The Cross of Christ posted by jwatson on Dec 15, 2011
The simplicity and sufficiency of the EE gospel presentation:
Our response to a God who demonstrated exactly what this means:
“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”John 15:13 NIV
In presenting the gospel, this truth is the greatest of all the concepts that we are sharing with others. Every “god” of every religion has some elements of what we think a “god” should be like – power, perfection, incarnate in some way, wisdom, immortality, sovereignty and bountiful provision – but not one “god” has this unfathomable glory, this inconceivable love, this immeasurable grace, this matchless condescension, this powerful determination to bless His creatures at the cost of His own life, “even while we were yet sinners” Romans 5:8
The cross of Jesus Christ, the pivotal point of history and eternity
Why is it important to tell people that God has humbled Himself, making Himself subject to death for our sake?
The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished two major things on the cross – He took the penalty of sin for all people everywhere, past, present and future, so that we could be forgiven. He also dismantled Death, the ultimate weapon of mass destruction, and rendered it powerless.
There is an important principle in His victory: He had to “fight fire with fire”. The only way He could pull death’s sting was to die. The only way He could turn Satan’s weapon against him was to die in doing so.
A lot of people are angry at God. How could a loving God create a hell in which people would suffer eternal torment? How could God condemn people to hell when He knew full well that the best of us had no hope of coming anywhere close to His required standard of perfection? And they are right! God would be monstrously unjust if he condemned all of us to eternal torment, knowing that the standard He set was impossible to reach – if He didn’t also provide an attainable way of escape!
wonderful news it is, to be told that the only requirement to be forgiven, restored, healed, made whole, to receive a life of eternal bliss in His presence, to experience a life of joy, peace and love in all its fullness – the only requirement is to believe that He is there, that He is able to rescue us, and to trust in Him for our salvation. The simplest person on the planet can do that. You don’t have to be rich, educated, healthy or anything else to have faith. You don’t have to have an impeccable history of righteousness to have faith. Your skin color has nothing to do with having faith, neither does your age, your nationality or your gender. All you have to do to be saved is to believe and to ask.
The other side of the coin, of course, is this – “how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?” Hebrews 2:3 NIV. Once someone has heard and understood the good news of salvation in Jesus, that person can never say they didn’t know. And on the day of His return they will have to account for their neglect of His precious offer of full and free salvation.
Many who have received Christ as Lord and Savior can give testimony of how they strove, worked and toiled to achieve some measure of righteousness, but failed completely. They would end up in deep despair, because they could not subdue their sinful nature on their own. And how, having received Christ, that has all changed. Now the person’s life is characterized by selflessness, service, humility and a sense of wonderful freedom. Their spirituality is no longer based on their performance, but on their living relationship with a loving God who laid down His life for them. Their lives now flow from a deep sense of gratitude to God.
That is why –
When sharing your faith, tell people that Jesus Christ died, not because He was unable to resist wicked men, but because He willingly laid down His life, knowing that it was the only way death could be finally conquered … and to face the death penalty that I deserved.
All that He asks of us is to trust in Him.
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”