The Laws of Identification
In Jesus’s earthly walk He was our example. Jesus revealed what a man spiritually alive unto God could do. However, in the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus changed roles. He became our substitute, stand-in, and agent.
Romans 4:25 (FD) When we acknowledge God as the awesome power who restored life to Jesus, we recognize He made His Son our stand-in and agent; as our stand-in he paid the death penalty due us by law for our crimes. And as our agent He was restored to life, making us accepted as though we were as deserving as He.
Our Stand-In: The Law of Substitution
Romans 5:8 (NIV) God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
The words “for us” denote substitution. A substitute is one who is authorized to take the place of or acts in lieu of another. Jesus had to take your place in order for you to take His place.
God’s Substitute Had to Be:
- Human. A man got us in a mess, a man had to get us out! Man’s sin has to be dealt with. God cannot overlook it!
- Sinless. If the substitute is under sin’s penalty, which is death, he would become powerless to redeem anyone else.
- Greater than satan. God’s substitute would not only have to pay the penalty of sin for us, he would also have to defeat satan. Since mankind had come under satan’s authority, God was the only one left greater than satan. Therefore, there was only ONE answer to man’s need: the Incarnation—God himself would become a man.
Colossians 2:14-15 (The Inspired Letters) God crossed out the whole debt against us in His account books. He no longer counted the laws that we had broken. He nailed the account book to the cross and closed the account. And He tore the swords from the hands of all the spirit rulers and the powers in the spirit world. He defeated them with Christ’s cross. He showed how false they were.
Substitution only becomes legally binding when the guilty and innocent are linked together. This is accomplished through the new birth—the two become one!
1 Corinthians 6:17-18 (NLV) The Holy Writings say, “The two will become one” If you join yourself to the Lord, you are one with Him in spirit.
Substitution handles the sin problem, but it does NOT handle the death or hell problem.
Ephesians 2:3 (KJV) We were by nature the children of wrath.
. . . our very natures were sending us to hell. – Lovett
“Nature” means identity or inherent qualities of a person.
Our Agent: The Law of Exchange
2 Corinthians 5:21 (TLB) God took the sinless Christ and poured into him our sins. Then, in exchange, he poured God’s goodness into us!
In the Law of Substitution Christ identified with us—He took our condition. In the Law of Exchange God identified us with Christ—we received Christ’s condition.
In The New Birth We Exchanged:
- Our sin for God’s righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- Our curse for God’s blessing (Galatians 3:13-14).
- Our sickness for God’s healing (1 Peter 2:24).
- Our poverty for God’s riches (2 Corinthians 8:9).
- Our unworthiness for His worthiness (Colossians 1:12).
- Our failures & defeat for His victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).
- Our death for His life (2 Timothy 1:10).
1 Peter 1:23 (PHI) For you are not just mortals now but sons of God: the live, permanent Word of the living God has given you his own indestructible heredity.