Revival Sermons

Theology => The Cross => Topic started by: restoretruth on April 25, 2011, 11:23:19 AM

Title: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: restoretruth on April 25, 2011, 11:23:19 AM
THE DEPTH OF GOD'S COMPASSION & THE SINFULNESS OF SIN IS REVEALED BY THE CROSS

... If sinners can be led to give one earnest look at the cross, if they can obtain a full view of the crucified Saviour, they will realize the depth of God's compassion and the sinfulness of sin.  {AA 209.2}

  CHRIST'S DEATH PROVES GOD'S GREAT LOVE FOR MAN. IT IS OUR PLEDGE OF SALVATION.

     Christ's death proves God's great love for man. It is our pledge of salvation. To remove the cross from the Christian would be like blotting the sun from the sky. The cross brings us near to God, reconciling us to Him. With the relenting compassion of a father's love, Jehovah looks upon the suffering that His Son endured in order to save the race from eternal death, and accepts us in the Beloved.  {AA 209.3}  

 WITHOUT THE CROSS, MAN COULD HAVE NO UNION WITH THE FATHER

     Without the cross, man could have no union with the Father. On it depends our every hope. From it shines the light of the Saviour's love, and when at the foot of the cross the sinner looks up to the One who died to save him, he may rejoice with fullness of joy, for his sins are pardoned. Kneeling in faith at the cross, he has reached the highest place to which man can attain.  {AA 209.4}  

GOD FORBID THAT I SHOULD GLORY, SAVE IN THE CROSS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

    Through the cross we learn that the heavenly Father loves us with a love that is infinite. Can we wonder that Paul exclaimed, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"? Galatians 6:14. It is our privilege also to glory in the cross, our privilege to give ourselves wholly to Him who gave Himself for us. Then, with the light that streams from Calvary shining in our faces, we may go forth to reveal this light to those in darkness.  {AA 210.1}  

Please post some of your favorite Bible texts or SOP quotes or personal comments about the lesson or meaning of the Cross, or your personal testimony of what Christ's death on the Cross means to you! Please keep it fairly short & allow someone else to post before posting again. If you haven't posted before or are new to the forum, this would be a good place to start. Everyone is welcomed to become involved!
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on April 26, 2011, 12:09:11 AM
Restore,
Those are wonderful quotes. Thanks for sharing them.

It is in the study of the cross, that I have learned lessons about difficult trials that we go through.

Think of the suffering that our Lord endured. This sacrifice for sin was planned in eternity past, long before the world was created.

There has been no human suffering greater than what Jesus endured. There is no suffering or trial that we can endure, that He would not understand, or be able to walk with us through these trials. We have a Savior who has endured everything for us, and He will help us endure to the end.

Here is a quotation from John Stott from His classic work "The Cross of Christ" on human suffering and the cross:

I could never myself believe in God if it were not for the cross. In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after awhile I have had to turn away. And in imagination, I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through his hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in God-forsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross which symbolizes divine suffering.
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: restoretruth on April 27, 2011, 10:13:23 PM


It is in the study of the cross, that I have learned lessons about difficult trials that we go through.

Think of the suffering that our Lord endured. This sacrifice for sin was planned in eternity past, long before the world was created.

There has been no human suffering greater than what Jesus endured. There is no suffering or trial that we can endure, that He would not understand, or be able to walk with us through these trials. We have a Savior who has endured everything for us, and He will help us endure to the end.


Yes, our own trials are insignificant compared to the trials that Christ went through for us! And to think that He bears the form of humanity for all the ages of eternity, with the scars as a reminder to us of what our salvation cost!

"And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends."
Zec 13:6 

"Jesus will present His hands with the marks of His crucifixion. The marks of this cruelty He will ever bear. Every print of the nails will tell the story of man's wonderful redemption and the dear price by which it was purchased...."  {EW 179.2} 
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: restoretruth on May 03, 2011, 10:29:46 AM
THE LAMB SLAIN IS OUR ONLY HOPE. ..

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 1 John 2:1. {OHC 49.1}  

     How careful is the Lord Jesus to give no occasion for a soul to despair. How He fences about the soul from Satan's fierce attacks. If through manifold temptations we are surprised or deceived into sin, He does not turn from us and leave us to perish. No, no, that is not our Saviour.... He was tempted in all points like as we are; and having been tempted, He knows how to succor those who are tempted. Our crucified Lord is pleading for us in the presence of the Father at the throne of grace. His atoning sacrifice we may plead for our pardon, our justification, and our sanctification. The Lamb slain is our only hope. Our faith looks up to Him, grasps Him as the One who can save to the uttermost, and the fragrance of the all-sufficient offering is accepted of the Father.  {OHC 49.2}
 
     If you make failures and are betrayed into sin, do not feel then you cannot pray ... but seek the Lord more earnestly.  {OHC 49.3}
 
     The blood of Jesus is pleading with power and efficacy for those who are backslidden, for those who are rebellious, for those who sin against great light and love. Satan stands at our right hand to accuse us, and our Advocate stands at God's right hand to plead for us. He has never lost a case that has been committed to Him. We may trust in our Advocate; for He pleads His own merits in our behalf.... He is making intercession for the most lowly, the most oppressed and suffering, for the most tried and tempted ones. With upraised hands He pleads, "I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands." Isaiah 49:16.  {OHC 49.4}
 
     I would I might sound the glad note to earth's remotest bounds. "If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." Oh, precious redemption! How broad this great truth is-- that God for Christ's dear sake, forgives us the moment we ask Him in living faith, believing that He is fully able!  {OHC 49.5}
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: V. Hahn on May 04, 2011, 10:44:21 AM
Great words of hope!  Thanks, Restoretruth!
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on May 07, 2011, 02:17:14 PM
If one googles the title of the thread (Lessons of the Cross) Restore started, you will find some very good material:

Here is another article having to do with how the Cross helps us deal with tragedy in our own lives.

http://www.grovergunn.net/andrew/990905b.htm

Lessons from the Cross for Tragic Times

Here are some excerpts:

Life as we know it can be filled with painful events. There can be:

the death of a beloved friend or relative

the loss of our precious health

the destruction of our valued possessions

the frustration of our careful plans

the dashing of our hopes.

And every now and then there will be a painful event of such proportions that we call it a tragedy. When a tragedy occurs, some raise the question: "How can God, if there is a God, allow such a thing to happen?" A number of years ago, a memorial service was held on the rim of the Grand Canyon in memory of the victims of a tragic plane collision. In the midst of the service, an angry young man cried out, "Where was God when this happened?" The minister in charge of the service stopped and answered the question for all to hear: "He was in the same place He was when cruel men took His only Son and crucified Him on a cross." The minister could not have voiced a more appropriate response.

God has not answered all our questions about the painful details of our lives, but He has revealed to us many profound truths about the death of His Son upon a Roman cross some two thousand years ago. That event is at the center of our religion. The Roman cross has become a universal symbol of Christianity. If we can understand and believe what the Bible teaches us about the cross of Jesus, then we should be prepared to deal with any and every tragedy which can confront us.

We must then compare these heights of stature and promise to the depths to which Jesus descended in His humiliation. He who deserved all earthly honor and glory instead experienced the shameful and painful death of the cross. His suffering was extraordinary even when considered only in terms of the physical pain and social humiliation. Yet such an evaluation would be superficial because His greatest suffering was in the spiritual realm. As the second Adam, the sinless Jesus accepted responsibility for the sins of His people, thus interrupting the constant communion between His human spirit and the heavenly Father. At this point in time, the Savior cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" This is when He who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become in Him the righteousness of God (2 Cor. 5:21). This is when He who was spiritually rich experienced spiritual impoverishment that we His people might receive the riches of His grace (2 Cor. 8:9). This is when the Blessed One became a curse in our place that God's blessing might come upon us (Gal. 3:13-14). The inner pain He experienced during this sacrificial ordeal is beyond our comprehension. His heart was infinitely sensitive, not at all calloused through the deadening effects of sin. Upon that sensitive heart, God poured out His wrath against sin. Jesus felt the pain, the humiliation, the rejection.

When one compares the infinite height of Jesus' glory with the infinite depths of His pain and humiliation, then one must conclude that His experience upon the cross was the greatest of all possible tragedies. If there are lessons in Scripture to enable us to cope with this greatest of all tragedies, then these lessons can equip us also to deal with all the lesser pains and sorrows of life.

There are many lessons to draw from all this which will be in the next post.

Stan
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on May 07, 2011, 02:22:29 PM
Lesson One: God Was in Control

The first lesson of the cross is that God was in control of the situation. The cross was not some unanticipated event that threatened to ruin God's plans for history. On the contrary, God both planned and prophesied the cross. We read in our text for today that Jesus was "delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God" (v. 23). The same truth is expressed differently in the prayer recorded in Acts 4:27-28:

For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.
Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 contain remarkably detailed prophecies of our Savior's suffering upon the cross written centuries before the fact. God could predict the circumstances of the cross in such astounding detail because God had foreordained them all. The God of Scripture "works all things according to the counsel of His will" (Eph. 1:11). He plans the details of history, and then brings them to pass (Ps. 33:8-11; 135:6; Isa. 14:24,27; 46:9-11; Dan. 4:35).

Some argue that God is not in control of the events of history. They want an easy answer for those who cry out in anger, "Where was God when this tragedy occurred?" They want to be able to reply, "You can't blame God because God is not in control." Here is a case where the cure is worse than the disease. The best such an argument can do is to replace anger with despondency. If God is not in control, then who or what is? Is life but a mechanical outworking of an impersonal fate? Is each event in life but the throw of the dice, the arbitrary happenstance of unpredictable chance? Or are we at the mercy of the malicious whims of more powerful people and devils? This means that at best life is meaningless, without significance or purpose. At worst, it is a cruel conspiracy and an unjust power play. What comfort is there here?

If God is in control, then there is genuine hope and comfort for God's people. God in His perfect wisdom knows what is truly best in every situation. He alone knows every possible factor and contingency and ramification. God's love for His people is beyond question. He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him might not perish but have everlasting life. If this God of perfect wisdom and sacrificial love is also the God of sovereign power who is in control, then we know there must be a worthy purpose behind every event.

This is the basic message of the book of Job. From Job's perspective, his sufferings appeared to serve no purpose. Yet the reader of the inspired account is brought behind the scenes and is shown the purpose in it all. God permitted Satan to afflict Job in order to demonstrate that Job's commitment to God was not a superficial allegiance conditioned upon material blessings. The pain and loss Job experienced worked to God's glory before a watching spirit world which is invisible to us. And the God of Scripture is so infinitely great and glorious that the greatest gift He can possibly give to any of us is the privilege of bringing Him glory. There is no greater kindness, no higher favor, no greater mercy. Such is the greatness of the God of Scripture, a greatness we easily underestimate. God never told Job His specific reasons for allowing Satan to afflict Job, but God did remind Job about His wisdom and power (Job 38:1-42:6). And that is all we need to remember and know in our own hardships. If God in all His wisdom and love is in control of the events of my life, then there must be a purpose.

This was the comfort Jesus experienced during His suffering. At Gethsemane, in His dread of the cross, He sweat as it were great drops of blood. He prayed to be delivered from the impending ordeal, but His final request was, "Nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42). For the joy that was set before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame (Heb. 12:2). His joy was obeying the will of the Father. He knew His suffering on the cross was necessary for the redemption of God's people. He knew that His ordeal would bring God glory. God was in control, and God had a purpose. His suffering, great as it was, was anything but senseless. That can be our comfort as well.
-----------------

Stan

Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on May 07, 2011, 02:27:53 PM
Lesson Two: God Was Not to Blame

The second lesson of the cross is that God was not to blame. Acts 2:23, the verse which says that Jesus was "delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God," also refers to the "lawless hands"of those who took and crucified Him. The word "lawless" implies that the human agents are the ones properly held accountable for this evil act.

The betrayal by Judas had been foreordained, prophesied and even foreshadowed in redemptive history by Ahithophel's betrayal of David. Yet Judas and not God is held accountable for this treasonous sin.
Here we have a mystery beyond our comprehension. We must accept that there are secret things not revealed to us which belong only to the Lord (Deut. 29:29). God is able to plan and supervise every event such that He alone is truly in control. Yet at the same time, no free agent, whether human or demonic, can rightfully blame God for any sinful choice he has made (James 1:13-14).

In fact, to say that we cannot blame God is an under-statement. God's hatred of sin and His grief over evil infinitely exceed our own. Who are we to think that we have more sensitive consciences than God? Instead of being bitter at God for the evil that occurs, we should recognize Him as the One whose grief over evil and anger over sin are far beyond our own. In regard to the tragedy of the cross, no one experienced greater empathetic anguish than the Father "who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all" (Rom. 8:32).

God is in sovereign control, and yet the decisions and choices and acts of free agents are so genuinely their own that they and not God are responsible for them. We cannot begin to understand how God can accomplish this. We simply have to accept that some things which are impossible with men even to understand, are possible with God (Luke 18:27).

God is in control, and so we know that history is not running amok and that our trials are not without a redeeming purpose. At the same time, God hates all sinful acts and is in no way responsible for them. He shares our grief and outrage over sin. This is the second lesson of the cross.
--------------------------------

One more major lesson to be learned in the next post.

Stan


Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: Soli Deo Gloria on May 07, 2011, 02:33:28 PM
Lesson Three: God Delivered and Exalted Jesus

The third and final lesson of the cross is that God delivers the faithful who keep covenant with Him. This is certainly true in regard to Jesus and the cross. Jesus' humiliation had a purpose. It lasted but a short time, and then God delivered Him from it by exalting Him with a heavenly exaltation which will endure throughout eternity. This is taught in many places in the New Testament, but perhaps it is most eloquently expressed in these words:

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:8-11

Though sin still clings to the best of our efforts, God will deliver and reward us also when we keep covenant with Him. Jesus, our High Priest and our Sacrifice, will cleanse our works and make them acceptable in God's sight. Our trials will last but a short time, and then God will exalt us and reward us throughout eternity. Thus we read:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Romans 8:18
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, ...
2 Corinthians 4:17
Paul knew what afflictions are, what it means to share the suffering of Christ (Col. 1:24). He had experienced beatings, floggings, stonings and shipwrecks in his missionary service. And yet he says that compared to the coming weight of glory, these earthly afflictions are but light experiences. And compared to the eternity of that coming glory, these afflictions are but for a moment.
At the beginning of this sermon, I said that there is a sense in which the cross of Christ represents the greatest possible tragedy of all history. If you compare the height of His glory to the depths of His humiliation, if you look upon the cross through a narrow slit in isolation from subsequent events, then that is true. But when we look upon the cross in terms of the broader picture which takes into account the final outcome, then the cross is not tragic at all. A true tragedy involves a fatal or disastrous conclusion, and that certainly is not true of the cross broadly considered. The final outcome is resurrection, ascension and eternal glory.

As the people of God, we too experience tragedies only in the narrow sense of the word. In the broader sense which takes into account the final outcome, our tragedies are only apparent tragedies. For we believe that the same God who raised Jesus from the dead will work all things to the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28). You can go to a shipyard where steel plates are being riveted together to form a ship. If you take any one of those steel plates and throw it alone into the ocean, it will sink. Yet if you wait until the last steel plate has been riveted into place and then launch the ship, it not only floats, it is virtually unsinkable. And so it is with the Christian's painful experiences. In isolation, they sink into the sea of meaninglessness. Riveted to the ship of God's plan for history, they sail the sea of God's eternal glory and our ultimate good.

Conclusion

If you are a Christian, the next time you encounter an apparent tragedy in life, remember the lessons of the cross. Do not become despondent, but remember that God is in control and has a reason. Do not be bitter, but remember that God shares our pain and grief over evil. And do not give up hope, but trust in the God who delivers and rewards those who keep covenant with Him.

If you are not a Christian, then you too need to look to the cross, not for lessons but for salvation. You need Jesus to deliver you from the just consequences of your sin. If you do not look to Jesus for your salvation, the outcome will be both fatal and disastrous, a true tragedy for you in every sense of the word.

------------------
Sorry for running posts together, but I was so blessed by this article that I had to share it.  :-)

Stan
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: restoretruth on May 07, 2011, 05:11:52 PM
The Blessed Hope

    " Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13.  {HP 352.1}  

     "Jesus said He would go away and prepare mansions for us, that where He is there we may be also. We shall ever dwell with and enjoy the light of His precious countenance. My heart leaps with joy at the cheering prospect. We are almost home. Heaven, sweet heaven! It is our eternal home. I am glad every moment that Jesus lives, and because He lives we shall live also. My soul says, Praise the Lord. There is a fullness in Jesus, a supply for each, for all, and why should we die for bread or starve in foreign lands?  {HP 352.2}  

     "I hunger, I thirst for salvation, for entire conformity to the will of God. We have a good hope through Jesus. It is sure and steadfast and entereth into that within the veil. It yields us consolation in affliction, it gives us joy amid anguish, disperses the gloom around us, and causes us to look through it all to immortality and eternal life. . . . Earthly treasures are no inducement to us, for while we have this hope it reaches clear above the treasures of earth that are passing away and takes hold of the immortal inheritance, the treasures that are durable, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fade not away. . . .  {HP 352.3}  

    "Our mortal bodies may die and be laid away in the grave. Yet the blessed hope lives on until the resurrection, when the voice of Jesus calls forth the sleeping dust. We shall then enjoy the fullness of the blessed, glorious hope. We know in whom we have believed. We have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. A rich, a glorious reward is before us; it is the prize for which we run, and if we persevere with courage we shall surely obtain it. . . .  {HP 352.4}  

     "There is salvation for us, and why do we stay away from the fountain? Why not come and drink that our souls may be refreshed, invigorated, and may flourish in God? Why do we cling so closely to earth? There is something better than earth for us to talk about and think of. We can be in a heavenly frame of mind. Oh, let us dwell upon Jesus' lovely, spotless character, and by beholding we shall become changed to the same image. Be of good courage. Have faith in God."  {HP 352.5} 

Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: ColporteurK on June 01, 2014, 05:51:26 AM

 A lady made a profound statement during Sabbath school yesterday. She spoke of the thief on the cross that was saved.

 " It was the law that took him to the cross  and grace that saved him."
Title: Re: LESSONS OF THE CROSS
Post by: newbie on June 01, 2014, 11:10:40 AM

 A lady made a profound statement during Sabbath school yesterday. She spoke of the thief on the cross that was saved.

 " It was the law that took him to the cross  and grace that saved him."
yes, I agree...