Horatius Bonar on the Great Exchange


Bonar’s Everlasting Righteousness is by far one of my favorite books. In it is a wealth of gospel truths that will cause the soul well up in joy. Below is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

The man who believes in Jesus Christ, from the moment that he so believes, not only receives divine absolution from all guilt, but is so made legally possessor of His infinite righteousness, that all to which that righteousness entitles becomes his, and he is henceforth treated by God according to the perfection of the perfect One, as if that perfection had been his own. “As He is, so are we [even] in this world” (1 Jn 4:17), that is, even now, in our state of imperfection, though men of unclean lips, and though dwelling among a people of unclean lips. As it is elsewhere written, “There is therefore now [even now] no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1). Not only are we “delivered from the wrath to come” (1 Thess 1:10); not only shall we “not come into condemnation” (Jn 5:24); not only are we “justified from all things” (Acts 13:39); but we are “made [literally, ‘we become’] the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor 5:21).

The transaction [of Christ’s righteousness] is not one of borrowing. The perfection made over to us is given, not lent, by God. It becomes ours in law, ours for all legal ends, ours as efficaciously as if it had been from first to last our very own in deed.

Horatius Bonar, from Everlasting Righteousness

You can read another post here with insights from Bonar on the vicarious (as he puts it) sin-bearing life of Christ, and another here on Bonar’s take on the book of Revelation.