The Cross of Christ and My Sin

27 April

1 Corinthians 1:18; “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Cross Oswald Chambers April 6Today’s post is based on a page from our websites, and Oswald Chamber’s ‘My Utmost for His Highest’ devotional for April 6, ‘The Collision of God and Sin’.

Before I begin, allow me to start off by stating this one subject (the cross) will bring me to my knees faster than anything I’ve ever known in this world. When I think of the totality of what our sweet Jesus went through, and the depravity of my sinful life, I’m left with nothing but adoration for the God I love so.

I’m not an eloquent enough orator to express my relief in knowing He’d allow me in His presence. The incarnate God who knew no sin, came here to earth specifically to ransom me – the dark girl from Utah.

The Kinsman Redeemer spoke to me from His word when no one else would, and He alone revealed Himself to me through Matthew 16:16 – ‘…Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God’.

He then spoke to me repeatedly through the crosses I saw in my hometown, and still countless others I saw while living in Europe. To say they were everywhere would be a gross understatement. And each time I saw one, I wondered…

Why didn’t my church talk in detail about the cross, and the importance of why it was prophesied about in the Bible? Moreover, why did my church go so far as to outright denounce it? On speaking of its importance for everyone’s life, Oswald Chambers stated;

‘…the Cross of Christ. It was the supreme triumph, and it shook the very foundations of hell. There is nothing in time or eternity more absolutely certain and irrefutable than what Jesus Christ accomplished on the Cross— …

The Cross was not something that happened to Jesus— He came to die; the Cross was His purpose in coming. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). The incarnation of Christ would have no meaning without the Cross. Beware of separating “God was manifested in the flesh…” from “…He made Him…to be sin for us…” (1 Timothy 3:16 ; 2 Corinthians 5:21). The purpose of the incarnation was redemption. God came in the flesh to take sin away, not to accomplish something for Himself.

The Cross is the central event in time and eternity, and the answer to all the problems of both. …

The Cross is God exhibiting His nature. … The heart of salvation is the Cross of Christ. The reason salvation is so easy to obtain is that it cost God so much…’

Chambers’ definition is the entire reason we preach the Cross of Jesus.

With that in mind, today we’re looking at some of the e-mails we’ve received about this subject. I’ve listed a handful of them below, and provided a response. Please, whatever you do, don’t forget to pray for these dear people! As you can imagine, their responses aren’t always pretty. Sigh…

Why Do Mormons Hate the Cross?

From:

‘about to be scorned’ August 22, 2015

“Okay, going to keep this short and civil. Temples and meetinghouses do not have crosses, but there are portraits of Christ, often several. The paintings are of key moments in his ministry on earth. The LDS faith understands the importance of his death on the cross, but we focus on his life, and most important the fact that he lives.”

Dear ‘About to be scorned’ –

No doubt, focusing on Jesus’ life is admirable, however, His life doesn’t give us the explanation of what happened at His death, or what purpose was served in it.

The most important factor in Jesus’ existence on earth is His death, and what it means for all of mankind. The Romans Road gives us a step by step look at how to be saved, and one of those steps highlights the scripture from Romans 5:8.You can read this and the other 8 references in the Romans Road on our site.

Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”

When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin’s penalty. He paid the cosmic price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. Because He loved us and gave Himself for us!

Give your life to God… His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you. Not religion, or church membership.

God loves you! And reaches you right where you are.

From:

‘Josh A’ November 3, 2015

“We don’t use crosses because we focus on the fact that he is risen and not that he died.”

Dear Josh,

As I mentioned in my response to ‘About to be scorned’ (see above), the problem with this is ignoring why He died, and misunderstanding why He came here to begin with. The Mormon Church has erroneously taught that mankind is born without sin, and this is a grievous error. To truly appreciate His resurrection, and life before the cross, we must appreciate and accept the reason why  He had to die for us.

This scripture listed below explains this and is the first step found in the Romans Road.

Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin.  We were born under the power of sin’s control. Admit that you are a sinner.

(KJV For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God)

From:

‘Andey’ December 11, 2015

“everyone who hates mormons are stupid i am a mormon and people love me so all those out there who hate us your religion is wrong ours is right your stupid!!!!”

Dear Andey –

We want you to know we’re praying for you dear one. I also challenge you to go back on our site and see where it says we hate Mormons. After being in the Church for 30 years, and being a 6th generation Utah Mormon, I can assure you there’s no hatred in my heart towards the Mormon people.

Sadness, and sometimes frustration, yes. Animosity, and hatred aren’t part of my m.o. for the Mormons, whom I consider to be ‘my people’.

If you can show me specifically where I’ve done this, please, let me know so that I can apologize. I mean this with all sincerity.

From:

‘Jay’ March 27, 2016

“The cross is nothing more than a symbol. Christ, his ministry, his importance to the plan of salvation, his life, his death, and his resurrection are what it is about. Worshipping a symbol would be no better than the Hebrews who felt the need to worship a golden calf. Do you really think it was bad just because it was gold? The symbol gets in your way of worshipping God and his son, Jesus Christ, in their living form. If you feel you need it in order to relate to Jesus, go for it, but remember, Christ is not dead, he is alive today.”

Dear Jay –

Thank you for writing in to us at Life After Ministries! We want you to know we’re praying for you!

You’re right. Worshiping a symbol of any kind is no better than the Hebrew worshiping the golden calf while waiting for Moses to come down from Mt. Sinai.

Where have we said that we worship the cross? I know I’ve stated many times it’s important not to worship the cross, but the wholesale rejection of it is equivalent to denying what Jesus has done for us.

The only one who can’t stand the cross is Satan because he knows this is where Christ won His victory, and he (Satan) lost the battle.

1 Peter 2:24-25 tells us the cross is not only the place where we have victory in being delivered from the penalty of sin, but we also gain the power over sin in our daily lives!

“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

Graciously accepting the cross in one’s life entails work. That work, if you will, means you’ve exchanged the master who runs your life – Isaiah 55:7.

“Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

From:

‘Leroy’  April 14, 2016

“Let me enlighten the world,…the cross was used for execution by the romans,…if you committed a crime you where condemned to die by way of crucifixion,… it was one of the worst way to die,….now lets say the roman decided to use another way of execution,. like hanging,…would you Christian wear a knoose around your neck and say it a symbol of christ,….christ was prophesied to die on a cross long before he was born,…Christian are breaking the second commandment,…”

Dear Leroy –

Hello, and thank you for writing in to us at Life After! We wanted to let you know we’re praying for you Leroy!

As for your comment, first let’s look at God’s 2nd commandment found in Exodus chapter twenty –

Exodus 20:4; “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

Could you explain why  you think we’ve broken the 2nd commandment?

2.The analogy you used about a noose around someone’s neck is very similar to what I used to always say when I was a Mormon.

‘If Jesus was shot and killed would you wear a gun for a necklace?’

My answer today of course, would be yes. If that was God’s will, and it had been prophesied about all through the Bible, then yeah, I’d accept this is what God had ordained. But you know, as well as I do, this isn’t what happened!

You obviously know enough of the Bible to mention how Jesus’ death was prophesied long before it took place.

Deuteronomy 21:22-23 “¶ And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: 23 His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.”

May I ask why you’d mention this? What grievance do you have about our article and the cross?

Again, we’re praying for you Leroy and hope to hear from you soon!

With Love in Christ;

Michelle

1 Cor. 1:18

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