God’s Gospel economy differs from any economy you or I know. By our count, it doesn’t appear to add up. It doesn’t make sense. It seems to good too be true.

Simply put, God’s Gospel economy is this: Jesus, by His life, death, and resurrection, took our sin. In exchange, He gives us His perfection, His life, Hisrighteousness before God.

This great exchange happens on the cross. We get all of Christ’s righteousness, goodness, and perfection while He gets all our guilt, sin, and shame. RJ Grunewald put it this way,

“On the cross an execution event becomes a transaction in the divine economy. God pays with his life and we receive what only he could afford.”

Grunewald’s words echo Paul’s in Galatians,

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen” (1:3–5)

Martin Luther, talking about these words, points out,

“[Paul] does not say, ‘Who received our works,’ but ‘who gave.’ Gave what? Not gold, or silver, or paschal lambs, or an angel, but Himself. What for? Not for a crown, or a kingdom, or our goodness, but for our sins…”(emphasis added)

The economics of the Gospel reverse everything we thought we knew about equity and equality. Jesus did not come for our good works or righteousness deeds. Which is good, because we lack those. He came for our mistakes, our screw ups, our sins. Which we have in abundance.

Jesus came while we were still God’s enemies to reconcile us to God by His death (Romans 5:10). He came because of our sin, guilt, and shame. He came for our sake to take it away. Jesus, who knew no sin, became sin, “so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

As Luther writes in his commentary on Galatians, “Underscore these words, for they are full of comfort for sore consciences.”