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Christ our Cross-beam

". . . Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." 
(2 Corinthians 6:2b)

All of us, these creatures we call human, are vile and wicked. We need only to glance at this world and its suffering and wickedness to perceive this concept. Humans exist in a hopeless state of evil—one which we cannot escape of our own power.

“As it is written, there is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

God is. He is Creator, Sustainer, and Ruler of all—of the cosmos and all that exists within (Genesis 1:1). He has no beginning and no end. He created this universe to be orderly, beautiful, and perfect. Yes, he created even man to be perfect, in His very image (Genesis 1:27). Man was given a choice and was warned of the consequence—death. But he chose disobedience. There he stood, tarnished, his fellowship with God broken. There he stood in the presence of God’s holiness, His divine perfection. There he stood, hopeless and devastated at the realization of what he had done. Each one of us stands in his shoes. God, in His justice and holiness, cannot allow sin to remain unpunished.

“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law.” (Galatians 4:4)

One day, God sent His only Son to earth, just as He had promised. His Son is Jesus Christ, Whose objective in entering this world was to give His life, conquering death itself, that we might live. Christ came to “bear witness unto the truth” (John 18:37), and He was rejected, mocked, and despised by the multitudes. But there was a remnant. There were those who witnessed His miracles and heard His teaching and recognized that Christ is indeed the Son of God. They recognized that this truth to which He bore witness was the only hope of salvation from their wickedness.
Were we to accept the punishment for our own sins, we still would have no hope of reconciliation. The only One Who could accept this punishment and provide the way for our redemption is Jesus Christ, the perfect, sinless Son of God. He did so willingly. He died an excruciating death on a cross.

“But God comendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Salvation is not simply a desirable asset to our lives. It is exactly what the word implies: our means of rescue, our hope, our lifeline. When Christ redeems our souls, His grace covers the full expanse of our wickedness. It is sufficient to cleanse and to rescue us, and it is sufficient to sustain us every day. We do not need His grace merely once, in order to be saved. We need it every day. We need the constant stream He longs to supply. You see, once we belong to Him, His love for us never changes. Though we fail and fall short, He loves us with an unconditional love. He does not base His love on our performance; rather, the manner in which we live our lives becomes an outward showing of our love for Him and of the change through grace He has wrought in our hearts. Pure, undefiled love for Him is what drives us to serve and to honor Him; not the desire to impress others or to receive benefits from God.

Salvation will not make our lives “easier.” Christ explains that those who follow Him will doubtless face persecution (John 16:33). They will be mocked and labeled as fools. Countless Christians have even been killed for their faith in God. Before we hastily decide to accept this rescue, we must ask, “Are we willing to face this opposition? Are we so committed to truth that we will uphold and defend it no matter the persecution we encounter? Do we love God enough to seek Him every day and to allow Him to change us into completely new creatures?”
This is the message of the Gospel; this is the truth, the reality; this is the purpose of our lives, the reason we exist and live and are. . . That we might know God and glorify Him and bear witness to His truth, that we might live forever in His holy presence.

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