salvation

The Message of the Cross

By Karen Polich

The message of the cross lays out God’s plan. The cross is the first and last word on salvation. There is no debate or discussion. No other way, no other plan and no other action leads to salvation. We choose the cross where Jesus sacrificed Himself for our sins once and for all, or we choose to turn from it.

Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no salvation.

Pastor Michael M. Cook discussed three elements of the cross in Reforming Our Message, part of the Forming the Church We’re Called to Be, sermon series. Listen to the podcast here. (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

Through the cross, Jesus saves anybody. There isn’t a different plan for different people based on culture, ethnicity or any other factor. We are all free to choose the cross. When we choose the cross, the power and wisdom of God come. (1 Corinthians 1:24) God will not only tell you what is right, He will help you do what is right.

Through the cross, Jesus separates everybody. The cross is the great divide. We are either perishing or being saved. (1 Corinthians 1:18) People reject, ridicule or receive the cross.

“God never said, I’ll show you and then you will believe. He said believe and I will show you.” – Michael M. Cook

Through the cross, Jesus sanctified somebody. Salvation is past, present and future. Past salvation was the moment in which He saved me, giving me complete freedom over sin. Present salvation is the power of practice over sin. Future salvation will be the complete freedom from the presence of sin.

The average Christian doesn’t always see the need for the cross. “I have my salvation. I’m done. What more is there?” We need the cross every single day. When we come to the cross, we are pardoned. When we give Jesus authority over our life and put ourselves on the cross, we have power over sin.

Imagine the throne of your life and the cross next to that throne. Jesus on the cross, I rule my life. Flip that and give Jesus authority to lead my life which places me on the cross and you see the life of someone who has put Christ at the helm.

We all have a choice as to who rules our life. Me or Christ? To live a successful and victorious life in Christ, we must die to ourselves on the cross and make a daily covenant to be a Christ follower, putting Him in the driver’s seat.

Are you living the message of the cross?

Back to the Basics

By Karen Polich

You come to God through Jesus or you don’t come at all. – James Phillips

Have you ever been lost and had to stop and ask for directions? You may have asked only after realizing you were suddenly in a place you shouldn’t be, miles from your expected destination. Often we will wander in confusion, thinking we can find the way on our own. Pastor Kevin Linthicum reminded us that salvation is not something we can do on our own and that when we know Jesus, we know the way.

John 14: 1-6 ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’
 Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

Pastor Linthicum brought us back to the basics on what it means to know Christ.

I am the way. Before Jesus there was no way. When we know Him, we know the way.

I am the truth. The truth is exclusive, it is eternal and absolute. John 8:32 says, Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

I am the life. We can be satisfied with nothing less that the life Jesus describes. John 10:10, The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

This world cannot offer eternal life. The abundant life we seek can only be found in Jesus Christ. Where are you headed today? Are you lost and in need of directions? We have the biblical roadmap of truth. When we choose Jesus, we know the way. Have you chosen the abundant life that can only be found in Christ?