Changing Places – by Desmond Ford

Dec 2, 2015 1390

Robe of righteousnessLike all the great literature of the ages, in the book of Romans, Paul shows that our horrible burden is guilt. But unlike the literature of the ages,he has a remedy and so in verse 20 onward he can say, “But now, a righteousness from God apart from Law has been manifested, a righteousness apart from Law, apart from being good” [paraphrased].

Paul talks about a gift. He will go on to talk about the justification freely bestowed by grace because of the redemption that is in Christ.

So Paul uses three metaphors: first of all the slave market. We have all been taken captive. We are all slaves of the devil. Jesus came and paid the ransomed price to get us out of the devil’s clutches.

Then Paul uses the metaphor of the law court: being justified freely by his grace. You can only be justified in court if you are proven not guilty. That sinks us all. We are as poor as mice. We are all bankrupt of righteousness so the only way it can be done is if someone changes places with us.

Do you remember how Jonathan met the fugitive, David, and Jonathan took off his royal princely robes and put them on David? What happened to David’s robes? They went onto Jonathan.

So I come into the verge of the court and I come in guilty as hell and the Savior meets me and says, “Let’s have an exchange.” The Savior strips me of my dirty robes and, please remember, there is a very strong verse in the book of lsaiah that says, “All our righteousness is as filthy rags.” It does not say “all our wickedness”; it says that all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Anything done without the spirit of God is sin however respectable.

So Jesus meets us at the door of the court and says, “I’ll take those filthy robes; take mine.” Remember Joshua and the angel in Zechariah 3. Joshua was clothed in filthy garments, the word was given, “Take them away and put clean clothes on him.”

So when you and I hear the Gospel if we don’t resist it, faith is born in us, whereby we put out our hand to take the gift of righteousness. It is a gift. That is justification. We are saved by changing places.

And remember – Justification is not just for the past. It is for every day. It is for the last judgment. When we come into judgment day we are justified by faith alone.

– Des Ford. Rom 8:27–32. Adapted from, “The News That Shook The World – Part 3.

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