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The Cross of Calvary
The Cross of Calvary
You cannot have Christianity without that old rugged cross. You see the most important part of the gospel is the cross of Calvary. Unfortunately, we have removed the cross from our lives and all too often from church. We have overshadowed the cross the material things of this world. Today we are going to look at four (4) reasons that we should stay "near the cross.”
First, we need to stay near the cross because only in the cross can we find glory. In Galatians 6:14 we read, "But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” You see we cannot glory in our own efforts. When it comes to our spiritual lives, there is nothing in which to glory, save the cross; the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Second, we need to stay near the cross because the grace of God is manifest in the cross and nowhere else. In Titus 2:11-12we read, "For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He was the little bud of God’s grace, but when He was nailed to that old rugged cross, the grace of God was in full bloom. In Ephesians 2:7-9 we read, "That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus; for by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” I have often wondered why all men will not be saved? When the mountains in life come our way, it is only by clinging to that old rugged cross and the One who died upon it, that we are able to overcome these mountains of life such as financial worries, illness, pain, suffering, and even death. Just think of the great sacrifice that Jesus made for us, the agony, pain, suffering, mocking, beating, and even death, the least we can do is to love God and be obedient to His word. In Romans 5:6-9 we read, "For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet perhaps for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” God’s love is as wide, as high, and as deep as the cross. The heart of Christianity is the Bible; the heart of the Bible is the cross; and the heart of the cross is the love of God. John 15:13 says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” ?xml:namespace>
Third, we need to stay near the cross because the cross is the only way to go to heaven. No matter how good of a person you may be, if you don’t come to the cross of Calvary in obedience to the gospel of Christ, you cannot go to heaven. If you have put on Christ in obedience and baptism, it is because you have come to the cross of Calvary. In Galatians 3:27 we read, "For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” ?xml:namespace>
Fourth, and finally, we need to stay near the cross because only at the cross can we find forgiveness. In Ephesians 1:7 we read, "In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Where was that precious blood shed? It was shed on the cross of Calvary. In our world today, society does not forgive sins, education does not forgive sins, the government does not forgive sins, spending a number of years in prison for braking the law of the land, does not forgive sins, a priest cannot absolve sins, brothers and sisters in Christ cannot forgive sins; they can forgive you, but not your sins. Remember only coming to the cross of Christ through obedience to the gospel can forgive your sins. In Acts 2:38 we read, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”
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