RIGHTEOUSNESS:  The Blood, The Cross, and The Exchange
Sandra G. Kennedy

HIS GLORY REIGNS
B. Childress
Apr 03 2009 08:00AM

Sometime, somewhere, somehow, the dilemma of the Original Sin had to be solved.  

We know that when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden they sinned by disobeying God and turning away from
their Creator.  Here's what we often overlook.  Certainly, Eve was deceived by the serpent, but scripture reveals that
Adam was not fooled (I Timothy 2:14).  He knew exactly what was taking place.

Adam was standing beside his wife when the serpent was speaking to her (Genesis 3:6).  He was well aware they were
disobeying God's instructions and turning their back on Him.

From the moment they ate of the forbidden fruit, dramatic changes immediately occurred.  Satan now ruled mankind
and with his reign came his evil "signature" of sin and death that  held every man in captivity throughout generations.

Although man was created in the image and splendor of Almighty God, in that dreadful moment we fell into spiritual
poverty, alienated from the life and presence of Jehovah.  We no longer looked like the Creator on the inside.  Instead,
we had fallen from grandeur into darkness.  After that initial sin, man could not pay the price to make things right with
God - there was a debt on us that we would never be able to repay.

BREAKING THE CHAINS

Thank God for the plan that was established from before the foundation of the world.  It was designed to redeem man
back to our original glorious state, free from the chains of death that held us in bondage.

When mankind chose to walk away from God and leave Him out of their lives, there was not one single thing in the
universe that demanded the Father had to deal with man ever again -
except His love for us.  And that is what Calvary is
all about!

It took God Himself - not just an innocent man, but Deity - to come and shed His Blood, to pay the debt that held us in
the slavery of death.  Scripture states that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin - and what flowed
from Christ on Calvary more than qualified.  The life of the Father that was in His Blood broke the power of sin that
dominated us.

So the Word came and indwelt a body of flesh that was prepared for Him.  And Jesus, the Son of God, walked on this
earth the way the Creator intended for the
first Adam to walk.  Jesus lived uprightly before God and man - a totally
sinless life, never in opposition or disobedience to His Father.

OUR SUBSTITUTE

At the appointed time, Jesus died for us; the Godly for the ungodly, the Innocent for the guilty.  On that Cross He was
our Substitute.  Most important, there were divine exchanges that took place - exchanges that brought us great victory.

Jesus became like us so we could become like Him!  He hung on that Cross and shed His Blood for all mankind to
redeem and reconcile us back to God.  He then descended into the pit of hell - because that is where man was destined
to go without redemption.  Man, without God or His Son, will split the gates of hell wide open.

Three days and three nights were spent by our Lord in the bowels of the earth.  But, thanks be to God, He was raised
by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He returned victorious with the keys of death, hell, and the grave in His possession
(Revelation 1:18).  He is the Champion of our Salvation - for all men, for all times!

BLOOD-BOUGHT!

Jesus, the first to be born from the dead, presented Himself before God, and took His precious life-giving Blood behind
the veil into the Heavenly Holy of Holies.  He poured that Blood on the Mercy Seat made for you and me, to enable us to
walk in freedom in every area of our lives.

Triumph over Satan was completed on the Cross (Galatians 1:4), yet we cannot claim the victory of Calvary without first
understanding the miraculous work of the Blood of the Lamb.  We cannot participate in
any of our benefits of
righteousness without first having passed through the precious Blood of our Lord Jesus.

I think most Christians have missed the power in the Cross itself.  That's where the Blood brought the necessary
exchanges and Satan was defeated - and it was the Cross that enabled this to occur.  We really can't separate these
things, yet each produced a distinct power that is available to us for different areas of our lives.

THE COMPLETED WORK

If we could only see ourselves through the precious Blood of our Savior, and know in reality that His life was literally
poured out for us, we would choose to live a crucified life.  You see, when we refer to the Blood of Jesus, we are always
talking about dealing with sin.  Calvary's Cross speaks of our Messiah hanging there as our Substitute - the Righteous
dying for the unrighteous.  Of course, we can't have the power of the Cross released without the Blood which flowed.

However, what happened at Calvary gives us another dimension - the full redemption, or what some people call the
completed work of the Cross.

Please understand, we are in no way downplaying the power of the Blood!  We thank God for it - that's what ransomed
and cleansed us from sin so we could come into the presence of The Father.  It wiped out all the filth of yesterday so we
can walk in the wonderful benefits of the Cross.  Yet, the Blood of the Lord by itself does not heal our bodies.  And if we
don't understand the Blood - and what it purchased for us - we will not enter the healing process at all because our past
will control us.  We claim our healing on the fullness of what happened on Calvary.

DEALING WITH PAST MISTAKES

We need to place everything that happened at Calvary in perspective.  You and I have been made righteous because
of what the Blood accomplished on the Cross.  It enables us to leave our yesterdays and move into the bright future of
tomorrow.  Satan knows that we - as children of the Living God - are righteous in the eyes of the Almighty.  As such, he
fully understands we are more powerful that he.  Yet, the devil doesn't want us to know that!

It's true the Blood of Jesus redeemed us, but if we do not stay centered on the power of the Blood and what it completed
on that rugged Cross, we will continue living in "sin consciousness."  In such a state, every time we try to move forward
spiritually, the devil will bring us back to "who we used to be" and "what we used to do."  As a result we will be defeated -
even though by the truth of Almighty God we are surely overcomers of the world, the flesh, and the devil.

If our past mistakes continually harass us and cause us to back off from the benefits of eternal life, we have not
accepted the full effectiveness of the Blood.  We must stand in the fact that at Calvary, the Blood washed away all the
filth of unrighteousness and it has not lost any of its power!

THE BENEFITS

Experiencing full victory in this life requires that we walk in the work of the Blood as well as the benefits of the Cross.  
Many saints know their sins are forgiven, but have little victory in their lives.  If we don't understand what God purchased
for us on Calvary, we simply will be happy saying, "My sins are buried and I'm heaven bound" - yet we face defeat
continually while living out our days here on earth.

My friend, if we are held back by such thinking, we will not be the message of hope to others that He has destined us to
be.  Thank God our sins are forgiven, and I praise Him that He accomplished these specific exchanges for us!  Because
of the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross of Calvary, there are certain things we just don't have to tolerate!

What gives many believers monumental trouble is the fact that the power of the Blood does not deal totally with our
fleshly nature.  We can plead the Blood of Jesus over our flesh till the cows come home, and it will do nothing to
alleviate our bad habits and worldly behavior.

Please understand, it is impossible to educate the flesh to do what is right.  Oh, we may try to reform our carnal nature
to God's standards by going to self-help groups or by applying pressure to stop behaving in a certain way.  We attempt
to re-program ourselves so that we are "in control" of our actions.  As a result, we make resolutions that last about two
weeks.

What does the Bible tell us to do with our fleshly nature?  We are to
crucify it and to mortify its deeds.

A COVER UP?

Calvary talks about dying while the Blood speaks of cleansing and redeeming.  Satan camouflages our good efforts for
a short time to make us think we are winning.  Then, at some unsuspected moment, our old nature will resurface.  
Why?  Because instead of crucifying it, we only painted it over and pretended it wasn't there - thinking it was conquered!

Unfortunately, we never understood that our flesh was dead, even though we were crucified with Jesus the moment of
our new birth.  If something is dead, we shouldn't allow it to have one more breath of life!

"I am going to do better," we say.  "I'm not going to take that drink" - and other proclamation of our carnal nature.  What
we are actually saying is "Flesh, I can control you! - yet the flesh will make a liar of us every time.

Churches are filled with people who know nothing of a crucified life, and refuse to talk about the Blood!  There will never
be victory for those living under such deception.  It's time for God's people to stand on what the Bible says and let the
old nature die.

STARTING OVER

I'm glad to announce the Lord can give you a brand new life - so that you can start all over again.  From the Father's
point of view, He is not dealing with the old man; He dealt with it on Calvary once and for all.  According to the Word, we
were crucified with Him on the Cross.

If we are going to have an intimate relationship with the Lord, and walk in our righteousness, we must see ourselves
dead to iniquity and any unrighteous behavior.  Think of it!  We are dead to sin because of the Blood of Jesus and alive
to God because the old man has passed away!

    "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the
    flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."   Galatians 2:20

We've tried to apply the Blood to change our behavior and make it cleanse the flesh, and it does not.  That is one
reason many are not walking in victory.  Let me say it this way:  we are basically pleading the Blood at the wrong
moments.  We should be claiming the full victory of Calvary, yet once again, we can't do that unless we know what was
accomplished there.  We must be knowledgeable of the benefits of the new birth and the inheritance which belongs to
the sons and daughters of God.

    "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same;
    that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who
    through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."   Hebrews 2:14-15

What destroyed the devil and his kingdom and released us from bondage?  Jesus' death on the Cross of Calvary!  And
in order for us to walk in full victory, we must learn to claim not only the power of that precious Blood, but also learn to
declare the triumph of Calvary over our enemy, the devil!

    "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their
    lives unto the death."   Revelation 12:11

When Satan's accusations pertain to sin, we can overcome those charges by the Blood of the Lamb - because the
Blood deals with sin.  The verse above goes even further.  It tells us the overcomer uses testimony, not only of the
Blood, but our pronouncement that we do not love our lives unto death.  In other words, we live and act in the spirit of
the Cross!  Crucified!  We are no longer ruled by the dictates of our flesh, but are dead to those things - and we allow
God to live in and through us in newness of life.

There it is:  overcomers are those who know and speak of the power of the Blood, and also of the power of the Cross
and the crucified life.

    "And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also
    walk in the Spirit."   Galatians 5:24-25

Those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior - and walk as such - have seen what Calvary
accomplished and understand the principles of Romans 6.  When we begin to live out our righteousness in Christ Jesus
we have taken hold of the truth that our old man has, indeed, been crucified - that it is no longer us who lives but Christ
Jesus living in us.

THE CLEANSING

Most churches ignore the fact that the only way God deals with His people is on the grounds we've been crucified.  He
works with us through the Blood of Jesus, but also through the power of the Cross.  In fact, the only flesh the Blood
protects is flesh that has gone to Calvary to mortify its deeds.

The Bible tells us the Blood of Jesus continually cleanses only those believers who walk in the light as God is in the
Light.  You see, when the Father looks at us, He sees us through the Blood of the Lord hanging on Calvary.  God sees
us dead to sin, free from our old nature, and cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb.  And we are required to live this in
daily practice in order to have full victory.

Sadly, many are busy acting like they are the same people, only with new clothes on, "dolled up," or just adopting a new
vocabulary for church.  That's not what the Lord desires.

We are
new people, living in our old bodies with its bad habits - and it takes the Word of the Living God to make that
situation work to the point it is pleasing to Him!   We have to mortify the deeds of our flesh using the Word so that this
new man (our new spirit), created in righteousness and true holiness, is able to express itself without interference.

COMING TOGETHER

For the Church to flow as one body, we all must do this!  Those within the Body of Christ who like their old nature and
prefer themselves just as they are, cannot in any way have unity with those of us who recognize that we are new
creatures in Christ Jesus!

Righteousness and unrighteousness are not compatible.  Truly, this is one of the major reasons there are so many
splits within the Church - so many factions, so much confusion.  The dead things and the new thing will never be in
harmony, even though there have been so many attempts to reconcile them as one.  People assume that because we
all wear the label of "Christian" we have the same content in our hearts; but not so.

THE GREAT RECONCILIATION

Let's take a closer look at the amazing exchanges that took place while Jesus hung on the Cross.  They were ordained
by God, Himself - all part of the great reconciliation and restoration He had in His heart from the beginning.

We truly have been reconciled with God and there is absolutely no wedge that stands between us or alienates us from
our Holy Father.  Our failure has been nailed to the Cross!  True reconciliation, indeed, has been accomplished for us
through our Savior, Jesus Christ!

The books of Leviticus and Hebrews tell us that there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood because
life is
in the blood.  From the red liquid of a tiny animal  to the Blood of Jesus Himself, the life is carried within the contents of
their blood.

THE BLOOD COVERS ALL!

The Bible records four separate places where Jesus shed His Blood in His last hours on earth.  The first was in the
Garden of Gethsemane as He prayed to the Father before He went to the Cross.  In agony, His heart began to burst
and, "
And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down
to the ground.
"  (Luke 22:44).

The second location was when Jesus was in the hall of Pilate.  It was there He was whipped  and scourged without
mercy.  In the book of Leviticus we read where the children of Israel were instructed to skin and rip open the animal
sacrifice.  Jesus fulfilled what was written in the law.  His flesh was ripped as He was beaten with a Roman "cat of nine
tails" - a whip with pieces of metal embedded that tear into the body.

The third time His blood spilled during this horrendous ordeal was when the crown of thorns was placed on His head -
forced on His brow and beaten into His skull.  Again the life of God was poured out and His Blood touches every part of
us.  You see, Calvary addressed the spiritual issue, but His Blood took care of the physical issue.  Jesus came teaching
repentance and healing,  meeting both of those needs.

Finally, in the fourth area, the soldiers pierced His hands, His feet, and His side - and the Blood freely flowed.

There is not one inch of us, from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet, that is not covered by His Blood or
unaffected by the Cross.  What a God we serve!

    "Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

    For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor
    comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

    He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces
    from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

    Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and
    afflicted.

    But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was
    upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."   Isaiah 53:1-5

Look at that question again: "Who has believed our report?"

The answer I (Sandra G. Kennedy) would give is that very few believe - even within the Church of the Living God.  The
Body of Christ infused with the Spirit of the Lord, empowered by the Word, set free by the Blood of the Lamb has not,
for the most part, seen this great Divine Exchange.

THE PROMISE FULFILLED

The prophet Isaiah had great insight into the death of the coming Messiah on the Cross - which would occur hundreds
of years later.  He actually "saw" more than those who eventually stood at Calvary and watched the scene unfold first
hand.  Even the disciples did not understand what was taking place in front of their eyes.

The Cross defeated Satan completely and forever.  In the eyes of God, the devil is not only under
His feet, but under
ours as well.

Biblical faith is simply a recognition of the truths declared in the Word of God and the integrity of our Heavenly Father.  
It's easy to walk in faith when we can see a full view of the Cross and what was done for us there.  It's a matter of
believing He fulfilled what He promised.

SEVEN EXCHANGES

What took place at Calvary was far more than one exchange; there were seven.  Let me (Sandra G. Kennedy) share
them with you:

Exchange Number One:  Punishment for peace.

At Calvary, Jesus bore our sins and failures and gave us His right-standing with God.  He went to hell on our behalf - the
Just for the unjust - so that we might come into the presence of Almighty God once again.

Exchange number three:  The curse for the blessing.

As our Savior hung on the Cross, He bore the curse for breaking the law so the blessings that were promised to
Abraham might come on the Gentiles by faith in Christ Jesus.  We read of these blessings of obedience and the curses
of disobedience in Deuteronomy 28.  He became the curse for us so that we need not bear them if we are walking with
God!

Exchange number four:  Sickness for health.

By the stripes that were inflicted on His back in Pilate's court, we are healed (I Peter 2:24), and while hanging on that
Cross, He took within Him every sickness and every pain that we might go free!

Exchange number five:  Poverty for prosperity.

Poverty in any form - including hunger, thirst, nakedness and lack is under the curse of the law.  He endured it and
broke its power just for you and me.  We know that by His grace, "
though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became
poor, that you through His poverty might become rich
" (II Corinthians 8:9).  The state of being rich does not just include
finances, although money is certainly part of it; but it is a grace given by God to us more fully explained in the following
verse: "
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may
abound to every good work:
" (II Corinthians 9:8).

Exchange number six:  Rejection for acceptance.

Jesus was separated from God just as we were, yet He became like us so that we could become like Him - one with
God.  He took our rejection and gave us His acceptance before the Father and there is now nothing that stands
between us.  We are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

Exchange number seven:  Death for life.

At the Cross, He died as our Substitute so we might walk in the newness of His eternal life forever and ever.  Death no
longer has any sting for us!  We have the promise of heaven as our home: where He is we may be also.

SO MUCH MORE

My friend, ignorance and unbelief are the two barriers that cause us to miss everything that God has provided.  They
are the reasons we do not walk in victory.

Let me ask again:  "Who
has believed the report of the Lord?"

Carnal Christians are really those who do not understand the benefits of Calvary - and the divine exchanges that took
place there.  Yes, the Blood was poured out for your iniquity, yet Jesus bore the penalty of sin that we might have so
much more!

With every fibre that is within me (Sandra G. Kennedy), I am asking you to make the decision to receive what took place
at the Cross.  May the old become new, and death become life!



Source:

YOUR ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, By Sandra G. Kennedy, Copyright 2004, LifeBridge Books.
2010 - HIS GLORY REIGNS
LIFE IN JESUS-MINISTRIES