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Faithlife

I believe in the cross

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I believe in the cross because it shows the enormous love God has for us.

Dead Man Walking p.46-47

The love Sister Helen had for the death row inmate Poncelet is amazing and sacrificial. In prison, Poncelet was helpless, incapable to escape his disparate situation – death by lethal injection, but Sister Helen helped him and provided a deep seated need which is found in all humans; especially in Poncelet “love” He stated “I never had no real love myself. I never loved a woman or anybody else… It figures I would have to die to find love… Thank you for loving me.”

When I observe the cruelty and the brutality of the cross on which Jesus died, seeing His hands and His feet pieced with spikes. I am overwhelmed by Jesus’ sacrificial love, His unending grace and mercy, and with all that I can muster up and say like Poncelet “Thank you for loving me”

Read: Romans 5:6–8

    Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people. [7] Finding someone who would die for a godly person is rare. Maybe someone would have the courage to die for a good person. [8] Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God's love for us.

The Love of God has distinctive qualities attached, in that it operates irrespective of merit. Human love on the other hand is conditional and when love is shown is it demonstrated towards those who are lovable; but God’s love embraces even the unlovely.

C. S. Lewis once said: "it is easier to be enthusiastic about humanity with a capital "H" than it is to love individual men and women, especially those who are uninteresting, exasperating, depraved, or otherwise unattractive. Loving everybody in general may be an excuse for loving nobody in particular."...

Our love and Gods love for people operates on two completely different levels, as C.S.Lewis says it is easier to love humanity with a capital “H” than it is to love one individual- our love discriminates, where selective. Whereas God’s love embraces not only the entire world as John 3:16 speaks to, but it also welcomes the individual whether they are lovely or loathsome. 

Whether we are easy going or exasperating our position before God without Jesus Christ is powerless /helpless. The Apostle Paul describes our situation without Jesus Romans 5:6 “For while we were without strength or still helpless... Christ died for the ungodly” The word used here without strength usually applied to those who are sick and feeble, deprived of strength by disease; Mat_25:36; Luk_10:9. But it is also used in a moral sense. Here it means that we were without strength “that is, we had no power to devise a scheme for saving ourselves, to please God or to appease God’s wrath.  There was nothing appealing or attractive about us before God, we are morally bankrupt before God! We needed the Cross, We needed a Savior,!

-          A. W. Tozer “Until we believe that we are as bad as God says we are, we can never believe that He will do for us what He says He will do. Right here is where popular religion breaks down.”

Paul tells us in no uncertain terms that we are as bad as God say’s we are. Romans 5: 6 “without strength” is parallel to the expression in verse 8, while we were yet sinners. Paul uses it to show man’s utter helplessness in the face of his all-encompassing sin.

Mrs. Anna H- was electrocuted in the Columbus, Ohio, penitentiary. The last minute appeals had failed. The final moment came, and she slowly stood up and was led to the electric chair. As she passed through the death house corridor, twelve men who were soon to be electrocuted stood at the front of their cells, watching her. She said to them, "Good-bye, all of you." As she came to the door of the execution chamber she collapsed, and was picked up by the guards, and placed in the chair. As she revived, she pleaded with the warden, "Mr. Woodard, don't let them do this to me. Think of my boy. Can't you think of my baby?" Then she cried, "Isn't there anyone who will help me? Is nobody going to help me?" The warden said, "I'm sorry, but we have to do it, Mrs. H -- ." At this moment the current was turned on and she went into eternity. Sin will place us where our best friends can't help us.

We are like Anna without Jesus Christ; no one can come and deliver us from our situation only Jesus

 “In due time Christ died for the ungodly.” This means that circumstances did not bring Christ to the cross, the divine plan of God did.

Gal 4:1–5    Let me explain further. As long as an heir is a child, he is no better off than a slave, even though he owns everything. [2] He is placed under the control of guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. [3] It was the same way with us. When we were children, we were slaves to the principles of this world.( we were sick morally) [4] But when the right time came, God sent his Son {into the world}. A woman gave birth to him, and he came under the control of God's laws. [5] God sent him to pay for the freedom of those who were controlled by these laws so that we would be adopted as his children.

At the time of mans greatest need, nothing but the cross/ blood of Jesus would satisfy that need. The Hymn “Oh, the blood of Jesus” speaks to the cleansing power of the Blood.

Oh, The Blood Of Jesus

Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.

What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

The only cure for our desperate, sickly, and morally bankrupt situation is to recognize and receive the love of the cross.

Romans 5: 7 and 8 expand what is understood in verse 6.

    For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet will one hardly die for a good man some would even dare to die. [8] But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 When Paul said that Christ died for the ungodly, he was indicating that the Lord did not die for those who were simply void of morality but for those who were actively opposed to God. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die. Here the just or righteous man is distinguished from the good or benevolent man. The just man is approved by God, and hardly anyone would think of dying for him. The good man is loved by men, and most would not think of dying for him, although some may be tempted. Paul’s argument is that while you will rarely find anyone who will lay down his life for a righteous or good man, God demonstrated His love by sending Christ Jesus to die for us while we were yet sinners, something no one else would even consider doing. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross of Calvary arose out of the heart of God filled with the love of God. All these blessings are ours because at some point in the past, without our help, we have been justified by God and are now being treated as if we were righteous.

          During the Revolutionary War there was a faithful preacher of the gospel by the name of Peter Miller. He lived near a fellow who hated him intensely for his Christian life and testimony. In fact, this man violently opposed him and ridiculed his followers. One day the unbeliever was found guilty of treason and sentenced to death. Hearing about this, Peter Miller set out on foot to intercede for the man’s life before George Washington. The General listened to the minister’s earnest plea, but told him he didn’t feel he should pardon his friend. “My friend! He is not my friend,” answered Miller. “In fact, he’s my worst living enemy.” “What!” said Washington. “You have walked 60 miles to save the life of your enemy? That, in my judgment, puts the matter in a different light. I will grant your request.” With pardon in hand, Miller hastened to the place where his neighbor was to be executed, and arrived just as the prisoner was walking to the scaffold. When the traitor saw Miller, he exclaimed, “Old Peter Miller has come to have his revenge by watching me hang!” But he was astonished as he watched the minister step out of the crowd and produces the pardon which spared his life.

Peter Miller performed a noble act, and he -will be eternally commended. But this is just a shadow of what Christ did, because Christ not only obtained his enemies’ pardons, but died for them to accomplish that.

Paul describes us here with four words: “powerless” (Romans 5:6), “ungodly” (Romans 5:6), “sinners” (Romans 5:8), and “enemies” (Romans 5:10). In so doing he tells us that God’s love was totally unmotivated by anything in us. Because this love is unmerited and is not dependent upon us, it will never change. Think of it! If your struggling with the idea that God love you, “STOP STRUGGLING” and accept the facts that you are lavished with a love that lies in God alone. God’s love is the permanent possession of the child of God. The apostle hammers home this stupendous truth later in Romans as well:

          Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35, 38, 39)

            The cross is a definitely illustrates the magnitude of God love for us, showing us that His love is so deep, so wide, so high and so long able reach out to anyone and all.

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