Exchange is the result of my wife commenting on Romans 1:23-26 and how far culture’s thinking has drifted, again. She noted the three things society has exchanged for Biblical standards in Romans 1. Part of this study looks at the two different words that are used for exchange in those verses-allasso and metallasso.
Some Background-The people of God had changed gods and suppressed the truth before Paul wrote to the Romans. (KJV and NIV use the words exchange and changed to express this idea.)
Psalm 106:20, Jeremiah 2:11, and Hosea 4:7 all use the phrase-They “exchanged their glorious God” for a man-made image (I use the NIV.). This problem started with Aaron in the wilderness. Jeroboam, 1 Kings 12:28, also did this with the Northern Tribes. Several of David’s grandsons also committed this sin.
Paul is not being politically correct or woke when he writes this letter. Anyone who hides the truth of God is under God’s wrath. God loves us but that is tempered by the fact that he loves righteousness and you need to listen to Him.
Verse 23 expresses the above references. Verses 15 to 22 condemns people who think they are wise, but they want knowledge, not God or His life. The verb is allasso (Strong’s G 236), they change or alter God, normally to fit their wants.
Verses 25+26 use the word metallasso (Strong’s G3337) as the word exchange. The meta prefix amps up the meaning quite a bit. Meta means they have taken their actions past or further than God. Verse 21 is scary in the fact that these people knew God and did not care for His truth. So, they became wiser than God and went past Him. Okay, that is dangerous territory because it does not exist, except in your mind. Verse 25-they exchanged God for a lie and worshipped what they wanted. In today’s context that usually means they worship themselves and or their knowledge. Verse 26 completes the downward spiral they go past (exchange) God’s plan and activities for ones they choose.
- Leave God and worship anything or anyone else.
- Choose or create a lie to justify #1.
- Do whatever you want because you went past God and missed His plan and started doing whatever feels good to your hormones.
A few other Greek words
Paul, as a Christian, wanted people to metanoia. Go beyond your thoughts and go to God’s thoughts. When you do not metanoia you may go to paranoia.
Allasso is also used in 1 Corinthians 15:52-at the last trump, we will be allasso and be with Jesus forever.
The Father loves people. You are special to Him if you change your thoughts and follow His. Isaiah 43:4 (NIV) shows that He will exchange other people for you and give whole nations for your life.
The Conclusion-exchange your ways for His.