The Cross – The Work of Jesus Christ
The Atonement – The Grace of the Gospel
And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,
that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. NASB
His Grace is greater than all of our sin
Dear reader, consider that if in fact your are a Christian having trusted Christ as Savior and Lord, then the reality of God’s forgiveness for your sins is true, objective and eternal. This means that the FACT is your sin IS forgiven by God, and your are free from it completely. Consider that no matter how great your sin may have been in the past, or how great it is now in the present, if you believe in the Lord Jesus and His atoning death, and this with a repentant heart, God’s grace is much greater to forgive you then His Law is to condemn you! This is because Jesus atonement for your sin is absolutely perfect and complete!
Romans 5:19-21 – 19 For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 And the Law came in that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. NASB
“Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” The mountain of God’s grace “abounds all the more” over the mole hill of our sin! Sin is serious. More than that it is dangerously deadly, but God’s provision for our sin in Jesus is more powerful to forgive than His Law is to condemn. This is because Jesus has met both the penal sanctions and the perceptive requirements of the Law. It is fulfilled in Christ and we are in Him! The Gospel tells us that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). So the question becomes will we believe our feelings and emotions or will we believe Christ Jesus and His Gospel? CJ Mahaney in his book, “The Cross Centered Life” gives a word about how to beat condemnation…. “Here’s how to beat condemnation. Confess your sin to God. Then believe in Him. Exercise the gift of faith that God has given you to believe that Jesus died for the very sins you’re being condemned for. The punishment He received was for you. His resurrection is proof that God accepted Jesus sacrifice. The sins of your past and the sin you just committed were all atoned for; you need carry their weight no more. You can’t do it. That’s why Jesus did it for you. Being freed from condemnation doesn’t require that we forget or deny the depth and depravity of our sins, whether they are sins committed prior to our conversion or sins committed since our conversion. In fact, if we want to know the joy and gratitude that the woman at Jesus feet experienced, we must start by acknowledging and owning up to our many sins. Paul called himself the worst of sinners (1 Tim 1:16). He wasn’t paralyzed by condemnation. He was exalting God’s grace by recognizing his own unworthiness and sin as he marveled at the mercy of God.” Now friends, this is where we should be in our struggle against sin. We should be marveling at the grace of God. Our sin is real, and it is deplorable. But God’s grace in Christ is greater than all of it! Therefore let us come clean and acknowledge our sins, and then let us remind ourselves of the glorious truth of the Gospel, “sin increased, grace abounded.”
Preaching the Gospel to yourself daily
Dear friends, if the Cross and Atonement of our Lord Jesus Christ is the central event in all of human history, and it is, then shouldn’t it also be the central theme of our daily lives? Yes indeed! As we seek to glorify and enjoy God all the days of our life, we will never see and appreciate the glory of God as clearly as we do when we reflect on Calvary’s Cross. There is the blazing center of the glory of God! There we see the attributes of God with piercing clarity! There is cause for worship and adoration toward God and His Son, our blessed Savior Jesus Christ! Consider how Paul saw his life as defined by the very Gospel itself.
Galatians 2:20 – 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. NASB
To Paul, the cross was very personal, and it should be to us. “I have been crucified with Christ,” exclaims Paul, and “I no longer live!” These are powerful words indeed, but he goes on, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.” Paul’s life is defined by the Gospel. The “life I live”, he says, is defined by what Jesus did for me! Oh dear reader, how we need to be reminded of this everyday! Each and everyday we need to come to God through the cross, and see all of His beauty and the design of our lives as fulfilled in and through our Lord Jesus and what He has done for us! CJ Mahaney outlines in his book, five ways that we can keep the cross central in our daily lives. Here they are with a few comments both from him and myself.
1. Memorize the Gospel – Memorizing Scripture about God’s grace and forgiveness in Christ is a powerful way to be always and continually reminded of what he has done!
(Gal 2:20-21, Isa 53:3-6, Rom 3:21-26, 5:6-11, 8:32-39, 1 Cor 15:3-4, 2 Cor 5:21)
2. Pray the Gospel – As we approach God in prayer, let us be reminded just how heinous our sin is and how glorious is the life and death of Christ to overcome it. This will surely enrich our prayer life like no other thing can.
3. Sing the Gospel – Each day is another opportunity to celebrate and relish in the goodness of God’s grace to us in Christ Jesus! Dear Christian, has God given you a voice? Then employ it for that which it was created, to sing the high praises of God and His Christ! Make sure you songs are centered on the cross and the atonement.
4. Review how the Gospel has changed you – Consider that you are not the same person you used to be! You have come a long way in Christ! It is a very helpful and encouraging thing to remember all that Christ has done to change us and how far we have come! It is important for us to consider what pitiful sinners we were, and how deplorable our sin was. More than this, we glorify God for His grace when we see how the power of the cross has literally changed our life! Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!
5. Study the Gospel – Oh so much to learn about our glorious God and all that He has done for us in Christ. Surely the deeper our knowledge and understanding of the cross, the deeper and more profound our worship and appreciation to God for what He has done. Below is a list of good books which will help you in your understanding of the Bible concerning the cross and the Gospel. There is also a web link to some great material.
John Stott – The Cross of Christ
Leon Morris – The Atonement
Jerry Bridges – The Discipline of Grace
The Power of the Cross – CH Spurgeon
The Cross and Christian Ministry – DA Carson
Living the Cross Centered Life – CJ Mahaney
The Cross and Salvation – Bruce Demarest
This teaching is a part of a 12 month series called "The Savior, The Cross, and The Gospel" ….
See all the audio here….. http://www.heritageabq.org/teaching/seriesview/36/
This teaching can be heard on audio here:
If you would like to know how to know Jesus Christ and be ransomed from your sins and receive eternal life…..click here to find out how…..
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Heritage Christian Fellowship – ABQ
The Lord is the Strength of My Life
Posted By Blogger to HeavensLight at 12/05/2012 02:54:00 PM