There are two answers to a question Solomon poses in chapter twenty of the book of Proverbs. Solomon inquires,
Who can say, “I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin”? (Proverbs 20:9, NIV).
The first response is: No one. No one can claim that they have kept their heart pure. There’s not a single human being that can say that they are spiritually pure. Not a one of us can crow, “I am without sin!”
By nature, each of us is a lost and condemned sinner.
And the second answer is: Anyone. Anyone, that is, who trusts in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. A believer has kept their heart pure because they have had a heart “transplant.”
In the sight of God, Jesus’ heart has been substituted for their heart. A Christ-follower can claim that they are clean and without any sin, because Jesus’ purity and Jesus’ righteousness have been transferred to their account by God, the Father.
By faith, each of us is a holy and sinless child of God, perfect in his sight.
This transformation of status before God is what Jesus’ perfect life and his innocent death on the cross accomplished for us. This is what Jesus’ resurrection perfectly guarantees us. It’s the “Great Exchange!” He took all our sins on himself. And he gave us all his purity and holiness.
This is going to be exceptionally helpful and valuable to us one day, as Solomon indicates one verse previous to his question.
“When a king sits on his throne to judge, he winnows out all evil with his eyes” (Proverbs 20:8, NIV).
When God “winnows” from his throne on Judgment Day, we will not be separated from God forever. He will not judge us and throw us out of his presence. Because we, by Jesus’ blood and righteousness, are no longer evil, but good.
I hope that’s a confidence builder for you, starting right now!
Our Bible reading for Sunday, August 16, is 2 Chronicles 5:2 – 7:10, 1 Corinthians 10:14 – 11:1 and Proverbs 20:5-14.
There is no greater blessing than the Great Exchange! Thank you, Jesus, for making this valuable exchange for us. Help me, by your Spirit’s power, to trust you always as my Savior and my Lord.
P.S. You might wonder, “What is winnowing?” Well, after the grains have been removed from the stalks by threshing (in this case, by oxen), the grain is collected in a basket, the basket is raised, say, to shoulder height and tilted, and the grain is allowed to fall to the ground.
Winnowing separates the grain from the chaff. As the mixed grain and chaff fall from the basket, wind carries away the lighter chaff while the grain, which is heavier, falls into a pile on the ground.
Chaff, in case you’re wondering, is “the inedible, dry, scaly protective casings of the seeds of cereal grain . . .” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnowing
Header image based on "Winnowing the Grain, Axum, Ethiopia" by Alan, CC By 2.0