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FIRST-PERSON: Christ for clunkers

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BP)–Much ado has been made about the federal “Cash for Clunkers” program that you and I are paying for. I overheard a person say, “This is ‘free’ money,” and I had to wonder what his definition of “free” was. I would compare that to telling a person that I am going to give you $4,500 for your swayback blind horse. But then I will be sending you a bill for the rest of your life to cover the cost of the money that I gave you, and more than that, I will be sending a bill to all your neighbors, too. If that is free, then I am a spotted zebra.

May I tell you about a much better offer? It is recorded in the Love Letter from the only One in the entire universe that really understands the definition of the words “free” and “gifts.”

Yes, we are all clunkers at best. The fires of the inferno will be the destination for every clunker that does not experience the great exchange. The issue that every clunker deals with is that our problems are much larger than a tune-up or new paint job can fix. We all experience a factory defect that reveals itself each day more profoundly. There is no mechanic or body shop that can erase the defect. No government rebate can change a sinful nature. The plain truth is that every model is a clunker. We are depraved and deplorable.

This is where God steps in. God is, in Christ, reconciling us to Himself. So, how does the great exchange work? First, while we were yet clunkers Christ came to our assembly line and died for us. He (Christ) who was perfect became a clunker for us and took the penalty of our sins. “He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “Therefore He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:17).

Righteousness is imputed unto us, as the Apostle Paul said, “so that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own from the law but one that is through faith in Christ — the righteousness from God based on faith” (Philippians 3:8-9).

Please keep pointing those clunkers to Christ.
Joseph Bunce is executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, online at www.bcnm.com.

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  • Joseph Bunce