“The Great Exchange”: We get to exchange our failures for His perfect obedience, our sin for His righteousness. If we have accepted Christ as our Savior and He lives in us, then God’s faithfulness, mercy and righteousness are ours!
Nehemiah 10 & 11
The Great Exchange
Nehemiah 10 & 11:
Not by Our Righteousness
As I read chapter 10 and all that the people covenanted to do, I was wondering how often we stop to think about and praise God for the fact that we are now under grace!
28 Now the rest of the people—the priests, the Levites, the gatekeepers, the singers, the Nethinim, and all those who had separated themselves from the peoples of the lands to the Law of God, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, everyone who had knowledge and understanding— 29 these joined with their brethren, their nobles, and entered into a curse and an oath to walk in God’s Law, which was given by Moses the servant of God, and to observe and do all the commandments of the Lord our Lord, and His ordinances and His statutes.
Notice “a curse and an oath.” They didn’t just expect God to bless them if they kept the covenant, but they accepted the curses of disobedience.
They went on to list all their responsibilities to not intermarry or allow their children to intermarry, to keep all the feasts and religious holidays, to tithe, pay the temple taxes, and give other offerings, to serve God, and to obey all the law.
Paul said the law was “… our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Gal. 3.24). The law, which was impossible to keep completely, pointed to the fact that we can’t be saved by our own righteousness and law keeping and helped us see our need for a Savior.
Jesus Christ who was tempted in all ways as we are, yet without sin (Heb. 4.15), was the only one who kept the law perfectly. When we accept Him as our Savior we take part in a “Great Exchange.” We exchange our sinful failure to keep the law for His perfect righteousness (Heb. 4.15).
2 Corinthians 5.21:
21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
More of the “Great Exchange”
This psalm talks about the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ:
Verse 24a, “But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him, …”
Galatians 2.20-21 says:
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.
If we have accepted Christ as our Savior and He lives in us, then God’s faithfulness, mercy and righteousness are with us, too!
Today’s Other Readings:
He is the Maker of Us All
Verse 2, “The rich and the poor have this in common, the LORD is the maker of them all.”
Not only is He the Maker of us all, but we are all equals at the foot of the cross. “In Christ” there is neither rich nor poor, male nor female (no matter what the feminists say!), Jew nor Gentile, mature Christian nor “baby” Christian).
While we may have different roles in the body of Christ, our maturity may vary, and our level of obedience may affect our walk with Him, we are all equal in His love and heirs of the grace of life.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.
His Sovereign Hand
We continue to see God’s sovereign hand of grace on Paul and his God-ordained journey. Instead of being put in the regular prison, he is allowed to live in his own house for a time to enable him to preach and share the gospel message openly. He does so first with the Jews as was his custom. Though there were some who accepted the truth, the nation as a whole, continued to reject it.
In the next few days, we’ll look at how we think we can control how far sin takes us only to find ourselves caught in it, how we tend to expect certain guarantees from God in our parenting, and what the Bible has to say about debt. Be sure to sign up so you won’t miss any of these upcoming posts.
This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend books and resources that I believe are theologically sound and beneficial to the reader. Thank you for supporting this blog and ministry by supporting my links!