Tributes to Christ and the Cross

This week I’m attending the Florida College Lectures.  The theme is “Of First Importance: He Died and was Buried.”  It is a series of studies on the crucifixion.  In his forward to the lecture book, FC President Buddy Payne asks, “What could be more important to believers than this glorious message of “Jesus Christ and Him crucified?  What message is more desperately needed by a lost and dying world?  What better way to be motivated and strengthened in our service to the Lord than to reflect upon his sacrificial death?”

The theme passage is found in I Corinthians 15:1-4.  “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you– unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to  you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and    that  He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”,

Paul says the heart of the gospel, its very center and essence is Jesus Christ.  Let me share with you some great thoughts from yesterday’s lectures.

“We are to be receivers and transmitters of God’s grace.  And without that full response we cannot be right with God or heirs of his promises in Christ…Mark this down we must never define or construe grace as if we are in some sort of equal cooperation with God.  This wrong idea could be stated, “I’ll do all I can on my end, and God will do the rest on his end.  Not so quick with that. Grace does not mean we are in an equal partnership with God.  From start to finish, we are dependent on the grace of God.”  –Warren Berkley

“Glory awaits the children of God, but not because the things they do (even as obedience to God’s demands)  are such good things that they earn us this great reward.  No, God will bring to himself those who are truly his own children, those who have exhibited in their own lives the same glory,  the same selfless , sacrificial love of others that is characteristic of God the Father and God the Son.” –David McClister.

“The Christian’s pain and suffering are put into perspective. The pain, affliction, trails, tribulations and persecution we must suffer for living godly in this present world are troubling indeed, but they are nothing compared to what Jesus went through for us.  No matter the problem that people present in our lives, through God’s power we are able to overcome….”  –Antoine Holloway

“At the cross the debt of sin was paid.  At the cross the fury of God’s wrath was satisfied.  At the cross the Just became the Justifier.  At th cross mercy and truth met.  Ast the cross. Righteousness and peace kissed each others.  At the cross God vindicated the holiness of his Great Name…..When we grasp a glimpse of the holiness of God, we are changed.”  –Craig Bean

“True discipleship is characterized in terms of imitating Christ.”  “Dying with Christ means..dying to sin.”  “Do we daily imitate such a Christ?  Are you totally immersed into such a Christ.  Is such a Christ immanent within us in the fullness of his true glory?”  –Tom Hamilton

Truly the 19th century Scottish author and preacher, Ian MacLaren was right when he wrote, “The death of Christ did not terminate but did germinate his work…The cross is the center of the world’s history; the incarnation of Christ and the crucifixion of our Lord are the pivot around which all the events of the ages revolve.”

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