Friday, March 23, 2018

The message of The Cross




Romans 1:6

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.


1 Corinthians 1:18: 

'For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness ...';


“We preach Christ crucified.” This is the focal point of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a picture of blood flowing from Christ’s veins as He hung on the cross. The message of shed blood is repugnant to many, and they turn from such a gory sight, feeling that their delicate sensibilities have been outraged. Many people will accept Christ’s character, but they reject His crucifixion.

As we stand at the cross today and gaze on a confused and frustrated world, God asks the question, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21, NIV).

When we look at the cross, we see several things:
First, in the cross we see the clearest evidence of the world’s guilt. At the cross of Christ, sin reached its climax. Its most terrible display took place at Calvary. It was never blacker nor more hideous. We see the human heart laid bare and its corruption fully exposed. The Scripture teaches that man’s heart is desperately wicked.
 
The answer is found deep in the human heart. Human nature has not changed, and as we stand and gaze at the cross, we see clear evidence that mankind is basically wrong, and we hear the thunderous verdict of God Himself when He says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Second, in the cross we see the strongest proof of God’s hatred of sin. God has stated that the soul that sins shall die (Ezekiel 18:20) and that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).
To gain a clear understanding of God’s attitude toward sin, we only have to consider the purpose of Christ’s death. The Scripture says, “Without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). Here is a positive statement that there can be no forgiveness of sin unless our debt has been paid.

Third, in the cross we see a glorious exhibition of God’s love. We look out upon the world of nature, and in the provisions and plans made for our happiness we discover a revelation of God’s love. Yet as wonderful as these things are in revealing divine love, nothing is comparable to the sacrifice of Calvary. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

Fourth, in the cross we see the way to victory. All of us have at times been defeated by Satan. We are held in bondage to sin and are controlled by the power of the devil. The cross is the instrument by which God delivers us from the penalty of our sins and from the hand of Satan.
God makes it plain that our carnal nature was dealt with at the cross, so that in our standing in Christ this nature has no more power over us. We are told that our “old man was crucified with Him” (Romans 6:6) and that we do not need to serve sin any longer. The Scripture promises that sin shall no longer have dominion over us (Romans 6:14).

The cross of Christ is not only the basis of our peace and hope–but it is the means of our eternal salvation. The goal of the cross is not only a full and free pardon, but a changed life lived in fellowship with God. No wonder Paul said 2,000 years ago, “We preach Christ crucified.” The world needs this message today. This is the message of hope, peace and brotherhood. This is what the world calls “foolishness” but what God has been pleased to call “wisdom.” What do you call it?

Billy Graham Magazine April, 2007 

"Do not be ashamed of  the Cross, hang it on your wall and display it to all your friends who enter in to your home."



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