousness of Jesus Christ their Lord. This is why
all believers, from the least to the greatest, who are
"freely justified by faith" will be included in this
great end-time departure of the Church. All others,
regardless of their many good works, noble intentions
and devoted religious service ...

are in extreme danger of being left behind.

Romans 4:4-8 describes this unmerited
imputed righteousness that qualifies
all believers in Christ for the rapture.


“Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt. But to him who does not work but believes on him who justifies the ungodly (Jesus Christ), his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin."



In Galatians 5:4, Paul did not use the phrase "estranged from Christ" (which means "separated or cutoff") by accident or to be dramatic. He was warning of the serious unintended consequences, which will befall many professing Christians, who think they are justified before God because of their commitment, devotion, behavior and obedience to certain religious rules and laws. This is one of the strongest warnings found in the New Testament. Yet, most consider it to be "just a difference of opinion".




But, thank God - according to the New Covenant,
the blood of Jesus Christ is totally sufficient
to exempt the Church and all its true believing
members from God's future judgment concerning
the world's sin, which takes place during the
entire 7 year Tribulation period.


"For God hath not appointed us to wrath (God's judgment), but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him." (1 Thessalonians 5:9-10)


"For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, BECAUSE THE LAW BRINGS ABOUT WRATH (GOD'S JUDGMENT); FOR WHERE THERE IS NO LAW THERE IS NO TRANSGRESSION (SIN). Therefore it is of faith THAT IT MIGHT BE ACCORDING TO GRACE ..." (Romans 4:14-16 - Emphasis and Clarifications Added)


"For sin shall not have dominion over you: FOR YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW (WHICH BRINGS ABOUT JUDGMENT), BUT UNDER GRACE." (Romans 6:14 - Emphasis and Clarifications Added)


"There is therefore now no condemnation (judgment and damnation) to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. FOR THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS HAS MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW OF SIN AND DEATH. FOR WHAT THE LAW COULD NOT DO IN THAT IT WAS WEAK THROUGH THE FLESH, GOD DID BY SENDING HIS OWN SON in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, THAT THE RIGHTEOUS REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US (OR IMPUTED TO US) who do not walk according to the flesh (trying to acquire salvation through works and religious performance) but according to the Spirit (or by faith only in the finished work of Christ that does not require our works)." (Romans 8:1-4 – Emphasis and Clarifications Added)

(Note: The Bible often uses the words; wrath, anger, indignation, condemnation, fury and judgment interchangeably.)



The substitutionary death of Christ, as defined only by the New Covenant, describes how “Jesus died for our sins”. Yet, few understand the extraordinary way our salvation operates through this "Great Divine Exchange" initiated at the cross.


"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, THAT GOD WAS IN CHRIST RECONCILING THE WORLD TO HIMSELF, NOT IMPUTING THEIR TRESPASSES TO THEM, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)

"....how shall we escape if we neglect SO GREAT A SALVATION, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him" (Hebrews 2:3)





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This is Part 2 of a two-part Bible study.
Click on the link below to return to
the previous section.

Part 1

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