Friday, July 17, 2009

block party and the Great Exchange

So, we conclude our Mega Sports Camp with a block party starting at 6 tonight, July 17. We'll have a car show, inflatable games, food, and fellowship. We pray members of our surrounding neighborhood join us, as well.

On Thursday night, we had 343 kids join us, up 14 from Wednesday. We shared the gospel with our small groups. I used the Sons of Thunder bridge video in PA's office and then shared about the Great Exchange using 1 John 5:11-12 focusing on God's very personal love for us. It was hot and the kids did an amazing job of paying attention. We had 7 of our 18 kids make first-time commitments to Christ and then we prayed in small groups with them to close.

The RJC ministry has been very fruitful, this week. So far, I've met with 20 men. I used our rich Romans 8:31-39 passage and meditated on being "more than a conqueror through Him who loved us."

On Saturday, July 18, Jim Dixon and I head back to Forks and the Olympic Corrections Center simply to host a concert. We agreed now to continue leading worship services there the first Saturdays of each month. We'll sing and preach the Word and host other groups that come some of the months.

On Sunday, July 26, Jim, Wayne Orendorff and I will do a concert at the Yakima County Jail Biblical Instruction Units for men and women.

"The Great Exchange"

First: "He knew no sin." This could be said of none of us, but it can be said of Christ. He perfectly obeyed, and knew no sin in word, thought, or deed. 1 Peter 1:22 says he committed no sin, to which Paul and John agree. The greatest testimony, though, is from Jesus' lips. In John 8, Jesus confronts self-righteous Jews and tells them that they are of their father, the Devil. And in that hostile environment, He dares to ask, "Which of you convicts me of sin?" (John 8:46). None could bring a charge that would stick.

Second: "He was made to be sin." See Isaiah 53, another favorite passage — it is the Gospel in the OT. It clearly depicts penal substitution: Christ bore our sin in His own body. 1 Corinthians 15:1ff says Jesus' death for our sins is of the essence of the Gospel.

Jesus asked if the cup could pass from Him. What was in the cup? Such passages as Psalm 75:8; Isaiah 51:17, 22; and Revelation 14 indicate that it was the cup of the wrath of God. He was going to bear our sins. He'd long known it, and now it loomed. And drink it He did.

The word for that is propitiation, a beautiful and wonderful word. Every first-grader should know it, Bridges insisted. It means to appease. But Jesus did not appease God's anger, He bore it; He exhausted it. It was poured out in full strength on Him.

Third: "so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." As Jesus was not made a sinner in His character and conduct, so neither are we made righteous in character and conduct. That is not Paul's meaning. The exchange is the same. Our sin is transferred and credited to Christ, His righteousness is transferred and credited to us. That is the Great Exchange.

"Justified" is not "Just as if I'd never sinned." That is a great truth. But the reality is better: "Just as if I'd always obeyed." God has credited the very righteousness of Jesus Christ to every believer.

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