“But someone will say, ‘you have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works” (James 2:18) and, “For as the body apart from the spiritis dead, so also faith apart from works is dead” (James 2:26).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Cross

What does the Cross mean to you? For some, it represents a horrendous and brutal death that one Jesus of Nazareth suffered a couple of thousand of years ago because Jewish leaders believed their positions of power were threatened. These leaders forced the hand of Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea to crucify Jesus. To others, while this explanation is true, there is even a far deeper and more astounding reason. Jesus was actually paying the sin debt of humanity to God the Father, who requires a perfect blood sacrifice for sin. And for those who believe this is true, and believe that God the Father accepted Jesus' atonement for sin, see the Cross as a symbol of eternal salvation: that Jesus died once and for all. The New Living Translation states (1 Peter 3-18)  "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." A parallel to this is found in the Book of Hebrews, 9:28. The English Standard Version writes: "so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." I urge all to consider the love of God in his reaching out to all of us. While using the term "sin" is not fashionable, and tolerance for all types of behavior is accepted, we need to rethink the absolute commands of God. God's ways are NOT our ways. "My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9). 

Confess and turn from your sins. Turn to the living God. If you accept Jesus in what he did for you personally on the Cross, you will have hope, peace, and eternal salvation.

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