The Cross of Jesus Christ our Lord

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

crossJesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die — and die the death of the cross. What light and glory beam around the cross!
Of what prodigies of grace is it the instrument,
of what glorious truths is it the symbol,
of what mighty, magic power is it the source!

Around it, gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy.
It explains every symbol,
it substantiates every shadow,
it solves every mystery,
it fulfills every type,
it confirms every prophecy
— of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable — except for the death of the Son of God upon the cross!

Not the past only, but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings! And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past — with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come. Such is the lowly, yet sublime; the weak, yet mighty instrument — by which the sinner is saved, and God eternally glorified!

The cross of Christ is the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men.

The cross of Christ is the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race.

The cross of Christ is the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours.

The cross of Christ is the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness.

The cross of Christ is the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus.

The cross of Christ is the source of all true peace, joy, and hope.

The cross of Christ is the tree beneath whose shadow, sin expires and grace lives!

The-Cross2

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! How significant their meaning — how precious their influence! Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross!
The cross of Christ has subdued many a rebellious will.
The cross of Christ has broken many a marble heart.
The cross of Christ has laid low many a vaunting foe.
The cross of Christ has overcome and triumphed — when all other instruments have failed.
The cross of Christ has transformed the lion-like heart of man — into the lamb-like heart of Christ.
And when lifted up in its own naked simplicity and inimitable grandeur — the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!

The Wonderful Cross

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross — his opinion is totally revolutionized. He sees it as it really is — a sinful, empty, vain thing! He learns its iniquity — in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. His expectations from the world, his love to the world — are changed. He has found another object of love — the Savior whom the world cast out and slew! His love to the world is destroyed, by that power which alone could destroy it — the crucifying power of the cross!

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer — the glory and attraction of every other object!

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment, by its overpowering effulgence to all other objects — so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of grace and love and truth meeting in the cross — the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse! Christ and His cross are infinitely better, than the world and its vanities!

Looking at the world through the cross (Octavius Winslow) HT: Grace Gems

May I never boast except in the
cross of our Lord Jesus Christ

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Characters on the Road to the Cross

When they led Him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus. 27 And following Him was a large crowd of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. 33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Luke 23:26–33

Dr. John MacArthurThe people would be the rabble that the leaders had collected against Jesus, a growing number of people in that early morning on Friday, people who were being orchestrated and manipulated into crying for the crucifixion of Jesus. This is they. It is they who led Him away. Verse 33, “And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him. This is a mixed group. You’ve got the Sadducees who had nothing to do with the Pharisees. They resented them. They resented their theology. They had nothing in common except a common hatred for Jesus. You can throw in some Herodians who had nothing to do with the Sadducees or the Pharisees.

They were a completely separate party. And they had no common ground except hatred of Jesus. And then you have to throw the Romans in because the Romans were the human instruments that the Jews used to execute Jesus. It is this mixed mob of murderers, if you will, who lead Jesus away. They are theological enemies, normally. They are political enemies, normally. They are rigid adversaries, agreeing only on their common animosity toward Christ.

The sinner is not helped by having nice thoughts about Jesus. There’s only one way to be in the paradise of God, forever with Christ, and that is to confess Jesus as Lord, turning from sin and acknowledging Him as Savior and Redeemer.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Lead Me To The Cross

O Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on me. Move, I beg You, upon my
disordered heart. Take away the infirmities of
unruly desires and hateful lusts. Lift the mists
and darkness of unbelief. Brighten my soul with
the pure light of truth. Make my soul . . .
as fragrant as the garden of paradise,
rich with every goodly fruit,
beautiful with heavenly grace,
radiant with rays of divine light.

Be my comforter, light, guide, sanctifier.

Take of the things of Christ and show them
to my soul. Teach me more of His . . .
love,
grace,
compassion,
faithfulness,
beauty.

Lead me to the cross and show me . . .
His wounds,
the hateful nature of sin,
the power of Satan.

May I there see my sins as . . .
the nails which transfixed Him,
the cords which bound Him,
the thorns which tore Him,
the sword which pierced Him.

Help me to see in His death, the reality
and immensity of His love. Increase my
faith in the clear knowledge of . . .
atonement achieved,
expiation completed,
satisfaction for sin made,
guilt done away

(A Puritan Prayer)

Help me to see in His death, the reality
and immensity of His love.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Private Prayer

Private prayer is a work of absolute necessity,

prayer

 

for the bringing of the heart into a holy frame,
for the keeping of the heart in a holy frame,
for the discovery of sin,
for the preventing of sin,
for the embittering of sin,
for the weakening of sin,
for the purging away of sin,
for a full exercise of grace,
for an eminent increase of grace

to arm us against temptations, afflictions, and sufferings, to fit us for all other duties and services.

(Thomas Brooks, Closet Prayer)

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Is Your Doctrine Useless?

j-c-ryleDoctrine is useless if it is not accompanied by a holy life. It is worse than useless; it does positive harm.

Something of ‘the image of Christ’ must be seen and observed by others in our private life, and habits, and character, and doings.  J.C. Ryle

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What Grace Is and Isn’t

HisgraceWhen someone says “Where’s your grace”, what do they really mean? Are they suggesting that the Spirit of God is no longer in you? I mean what is grace and can you see it? To me grace is something that reflects someone else. I know the meaning of grace is unmerited favor and we’re saved by God’s free grace Ephesians 2:8, 9 and sanctified by God’s free grace. 1 Corinthians 6:11

I know there is God’s common grace which He bestows on all people as He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. Matthew 5:45.

To me grace has to be connected to the One who gave us life 2 Corinthians 5:17, who died so we can be saved by grace alone Ephesians 2:8, 9 and that is our Lord Jesus Christ 2 Corinthians 5:21. Grace is God’s sovereign plan before the foundation of the world to save sinners, the elect who deserves His wrath Ephesians 1:1-11.

Amazing GraceGrace is not something that we jump in and out of, Paul says we stand in grace Romans 5:2 and that grace reigns through righteousness Romans 5:21. To me grace is being clothed in Christ Galatians 3:27, To me grace is being made into the image of Christ 2 Corinthians 3:18 Romans 8:29.

Peter said grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18. Grace is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ, and making no provision for the flesh Romans 13:14. Grace comes from Christ!

Grace instructs us “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, 12 instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, Titus 2:11-12

Yes we do enjoy liberty from the bondage of sin because of this grace Romans 8:12, so What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6:1-2 . Remember grace reigns through righteousness Romans 5:21. This grace is not a license to do and say whatever we want as believers, Paul says absolutely not!

What grace isn’t!

  • Grace is not the apologist for your sin! Spurgeon said it best. “Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin”
  • Grace is not fire insurance (from Hell) with no obedience to His word and to the One that saved you.
  • Grace does not enable or allow people to say and do anything they want contrary to the word of God for the sake of unity in the body of Christ.
  • Grace does not continually allow people to hover in mediocrity with their faith, with a steady diet of milk Hebrews 5:12, Peter says grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ 2 Peter 3:18.
  • Grace does not say to forgo truth for the sake of love. but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, Ephesians 4:15

Grace

Grace is the work of God that altered this mans life!

I am saved and sanctified by grace, His amazing grace!
Where’s your grace?
You’ll find it in Christ!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Read The Word of God

“I have not departed from the command of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12

SpurgeonYou know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured. (C.H.Spurgeon) HT: Grace Gems

I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Bible is Sufficient

WheneverAman

 

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Cut the Word of Truth Straight!

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NASB

tozer-quoteI think this has to be one of the most important verses in the bible on the word of God for the edification of the body of Christ, Straightforward EXEGESIS must be the aim of all teachers of the word of God.

I can remember times before I bring a lesson to my Sunday school class and saying to myself, did I dig enough into the text and what I’m bringing is it right, is it accurate and did I do proper exegesis? It’s so important to get it right!

Especially in light of James 3:1 Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

There is so many things James could have started out on about our tongue and he chooses teaching… When he writes “Let not many of you become teachers”

James is not trying to discouraged teaching and teachers here, we know that gifted teachers are one of the hardest positions to fill in the Church, but James writes let not many of you become one! Why and why here in this section about the tongue? He could have started out about lying, swearing and gossip or anything our deceiving tongue does, but no, he starts out with “Teaching” And this is why…

The most serious thing that can flow from our tongue is the distorting and misrepresenting of God’s word, the Word of God is not a bendable kid’s toy to twist and bend, reading into the text or taking the TEXT OUT OF CONTEXT helps no one and will lead to our shame before God if we do so.

texts

Exegesis is the act of critically interpreting a text in an attempt to draw the meaning out of the text, unlike eisegesis, where one reads his own meaning into the text. Paul is telling Timothy to interpret a text in an attempt to draw the exact meaning out of the text ( accurately handling the word of truth), not to insert his own meaning into the text or quarrel about words or godless chatter 2 Timothy 2:14, 16.

Paul says to be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman, as a friend of mine recently said to me “a leader and teacher must do his due diligence before bringing us the word of God.” Wuest  says “Do your best, make haste, give diligence, hurry on, be eager to show yourself approved unto God.”

cutting straight

Vincent defines the word orthotomeō (ὀρθοτομεω) (Rightly Dividing or Accurately Handling), “to cut straight,” as paths, “to hold a straight course, to make straight, to handle rightly.” He says: “The thought is that the minister of the gospel is to present the truth rightly, not abridging it, not handling it as a charlatan, not making it a matter of wordy strife (v. 14), but treating it honestly and fully, in a straightforward manner.” (Wuest)

Paul told Timothy to skillfully, diligently and accurately teach the word of God so he wouldn’t be like those who are worldly chatterers. 2 Timothy 2:14, 16

So the teacher of God’s word must teach the word consistent with God’s intended meaning and purpose, and as my dear Mother said over and over to me…

 “You won’t be popular, but you won’t be ashamed before God and that’s a beautiful thing!”

The teacher who is accurately handling the word of truth
has a deep concern for the welfare of those he’s teaching!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Act Like Men!

Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13

horatius-bonar“Be men! In courage; not cowards, turning our back on the foe, or giving way in danger, or reproach, or evil days. In solidity; not shifting or shadowy, but immoveable as the rock. In strength; as the man is, so is his strength. Be strong! In wisdom. Foolishness is with childhood, wisdom with manhood. Speak and act with wisdom, as men. In ripeness. The faculties of men are ripe, both for thinking and working. They speak ripe words, think ripe thoughts, plan and execute ripe things.

In understanding be men! In all things – what you do, and what you refrain from doing, be men. Act the manly part – let nothing effeminate, luxurious, sickly, childish, puny, little, narrow be seen about you. Christianity makes men, not babes. Adorn the doctrine of Christ by your manliness. In the Church, in the world, in business, in conversation, in prosperity, and adversity, [act] like men! Let no man despise you; and let no man despise the Gospel because of you.”  Horatius Bonar Bible Thoughts on 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, The Christian Treasury, 1864.

Be on the alert,
stand firm in the faith,
act like men, be strong.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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