Tag Archives: the Cross

I Must be Holy for His Sake

SpurgeonThere was a day, as I took my walks abroad, when I came hard by a spot for ever engraven upon my memory, for there I saw this Friend, my best, my only Friend, murdered. I stooped down in sad affright, and looked at Him. I saw His hands had been pierced with rough iron nails, and His feet had been rent in the same way. There was misery in His dead countenance so terrible that I scarcely dared to look upon it. His body was emaciated with hunger, His back was red with bloody scourges, and His brow had a circle of wounds about it: clearly could one see that these had been pierced with thorns. I shuddered, for I had known this Friend full well. He never had a fault; He was the purest of the pure, the holiest of the holy. Who could have injured Him? For He never injured any man: all His life long “He went about doing good”; He had healed the sick, He had fed the hungry, He had raised the dead: for which of these works did they kill Him?

PropitiationHe had never breathed out anything else but love; and as I looked into the poor sorrowful face, so full of agony, and yet so full of love, I wondered who could have been a wretch so vile as to pierce hands like His. I said within myself, “Where can these traitors live? Who are these that could have smitten such an One as this?” had they murdered an oppressor, we might have forgiven them; had they slain one who had indulged in vice or villainy, it might have been his desert; had it been a murderer and a rebel, or one who had committed sedition, we would have said, “Bury this corpse: justice has at last given him his due.” But when Thou wast slain, my best, my only-beloved, where lodged the traitors? Let me seize them, and they shall be put to death. If there can be torments that I can devise, surely they shall endure them all. Oh! What jealousy, what revenge I felt! If I might but find these murderers, what would I not do with them!

The-Cross2And as I looked upon that corpse, I heard a footstep, and wondered where it was. I listened, and I clearly perceived hat the murderer was close at hand. It was dark, and I groped about to find him. I found that, somehow or other, wherever I put out my hand, I could not meet with him, for he was nearer to me than my hand would go. At last I put my hand upon my breast. “I have thee now,” said I; for lo! He was in my own heart; the murderer was hiding within my own bosom, dwelling in the recesses of my inmost soul. Ah! Then I wept indeed, that I in the very presence of my murdered Master, should be harbouring the murderer, and felt myself most guilty while I bowed over His corpse, and sang that plaintive hymn – “’Twas you, my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were; Each of my crimes became a nail, And unbelief the spear.

The Heart of the Bible. The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

The Heart of the Bible.
The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

Amid the rabble which hounded the Redeemer to His doom, there were some gracious souls whose bitter anguish sought vent in wailing and lamentations- fit music to accompany that march of woe. When my soul can, in imagination, see the Saviour bearing His cross to Calvary, she joins the godly women, and weeps with them; for, indeed, there is true cause for grief, cause lying deeper than those mourning women thought. They bewailed innocence maltreated, goodness persecuted, love bleeding, meekness about to die – but my heart has a deeper and more bitter cause to mourn. MY SINS were the scourges which lacerated those blessed shoulders, and crowned with thorns those bleeding brows; my sins cried – “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!” and laid the cross upon His gracious shoulders. His being led forth to die is sorrow enough for one eternity; but MY having been His murderer, is more, infinitely more grief than one poor fountain of tears can express.

If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am,  without strength as I am, then I cannot live in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to love and serve Him who has redeemed me. I cannot trifle with the evil which slew my best Friend. I must be holy for His sake. How can I live in sin when He has died to save me from it? From Spurgeon’s Autobiography The Great Change—Conversion

If Christ has died for me, ungodly as I am,
without strength as I am, then I cannot live
in sin any longer, but must arouse myself to
love and serve Him who has redeemed me.

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

 

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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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God has Already Forgiven all our Sins

See how red your guilt is. Mark the scarlet stain. If you were to wash your soul in the Atlantic Ocean, you might incarnadine every wave that washes all its shores, and yet the crimson spots of your transgression would still remain. But plunge into the “fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins,” and in an instant you are whiter than snow. Every speck, spot, and stain of sin is gone, and gone forever. C.H. Spurgeon

God has already forgiven all our sins one-and-for-all through the death of Jesus Christ. Why then do we need to keep on asking for His forgiveness? The answer of course is that we are not perfect, and never will be in this life. We keep on sinning. We break God’s commandments every day, in thought, word, and deed. And although all our sins have been forgiven – past, present, and future – sin still has a way of disturbing our fellowship with God. It interferes with our intimacy with Him, estranging us from His holiness. When we sin, therefore, our personal relationship with God needs to be restored. The Puritans called this “renewing our repentance.” It means asking God to take the forgiveness He has already granted through Christ’s death on the cross and to apply it freshly and directly to our sins. Philip Graham Ryken

Every speck, spot,
and stain of sin
is gone, and gone forever

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

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Sunday’s Here

“Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. Mark 16:6

“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. Acts 2:22-24

50 Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory. 55 O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

HALLELUJAH! WHAT A SAVIOR

Man of Sorrows! what a name
For the Son of God, who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
In my place condemned He stood;
Sealed my pardon with His blood.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
Spotless Lamb of God was He;
“Full atonement!” can it be?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Lifted up was He to die;
“It is finished!” was His cry;
Now in Heav’n exalted high.
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

When He comes, our glorious King,
All His ransomed home to bring,
Then anew His song we’ll sing:
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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The Crucifixion

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. 34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. 35 And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

44 It was now about tthe sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until tthe ninth hour, 45 because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. 49 And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things. (Luke 23:33-49 NASB)

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen wrappings only; and he went away to his home, marveling at what had happened. Luke 24:12

Sundays Coming!

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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God looks at us through His Son

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:8, 9, 10 and 11

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

“We may force our Lord to punish us, but we will never have to force Him to love us. That’s His nature.” Thomas Watson

HT: Frank Turk

Soli Deo Gloria
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Cling to the Cross!

Cling to the cross—though your sins rise up before you . . . like mountains for their size; like the sands on the sea shore for their number; and glowing like scarlet and crimson, in color!

For no sins, however great, or however numerous—should tempt us to despond, or to let go of our hold on the cross—seeing the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from ALL sin.

There is a ‘buoyancy’ in the cross—which will never let anyone sink, who clings to it!

If our sins were as ponderous as the globe, or as numerous as all the particles of created matter—yet embracing the cross of Jesus—they are all forgiven, and forgiven forever!

They are all blotted out—like the dark clouds, which obscured the sun for a little while on the summer’s morning!

They are all blotted out—like a stone cast from an angel’s hand into the depths of ocean!

They are all forgiven and forgotten forever! (James Smith, “Cling to the Cross!” 1857) HT: Grace Gems

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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The Centrality of the Cross

If the death of Christ on the cross is the true meaning of the Incarnation, then there is no gospel without the cross. Christmas by itself is no gospel. The life of Christ is no gospel. Even the resurrection, important as it is in the total scheme of things, is no gospel by itself. For the good news is not just that God became man, nor that God has spoken to reveal a proper way of life for us, or even that death, the great enemy, is conquered. Rather, the good news is that sin has been dealt with (of which the resurrection is a proof); that Jesus has suffered its penalty for us as our representative, so that we might never have to suffer it; and that therefore all who believe in him can look forward to heaven. …

Emulation of Christ’s life and teaching is possible only to those who enter into a new relationship with God through faith in Jesus as their substitute. The resurrection is not merely a victory over death (though it is that) but a proof that the atonement was a satisfactory atonement in the sight of the Father (Rom 4:25); and that death, the result of sin, is abolished on that basis. Any gospel that talks merely of the Christ-event, meaning the Incarnation without the atonement, is a false gospel. Any gospel that talks about the love of God without pointing out that his love led him to pay the ultimate price for sin in the person of his Son on the cross is a false gospel. The only true gospel is of the ‘one mediator’ (1 Tim. 2:5-6), who gave himself for us.

Finally, just as there can be no gospel without the atonement as the reason for the Incarnation, so also there can be no Christian life without it. Without the atonement the Incarnation theme easily becomes a kind of deification of the human and leads to arrogance and self advancement. With the atonement the true message of the life of Christ, and therefore also of the the life of the Christian man or woman, is humility and self sacrifice for the obvious needs of others. The Christian life is not indifference to those who are hungry or sick or suffering from some other lack.

It is not contentment with our own abundance, neither the abundance of middle class living with home and cars and clothes and vacations, nor the abundance of education or even the spiritual abundance of good churches, Bibles, Bible teaching or Christian friends and acquaintances. Rather, it is the awareness that others lack these things and that we must therefore sacrifice many of our own interests in order to identify with them and thus bring them increasingly into the abundance we enjoy. We will live for Christ fully only when we are willing to be impoverished, if necessary, in order that others might be helped.’ (Foundations of the Christian Faith by James Montgomery Boice)

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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MacArthur Monday

“The illegalities here are just blatant and consistent. Let’s start with an illegal arraignment, okay? An illegal arraignment…the verdict was in before the procedure began. The decision was made as to what they were going to do with Him, they were going to kill Him. The procedure was formality, looking for some reason to explain why they were killing Him. So verse 53 says, “They led Jesus away to the High Priest and all the Chief Priests and the elders and the scribes gathered together.” That’s the composite of the Sanhedrin. They have come together already in the middle of the night because Judas got them together to point out where He was. They’ve been to the Garden, they have Him under arrest. And now they’ve got to come up with some reason to execute Him. Matthew and Mark give us a record of His main trial before the Sanhedrin in the house of Caiaphas. John adds the first phase. So we have to leave Mark at this moment and go to John 18 for just a minute. John 18, because here you have the first phase of our Lord’s trial which is the arraignment.”

The Ultimate Miscarriage of Justice (Mark 14:53-65)

 

“And one might ask the question at this point, “How does God hold back? How does God restrain Himself for this is His beloved Son, the Son of His love in whom He is well pleased?” Shouldn’t such blasphemy be instantly responded to by God? Wouldn’t we expect that these people carrying out this sneering scorn at the expense of the blessed Son of God would be instantly annihilated and catapulted into hell? Shouldn’t fire fall from heaven and burn them up? Shouldn’t the ground open and swallow them whole into Sheol? Shouldn’t they be hit by God out of heaven and eaten by worms and died? You would expect our God, true and holy, to do that to these merciless, compassionless, wicked, sarcastic blasphemers of His beloved adored, magnificent, perfect Son. What is God doing? It appears as if He’s doing nothing.”

Divine Mercy for the Blasphemers (Mark 15:22-32)

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Jesus’ death is both Sufficient and Efficient

I always get a sense of peace, hope and joy that overwhelms me around this time of year, that Jesus death was so sufficient that He loved the whole world John 3:16 giving Himself as a ransom for all 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 and takes their sins away John 1:29. We read that He was reconciling the world to Himself 2 Corinthians 5:19, 20. Christ was a propitiation for our sins and those of the whole world 1 John 2:2

Wait! Paul’s not going to let this go, seem like he’s adding a qualifier… Paul says “For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men” ok that goes along with what we just learned, but Paul can’t and won’t let it go, so he adds this qualifier “especially of believers.” 1 Timothy 4:10. Christ death on the cross was sufficient for all but efficient for those who are His (“especially of believers.”) How efficient and how precise? Well, He chose us before the foundation of the world Ephesians 1:4 and even from the beginning 2 Thessalonians 2:13 knowing the ones He has chosen John 13:18.

I know, but Jesus says whoever comes to Me I will not cast out and he will live forever John 6:37 John 6:51, He does, because it is a matter of faith, we still have to put our trust in Christ and receive Him by faith. ” Because as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,” John 1:12 But you can’t separate verse 13 from 12 as many pastors do. The many who received Him have been born of God “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God John 1:13. The whoever that will come are the ones drawn by God John 6:44 and granted from the Father to believe John 6:65.

The angel of God told Joseph to call His name “Jesus,” Matthew 1:21 Why? “for he shall save his people from their sins.” All done by three words “It is finished” Through the precious blood of Christ, atonement has been effectually and irresistibly accomplished for those who are His. Justice was satisfied for God and He was both the Just and the Justifier for all who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ, so repent and believe Mark 1:15. What a beautiful and amazing grace this is, to save a wretch like me.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.

Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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