Christianity Through the Cross
Any discussion of theology should include Jesus’ own words. What better words to glare into than the seven statements Jesus made while hanging on the cross – while actively paying the price our sin deserved so that we could be reconciled with our Heavenly Father. We recently concluded this series at Cre8, assigning key words to each statement:
- Luke 23:34 — FORGIVENESS
- Luke 23:43 — GRACE
- John 19:26-27 — FAMILY
- Mark 15:34 — SEPARATION
- John 19:28 — THIRST
- John 19:30 — SACRIFICE
- Luke 23:46 — WORSHIP
So how does all of this fit together?
Christianity AT the Cross
Because of Jesus, we are offered FORGIVENESS made possible only through God’s GRACE that grants us inclusion into God’s FAMILY, now and forever. Without Jesus, we would experience SEPARATION from God forever, suffering a physical, mental, relational and spiritual THIRST that could never be quenched. Because God is who He is, this redemption was could only be achieved through Jesus’ perfect SACRIFICE, which he fulfilled through his love, devotion and WORSHIP to God.
If there is anything in God’s Word that has you believing something different or compels you to treat others differently than how Jesus did, maybe your personal “theology” is incomplete.
Where We Typically Stop
The church is great at emphasizing and celebrating the forgiveness, grace and family portion of the cross. We often teach that having placed our faith in Jesus, we no longer suffer the separation and thirst our sin deserves. This isn’t wholly the case. There is a difference between Jesus being your SAVIOR and Jesus being your LORD. When people get baptized, they are coached to say both. Placing your faith in Jesus does make him your Savior. Surrendering your thoughts, beliefs, behaviors, words, actions and decisions to Jesus makes him your Lord. This is an every day, all the time kind of thing.
Even as Christians, you can feel separated from God and experience thirst. The key is to be honest about it. Because God is the God of Truth, he cannot live in lies. As we continue to hide things and hang onto sin, we effectively move God out of those areas, experiencing the kind of separation and thirst that can lead us farther away from Jesus being our Lord.
This is the only message we recorded during the series, regarding THIRST. The audio is included at the bottom of this post.
Christianity THROUGH the Cross
Looking AT the cross is one thing. Being willing to walk THROUGH it – gazing into the eyes of the One who saved us – offers where our view of God, Jesus and the Bible should take us:
Faith in Jesus offers you FORGIVENESS through God’s GRACE that grants you access in God’s FAMILY. Without surrendering to Jesus, you can still experience SEPARATION and THIRST that you will try to remedy all the wrong ways. Following the example of Jesus, we are to SEPARATE ourselves from the WORLD and hunger and THIRST after RIGHTEOUSNESS. How? We accomplish this through SACRIFICE and WORSHIP.
Sacrifice is obedience no matter what.
Worship is obedience for the world to see.
It seems like every denomination, church and long-time believer desires to be “RIGHT” in their beliefs about God, Jesus and the Bible. Being “right” has caused more divisions in the church than anything else. We need to expand our goal for personal theology, not in trying to be “right,” but in pursuing “right-eousness.” It should be about who we’re becoming—not just what we think or believe!
If your study of God and His Word causes you to treat others differently than Jesus did…
If your study of God and His Word causes you to be divided from other believers…
If your study of God and His Word causes God to get smaller and more understandable…
I’ll let you fill in the rest!
Praying We All Thirst After Jesus,