This devotional by our pastor Randy Huddleston spoke to my heart, and I have his permission to share it with you.
The All-Sufficient Cross of Christ
Prepare yourself, take off your shoes because you are entering holy ground.
Sacrifice, selflessness, supreme, surprising, suffering, the Son of God nailed to a cross to die.
The injured party in the human drama was God. His joy and desire were to delight in the people he had made, but they turned on him and aligned themselves with his archenemy. God was stabbed in the back. The relationship was broken, and separation led to consequences for the hurt they had done. This was no small thing like spilled milk; this was the breakdown of divine and human connection, love, and the journey together. That brilliant, beautiful pair’s act of rebellion rippled like a tsunami across the created order affecting the animate and inanimate. It has come to you as part of creation and as a son or daughter of Adam and Eve.
When Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. Romans 5:12 (NLT2)
Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. Romans 8:20-21 (NLT2)
A solution was needed to sin, curse, and death. Neither human philosophy, self-made religion, or holier-than-thou living would be the solution. The solution had to come from above, and God provided it. He sent his Son.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 (NLT2)
Jesus, the God-man, Son of God, who lived a perfect and blameless life, humbled himself to be the sacrifice, the sufficient sacrifice to pay the penalty of sin. No other could do it. He knew the importance of what he did. His suffering and death were not to impress or please you but to provide justice before the Supreme Court of Highest Heaven. If the requirements of the highest law and Lawgiver were not met, there would be no future for humanity or this universe. Jesus on the cross was the all-sufficient, permanent, and perfect payment. He changed everything.
Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19 (NLT2)
Adam freely took from the tree and disobeyed God leading to death. Jesus willingly gave himself on the tree and fully obeyed God even to death. Adam’s death led to death for all. Jesus’ death leads to life.
Christ suffered for our sins once for all time. He never sinned, but he died for sinners to bring you safely home to God. He suffered physical death, but he was raised to life in the Spirit. 1 Peter 3:18 (NLT2)
Jesus’ death on the cross did it, once for all, no need for continued animal sacrifices. Jesus’ cross was God’s plan, and when it was finished, people could have new life in him. Trying to earn points to get into God’s good graces is of no value by comparison to the once for all sacrifice of Christ. Salvation is only by God’s grace; no one can earn it by what they think is good.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT2)
- Have you ever considered Jesus’ death on the cross insufficient and tried to do good things to be saved?
- No other historical event has done more to set people free than this one selfless solitary sacrifice on the cross. Has the cross of Christ enthralled you?
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After publishing my post “Redeemed” yesterday, I remembered the hymn “Redeemed” which our church sang when I was a child. The lyrics mean much more now to me than they did back then.
Thank You, Lord, for the classic hymns of the church. Amen.
By Fanny Crosby (Music by Wm. J. Kirkpatrick)
1 Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child, and forever I am.
redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
His child and forever I am.
2 Redeemed, and so happy in Jesus,
no language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell. [Refrain]
3 I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song. [Refrain]
4 I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night. (Refrain)
Found on Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vGm5LLsJyQY
where it is sung by the congregation at Temple Baptist Church in Powell, TN.
At times I have approached the Word of God—whether reading, hearing, or studying it—feeling fearful. I feared I could never do enough or that maybe I couldn’t please God or that I would find that I was a hopeless failure. That kind of thinking interfered with the benefit or growth I might have had.
But fear lies. The truth is that Jesus took care of my failures at the cross. Another truth: I could never be good enough to earn God’s love, but God loves me anyway. And another: I’ve received God’s gracious gift of salvation and have become His child. Furthermore, God has given me His Holy Spirit. He is a spirit of power, love and a sound mind (1 Tim. 1:7).
Because of these truths, I can look at Scripture in the faith that says God loves me and wants to show me His ways which are life-giving. When I use that filter—the faith filter—in my reading, hearing, and studying of God’s Word, I can learn to really live.
Thought provoking excellent sermon by Pastor Tom.
To hear many churches, the message of the gospel is this: “Jesus loves you. Now you are free to do whatever you want, as long as admit that you are a sinner, counting on Jesus to forgive you.” Brothers and sisters, that is not the message of the Gospel of Grace. That is not what Jesus preached, and it not what the apostles preached. Jesus and the apostles preached repentance and faith.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer:
Download Matthew Part 76
Matthew #76 Matthew 21:28-45
I want to remind all of you that we most certainly depend upon your prayers for us, in very real and practical ways. Right now we could use prayers for guidance, encouragement and for the Lord to continue to use…
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Behold the cross!
The Lamb has died.
God in flesh
They did not take
His life away.
He laid it down
Our debt to pay.
He bore it all–
The hate, the jeers,
The body’s pain.
So all who would
Redeemed might be
And free from sin–
Behold the tomb!
It’s empty, bare
Except for grave cloths
Proved He’s the One–
God’s own Son.
Come, He calls,
And follow Me.
Life from above
You can receive.
Full life now
And ever more
With our triune God,
Several years ago, one friend told me how she came to faith in Jesus Christ. She had attended a church most of her life and thought her relationship with God was fine. Then she ran onto Ezekiel 18:4 (“For all people are mine to judge—both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.”
It haunted her. Finally someone told her the good news that “…God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:21)”
So she prayed and asked God for forgiveness for her sin because of Christ’s sacrifice. That day she believed in and received Jesus as her Savior and Lord. The last time I heard from her, she was still following Jesus.
My own commitment to following Jesus Christ began when I was a child and involved some stumbling. My friend and I came to Jesus differently, but we have this in common—we believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Messiah of Israel, our Lord and Savior, and the only Way to the Father. He is Truth and the source of life now and forever.
If your faith and trust are in someone or something else (such as your good deeds, your religion, a church, your parents’ faith, or a belief that God is okay with our doing what we please and/or ignoring Him), please ask God to show you the truth about Himself and about Jesus. Do it today. His love for you is so great, and His plan of redemption is so marvelous that I don’t want you to miss out on it. God longs for us to be with Him forever, and we can be if we choose to go His way.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.”
John 3:16-18 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. 18 There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.”
(All Scriptures New Living Translation)
How wonderful that God uses evil to bring about good! There’s the familiar story of Joseph’s being sold into slavery in Egypt and rising to power second only to Pharaoh. He told his brothers when they feared retaliation that what they meant for evil, God meant for good (to save many people alive).
In Jonah 1, God sent a violent storm on the sea where a Phoenician ship carried a disobedient prophet Jonah. In Jonah 1:16, the sailors, who before had worshiped “local” gods, made sacrifices to the living God and vowed to serve Him.
Behold the cross! God took the evil of the crucifixion of His innocent Son and used it to redeem all of humankind. He laid all of our sin on Jesus so that all who believe in Jesus the Christ (Messiah) will be forgiven of their sin and will have eternal fellowship with our triune God.
The believing in and receiving Christ begins the everlasting life with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And along the way, I see God redeeming the brokenness in my life, using what others mean for evil and even my own failures for my good and His glory.
Indeed, God causes even the wrath of man to praise Him (Psalm 76:10a).
Among some other papers, I found a small spiral-bound notebook that belonged to my dad. It will be handy for quick notes of needed groceries, reminders, and prayer requests. When I use it, I’ll think of Daddy. Actually I do many things which remind me of Mama and Daddy, who have already passed into God’s presence.
Maybe that’s something like taking communion. Jesus said His disciples should eat the communion bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him. When I take the bread and wine/juice, it reminds me of what Jesus has done for me in taking my sins to the cross. It also makes me remember His resurrection and His soon return to take God’s children home.
Revelation 22:12 “Look, I [Jesus] am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.”
He comes, and His reward is with Him. Oh friend, be ready!
Isaiah 55:6-7: “Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
(Both Scriptures New Living Translation)
(Picture courtesy Andy Oldham: https://andyoldhamphotography.wordpress.com/ )
http://www.sermoncloud.com/grace-bible-church/glorious-abundance/ This sermon by our pastor Randy Huddleston was especially meaningful to me. One thing he points out is that God is so generous and kind that He invites everyone to share His eternal kingdom–anyone who desires may come and drink of the living water He offers. But we come and drink on God’s terms, not our own. We “wash our robes” in the blood of the Lamb. Again, it’s God’s way not our own way.
That invitation reminds me of a song I’ve heard Carroll Roberson sing: “Without Him.” Here are the lyrics:
Without Him I could do nothing
Without Him I’d surely fail
Without Him I would be drifting
Like a ship without a sail
Without Him I would be dying
Without Him I’d be enslaved
Without Him life would be worthless
But with Jesus thank God I’m saved
Oh Jesus, oh Jesus
Do you know Him today
Please don’t turn Him away
Oh Jesus, my Jesus
Without Him how lost I would be
Without Him how lost I would be
LE FEVRE, MYLON RAE
Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
One of the things Pastor Tom talks about here is the fact that the cross is JUSTICE for sin. “Jesus, by his suffering, has endured what sin deserves–all sin. …You can’t just…say ‘it doesn’t matter.’ You can’t say, ‘You’ll make it up next time you’re re-incarnated.” Nor can you say, “Do your best, and God forgives the rest.” No, sin must be accounted for. Justice must be done. Excellent sermon.
God’s grace is free to us, but it was not free to Him. It was very costly. It is free in the same sense that a diamond is free to the girl who is getting engaged. It is freely given, but it cost the giver a great deal. And like the diamond engagement ring, it is offered not just as a trinket, but as an invitation into a lifelong relationship that will change the course of our future forever.
To listen to the sermon, click the play button:
To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Easter Message 2015
LIFE FROM DEATH
On Good Friday, we remember the crucifixion of Jesus – how we was killed by torture on a Roman cross. On Easter Sunday, we celebrate his resurrection – the fact that he…
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