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Archive for the ‘The Cross’ Category

From D.A. Carson’s Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus:

To take up your cross does not mean to move forward with courage despite the fact you lost your job or your spouse. It means you are under sentence of death; you are taking up the horizontal cross-member on your way to the place of crucifixion. You have abandoned all hope of life in this world. And then, Jesus says, and only then, are we ready to follow him.

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I just want my child to be ____________.

  • Well-rounded
  • Psychologically-adjusted
  • Saved
  • Spiritual
  • Well-behaved
  • Healthy
  • Smart

All of the above are good things that threaten to become ultimate things – which is a bad thing because it keeps your kid from Jesus.

More here.

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‘Jesus Christ our Lord, moved by a love that was determined to do everything necessary to save us, endured and exhausted the destructive divine judgment for which we were otherwise inescapably destined, and so won us forgiveness, adoption and glory. To affirm penal substitution is to say that believers are in debt to Christ specifically for this, and that this is the mainspring of all their joy, peace and praise both now and for eternity.’

J.I. Packer from In My Place Condemned He Stood

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I thought this post by Tim Chester, author of Total Church (which you absolutely should buy and read right now), was particularly helpful during our Broken – Why We Need The Cross series leading up to Easter:

The great Reformer Martin Luther spoke of theologies of glory and a theology of the cross. Theologies of glory look for the revelation of God in his mighty works: creation, miracles, spiritual experiences. But this kind of knowledge, said Luther, only puffs people up. Instead God has chosen to reveal himself supremely in the cross. And that means revelation is only discernible by faith. Only by faith do we see in the weakness, foolishness, and shame of the cross the power, wisdom, and victory of God. Theologies of glory lead to pride. The theology of the cross leads to humility—or, in Luther’s language, humiliation.

Now apply the same idea to our churches. Churches of glory will put their confidence in mighty works: stage performances, big budgets, large numbers, powerful arguments, charismatic preachers. A church of the cross will be characterized by power in weakness, wisdom in foolishness, victory in shame. Its confidence will be in the sovereignty of God, the presence of his Spirit, and the power of his Word. Jesus said the kingdom of God has been given to “my little flock.” Most of the time it will be under the radar. But, like yeast in dough, it will grow unseen to fill the earth.

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We need the cross because we wander away from God.

We wander away from God because we don’t believe God is enough.

Luke 15 reminds us that what we need is an older brother who will risk everything to bring us home.

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