The cross

By Charles Stanley, Christian Post Contributor
July 26, 2011|9:03 am

Matthew 16:21-27 The theme of God’s redemptive plan runs through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. At its heart is Calvary, the place where Jesus died so we could be forgiven. As we read the Scriptures, we see that the cross symbolizes . . . Salvation. Jesus bore our sins upon the cross and died in our place so we could be reconciled to God and receive eternal life. Sacrifice. Christ, who was “in very nature God” (Phil. 2:6 niv), chose to leave the perfection of heaven and live among sinful people. Laying aside His divine authority, He was born a helpless baby, completely dependent upon others. His first 30 years were spent in obscurity, without recognition of His Messiahship. During His public ministry, He faithfully carried out God’s plan all the way to His death on the cross. Jesus’ days on earth are an example to us of the sacrificial life (Rom. 12:1-2). Service. Jesus said He “did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Christ’s supreme act of service was dying on the cross so we might have eternal life. Our Savior calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him through sacrificial service to others (Luke 9:23). As we embrace a lifestyle of humility and servanthood, we will bring glory to our heavenly Father. In our culture, success is based on achievement. We admire those who perform well in athletics, business, and the arts. However, greatness in God’s kingdom is found in a life of obedience. Are you following His plan and helping others as Jesus did? Have you shared with them the good news of Christ?

I say unto you. What is LIFE? What is ETERNAL LIFE? Is it just life that never ends or is it more than this? Is it a special quality of life. I look at the cross and see the POWER and WISDOM of God! I see in the cross God’s power to save and change lives by His grace. The Lord Jesus said. I know that the cross a central part of the gospel message. The cross was FOOLISHNESS to me but as a saved person. The Cross Means I Can Enjoy Life. Do you? As a newly saved person I do not understand everything that I need to know about the cross. It involves a personal relationship to God which begins the moment I believed on Christ and will last forever ( I could have NO LIFE at all without the CROSS. but as I grow in the Christian life I know I will learn more and more about the cross. He died for me so that I can have eternal life. The Saviour died so that I might live. Do you have a real and personal relationship with the Saviour? Do you have spiritual life? Would any of this have been possible if Christ had not died on the cross? If you are saved. Out of Christ’s death flows LIFE for every believer. I see the cross in a totally different light from how I saw it before I was saved. Just as marriage is a love-relationship between two people (husband and wife). I see in the cross God’s wisdom that devised this wonderful plan of salvation that makes it possible for a holy God to save a sinful man/woman. a child of God. and the cross meant nothing to me. God's life. I was once spiritually blind. a special kind of life? LIFE is nothing less than KNOWING and having a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with the one true God and His Son.The Saved Person 1. Jesus Christ. the Lord Jesus Christ. 2. are you enjoying the life that you have? Think on these things. verily. I am speaking about spiritual life. Out of Christ’s death flows LIFE for me. The Cross Reveals the Wisdom and Power of God. I understand that the cross represents our Saviour's substitutionary death. so I have a love-relationship with my Saviour. . He that believeth on Me hath everlasting life. "Verily. Before I was saved I was dead in trespasses and sins and I was separated from the life of God. I am saved. What does the cross mean to you? Are you thankful for the cross? Has the cross made a difference in your life? Think on these things.

What is sin? Why is sin so awful? Why does God hate sin? Why should we hate sin? . and the SACRIFICE. The world has many wrong definitions of what love is. or are we to SHOW we love. My SUBSTITUTE became a SACRIFICE when He died on the cross for me. Would you be so ready to forgive others? Can you overlook the wrong that someone has done to you? How easy is it for you to forgive others? What has God done to make this possible? Do you know your sins are forgiven? How do you know? Are you enjoying God’s forgiveness? 4. God has given us a careful definition of what love really is. and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.3. 5. Beloved. " Herein is love. not that we loved God. The Cross Should Teach Me to Hate Sin. The best place to see love in action is to look at Calvary’s cross. This SAVIOUR became my SUBSTITUTE and took my place. but that he loved us. but I also learn about the great hatred God has for sin. Can a holy God overlook sin and pretend it is not there? Can a righteous God ignore sin and fail to deal with it? How can God remain righteous and holy and completely forgive and pardon the guilty sinner? How is this possible? The cross made this possible. Instead of judging me. because He laid down His life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" 1 John 4:10-11 said. the SUBSTITUTE. God provided a SAVIOUR for me. At the cross I did not only learn about the great love of God. if God so loved us. The Cross Means That I Can Enjoy Forgiveness. God can forgive me because He already judged His Son when Christ died on the cross for my sins. 1 John 3:16 shows me that the greatest lesson on love was taught at the cross of Calvary: "Hereby perceive we the love of God. Because of the SAVIOUR. we ought also to love one another. This definition is found at Calvary’s cross. Does love involve giving? How does the cross show God’s love? Does love involve sacrifice? How does the cross show God’s sacrifice? Did God just SAY that He loves us or did He SHOW that He loves us? Are we to just SAY we love. The Cross Teaches Me How to Love. Did Christ show us and give us a lesson on how to love those who are unlovely? Did Christ show us and give us a lesson on how to love those who are our enemies? Think on these things. I can become a child of God. The cross makes it possible for God to judge sin and forgive sin.

. and God had to severely punish the sinner’s Substitute. the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 3:18). The cross is one thing that the devil does not want us to talk to people about. We need to explain what Christ did for them and why His death is so important. Holiness to Him belongs. this I know. but the devil does not want us talk about THE CROSS--God’s only way of salvation." but we could also sing these words: Jesus hates sin. The Cross is the Good News I Can Share with Others. let His little child come in. God had to judge sin. He who died. Heaven’s gate to open wide. When we share with unsaved people. We can talk about prophecy or many other subjects. "Others do it" etc. Calvary tells me so. Without the cross I would have no good news to share with others.)? Do you live with it? Do you whitewash it? Do you hide it. YES JESUS HATES SIN! YES JESUS HATES SIN! YES JESUS HATES SIN! THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO! --Stephen Thorpe We have many wrong attitudes about sin. cover it up or ignore it? Are you concerned about sin? Are you convicted about sin? Do you take sin seriously or lightly? Does it disturb you when you see sin in yourself? Does it disturb you when you see sin in others 6. Jesus hates sin. This I Know. Missionaries would have nothing to say that could help lost men. we need to bring them face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ so that they will consider the cross.God hated sin so much that He had to deal severely with it. Jesus bore my load of sin. I would have no message of salvation. We sing "Jesus Loves Me. The cross is at the very heart of the gospel. we are weak but He is strong. Do you know share the good news of the cross with others? Do you know the good news of the cross and how it can change your life and others? Think on these things. for Mt. The cross of Christ should always remind us of what God thinks of sin! What is your attitude towards sin? Are you fond of it? Do you minimize it and fool with it? Do you play with it and tolerate it and allow it? Do you smile at it and laugh at it and make jokes about it? Do you put up with it? Do you justify it and excuse it ("I’m not really so bad".

The Cross Is my Motivator The cross motivates me to love and to do good works. Did Jesus Christ die for some men or for all men? Did Jesus Christ die for some people in the world or for the whole world ? Did Jesus Christ die for certain men or did He die for every man The cross shows me God’s genuine concern for all men.7. God desires that all men be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. would that mean anything to you? If someone were to push you out of the way of an approaching car and get run over to save your life. Lord. prayer would be impossible! Are you taking advantage of your privilege to enter into God's presence? Do you come to God often in prayer? Do you thank God for the cross which makes it possible for you to pray and draw near to God every day? Do you pray for others? Think on these. It is only by the blood of Christ that we are able to draw nigh or near to God. 9. Are you concerned for your classmates in school? For your neighbors who live around you? Are you concerned for the people whom you know and with whom you come in contact? If you were to look out at night and see your neighbor’s house on fire. I give myself away. The Cross Makes Prayer Possible. Here. are we concerned. Through the cross. I am able to communicate with God. The Cross Teaches Me About God’s Concern for All Men. would that motivate you? Would that mean something to you? Would you be grateful? Isaac Watts says it all in this quote: “But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe. God has a concern for all men. Without the cross. would we be able to come before a holy God in prayer? God died on the cross for a reason. 'Tis all that I can do! -- . If Christ had not died on the cross. As believers. May the cross teach us to have a concern for all men just as God has concern for all men. does that inspire you and motivate you? If someone were to pull you out of a burning building and save your life at the cost of his own. As you think of the price that Christ paid to save you. but what can we do about it? What should we do about it? Think on these things. God wanted me to know that the way into God’s presence was now open! There is only one way that I can have boldness to enter into the holiest and that is "by the blood of Jesus. would you do anything? Would you say anything to anyone? Those who are unsaved are headed for a much worse fire-an unquenchable fire. "The love of Christ constraineth us" and gives us the desire to live for the One who died for us. 8.

The cross reminds me that all that I am and all that I have is because of Jesus’ death on the cross. When we look at the cross. then does He have your money also ? When God has you. This is a very humbling truth. We should only boast and brag about Christ and what He has done. God gave His all! God's sacrifice of His beloved Son should teach us about giving. . The Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me The cross is the place where we learn about true giving! Salvation is free. but true giving involves more than putting money in the offering plate. but salvation is not cheap. God gave Himself for us. and was even willing to die a criminal’s death on the cross . "God so loved the world that He Gave. When God has you. The Cross Humbles Me. was willing to become a man. should not we give ourselves to Him? It is a good thing to put our money in the offering plate. It cost God the very life of His beloved Son. God gave His very best! God’s love gift involved a great price and sacrifice.What are you doing to show Christ that you are thankful for what He did for you on the cross? Think on these things. we see how God humbled Himself. The Cross Teaches Me to Give. should not His example teach us to walk humbly before God and men? If our Saviour was meek and lowly. does He have your time also? Many people are willing to give God a few dollars and an hour or two of their time here or there. 10. If God who was so HIGH could stoop so LOW for us. do we dare be proud? Think on these things. but they are not willing to give Him their hearts and their lives and all that they are and have? Think on these things? May God’s giving at the cross teach us how to give! 11. The cross has taught me a great lesson on humility found at the cross. We shouldn’t boast or brag about anything that we have done. The cross teaches us a lesson on humility.

Never forget that when you are treated unfairly. There are many lessons we can learn from the way Christ treated His enemies when He died on the cross. there is a Saviour in heaven who fully understands! How did the Lord react to this unfair treatment? Did He fight back? Did He try to defend Himself? Did He seek to avenge and repay those who had wronged Him and "get back at them"? How would you react if you are wronged by others? Would you fight back? Would you seek to avenge and repay those who had wronged you? Think on these things. The Cross Can Teach Me How to React When Wronged by Others. He suffered for things which he had never done. Have you ever been wronged by someone when you did not deserve it at all? Have you ever been mistreated even though you did nothing wrong? Have you ever been falsely accused (accused of doing something that you never did)? Have you ever been in trouble for something that was not your fault? Does the cross teach us anything about experiencing mistreatment? Why was the Lord Jesus put on the cross? Was it for crimes that He had done? Was He innocent or guilty? Did He deserve the cross? Was He falsely accused? The Lord Jesus Christ was perfectly innocent. . He even suffered for our sins.12.

our problem. we just continue to strive to live the way Jesus instructed us to in order to have all of the blessings He promised. there is nothing we can “do” to get to heaven. May the Lord open our eyes and give us understanding of these things (2 Tim. but they are things that believers will have for eternity. While here on Earth. 2:7). is wrong. He deserves it. That is why Jesus had to die. our lives will change for the better. purpose and belonging are hard to describe to someone who doesn’t have them. and that there are other things we must do to go to heaven. We have mentioned just a few. and try to live the way He told us to. We have learned about ourselves. The only thing we need is a perfect sacrifice for our sins. This means that we let Him send the Holy Spirit to us. and now you can see how it still applies to us today. CHRIST. and in order to let other people see the difference He has made in our lives. May the message of the cross become more and more precious to us! ***** This concludes our study of MAN. Anyone who teaches that Jesus alone is not enough to save us. and God's solution! Make sure that Jesus Christ is your Saviour from sin! May you boast in a crucified Saviour! May you enjoy God’s abundant life! May you have God’s highest and God’s best always! May He have first place in your life. God provided this sacrifice in His Son Jesus Christ. but there are many more. SIN and THE CROSS. the cross should mean more and more to us. It is important to remember that we are saved only by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. The feelings of love. Once we have Jesus and the Holy Spirit in our hearts and in our lives.Final thoughts We have just learned what the cross of Christ should mean to every believer. our Saviour. . As we grow in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18). The only other step is to let Jesus take over our lives.

persons to be clothed like bible characters print words to be tagged to the cross print names of characters to be pinned to them items for songs poems roving microphones .

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