Friday, August 7, 2009

How Do You See The Cross...

Matthew 16:13-23

The Cross is the central and most important truth of the entire Bible and the very foundation upon which the Christian tradition is built. Out eternal salvation and security both were finished on the Cross and on that Cross all questions about God's love for us were answered. The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that there is no grey area when it comes to the Cross; you either believe it or you don't. 1 Cor. 1:18; 1 Cor. 2:14-15.

Look closely at the two ways we can view the cross:

1. Natural View of the Cross

A.) Distorted – To see the sufferings as something terrible. To see only the negative side and not the positive side and conveniently overlooking the resurrection and focusing more on the roadmap than the results. (Proverbs 19:3) (1 Corinthians 2:14)
B.) Dysfunctional – To have an inability to see the reasons for suffering, heartache, and pain. Always wanting to help others when you do not fully understand the process by which God is working. Instead of accommodating the grace of God we are frustrating the grace of God. When you feel you know things you give your personal opinions and offer your personal appeals. (Romans 11:34)
C.) Demonic – To actually assume the personality of Satan. To be an agent, under the inspiration of the devil. One moment in the Spirit and the next in the demonic by denying his Lordship. (Matthew 4:9-10) We get influenced by Satan and we begin imitating Satan.

2. Spiritual View of the Cross

A.) Delightful – Knowing that without the Cross there is no Kingdom. From the Lamb on the Cross to the Lord on the Throne. From the Suffering One to the Sovereign One. (2 Timothy 2:12) (Philippians 1:29) We enjoy a willful participation and a personal liberation in the Cross.
B.) Definite – If he is not Lord of all then he's Lord not at all. We are not God's coach, counselor, or caregiver. We are his servants, matter of fact his slaves. We have no right to question his authority or his ability. All He does is necessary for the working of his ultimate plan. (Acts 17:3)
C.) Divine – The Cross represented a co-crucifixion for the believer. That when He died for me, I died with Him. The only way I can be forgiven is if He died. He was born for my representation, he lived to give me an illustration, he died for my salvation, he rose again for my justification, he sent his spirit for my sanctification and he's coming back for my glorification! (Romans 8:18)