Substitution (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Mourning Christian! Dry your tears! Are you weeping on account of sin? Why do you weep? Weep because of your sin, but weep not through fear of any punishment! Has the evil one told you that you shall be condemned? Tell him to his face that he lies! Ah, poor distressed believer, are you mourning over your own corruptions? Look to your perfect Lord, and remember – you are complete in Him – you are in God’s sight as perfect as if you had never sinned! No, more than that – the Lord our righteousness has put a divine garment upon you, so that you have more than the righteousness of man – you have the righteousness of God! Oh, you who are mourning by reason of in-bred sin and depravity – remember, none of your sins can condemn you! You have learned to hate sin; but you have learned to know that sin is not yours – it is put on Christ’s head. Come, be of good cheer – your standing is not in yourself – it is in Christ! Your acceptance is not in yourself, but in your Lord! With all your sin, you are as much accepted today as in your sanctification! You are as much accepted of God today, with all your iniquities, as you will be when you stand before His throne, rendered free from all corruption. Oh, I beseech you, lay hold on this precious thought – perfection in Christ – for you are perfect in Christ Jesus! With your Savior’s garment on, you are holy as the holy ones; you are now justified by faith; you have now peace with God. Be of good cheer. Do not fear to die! Death has nothing terrible in it for you. Christ has extracted all the gall from the sting of death. Tremble not at judgment – judgment will not bring you another acquittal to add to the acquittal already given in your cause –
“Bold shall you stand at that great day,
For who anything to your charge can lay?
Fully absolved by Christ you are,
From sin’s tremendous smart.”
Ah, when you come to die, you shall challenge God, for you shall say, “My God, You can not condemn me, for You have condemned Christ for me; You have punished Christ in my place!” “Who is he that condemns? It is Christ who died, yes, rather, who is risen again, who also sits at the right hand of God, and makes intercession for us.” Christian, be glad! Let your head lack no oil, and your face no ointment. “Go your way; eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has accepted your works.” Do as Solomon bids us do – live happily all the days of your life, for you are accepted in the beloved – you are pardoned through the blood, and justified through the righteousness of Christ! What have you to fear? Let your face always wear a smile; let your eyes sparkle with gladness. Live near your Master; live in the suburbs of the celestial city as, by-and-by, when your time has come you shall borrow better wings than angels ever wore, and outsoar the cherubim, and rise up where your Jesus sits – sit at His right hand, even as He has overcome, and has sat down at His Father’s right hand; and all this because the divine Lord, “was made to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”“Substitution,” Sermon 141 – 142, July 19, 1857, Charles Haddon Spurgeon