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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Words of Wisdom and Revelation # 20

Words of Wisdom and Revelation # 20


Where the Wrath and Love of God Meet 


In our culture, sin is no longer considered an issue. Although some people might admit to making mistakes or being wrong, few will actually say, "I have sinned." The Lord, however, takes sin very seriously. Until we learn to see transgression as He does, we will never understand what happened at Christ's crucifixion.
The cross was God's perfect answer to a terrible dilemma. Because the Lord is holy and just, He hates sin and must respond to it with punishment and wrath. Yet He also loves sinners and wants to be reconciled with them. The cross of Christ was the place where God's wrath and love collided.
The only way to rescue fallen mankind from eternal punishment was to devise a plan whereby the Lord could forgive sins without compromising His holiness. There was no way to overlook transgressions; His wrath had to be poured out--either on us or a substitute. But there was only one possible substitute: the perfect Son of God.
So Jesus came to earth as a man and suffered the Lord's wrath for us as He hung on the cross. Sin was punished, divine justice was satisfied, and now God could forgive mankind without compromising His character. His wrath was poured out on His Son so that His love and forgiveness could be lavished upon us.
Because of human limitations, we'll never grasp all that happened while Jesus hung on the cross. We can begin to comprehend only the physical suffering He endured, but in the spiritual realm, Christ bore so much more--the very wrath of God. This costly redemption plan proves God's great love.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~
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The Believer's Journey to the Cross


We all know that Jesus walked the road to Calvary, but did you know that believers also journey to the cross? We've all been positionally crucified with Christ, but those who hunger for Him participate in a deeper experience of this reality. Jesus lovingly takes their hand and leads them to the cross. Even though this is the last place anyone wants to go, it's the only way to partake of God's best for our lives.
The trip to the cross is not one you take with family and friends. It's a lonely journey with just you and Jesus. He strips away everyone and everything you've depended on so that you'll learn to rely only on Him. While we're at the cross, He uncovers layer after layer of self-deception until we begin to see ourselves as He does. Soon our self-centeredness, inadequacy, and failures are laid bare.
The cross is a place of brokenness, but it's necessary because there's no other way we'll ever bear fruit. If we hang onto our lives and refuse to take this journey, we'll be like a grain of wheat that is never planted and never grows. But those who willingly die to themselves will produce an abundance of spiritual fruit. The only way Christ can live His life through us is if we've allowed ourselves to be crucified.
God doesn't want you to be content with just your salvation. There's so much more He desires to give you and accomplish through you. Are you willing to take the road to the cross with Him? Yes, it's painful, but the rewards in this life and in eternity far outweigh any suffering you will experience.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~
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What Does It Mean to Be Saved


What makes a person acceptable to God? The path to redemption begins not with the decision to live a better life or to stop doing something wrong, but with the realization that we cannot correct our sinful nature. To find favor with the Lord, we must grasp that it's impossible to make ourselves righteous; instead, we need to depend on the sacrifice Jesus made on our behalf. When we trust in Christ as our Savior, God the Father applies the benefit of Jesus' atoning sacrifice to our sin debt, thereby making us "saved," or acceptable in His eyes.
Your good works and righteous acts are of absolutely no value in the mind of God. Compared to others' actions, your generosity and good works might seem like enough to bring favor with the Lord, but Jesus said, "Not as a result of works, so that no one may boast" (Eph. 2:9). When you stand before God, the only way you can be forgiven of your sins is through Jesus Christ and His sacrificial, substitutionary atoning death at Calvary. Jesus came to give His life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Jesus' public crucifixion was a demonstration of God's hatred for sin and immense love for mankind. He who was blameless bore the penalty for all in order that wicked, corrupt people could be made righteous.
No matter what you've done, you can be cleansed of the stain left by sin. Confess any known transgressions and turn from them; then Jesus will forgive you and write your name in the Lamb's Book of Life (1 John 1:9; Rev. 21:27). By trusting in Him, you are assured of eternity in His presence.

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~ 

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