Understanding Salvation

The Cross of Christ

Jesus died on the Cross as our final sacrifice, the supreme intervention of God into man's history. Without it none of us could have been saved. Jesus prayed in Gethsemene: 'Father if it be possible there is any other way to save them, let this CUP be taken away- let there be another way.' Surely God would have answered His Son's prayer if it were possible but it was not. Man's problem was so serious that the Cross was the ONLY answer.

If we have a true revelation of the Cross we will have the attitude of Paul in Galatians 6:14: 'God forbid that I should boast except in the CROSS of our Lord Jesus Christ.' This revelation kills our self-righteousness. The Cross alone delivers us from sin, satan and the curse. It is the source of all forgiveness, salvation, healing and spiritual blessing.

The Cross is the supreme demonstration and proof of the LOVE OF GOD for us. 'So must the Son of Man be lifted up,that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (to die), that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life' (John 3:15,16).
If you asked Jesus: 'How much do you love me?'
He would stretch out His hands and say: 'This much.'
His act of love on the Cross provides our total salvation and victory.

So, Romans 8:37 says: 'We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.'
His act of love, dying for us on the Cross is what gives us the victory.

'By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us' (1John 3:16).

'In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins' (1John 4:9-10).

'God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us' (Rom 5:8).
He did not love us because we are good. He loves us unconditionally.

His love is personal: 'I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me' (Gal 2:20).

Paul prayed that we:
'being rooted and grounded in Love, may be able to comprehend
the WIDTH
and LENGTH
and DEPTH
and HEIGHT
- to know the LOVE OF CHRIST (revealed through the Cross)
- that you may be filled with all the fullness of God' (Ephesians 3:14-21).
It is through a revelation of God's love in the Cross that we are filled with His love, life and blessings because all His provision flows from the Cross.

The WIDTH of His Love means 'He died FOR ALL' (2Cor 5:14,15).
'He Himself is the propitiation for our sins,
and not for ours only but also for the whole world' (1John 2:2).
His outstretched arms reach back to all in the past (they were forgiven 'on credit') and to us in the future. He paid the price for all sins to be forgiven, for all men, for all time - past, present and future. Pray for those who don't know about it - the only sin not covered is the sin of rejecting Christ. To ignore someone is to reject them!

The LENGTH of His Love is from everlasting to everlasting.
'I have loved you with an everlasting love; so with loving-kindness I have drawn you' (Jer 31:3).
'He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world' (Eph 1:4).
The Cross was the supreme manifestation of Love but His Love for us is eternal - past, present and future. It never ends.

The DEPTH of His Love is how much He was prepared to suffer for us. This included his physical suffering, the hatred of his enemies, the abandonment by his friends. But His cup was far more than this. The worst was bearing the sins and curse of the whole world and God's Wrath and Judgement on our sin.

'Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was on Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all' (Isa 53:4-6).

The HEIGHT of His Love.
In His love He reached down low into the depths of sin, sorrow, hell and death, in order to lift us up HIGH with Him. His love raises us up to new life and abundance, even into union and fellowship with the Godhead.

The Great Exchange was completed on the Cross - a perfect work that cannot be added to. The Cross was the perfect work of God where God put all our SIN and CURSE (the consequences of sin, including sickness) on Jesus once and for all and JUDGED it. Every curse stops at the Cross and every blessing comes to us through the Cross: 'Christ has redeemed us from the curse, having become a curse for us (as it is written, 'cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith' (Gal 3:13,14, also Col 1:13,14).

Often we try and get blessed by one thing and another but the Bible way is KNOWING and ACCEPTING the TRUTH of what was done on the Cross. Jesus said: 'IT IS FINISHED - I have taken it, I have paid the price in full. Now believe it and receive it and walk in it.'

So satan's aim is to cloud the issue, so that Christians look to all kinds of fads (anything but the Cross for life, healing, proof of God's Love etc). 'Forbid it Lord that I should boast, save in the Cross.' Satan wants to get your eyes off the Cross so you start doubting that God loves you, that the curse has been taken, that the blessing is already yours through Christ.

Thus the Bible warns us not to get our eyes off the work of the Cross:
'Preach the GOSPEL, not with wisdom of words, lest the CROSS of Christ should be made of no effect. For the message of the CROSS (that it is a perfect finished work providing our full and eternal salvation)
is foolishness to those who are perishing but to us who are being saved it is the power of God' (1Cor 1:17,18).

'O foolish Galatians! who has bewitched you that you should not obey (walk in the reality of) the truth (what truth? - the finished work of the Cross) before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? ...Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?' (Gal 3:1,2). The only way you receive anything from God is by hearing in faith the message of the Cross.

The Cross is the ancient symbol of LIFE from DEATH.
It is the END of everything of the OLD CREATION so that the NEW CREATION could come forth in RESURRECTION. Everything Jesus paid for on the Cross was released in the resurrection. So on the one side we see Him take the curse (Good Friday) and on the other side we see Him release the blessing (Easter Sunday). When God raised up the man Jesus Christ, He poured into him every blessing of abundant life. Now all who receive Christ are put 'in Christ' (united to Christ), so that the same power that raised up Christ is given to them (Eph1:19-2:10). Resurrection Victory, Healing, Life, Power are now ours in Christ!

The 'IN CHRIST' scriptures tell us our blessings IN CHRIST
which all come through His Death, Burial and Resurrection.

It helps as we read 'IN CHRIST' or 'IN HIM' to add: 'through His Death and Resurrection'.

Try doing this with the following Scriptures:

Rom 6:11: 'Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin,
but alive to God in Christ (through His Death, Burial and Resurrection).'

Rom 6:23: 'The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.'

Rom 8:1,2 'There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.'

Rom 8:37: 'In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us.'

2Cor 2:14: 'Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.'

2Cor 5:17: 'If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (through His death and resurrection); old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.'

Gal 3:14: 'The blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.'

Ephes 1:3: 'God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ.'

Ephes 2:7: 'In the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.'

Ephes 2:10: 'We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (by His death and resurrection) for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.'

Ephes 4:32: 'Forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you.'

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