Category Archives: The Cross

Jesus Looking Loved Them

Looking down He saw this earth
Where once was bright as dawn
Where a man from dust was pure at birth
Created to dwell upon
This perfect garden in the east
With God dwelling, and for a feast
The fruit of every tree but one
For by its’ knowledge comes undone
Both innocence and unity with God. Continue reading

Lovers of Self: Become Lovers of God!

True Christianity is under attack.  It is under attack in so-called churches and by so-called ministers of light; it is under attack by New York Times bestsellers, by the mainstream media, and the by popular philosophies that drive today’s thinking.  The world hates the true Jesus Christ.  There is for many of them a God in Heaven they love, who has made the exaltation of man His highest goal, but when faced with the true God of the Bible and His heart piercing Son Jesus Christ they will certainly cower.

Christianity doesn’t need rescuing.  Through all ages God has faithfully preserved His word and a remnant of those who worship Him in spirit and in truth.  I have no fear of God’s plans being thwarted by man’s cunning.  I do however fear when I think of the millions of lost souls who are puffed up under these false teachers, and encouraged by worldly philosophies to renounce what the Bible clearly teaches. Continue reading

Come to Christ

How has the domain of darkness
So disguised its self as light?
There you sit as in the shadows
And the chains of death but yet
The world says “this is life,
And yes what life is all about:
To sit in darkness as if light,
To raise your bound hands high
And shout your freedom,
For you are free to do as much
Of what you’re bound to as you like.”

They say that sin won’t really hurt you
It’s what you want; it’s what we all do,
And so you’ve drunken your full measure
Still empty though you’ve had some pleasure
It hasn’t quite felt worth the cost
Of sleepless nights and devastation
Heart-break and felt condemnation,
Once self assured now feeling lost
It hasn’t quite felt worth the cost.

Where can you turn?
Where can you run?
Sin hasn’t proven that much fun.
And why this guilt, and why such shame?
Isn’t there someone else to blame?
You know the world runs hard and fast
The same way you do but at last
You’re left alone to sit and wonder
Why this gnawing feeling grows
That life is more than this world shows.

Have you been lied to and deceived?
You thought money and looks were all you need
Could it be the advice of fools
To suppress guilt and ignore God’s rules?

You’re afraid but must keep it inside
Alone though in a room of friends
Pretending this life satisfies
But what really happens in the end?

You’re hurt, pretending to be strong
Let down, pretending not to care
How could following your heart have proven wrong
And left you with sorrows beyond compare?

The Lord is the one whom you’ve offended
Yet in love for you He condescended
He has loved you, but Him you’ve ignored
Yet He chose to lay aside His sword
And instead became the spotless lamb
The Son of God, The Great I AM
For blemished sinners was punished.

Dear slave of sin come enter in
You’ve seen now that you aren’t free
You’ve been deceived and have believed
A lie that sin won’t make you die.

Come to Christ oh weary sinner
From Him flows a living river
That wells up to eternal life
And then
He says you’ll never thirst again.

Come leave your burden at the cross
Where once was gain you now count lost
This heavy weight of sin come shed
For under its’ weight Jesus bled.

If you’d repent of all your sin
And trust in Christ He’d let you in
He is the door for all of His sheep
But now be warned because you keep
Turning your gaze back towards sin
If you won’t repent
Then He won’t let you in.
Come to Christ, lose your life
To find it in Him,
Or go on lapping up dust
As if water, satisfy your lusts
Preserve this life but who will console
You when you’ve gained the world but lost your soul.

My friend, I pray this won’t be you
Come to Christ who makes all things new.

 Colossians 1:13 “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Love Manifested In Dying

“Oh the Deep, Deep Love Of Jesus!  Vast, Unmeasured, Boundless, Free!”

 To look at the love of God poured out through His Son dying on a cross, is an experience beyond human words.  I concur with hymn writer Frederick Lehman who wrote:

“Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.”

The magnificence of God’s love for His own revealed in Christ’s soul-purchasing death, is beyond what our finite minds can even grasp.  I wait for the day when this perishable body will be raised imperishable, “sown in dishonour” and “raised in glory,” sown “a natural body…raised a spiritual body (1Corinthians 15:42-44).”  Then may this dull and tired mind be awakened, and these eyes that see now only “in a mirror dimly” finally see him “face to face (1Corinthians 13:12).” I feel in myself, in my comprehension and in my expression of who I know Christ to be, such a weakness to adequately express how great He is.  In fact, I know that I will fall far short of expressing it, and of knowing it.  This is why I eagerly wait until he appears and “we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is (1John 3:2).”  In light of who he is, and what He has done, I want to express that I fear my affections for Him are not near what they should be!  Maybe you can relate to this part of a poem I wrote one night titled “My Pursuits So Frail, His So Furious.”

Mark me with intensity

That in despair I’d thirst for thee

As if this be my last minute of breath

May I desire Him as though His absence meant death. Continue reading

What Is So Valuable That Christ Would Die?

Part 2- To Be Glorified On The Cross By Magnifying God’s Attributes

Colossians 2:9 “For in Him (Jesus) the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily.”

Hebrews 1:3 “He (Jesus) is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of His power.”

Jesus Christ is the Son of God, exact in nature like God, and one in perfect unity with God.   The trinity is impossible for us to fully comprehend, but we can accept the vast testimony of scripture that God is one being, existing in three persons. 

When Jesus came, in all that He did, He pointed constantly to the Father.  He validated His own teaching by pointing to the Word of God and by constantly pointing to His being sent from the Father and speaking only that which the Father told Him to speak.  There are several examples of this in the book of John, which show us that Jesus lived His life with His eyes constantly fixed on His Father, God.  Here are only a few of the many scriptures found in the John chapter 8 alone.

John 8:14,16,18,28,42,& 54: “Jesus answered ‘Even if I do bear witness about myself, my testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going… Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me…I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me…When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me…If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here.  I came not of my own accord but He sent me… If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing.  It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’  But you have not known him.  I know Him.”  (See the whole chapter for the entire context).

So when we see Jesus Christ through the testimony of scripture, we can be sure that we are seeing God Himself.  Therefore in this life there is no experience outside of scripture and no greater vision of God the Father than that which has been displayed in the life and death of Jesus Christ.  Let us not be like Philip was when he said “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us (John 14:8),” but let us fully embrace what Jesus said of himself in response to Philip’s question: “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip?  Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.  How can you say, ‘Show us the Father?’  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me (John 14:9-10)?”

So then in Jesus we can see God manifested in flesh.  We can hear His words, and see his emotions, and watch how he responds to the needy, the proud, the religious, to his enemies, and to his friends.  Jesus came to manifest God’s name and to glorify Him, and God through the cross upholds and glorifies His Son for the world to behold.  Father and Son share and work together in mutual glory, each exalting the other.  As Jesus prayed “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you.”  Then the Holy Spirit comes and reveals these things to human hearts as stated in John 16:14 “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.”

Apart from us, and apart from the cross, Father, Son and Holy Spirit would possess all fullness of glory.  It is not as if Jesus needed to die in order to become glorious.  To be fully God is to be possessing fullness of glory through all of eternity.  Jesus, fully God and fully man, for his time on earth laid aside his glory.  That is, though he still possessed glory as being fully God, he did not receive recognition of it, nor demand his rights as God, but rather became a slave (see again Philippians 2:6-8).

Before Christ’s death he prayed for His own glory:  “Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.”  In John 12:27-28 He prayed that His Father would be glorified through His death:  “Now is my soul troubled.  And what shall I say?  ‘Father, save me from this hour’?  But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.”

Now we have, in Jesus Christ upon the cross, the pinnacle of God’s glory on display.  Now we who have had “the eyes of our hearts enlightened (Ephesians 1:18),” can look upon the cross and see the glorious attributes of God, contradicting everything that is in the darkened heart of man, valiantly opposing the captor of our souls and pouring out love to a world of God haters.  In the cross, the Lord God is magnified beyond what we could possibly conceive, though for eternity we will seek to grasp this cataclysmic event.

In Randy Alcorn’s book “If God is Good, Why is There Suffering and Evil?” he states:  “Grace and forgiveness, both expressions of God’s eternal character, are moral goods, but without evil they wouldn’t have become clearly evident.  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit don’t need compassion, mercy, grace, or forgiveness.  These qualities could only be fully expressed to finite and fallen creatures…Some of God’s virtues will forever capture the spotlight that, without evil and suffering’s temporary hold on us, never would have taken the stage.”    I would echo that, and add that at the cross, where Christ drank wrath on the behalf of criminals guilty of the highest treason, you will find the deepest act of mercy history will ever know.  Having set a foundation for this truth, I will go on to try and express the mighty attributes of God that Jesus Christ has magnified by having died in the place of sinners.

(check back to read what i am working on writing- about the love, mercy, and justice of God… and maybe some more attributes too.  I tend to be a bit long winded but there is so much foundational stuff that in my opinion needs to be said).

What Is So Valuable That Christ Would Die?

What is God’s highest aim in man’s redemption?

 

So then we have considered in part what is wonderful, lovable, and glorious about the cross from our human perspective.  We have reflected on Christ’s awe striking humility, His willingness to save a God hating people like us, and the accomplishment of saving our souls and changing our hearts.  But there is something even deeper going on than just the act of making an unrighteous heart, righteous.  There is more to rejoice about than even that Christ has spared our soul’s eternal Hell and has prepared for us an eternal home in Heaven.  Though immensely significant, the ultimate gift that God has given us is not just the forgiveness of our sins and the future hope of life in heaven, but that He has done everything to make it possible for us to behold and have Him in His glory.

1.  His aim:  Glory, Exaltation, Praise, and the magnification of His Name.

To start let’s put us, not out of the picture, but somewhere off dimly in a corner of the picture, with God gloriously filling up the center with all brilliance and splendour.

I want to clearly state, that in no way do I want to understate the purpose of Christ’s dying for us, so that we may have eternal life and forgiveness; nor do I want to underemphasize the value that Jesus Christ places on a single lost soul.  These are topics that we will revisit again and again to understand God’s heart for lost people.  But what I want to try and express, is that we are not the focus point of God’s purposes and plans.  We are not the center of Christ’s dying for us, but rather God’s plan of redemption and the execution of it, at the foundation of its’ goal is that Jesus Christ Himself would be displayed in “the radiance of the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3).”  God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit alone are exalted and displayed in the redemption of man.

The heart of God glories in receiving the Glory that is due to His name.  His ways exalt Himself as supreme over all the earth and everything that has been made and been done throughout all history.  God must love Himself, in all the beauty and fullness of the Trinity, and He must love and put Himself first above all things.  I have heard it explained that if God, who sees all of the perfection and majesty that belongs to Him alone, were to love another more than His self, He would be an idolater.  So it must be that even in Christ’s coming in the likeness of man, yes even in His humbling himself to death on a cross, the furtherance of His glory and exaltation of His name would be in view. 

Philippians 2:6-10 “Though he was in the form of God, (he) did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Look also at these verses, which are only a sample of several of like them, and note God’s purpose for executing His plans, or even from withholding His wrath.

Isaiah 48:9-11 “For the sake of My name I delay my wrath, and for My praise I restrain it for you, in order not to cut you off.  Behold I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.  For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned?  And My glory I will not give to another.”

I think it extremely important to show you that God has not changed in the New Testament.  He has not gone from becoming a God-centered God to a man-centered God.  His purposes are still being perfectly carried out primarily for His sake, His Honour, and His praise, yes even in and especially in the salvation of sinners.

Matthew 10:22 “You will be hated by all for my name’s sake.”

Matthew 16:25 “…Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Ephesians 1:11-12 “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory.

Our Lord wants us to delight and be satisfied in Him, and when we are made able by Him to glory in this way, as we are chiefly created to do, God has great pleasure in what He has accomplished in us. 

(This is only point one of the chapter entitled “What Is So Valuable That Christ Would Die?”  I will post the other points as I write them.  This is again, a portion from the book I’m working on called “The Complex Nature of God’s Hear For Lost People.””)

 

Consider His Death

(I am, Lord willing, writing a book titled (as of now) “The Complex Nature Of God’s Heart For Lost People.”  I don’t think that this chapter (or intro) “Consider His Death” is finished yet.  It is highly likely that a lot of editting is yet to be done.  This is what I have written, prior to editting.  Please let me know if anything is confusing or needs clarifying. Also if you could tell me if there is anything you particularly like about it.  Any comments or questions are appreciated!)

There is a fair amount of “gospel preaching,” that goes on today.  The vast majority of it is being done in our churches, which is all together necessary because the gospel is not only for the unsaved, but for the saved as well.  Yet, I long that much more gospel preaching would go forth from out of the church and on to the streets.  Some people see the cross as only a stepping stone to move on to better and more glorious things.  I pray that this is not how you learned Christ.  I remember a time before I was saved when I Continue reading